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Interview with Leon Craft of LOVE THE Hate….

Mobile, AL based Heavy Rock band LOVE THE HATE has released the dark, modern official music video for their upcoming, brutal new single, “Solid Ground.” Directed and filmed by Thomas Crane of KillDevil Films (SalivaTodd La Torre [Queensryche], Eve to Adam), “Solid Ground” features Kristi Craft and Billy Culbertson.

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We asked the band a few questions to get to know them a little better and bassist Leon Craft answered them.

  • Tell us a little bit about the band and how long you have been together for some of our readers that may not know about the band?

Leon- So Love The Hate was formed in 2015 in Mobile, Alabama. So we have been together about 6 years now myself and founding member Frank Killian(Lead Guitar) being the only 2 original members left. We are joined by Doc St. Andrie( Vocals), Marshall Mears( Rythum Guitar), and Troy Dearmon(Drums). We are a modern Hard Rock band with a little sprinkle of metal when we are feeling spicy haha.

  • What is new with the band?..New Album out? New Videos?

Leon- So we just realised the music video for our latest single “Solid Ground” and as of time of this writing it has also been released to radio. We are beyond proud and excited for this song we truly feel it’s our best work to date and we are already working on the follow up single and new record.

  • With all this madness going on with the virus…What do you think the music scene will be like in the future…and how are you prepared to make your music heard if there will not be any concerts or festivals for the year of 2020? 

Leon- The pandemic was definitely difficult to navigate for musicians as well as everyone really. It was a balancing act of we want to play shows, but we also want to be safe and responsible, and also stay active and relevant. We actually recorded Solid Ground way back in October of 2020 so we have been sitting on it for a while, but we had the  dilemma of releasing it in the middle of pandemic and not being able to tour or play shows with it. We chose to wait till things opened back up but stayed very active on social media to maintain relevancy. Things moving forward seem to really be going back to normal with show announcements coming left right and center now and we are very pleased about that.

  • What got you into music and what is your earliest memory of when you told yourself…”THIS IS WHAT I WANT”?

Leon-  I’ve always had I think in the back of my head the desire to want to play music but I also have what I jokingly call career ADHD where it seems like I’m going after multiple career paths at the same time. Haha  I started in music when I was 12 I joined the concert band at my school And I really really enjoyed it About a year later I got in to some modern rock bands like Linkin Park and Breaking Benjamin and then eventually that turned into an obsession with heavier bands and the thrash metal and death metal genre’s I started off playing guitar in my mid teens playing and singing and thrash metal bands until I graduated high school. About midway through college I dropped out to pursue a career in a different field and had some moderate success in that field that I ended up retiring from in 2014 and after that I decided man I really want to go back to playing music again so I started playing bass to challenge myself with a new instrument and I was playing in a different band when Frank Killian walked in to our rehearsal and recruited me to play in Love The Hate and it really wasn’t until I joined Love The Hate that I thought we have a real shot at doing something with this

  • Who was your first concert and what is your best memory 

Leon- In the summer of 2008 I saw Sebastian Bach, Dokken, and Poison At the ampitheatre in Birmingham Alabama. That was an awesome show an awesome experience Sebastian Bach is probably my favorite vocalist of all time so I was kind of fan boying a little bit

  • If you didn’t become a musician, what would you  be doing right now?

Leon- So as I mentioned before I kind of had career ADHD. Outside of music the only other constant that I have had in my life has been martial arts I started when I was 4 and have never stopped I’ve studied in multiple different styles and that career I went after that I mentioned in a previous question was I was an MMA fighter.  Like I said I had moderate success nothing UFC level I ended up retiring and 2014 due to just multiple injuries, but when I am not with Love The Hate I’m still actively training and I also teach. I have been doing martial arts for about 27 years now so I’d like to think I know what I’m doing and know what I’m talking about when it comes to that so another dream that I do have is I would love to own my own school at some point

  • On a scale of 1 to 2593, How good is your newest single compared to your last single? (my attempt at humor, but please still answer)

Leon- Ahem…..ITS OVER 9,000!!!!!!

please somebody get that reference haha.

