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Interview with Terry Leroi | "Stand Up And Shout''

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  • Good evening ladies and gents. Tonight, Black Velvet Radio and I, have the pleasure and honor to host Terry Leroi talking about the collaboration LeRoi XIII, and the cover “Stand up And Shout from the legendary Ronnie James Dio… Terry how things going?

Terry: Really great Tasos how are you doing?

 

  • Fine, thank you very much, we are about, from half the world away and we're talking that's wonderful. So LeRoi XIII and “Stand up Shout” who made the Idea?

Terry: it was my idea to put the song together and donate all the proceeds to charity. Last year we had a charity event ride for Ronnie (means Dio) event that Wendy Dio had invited my band Granny 4 Barrel to play and it got canceled so we wanted to continue on with the whole spirit of charity and we said “hey let's record a song”, so I got hold of my producer friend David Bendeth and said “hey what do you think about recording a song and donating the proceeds to charity” and he thought it was a great idea so, we rounded up some musicians and we did it.

 

 

 

 

 

 

  • Well how difficult was for you to make this song to fruition with all the pandemic going on?

Terry: to be honest it wasn't very difficult at all, and the reason is, because musicians generally, these days they do pre-production and a lot of writing via the internet so, it's not a big deal to send files and tracks through the internet. The unique thing about this situation was that all of the guys that were part of this had never been in a room together at all physically, it was just like we met via the internet and then that's how we recorded it

 

 

 

  • what made you to pick that specific song from any other song of Ronnie James Dio? Because of “Ronnie James Dio Stand Up and Shout Cancer Fund” of Wendy?

Terry: Yeah, it seemed like the logical choice because it's the namesake of the charity “Ronnie James Dio Stand Up and Shout Cancer Fund”. I love the message of the song of self-empowerment. “you've got the desire so let it out you got the power stand up and shout”. It's a great lyric. The song and is 220 bpm which means it's pretty fast and it's got a lot of energy. I love the aggressive vocal in it, it's one of my favorite songs by Ronnie.

 

 

 

  • So, all proceeds of this song will go to the “Ronnie James Dio Stand Up and Shout Cancer Fund” and I thought to myself, you know when I was making this interview, that we are almost one month away from the death of Ronnie eleven years ago. Eleven years had passed since Ronnie James Dio’s death. How do you feel about that?

Terry: Ronnie is very sadly missed, but a little bit of consolation comes from you know, when a musician records music in a catalog in a sense they become immortal and you can always refer back to those tracks and those videos. I spend a lot of time on YouTube so, whenever I need my Ronnie James Dio fix there he is. When I drive around in my vehicle at night and I play lately, the mob rules album one of my favorites and I’ve been singing along to that lately so yeah but he's very missed and I feel like it's hard to believe it's 11 years

 

 

 

  • As I said digging up my research about this interview. You always wanted to sing a Ronnie James Dio song, right?

Terry: Oh, absolutely uh all the bands I’ve ever been in over the years there's always been a Ronnie James Dio cover whether it's a song from Elf or Rainbow or Black Sabbath or Dio solo project, I’ve always enjoyed singing Ronnie’s songs so yeah

 

 

 

  • This love for Ronnie James Dio it's on the video, when you're singing. This tense feeling that you had its shows on the video you know.

Terry: Oh, thank you! Well, I tried to do Ronnie proud. We did the best we could and you know we had some great players on there. We had Will Hunt and Troy McLawhorn from Evanescence we had Sammy Boller great guitar player and we had Aaron Pauley playing bass who 's the singer Of Mice and Men but he's also a bass player so, you know great guys captured some amazing energy.

 

 

 

  • We're living on strange times, right? The consequence of coving 19 from the start of 2020 to the music industry not only affected many bands labels and releases. How are you coping with that?

Terry: well, the best way in my opinion for me to cope well, there’s just been a lot a lot of extra time that I’ve been able to apply to writing and recording. Generally, it's a challenge trying to get that extra time especially when we're touring and doing rehearsals so we're just really taking advantage of this downtime and reassessing life and you know I’m not opposed to having down time I’m not opposed to taking a break because I tend to work incessantly day after day after day without a break so, it's been really nice actually in some ways

 

 

 

  • Do you believe that covid made a new way of creativity and many new opportunities for creativity because you had time to burn? Many artists made new songs and covers like you for example. Do you believe that unintentionally was made a new way of creativity?

Terry: Yeah, well I feel like certainly for us. The chances that I would have gotten together with all of these guys and recorded this song it probably wouldn't have happened if it hadn't been for the pandemic because everybody would have just continued on with their regular lives and their tours and everything they were doing so, the chances that we would have crossed paths in this way it probably wouldn't have happened.

 

 

 

  • LeRoi XIII will stop on “Stand up And Shout or there are any thoughts you know making something more what do you believe?

