New Band of the Week: Jason Payne & The Black Leather Riders

They may have the longest band name we’ve ever featured on the site but rock meets melodic metal newcomers Jason Payne & The Black Leather Riders are giving us plenty more to get excited about. The London band offer up an exhilarating fusion of hard-hitting riffs, energy and grit-laden vocals that they describe as “fearless, energetic and bold.”

The quartet was only born during the lockdown last year but is making a significant immediate impact. It began with Jason and Tiago (drums), who knew each other from studying on the Rockschool program in Porto in 2014. The duo teamed up with Marta (guitar) and Jane (bass) and decided to start jamming together last year, which swiftly developed into the new project.

Describing the sound they’ve honed since, Jason tells us: “If you like modern metal, but at the same time you feel that the 80s and 90s is currently missing out, well, you have got to listen to our music. Very influenced by classic thrash metal bands such as Metallica and Megadeth, but at the same time, by modern metalers such as Bullet From My Valentine, Architects, Avenged Sevenfold and Korn. Also, we take some grunge and post grunge influences by the likes of Seether, Alice in Chains and Nirvana. Think big riffs, grit-laden vocals, high impact visuals, and an energy just screaming to be taken to the stage.”

Our first taste of the band was their second single The Dark, which opens up with a lively riff that continues as drums and guitars come in underneath. That develops into a heavier riff over driving drums, which drops into throaty vocals that explode into screams before rolling drums and stabbing guitars build up to a big chorus.

A heavy second verse and chorus give way to an awesome ripping guitar solo that drops into a final blast of the chorus. The track ends with a fitting smash of heavy guitars and driving drums over wild screams.

On the track, Jason told us: “It’s a very macabre, heavy, and impactful riff-driven song. It’s about death, obscurity, and the ‘nothing.’ It talks of things like trying to reach to the void, feeling confused and betrayed, and about a person that’s losing his essence. Without a consciousness, and with no purpose in our lives, we’re just a bunch of roamers taking a road to the abyss, and that leads us to the dark and lashes us to insignificant beings floating in ‘the nothing.'” Check it out in the video below:

That track followed last year’s debut single Waking The Damned, which starts with a building synth sound that drops into a fun opening riff and a little lick. A verse of engaging, laid-back vocals feeds into a heavier, more intense chorus of “Fear the light It burns my skin Crashes inside Shattered within My pride was stolen My will is breaking Digging my grave Waking the damned.”

Second time around, the chorus continues into heavy screams and guitars then a fun solo that drops into a final chorus. On the debut track, Jason told us: “It was a very rewarding experience. I was very proud of what we achieved, and I believe that it gave us a strong platform to launch our career.” Check it out in the video below:

And the band just released their third single The Purge, which starts out with a tense guitar section that’s joined by more guitars and drops into a cool chugging riff. That riff kicks on under crashing cymbals and drops into an intense opening verse. A more melodic chorus takes over and ends on a huge scream over chugging guitars and big cymbals.

The second chorus drops into a more laid-back section that builds up to heavier guitars under more intense vocals. That feeds into the customary huge guitar solo before a final chorus. Check it out in the stream below:

The band is influenced by a wide range of music, from Gary Moore, The Doors and Pink Floyd to Slipknot, Architects and Alter Bridge. As Jason explains: “There’s a bit of everything from every musical genre in my writing and playing, and I’m always seeking new sounds to incorporate in my writing. For example, at the moment, I’m working in a guitar solo that uses both country licks and Bossa Nova. I want to start giving a more ‘exotic’ vibe to my playing.”

And on what influences him to write music, he adds: “To me, nothing influences me more than just the fact of plugging an electric guitar to an amp and feeling the heat. Every time I do it, it fills me with joy and I get super inspired to write. At the same time, it’s when I unleash my true inner self, which makes it easier to write a song. There’s a lot of rebellion, introspective moods, and anger inside me. When I’m playing the guitar or singing, I can take those feelings out of my chest.

“For me, music is the ultimate form of expression and liberation. It allows me to say the things I can’t say or reveal emotions that I didn’t know I felt. Even though I read a lot of books, and that also inspires me to write, all my lyrics are personal and for me that’s the touch that my music must have. I have to say my message and hopefully people will relate to it or will want to hear me saying what I got to say.”

You don’t have long to wait for more music from Jason Payne & The Black Leather Riders as they’ll be releasing their debut EP next Friday (16 July). They’re also working on getting gigs booked in, starting with playing The Black Heart in Camden this Saturday (10 July).

As Jason adds: “We’re working on some surprises and hopefully things are going to be announced this year. Stay tuned, stay safe and stay metal!”

You can follow Jason Payne & The Black Leather Riders on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, and check out their music on Spotify, Apple Music, Deezer and YouTube.

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