  • What do you feel is the best song you have released to date and why?.

Leon-  I know because it’s kind of the flavor of the month right now it may be cliche to say but I truly believe right now it would be Solid Ground I do believe it is our best work and we have more exciting stuff yet to come like I said we’re already working on the follow up that we’re really excited about and we are  about waist deep in writing a new record altogether

I would also say a close 2nd would be Buried Alive from our original 2018 record that song is a blast to play live and we usually end the show with that one.

  • Do you think you can get any better as a musician/singer? And if so, How would you achieve that?

Leon-  Absolutely there is always Room for improvement there is always someone better than you and there is always something new to learn it’s a principle that I learned from martial arts that has easily translated into being a musician. Being humble is a must in this industry and I am very aware I’m not the best bass player on this planet not even close but it drives me to be better at my instrument at all times And every member of this band has the same mindset we are always striving to be better.  Always be willing to listen and learn from other people.

  • If you could give your fans one random fact about you that you think they should (or should “not” know) about you what would that be?

Leon-  Again career ADHD moment If it wasn’t for music or martial arts I think I would have wanted to be a storm chaser I saw the movie twister when I was like 5 or 6 something like that and I’ve always been fascinated by that

  • You’re a new addition to the crayon box. What color would you be and why?

Leon- I dont know about myself honestly but Troy our drummer would be “Sweet Ginger Red” Haha 

  • Who are you inspired by?

Leon-  Musically I’m inspired by anyone from Michael Jackson all the way to Behemoth and Immortal. Good music is good music regardless of genre’s and every member of this band has different influences from the other which I think is fantastic because it makes the song writing process really fun when we all come from these different directions and somehow are able to make them mesh and work into a cohesive song.

  • What’s an average day like one tour? and what about these days?

 Leon- So an average day on tour is really not that glamorous it’s not all sex drugs and rock and roll like in the eighties most of the day is spent in the van on the road enjoying the company of your band mates maybe stop by a McDonald’s or a Dairy Queen off the side of the interstate on the way to the venue. Some would argue that the show is the best part of A day on tour and it certainly is fun, but for me personally it’s the comaraderie with my band mates while we’re on the road

  • Please discuss how you interact with and respond to fans?

Leon-  The fans are our lifeblood and we 100% understand that without them we would be nothing, we would have nothing. We make it a point after every show to go straight to the merch table and interact with the fans shake their hands take pictures sign whatever they want no matter how tired are spent we are because we know that without them we are just some dudes playing music.

  • Have you ever dealt with performance anxiety?

Leon-  In the early stages back when I was in concert band very much so because I really had no idea what I was doing and I’m also normally a very introverted person.  I was also a little nervous for my 1st show back in music after retiring from fighting,  but those are really the only instances just because of my stint in fighting and also teaching and being in front of crowds in that way got me used to doing that as a musician as well, and then the more you play shows the more you practice the more your confidence grows and then it becomes just another day at the office and your having fun

  • Tell me about your favorite performance venues?

 Leon- So down in our area I would say our top 3 are club LA in Destin Florida, the Soul Kitchen in Mobile Alabama  and Shagnastys in Huntsville Alabama all 3 of those menus are top class great sound great staff and we are always treated well there and they all put on great shows.

  • What advice would you have for someone wanting to follow in your footsteps?

Leon-  Don’t pay attention or compare yourself so much to what other bands are doing sometimes that can be torture. Focus on yourself focus on your project and make it the best it can be  Create a product that you are confident and and go play, play all the time get as much experience as you can.

About Ignite Music Magazine (4351 Articles)
Concert Photographer at heart, Love listening to music and going to shows to try to capture the magic on the stage with my imagery.I also review albums and live concerts.
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