HIT CHANNEL INTERVIEW: January 2012.We talked with Leaf Hound’s frontman, Peter French. Leaf Hound was an influential late 60s/early 70s hard rock band, which unfortunately didn’t last for a long time. Their first full length “Growers of Mushroom” (1971) is a super-cult album. Their reformed in ‘00s and they released in 2007 “Unleashed” CD. In April they will play again in Roadburn Festival in Holland. Peter after the ‘70s Leaf Hound break up was singer of great bands like Atomic Rooster and Cactus!
Do you enjoy during the last years seeing young people to enjoy Leaf Hound music?
It is a great compliment to find that the music I did so long ago is still being enjoyed by the younger generation.
Was it an easy effort to record “Unleashed” album? Did you try anything in the studio for the first time?
I was most concerned that the “Unleashed” album had to be equally as good as the Classic Rock “Growers of Mushroom” album which was quite a task, but I was very pleased indeed with the results especially with the excellent press reports written about it upon its release.
Are you satisfied by the feedback ‘Unleashed’ has got from fans and press?
I was absolutely delighted at the reviews, from Metal Hammer, Sounds, Classic Rock, etc all were totally complimentary, Classic Rock even went as far as to say it was one of the best Classic Rock albums, I was dead chuffed at reading it.
Only the connection of the origin of the name Leaf Hound, which I wrote in a poem inside of the “Unleashed” album sleeve notes, and the strong riff based melodies in the compositions.
‘Growers of Mushroom’ is a monumental album! Had you realized while you were writing these songs, that the final result would be so great or you treated to that music as something normal?
To be perfectly honest we just gave it our best shot at the time and it all seemed to come together in the studio, thank you for the compliment.
You will play in April at Roadburn Festival in Holland.What expectations do you have from that appearence? Will be a full Europe tour of it will be an one-off show that at Roadburn?
It is a bit too soon to say, I really enjoyed the Roadburn festival when we played there last, the crowd were a great bunch of people and the promotors too, so I am definitely looking forward to it. Leaf Hound are also doing the Desertfest in London a week before the Roadburn show. We will be hoping to appear in Europe soon but no definite dates as yet.
Which were the real reasons of the classic line-up break up?
The break up of the original line up on the “Growers” album was pretty much due to my cousin Mick (ed:Halls, lead guitar) wanting to get rid of the rhythm guitarist, which he thought wasn’t necessary in the band, but he was the brother of the bass player so they both decided to leave. We replaced the bass player for our first ever Leaf Hound tour with Ron Thomas from the Heavy Metal Kids.
Was it for you, a kind of recognition for your talent when you were called to join Atomic Rooster?
I was of course flattered to have been asked by Vincent (ed: Crane) to join Atomic Rooster and it gave me the opportunity to tour Italy and the States and Canada.
How difficult was to be a member of an American band, Cactus, which had two virtuosos (Tim Bogert and Carmine Appice)? Did you have artistic freedom then?
They asked me to join and to sing and to write for a new Cactus album I titled “`Ot ‘N’ Sweaty” after they heard me on tour in the States with Atomic Rooster. Cactus was a band with a great future we had top FM airplay Billboard and Cashbox were raving about the album, the band was at its zenith, but as soon as Jeff Beck came (ed: forming the Beck,Bogert & Appice supergroup) along certain peoples Ego`s sadly destroyed Cactus from ever continuing.
What music do you hear this period?
The Faces, The Who, Hendrix, Zeppelin .
Is there anyone you’d like to play with and hasn’t happened yet?
Not particularly, I like to find new young talent if possible and give them a chance to see what they can do. Luke (ed: Rayner) my Leaf Hound Guitarist is a great example of what I mean.
Had you ever met a known musician who told you that he’s a Leaf Hound fan, surprising you?
No, not really but there have been quite a few bands that have recorded tracks that I have written with Leaf Hound, and that’s been a real compliment.
How possible is to play in Greece? Send a message to (poor) Greek fans.
It would be absolutely fabulous if ever Leaf Hound could ever be able to have the opportunity to play in Greece. I must say I am delighted to find that we have fans in Greece, I must take this chance to wish you all a great 2012, and Thodoris thank you for the interview.
A big “Thank You” to Mr Peter French.