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Podcast interviews with Leah and Robert

There are a few new interviews with Leah and Robert from various Australian outlets:

Noise11.com

Everblack Podcast

Portnews posted this interview with Leah Shapiro:

FEBRUARY 27 2022 – 12:30PM
Black Rebel Motorcycle Club fire up the engines after long break for Under The Southern Stars

Leah is featured about 28 minutes in:
“In this episode we are proud to bring you a huge special on the upcoming Under The Southern Stars Tour. We are only weeks away from seeing Cheap Trick, Bush, Stone Temple Pilots, Black Rebel Motorcycle Club
Rose Tattoo and Electric Mary, together on one bill. This has been a gargantuan effort by the entire UTSS Team, and we are proud to bring you conversations with
Rusty from Electric Mary
Leah from Black Rebel Motorcycle Club
Jeff and Eric from Stone Temple Pilots
Gavin from Bush
Rick from Cheap Trick
and to close it out we chat with promoter Andrew McManus”

Interview with Leah Shapiro of BRMC

March 1, 2022

By Liane Chan

There aren’t many bands I’ve followed as much as Black Rebel Motorcycle Club. My history with BRMC as a fan is a long one, with miles of travels, stories and friends made, and lost acquaintances in between. Over the years, the band has evolved with the addition of Leah Shapiro replacing original drummer, Nick Jago. Joining guitarist Peter Hayes and bassist Robert Levon Been, Leah helped write a new chapter in their rock n’ roll story. 

I was offered a last minute zoom interview with Leah Shapiro in conjunction with Under the Southern Stars festival tour happening in Australia later this month. Of course, I jumped at the chance to interview the drummer of my favorite band. Our conversation touched upon current events and unfortunate passings, life during the pandemic, and what it’s like touring Australia in the past and how it might be in this coming month.

What have you been up to in the downtime of the pandemic?

Leah Shapiro: Oh god, that’s the question that everybody asks and I will say again that I have not been within that group that has been able to learn new languages and all kinds of skills and been hyper productive at all. I had a hard time focusing on anything throughout this. Managed to get a couple things done, a couple of recordings here and there. But a lot of it was staring at walls, as well, and questioning my sanity. 

I remember hearing a couple of your podcasts, they were very long-form so those were interesting.

LS: Oh my god, yeah. I think I know which one you’re referring to, was that the one with me and Pete and Jared and Brian – the Vacant Lots guys?

Yes, I think so that was like 2 hours or so of interviews. It was an interesting conversation.

LS: Yeah, I don’t know how that happened. I don’t think any one of us would be able to talk for that long alone.

I mean who wants to talk about anything for two hours. 

LS: Yeah, I don’t know.

What did you think of Rob’s solo album debut and the Card Counter soundtrack?

LS: I think he did a great job, yeah, that’s such a huge task to take on. I think he did a great job. Yeah, I’m happy for him.

Yeah I think so too, it was a pretty impressive undertaking in a time where most people are…  

LS: Impressive undertaking under normal circumstances, with everything else going on, extra impressive.

Has the passing of Mark Lanegan affected you or anyone in the BRMC camp much?

LS: Yes, of course. We have mutual friends, and I’ve been reaching out to friends who personally know him that have obviously suffered a huge loss. I don’t feel like it’s my place to talk about. It’s incredibly sad, I’m sure it’s really difficult for his family, his wife, and loved ones. 

You’ve been to Russia and Ukraine before, what are your thoughts on that current situation?

LS: A year or two ago, I wouldn’t imagine this happening. My heart is absolutely breaking for everyone there, it’s fucking awful. I don’t think there’s much that I have to say about that. 

I hear about this stuff secondhand, so it’s hard for me to really imagine everything going on there. 

LS: Yeah, I’m sitting over here in LA. Aside from seeing the news, it’s hard to imagine what’s going on. The last time we were there was June 2018. It’s sad and heartbreaking and I hope it gets resolved in some way, shape, or form sooner than later. 

How many times have you been to Australia now and how is it different from the other world tours? 