Terry: oh, absolutely Tasos we're going to do some more recordings I feel like it's going to be a mixture of covers and original songs. I've already been working with Will Hunt on some new original songs and we're about to dig into some more covers. One of those covers is going to be “Kill the King” from Rainbow and we're not just going to do Ronnie Dio covers I mean I’ll sing anything from Journey to Judas Priest to Iron Maiden so you can expect some new music in the near future

 

 

 

  • Well, if I remember right, I think Benante from anthrax piled up all his collaboration songs and made them into an album. do you believe you can do that?

Terry: oh, absolutely I mean why not right? I do it just for the sheer love of music, there's so many songs, it's like being at a band practice with your guys when you got some down time and everybody start riffing out on, you know, you start out with a one-hour band practice and it turns into five hours later because you're playing every cover known to man, it's a lot of fun I just love it.

 

 

 

  • okay I’m gonna ask this. Granny 4 Barrel. Never heard of them - I apologize – until this interview. I read something about the band that goes like this: “Imagine Rob Zombie Merilyn Manson and Alice Cooper had a grandmother that funded a rock band do you believe that it's true?

Terry: (Laughs) Well you know that was one of the first descriptions of what it was but it's a shock rock band uh it's got its roots from it; it has a lot of theatrical elements. I’ve always loved horror movies and I feel like witches and old women are just kind of scary and creepy in general and I thought wouldn't it be outrageous for a front man to be dressed like that, and singing like full-on heavy metal, and it started out as a bit of you know humorous kind of a joke and a fun thing but it actually took on a life of its own and here we are nearly 10 years later we gotta bunch of videos on YouTube and we've done some pretty cool tours and people seem to really love it it's kind of like a Norman Bates character (from Psycho movie) where it's a split personality like I’m dressed as this old kind of scary horror grandmother kind of character but yet again it's like this heavy metal and I’ve got a fantastic violinist who's a shredder and it's really about the theatrical element so it does in some ways compared to the Rob Zombie reference and Alice Cooper and Marilyn Manson because it's got that edge to it

 

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  • Well first time that I saw your character on the band, Granny, first thing that it came to my mind was Granny from King Diamond's “Them”

Terry: Ah there you go see yeah you know it's funny too Tasos I was looking around next time you get a chance maybe you've already seen it but if you google Dee Snyder old woman and hit images there's a picture of Dee Snyder in a rocking chair, I don't know what photo shoot this was or what it was for but he's dressed up like a crazy old woman in a rocking chair it's hilarious, and I’m like wow dude there's something to that right?

 

 

 

  • Well, I heard some songs like “Nitro Sexy and “Freak Flag” and I think another song that I don’t remember (about Granny 4 Barrel it) and it was something very refreshing. it's was not the usual stuff that we can hear from a metal band. So, Singers or guitar players that inspired Terry Leroy to make that band?

Terry: well first and foremost the inspirations that I bring forth in Granny 4 Barrel are just my musical inspirations in general. For sure at the top of the list is Ronnie James Dio all my favorites Bruce Dickinson, Rob Halford, Geoff Tate, so many great singers from back in the day that I love but also then again, I’m a big horror movie buff and horror stories so you just kind of take all those elements and mix them all together and I guess that's how you come up with Granny 4 Barrel but Yeah, I mean maybe even some Saturday morning cartoons are in there too(laughs)

 

 

  • okay I read an article a few months ago that American venues are suffering right now due to pandemic and from some research that they done there, maybe one third of the venues will close eventually. So how things going there?

Terry: I think it's the same situation. If something doesn't happen soon business can only sustain itself so long you either have to be super creative and reinvent yourself somehow to be able to function kind of like the restaurants do with the curbside if you can't dine inside okay well, we'll bring the food to you out in your car but yeah, I mean it's a struggle so the sooner things can get back to some semblance of normalcy the better.

 

 

 

  • Well, I hope everything will subside eventually. Let's talk about streaming platforms. Many artists have been paid good enough for their hard work. What do you believe about that?

Terry: Well it's certainly true in a lot of ways the only time that you can really start to see some revenue when it comes from streaming is if you've got those big numbers millions and millions of streams sometimes you know in the case of the pop stars and the huge the huge artists billions of streams and that's when you're talking real money but yeah, I mean even a million streams doesn't pay out that much it's a difficult situation and then, since the artists make their money from touring and from merchandise sales and that thing gets cut out of the picture the last year, it's extremely difficult so yeah, it's unfortunate but you can't stop musicians because it's like I said earlier, I’m going to keep doing this anyways just for the sheer love of it. I've never stopped and I never will. But it would be nice to be able to recoup and be able to get paid for your efforts because musicians put so much time and energy into their craft.

