Violent Resonance: For our readers who are unfamiliar with Night Demon, give us a little backstory behind the band and let us know what you sound like/what genre(s) of heavy do you play?
Night Demon (Jarvis Leatherby): We basically started as three friends growing up in the Ventura County, CA music scene. We all had a mutual love for the NWOBHM sound and decided we needed to play the music that was closest to our hearts, regardless of what current trends were happening in the music scene. We had no ambitions when we started of becoming a popular band, or by no means making this our full time gig, but as fate would have it, we are now doing this and enjoying every bit of it.
Night Demon is a stripped down, in your face, old school hard rock/heavy metal attack. Just a three piece band with a heavy metal sound that people have described as “street”. Not a lot of polished bells and whistles, but still solid songwriting and good hooks and melody.
VR: A little birdy (Pat Martin from Others over in LA) told me you guys are heavily influenced by NWOBHM. My favorite subject! What are some of the bands you resonate with the most, some of your favorites?
JL: Absolutely! To just ramble off the top of my head would be Angel Witch, Diamond Head, Saxon, Iron Maiden, Tygers of Pan Tang, Tokyo Blade, Praying Mantis, Venom, Jaguar, Satan, and many others! Most all NWOBHM is worth listening to for us.
VR: What kind of music was playing in your homes when you were a child? Did any of the music you heard when you were younger stick with you and help shape your musical tastes today?
JL: I heard a lot of Van Halen, actually. But also Black Sabbath was a huge influence on me when I was young. My Dad has his records exposed, and Sabbath was the first thing I always went to. It has had a heavy influence on my musical upbringing, and still does today. When I first started playing guitar, it was all about learning Sabbath, Ozzy, Van Halen, Maiden, and Metallica riffs. That is still my favorite stuff today.
VR: It seems like you guys revolve your writing around the occult, or “evil” things. What inspires you? Movies, literature, etc.?
JL: Yeah for the most part the themes have been swayed more toward the darker side of life. A lot of that is just heavy metal cliche, but I don’t mind that at all. Thats what I always liked about metal, so why not just carry on with that tradition in Night Demon. A lot of what inspires us come from classic horror movies and novels. That’s the stuff that we are normally into, so thats what we generally write about. I think we are expanding a little in the lyrical field on the next record, but not really staying too much from what works for us, and what the fans expect from us.
VR: What are the worst and best things about the current music scene and record industry as a whole? What changes do you think should be made to make both worlds stronger?
JL: The worst thing right now is that people are giving up and running away scared because either they are losing money, or they are not brave enough to start at the bottom and commit themselves to winning. Art and music are not going anywhere, so I am actually looking forward to the future. The reason is that the people that stick around and keep going will be the pioneers of the new music industry. We will look back on these times as the wild west, and honor and recognize the few that stand faithful and tall. Yes there’s tons of pirating going on, and things are more difficult in some ares, but they are also a lot easier in other ears, such as the benefits of exposure on the internet. It’s all about finding new and innovative ways to do things, and to evolve with the technology and the rest of the world.
VR: If Night Demon were a drug, what drug would you be and why?
JL: Night Demon actually is a drug. The drug is called elation. When our fans listen to our music, they always seem to have this feeling of elation. Its the greatest feeling as an artist, and its almost like a drug in itself for me. But I do like to smoke pot, regularly. HAHA!
VR: When you guys are on the road, which records do you listen to the most. It seems like a lot of bands we’ve talked to listen to music way out of the metal genre, talk radio, etc. Anything you guys like to listen to when you’re traveling? (Metal or non-metal)?
JL: Yeah we do listen to a lot of different stuff, but there’s definitely enough metal in rotation. We also have a cassette player in our van, so it’s always fun to go into record stores and buy random used tapes for the ride. We also listen to a lot of old mixtape that fans give us. We love that stuff! Another advantage we have is that we always have a professional writer on the road with us, so he gets advanced copies of most new albums that come out before they hit the shelves, so we are always listening to the new stuff thats coming out.
VR: Who are you most looking forward to checking out at Southwest Terror Fest this year? Anyone you haven’t seen that you’ve been looking forward to checking out?
JL: Acid King! It’s especially cool that we are playing on the same night as them.. We have been looking forward to this one for quite some time. I think the stoner/doom crowd will need a dose of NWOBHM at the end of a long weekend.
VR: What’s in the plan for Night Demon going forward? Writing/record release plans? Touring plans?
JL: We are currently writing the follow up record (to be recorded in December 2015, and released late spring 2016). We are also doing 12 dates in Mexico starting next week. It’s our first time down there and the fans are stoked and ready to go! After that we come home to continue writing, do some U.S> dates with Holy Grail, and host our own music festival in Ventura, CA called “Frost and Fire”. This festival is geared much toward traditional heavy metal, but its solid from top to bottom.
VR: Provide us with links to your music, your social media pages, or any other site we can click on to find out more about you guys.
JL: You can find us on our website. Social media links are on the homepage.