LS: This will be my third time, I know the guys for sure were there a couple of times before I was with the band. I remember the first time we went there, we went to both New Zealand and Australia, we went bungee jumping in Auckland, rented motorcycles, and did all kinds of fun stuff. It’s so far away and it’s really hard to get there, so we make the most of it when we do because you never really know if you’re going to get back there again because it’s quite an undertaking to get there.

From what I remember, tours and stuff over the course of the years, get mixed together. I always remember the shows being really great and I’ve always enjoyed every time we’ve been there. Last time we were there, our routing was chased by Hurricane Marcus, kind of messed with our flights a bit. Our gear showed up way late for one of our shows. It’s like little weird things like that I remember very clearly. 

Of course, this run will be a little different due to the circumstances and we will probably not be able to go out and about as much as we normally would, which is completely understandable especially with a traveling festival. That’s a big thing to put on in the best of times, it’s a big undertaking now.

Yeah, I’m sure. (Australia) It’s a huge country and the tour is kind of all across it.

LS: Yeah, we usually play bigger cities and I’m definitely seeing a bunch of places on the map that I have not been to before or necessarily heard of so that’ll be cool to get to see some new parts. There are a couple long drives, which I don’t mind – I get to see stuff out the window since we normally fly from city to city. Yeah, we’ll get to see something new on the drives.

Yeah, a real road tour again. That’ll be exciting. 

LS: Kind of like going back to van tours. 

Do you have any future tour plans or possibly albums or is that secret?

LS: No there’s no big secrets going on right now, we’re just playing it by ear. I’m sure you probably know this is the first touring we’ve done since 2019, so I would be lying if I said I wasn’t a little bit nervous to get back onstage after having been sitting around in sweat pants for way too long. We’ll see where the world is at once we get back from this, and where things are at, what’s possible to do and whatnot. 

It’s been really difficult to try to plan anything. As you know everything is so unpredictable, and every time things seem to be going all right then they go sideways again. It seems like a better idea to just kind of roll with it and see where things are at.  Once we’ve been able to do this, then we can figure out what we want to do after that.

I’ve seen a lot of tours being canceled still. 

Yeah. That can be really scary. It can be really financially difficult to cancel shows if someone gets sick. That’s a bit of a rough one 

Hopefully everyone stays safe and things go as planned for this tour.

The organizers are definitely doing a good job with that and we’re going to be staying on top of things on our end as well. 

Did you know (March) is Women’s History Month? 

LS: I think I’ve been running around like crazy since I woke up around 5 AM, and I’ve been running around, but did I see that in passing while I was waking up and having my coffee. Yes, it is Women’s history month. 

Do you see there’s any kind of change in the world of rock for women? 

LS: You know what, I do. I’ve been seeing more and more female musicians in bands, I don’t necessarily love the sort of differentiating between female drummer and male drummers. It gets a bit frustrating. I’ve seen more and more great female musicians both in their own bands and session players. It seems like there’s more of a community of women (not just musicians) in all areas in the industry. How about you, have you noticed? 

Yeah, there are a lot of female musicians lately, and it does seem like a positive change. Things have been going well, not just in rock, but in all types of music. 

I have some questions I’ve gathered from fans, they might get a little silly. 

How’s Poof and does he have an instagram yet?

LS: I wanted to post about this when it happened, but I just haven’t been able to do it yet. So I guess you are going to be the first person that I tell. Poof passed away last year at the end of March, which of course, was completely fucking heartbreaking. So that happened, the first part of when lockdown happened, I spent literally every day with him aside and he was aside from Pete, I was going to say the only person that I talked to. For well over a year, I would do whatever Poof wanted to do, so it was nice that I got a good dose of quality time with him before that happened. 

On that note, I want to say thank you to a lot of people who brought Poof presents over the years on tour. I still have a lot of things that weren’t edible, obviously he ate that. I have like pillows and clothing that people made him, and I want to say thank you so much for that for people that brought that. He was a sweetheart and a very special guy. 

I’m so sorry to hear that and bring it up.

