Mother Leeds is finally ready to unleash its music upon the world. Now, the question is: Will the world be ready for Mother Leeds?
The Drexel University-based garage-prog band, founded by Jack Guerrieri and Nick Espersen in 2017, recently released its debut album, “Before the Fall.”
After serving in the military, Espersen felt the strong desire to explore his creative side. A life of discipline and uniformity has morphed him into someone who strives to push the boundaries of artistic expression. As primary lyricist, he provokes self-reflection through his own understanding of the natural and artificial world. With Sam Ansa on bass and Espersen behind the drums, the rhythm section guarantees texture that tests the average approach to songwriting. Vocalist and lead guitarist Guerrieri provides harmonies to put the listener in a dream-like state.
Mother Leeds worked relentlessly over the past two years to ensure each song on “Before the Fall” is perfect. The album gives listeners a taste of the band’s unique sound and a glimpse at what the future holds for this group.
PW recently caught up with Mother Leeds to talk about the new album and what’s ahead for the group.
Talk a little about the early days of the band. How did the band get together? Was it a great fit from the beginning, or did it take some time for chemistry to develop?
Jack: Nick and I met at Drexel in a music theory class back in 2017. What started out as study sessions became jam sessions. Those became weekly band rehearsals. Since we have similar influences and music tastes, the chemistry was there from the beginning. Once Sam joined us in 2019, we knew we found the missing component. As a group, we try not to let anything dictate how or what we play. I think that’s why we continue to play together.
“Before the Fall” was just released, but you’ve been working for two years to get it ready. Talk a little about the writing and production process. How have your fans reacted to the album?
Nick: We like to approach songwriting differently each time. Sometimes Jack will write music and lyrics on his own, other times Jack and I will write music and lyrics together, or we’ll write music and I’ll put my own lyrics to it. It’s fun to switch it up. We’re just starting out and still working on getting our music out there, but, overall, the feedback has been positive.
Sam: We took the home studio route, so we had plenty of time each recording session to flesh out the songs and build upon the foundations we create. We have a good friend who mixed and mastered each track. He also gave us feedback on production choices.
What are the best ways for people to get the album?
Jack: The album can be streamed just about anywhere (Apple music, Amazon music, Spotify, Bandcamp, Soundcloud and Youtube). We want to get physical copies made at some point.
Where do you find inspiration for your music?
Nick: For the majority of “Before The Fall,” most of the inspiration came from observing humans and their relationship with the natural world. Whether I’m in the city or in the woods, I like to listen and observe. I analyze interactions I have or witness and try to make sense of it. This is the product of that process.
What’s the Philly music scene like these days, and how does Mother Leeds fit into it? Are you big fans of any local acts?
Sam: Prior to COVID-19, the overall Philly music scene was thriving with an awesome DIY scene. There were plenty of student-run spots all over where new bands had a place to perform. They’re now collectively on hiatus, but plenty of local bands are still releasing music. Some of my personal favorites are RFA and Joy Again. Hopefully, sometime in the future, we will be able to perform with them.
You already are writing more music, so what’s ahead for Mother Leeds? Another album? Live concerts once the pandemic passes?
Sam: We already have enough material for another album, but we’re in no rush to release anything. We’ll probably drop another album this year with maybe a few singles in between. Once the pandemic and lockdowns subside, we’ll play live. We’re proud to be a part of the DIY scene, and we’d love to play with other bands. At the end of the day, we’re in it to have fun and connect with people.
What are the best ways for your fans to stay connected to what you’re doing?
Jack: If people want to know what we’re up to, Instagram and Bandcamp are probably their best bet. We give updates on Instagram. Feel free to follow us @motherleedsmusic.