Lorraine Leckie & Her Demons Debut America Weeping
Aside from rehearsals, recording sessions, and gigs, Lorraine Leckie & Her Demons are rarely in the same place at the same time. However on this first night of October, a photo session is scheduled at their monthly residency – the Sidewalk Café in the East Village. All are present along with their cinematographer Billy Leroy. What better way to prepare for publicity shots than for Leckie, guitarist Hugh Pool, drummer Keith Robinson, and bassist Charles DeChants to eat and drink heavily?
The other order of business is to discuss the release schedule of their latest single and video “America Weeping” – a fiery dirge prompted by the one- two knockout punch of the death of Leonard Cohen and the election of Donald J. Trump which occurred within days of each other in 2016.
As is custom among the Demon posse, Hugh holds court this evening, riffing on an infamous Jim Carey story wherein the actor / comedian, down on his luck and career going nowhere, writes a check for $10 million to himself for “acting services rendered” while stranded in his run-down Toyota overlooking the Hollywood Hills. According to lore and Pool, Carey post-dated it ten years or so into the future and kept the crumpled check in his wallet until he hit the big time. Carey subsequently enclosed that check in his dad’s coffin upon his passing in 1994. At first Pool was nonplussed by the tale, retold incessantly on talk shows, however now it drives him to the brink!
Leckie confides, “it wasn’t really me, it was Hugh and Charles who wrote the music.” Pool interrupts, ‘we were in the studio and we decided that we were gonna write a song and write ourselves checks for a million dollars each! We haven’t cashed the check yet but after this article, video shoot, and photo session, if we’re not good enough for a million bucks, maybe we can afford a sectional sofa! Well, maybe part of a sectional sofa, and if we pool our resources we can get the whole thing!”
Don’t let the title mislead you – “America Weeping” finds the Demons in fighting spirit. Charles, with his bass tuned to a rumbling D G D G, led the charge with Pool and Keith gradually adding their parts. “Keith put a beat on it and the shit turned magic!” bellows Pool. He continues, “we wrote a B part right then and there and recorded it, and Lorraine wrote the lyrics.”
Leroy’s stark, stunning black and white video interspersed with live footage of the Demons is the real kicker. Yelps Pool: “Billy shot it in Mike Pence’s back yard in Indiana!” Not true. Leroy elaborates “I was driving around Lorraine’s hometown of Ontario – and I started filming. It’s supposed to represent America – even though it’s Canada. I simply shot things that looked really cool. I wanted nature contrasted with industry. Then we were in upstate New York, and I found an abandoned house and filmed Lorraine in the bushes.” Leroy’s method is simple: spontaneity. “I love working in the moment,” he states, “then I would do things like speed up the wind blowing the weeds to match the beat.”
“And it’s all analog” boasts Pool. “We recorded to tape and mixed to tape! We didn’t turn a computer on.”
Like the rest of us, the Demons have no clue as to what will transpire politically or socially in these United States. Leckie echos Carol Lipnik’s quote about the departed Canadian bard: “I felt that Leonard Cohen was holding the fabric of the universe together” She adds “To me, when he died and Trump got elected, it all fell apart.”
“America Weeping” is not the end – it’s a new beginning.
For all things Lorraine Leckie visit www.LorraineLeckie.Com