 

 

  • Believe me I’m missing live shows very much.

Terry: Me too.

 

 

  • What other bands Terry Leroi listening this time around?

Terry: You know I just discovered a band called At Vance and I never knew about those guys, a great singer and I was like “wait a second what's going on” and the reason I found it is because I was looking up Abba songs and I found a cover of “SOS” and in this band At Vance it and I was like “wow who's this singer” and lately I’ve really been into that and also journey, it's always been one of my favorite bands but incredible songwriters incredible artists Neil Shawn one of my favorite guitar players ever I mean i love to rediscover bands that I’ve known about and listened to over the years but all of a sudden you dig deeper and there's always surprises to find so those are two bands that I’ve been really excited about lately.

 

 

 

  • And you're thinking to yourself all these years wasted! Where were you all these years(laughs) okay any memories from the first time you went on stage do you have any stage frights before the show?

Terry: a little bit of anxiety. One of the first - it was the actual first time - I was ever on stage was in high school I had my high school band and there was a variety show all the kids put on different acts and they had a rock band and my band it was called Brigade at the time and we came out and did uh it's funny we did a Bryan Adams song and we did an Ac/dc’s “Let There Be Rock” that's quite a contrast isn't it (laughs) But it was a great Experience, my family was there and I had plans to go to college right after high school but that evening really changed everything for me because after I experienced what it felt like to be on stage and entertain and feel the power of hard rock, just that energy I was like “okay this is what I’m doing, I’m doing This” and that's how it's been ever since.

 

 

 

  • So, any memories from the worst or best shows you had, any funny moments when you were on stage. I believe they are we have a Granny on stage.

Terry: oh yeah, it's crazy I had another band you should check it out sometime on YouTube Titanium Black. there's even a video on there where we're playing a festival with Manowar there was a big bill there was like Alice Cooper, Manowar, Ted Nugent, there was a bunch of Bands, W.a.s.p. and there's a video of a song called Stripped” and that band was around for about seven years and we've got a record that was produced by Michael Wagner. One of my distinct memories from that band was that I had an injury, I had basically fallen down the stairs and I tore my Achilles tendon so, it was completely severed and when I went to the emergency room they put this kind of temporary cast on me and said okay you you're obviously going to need an operation but we can't do anything for about a week and that week I had a week's worth of shows to play so I took a bunch of painkillers I sat in a stool on stage and I did all my shows with my ruptured Achilles tendon and I always felt really good about that it was I couldn't feel the pain after a while and screaming some heavy metal just kind of took my cares away (laughs).

 

 

  • Have you ever been in Greece?

Terry: I have not and I would love to go…

 

 

 

  • We will ever see Matriarch of Metal (meaning Granny) here in Greece someday?

Terry: Well, you get some promoters to bring us over there and hell yeah, I’m there

 

 

 

  • Something that you regret throughout your career?

Terry: I don't regret anything Tasos I really don't, because I know it's kind of typical people say this but if you hadn't made the mistakes that you made the things that were the challenges that you experience in life you don't get to the next step you don't get to the point where you're at right now this very moment talking to you. It's true right so like this very moment that we're in everything all in my whole life led up to this and how can you, I guess, feel bad about your mistakes because it makes you who you are

 

 

 

  • I would like to thank you Terry Leroi about this interview it was a pleasure I really like that today I found a new band called Granny 4 Barrel I heard a song, a very beautiful song, a very beautiful cover that is for a good cause we hope hearing some new stuff from you guys. Any last message to your Greek fans or any fan worldwide?

Terry: well, I just want to say just keep on supporting all of your favorite artists and enjoy the assets that they've created and also special thanks to you I always like to thank the journalists for their part in this because we all need each other and you guys are the ones that get the word out and I always appreciate the time that you guys take and like today, to be able to ask me these questions it's great I love just hanging out and talking so, that's all I have to say.

 

 

 

 

  • Well, we thank you because today I learned a new band that I want to dig in you know (Granny 4 Barrel) and a new one Titanium Black… I’m gonna search it you know.

Terry: yeah, check it out here's another one for you too there's no videos on YouTube but there's another one called jolly roger and there's like a skull logo and there's some music from way back in my 20s there's a song specifically called tied up you should listen to that I’m singing some super high notes and it all super crystal-clear way up in the steel heart range high G's and notes like that and that's another one that's on there.

 

 

 

 

  • Thank you, Terry thank you very much, Ladies and Gents terry Leroi from LeRoi XIII about the cover “Stand Up and Shout”, all the proceeds will go to the “Ronnie James Dio Stand Up and Shout Cancer Fund”. Terry Leroi thank you very much good night.

Terry: thank you Tasos I appreciate it.

 

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Chris Mouskos, Tasos Zervoudakis

Black Velvet Radio

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