Band Biographoes: Leather Synn


Leather Synn is a Heavy Metal band founded in 2011. The band belongs to a movement which can be called as “The New Wave of Portuguese Heavy Metal”. The band name was inspired in a project Xico “Steele” had in 2009 with Hugo Rattlesnake, which was simply called “Leather”. The original line-up failed and Xico, in 2012, started an idea for a new band with Zé “Rockhard” and Hugo “Rattlesnake” on Guitars, Victor “Silver” on Drums and Carlos “Manimal” Faria on Bass. The band changed its name to “Leather Synn” after completing the formation. This line-up recorded 4 tracks in the beginning of 2013. Those tracks were released as a 12” vinyl EP.

Leather Synn MKI fell apart right after the record release and live debut. The first one to quit was Zé “Rockhard”, simply because he had 3 bands and couldn’t handle them all, opting to leave Leather Synn in an amicable split up. Just in the eve of the recording of “Honour and Freedom”, Xico “Steele” moved to the UK, leaving its slot as a singer empty and Hugo “Rattlesnake”, who was living 400 Km away from the rest of us, also ended up leaving. The transaction from that initial line-up to what would be the Leather Synn MKII was smooth and seemed to bring a significant upgrade to the band both in terms of stability and musicianship. For the Lead singing position entered Eduardo Sanchez Cano, our first option, a talented vocalist, long-time friend and co-worker of Carlos “Manimal” Faria. For the six string department, the band recruited Alcides Pinto, a seasoned guitarist known for his work in bands like Alkateya and Curse, and Fábio Santos, a young virtuoso able to do everything out of a guitar. Although Fábio entered halfway through the recording sessions of the 7” single, he was fully integrated by the time the record was released.

That MKII seemed to be the ideal line up to start composing the debut album, and the future ahead of us looked bright, with a fantastic single reception, and the chemistry in the rehearsal room was great! But as the plane started to take off, out of the blue, we lost Alcides. Later on, Fábio also left to seek a professional career as musician willing to make enough income to become a full-time professional musician. We agreed that Leather Synn would never be big enough for him to make a living out of it and he moved on. That departure opened a revolving door of guitarists. From 2015 to 2019, we went through a painful process of constant line-up changes, bad options, internal convulsions, everything you can read online about how bands lose members and struggle to keep going, we had it! We used to say that we could already write a book, or film a VH1 “Behind the Music” episode!

When it comes to guitarists, we had everything: from lazy sods to hired guns, who came just to do a few shows, incompetent “guitar hero” wannabes, crazy dudes… it’s quite hard to remember all the guitarists we once tried though all those years, some stayed for a while, some came and gone in a blink of an eye. Almost 5 years of stagnation with lots of very low moments only cut here and there for some sporadic shows that made us believe that it was still worth trying to move on. Even with constant guitarist replacements, we manage to play a handful of great shows and even compose a few songs for that desired album.

If the guitarist seeking saga was not enough, in 2018, Victor “Silver”, our drummer from day one, had to be invited to leave the band. That moment remains in our minds as the lowest point in our history. Victor was not only a band mate but a dear friend as well, but we could no longer stand some of his behaviours as a band member, so we felt he had to leave. It’s hard to kick a guy out of a band, harder still when that band member is a very close friend, but it was something we had to do, it was the only way we had to keep this band going. We wondered: was it worth losing a friend for a band?

As we parted ways with Victor “Silver”, he asked us to take with him some of the songs made for the album. We accepted that without reservations. As Victor left, the band’s MKII version was reduced to Carlos “Manimal” Faria and Eduardo Sanchez Cano. The guitarists were shared with another, very demanding, band (Enchantya) and were not 100% into the Leather Synn project and on top of that, we didn‘t have a drummer. We had two options in front of us: call it a day and regret not having done what we dreamed to, or fight back and rise from scrap once again. Since we are hard to break, we decided that the way out was to make Leather Synn MKIII.

While “cooking” this third re-incarnation of Leather Synn, we decided the time was right for a change in terms of sound and image of the band. We wanted to follow a more down-to-earth, mature sound. After all, most of the band personnel had changed, and even the long-time members changed themselves personally and musically speaking. If you can label Leather Synn MKI and MKII as a straight Traditional Heavy Metal act, the new Leather Synn is not quite pure Heavy Metal, not quite Hair Metal and not quite Hard Rock either, but something in between, with a lot of influences from these three genders. Trying to be faithful to the 80’s sound and look but with something new to show. For this reincarnation of the band we recruited Tiago Barros for the drum kit, another fast and smooth replacement who proved to be not only a great drummer but also a fantastic bloke to be around! On our six string department we now have Sérgio Damas and Rafael “Anima” Martins. Nowadays, Leather Synn is a band where all the members have steady jobs, are married, fathers of children and who take their time to do what they love to do. On our rhythm and will, today we aim to please ourselves in the first place. We are not competing in any battle of the bands or trying to act number one in the music scene. We love to share the stage with other similar bands, have a good time and enjoy music. If we have people supporting and loving our records and shows, even better. Like everyone else, we love to have approval from the music fans, but what makes us comfortable and looking forward to keep this is the joy we take when we play or hang out together in the first place.

In May 2020, the band releases another 4 track effort, this time on CD, entitled "Warlord". With the release of this CD we simply hope to put behind all those years of struggle and frustration. “Warlord” is a song from that album that we never did, but think it’s too good to be left behind. “Still in My Heart” is not yet “there”, but it marks beginning of a new path. See it as a blueprint of our new direction. The other two tracks are Leather Synn MKI classic tunes, we felt we could give them a “new roupage” so here they are! And…that’s it! Keep an eye on us, and stay curious as to what we have to offer in the future. You won’t be disappointed!

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