LS: I thought about posting, but at the time I couldn’t do it.

I know that’s too tough, I lost my cat of like 18 years.

LS: I’m so sorry. It was a lot harder to deal with than I – I had anticipated it would suck a lot – but it was a lot worse than I thought it would be. 

Nothing prepares you for that kind of thing. 

Sabrina wanted to know how your jam sessions happen and if they come together separately or all at once.

LS: Both ways, there’s been instances of… “Funny Games” is an example of like, I was in a rehearsal studio playing drums on my own and I’d been messing around with this beat and I recorded it on a very crappy Blackberry, because of course the microphones are not equipped for that, it was super distorted and had a melody to it, and I brought that to Rob and I think he kind of built the bass line off of the distorted melody that existed in that, so that’s one way that happens. Most of the time we’re in the room together. So it comes in every shape or form. A lot of weird accidents…

Shelley asked if you listen to a lot of music aside from BRMC and what are your favorites?

LS: Humanist is my favorite record of 2020. That’s one of my more recent favorites. Depeche Mode, Black Ryder, newer records Humanist is incredible, Mark Lanegan who you mentioned earlier, his solo records, and albums with Soulsavers are incredible. 

Thanks for taking the time to speak with me today.

Sent to Destroy #16 w/Leah Shapiro and Peter Hayes

Leah Shapiro and Peter Hayes have been doing a few long form interviews in podcast form, check out this one with Sent to Destroy!

Chris sits down with Leah Shapiro and Peter Hayes – two thirds of the rock trio Black Rebel Motorcycle Club. For those not already familiar with the band, BRMC has been cranking out dark, gritty, authentic rock and roll for over 20 years.  If you’re a fan of the band and you ever wanted to hang and really get to know the incredible musicians behind the music this is your day. It was a great conversation.

Podcast available wherever you prefer to listen!

Wrong Creatures Box Sets SIGNED by Black Rebel Motorcycle Club are available now on PledgeMusic

Pre-order a signed copy of Black Rebel Motorcycle Club’s record, ‘Wrong Creatures’ in a clear double vinyl box set with a 52 page lyric/photo book, a custom harmonica, a cassette of unreleased tracks and some killer art prints and drown into the sound. http://pmusic.co/3geLvE

Leah on Late Night with Seth Meyers January 16th – 19th

Leah will be performing on Late Night with Seth Meyers January 16th – 19th. Tune in!

Thanks to Jodi for putting together some clips of her first night!

Leah Shapiro featured in Deirdre O’Callaghan’s book ‘The Drum Thing’

Leah Shapiro featured in Deirdre O’ Callaghan’s book ‘The Drum Thing’

Leah was featured in Deirdre O Callaghan‘s book called, Drum Thing, which showcases the stories behind the backbeat. Get a copy of the book on Amazon.com! http://amzn.to/2gD139w

Update on “Live in Paris” DVD

If you’ve pre-ordered “Live in Paris,” you may have already gotten your digital download of the audio. Unfortunately, we will have to wait a little longer for the DVD. BRMC sent this update on Thursday with a mention on how Leah is doing:

Hey, we wanted to give everyone a quick update on the Live In Paris DVD.

So last month, when we first received the Master Copy of the DVD to approve, we noticed this strange little digital glitch in the audio (it wasn’t anything too serious, but it was like nails on a chalkboard to us).  I guess the good news is that we caught the problem in time, and it has since been fixed.  The bad news is that it has caused the release date to be pushed back about a month.  It was a hard to call to make, but we didn’t feel right shipping the DVD out like that.

In the meantime, we want to apologize to you by sending you a link where you can immediately download mp3’s of ALL of the songs on the album.

In other news, we’ve begun rehearsing again with Leah (post surgery) and she is beating the living hell out of the drums again. She still needs to take it easy for the next couple weeks though and not hammer a hole through her snare drum, but so far all signs seem to be pointing towards a fairly strong recovery.

The bionic girl returns +

You will be receiving information from Firebrand with a link to download the MP3s.

B.R.M.C.