They may only be two in number but London bluesy rock duo LEONTAS reveal they “sound like five, sweat like ten and sing from the heart” in their mission to loudly and aggressively express their social and personal beliefs.
Guitarist Alex Munteanu grew up in Athens and played in several bands while experimenting with a variety of musical styles. Upon moving to London he met drummer Scott Collier at a band audition and, while they both disliked the band, found an instant chemistry with each other. After a brief attempt at starting a four-piece band Alex and Scott went it alone as a duo and remain so to this day.
They’ve honed a funky, energetic sound that fuses sexy 70s-style guitars with big fat drums and melodic choruses, with their key attribute being the ability to mix things up – often within the same song.
As Alex explains: “There’s always an element of surprise in all our songs. We like to keep the listener on the edge, that’s why sometimes we like to blend a few genres in one song. Like, for example, one of our songs Sweet Trouble is a blend of blues, jazz and hard rock. Don’t ask me how.. somehow it just works!”
The latest offering of this eclectic style is two-track single Rhythm + Blues and Here Today. The former opens up with a repeating stab of guitar chords that continue under a jaunty bluesy opening verse, then a funkier guitar lick. A rocky chorus follows and is immediately followed by a cool bluesy solo.
Here Today is a little more laid-back, with a light guitar line under chilled out opening vocals that leads into the lines “And don’t you wish you could go back to that age when your mum and daddy were your only stress, But it doesn’t really matter ‘cos you’re here today” followed by repeats of “You’re here today.”
Check the tracks out in the stream below:
Alex tells us that while the new single is a little nostalgic feeling, it represents a step forward for the band: “The new material is a deep dive into the past. We’ve always been labelled as a blues rock duo but, with the new material, we wanted to get some of that good old-fashioned Rock’n’Roll that you don’t really get to hear any more. We grew up on Led Zeppelin, Stones, AC/DC. So with these new songs, we really wanted to focus a bit more on the guitar sound. Write some big choruses and of course Scott did a fantastic job laying some beautiful grooves on the drums.”
While on Here Today, Scott expands: “We definitely wanted to show a different side to our music and that we can create a lyrical chilled song. We wanted the focus to be on lyrics and story we are trying to tell – that life is hard but you’re still here every day and you can do anything you’d like to.
“We also wanted to do something different and show the other strengths we have as a band! We thought it would also make a great summer tune with this relaxed and calmer vibe.”
Drawing musical influence from the likes of Alex’s all-time favourite guitarist is Slash and anyone that is able to fuse their own style, from Jack White to Miles Kane, the duo tell us their music is largely inspired by what they see going on in society.
As Scott explains: “A lot of our influence comes from what is happening in our lives and around us at the time. Rhythm + Blues is a reflection on the current world wanting you to conform to their norms and fighting against these, whereas Here Today is about remembering your worth and that every day is a new day to see what you can do.”
“Since the band has been together we’ve seen changes around us as Brexit and this has been reflected in our music as well. We always write our own material so it will always be a shared thought bewtwen myself and Alex.”
The duo have plenty going on over the next few months, including gigs in Cheltenham, Leicester, Nottingham and Bristol as well as in their hometown, and a few festival appearances. More info on their upcoming gigs is here. While they also tell us their most recent single may not be their last of the year.