STUN LEER - Once (1998)

Interview with: DOUG HOWARD

The STUN LEER (ex.Touch) frontman tells the truth about the BEE story, the music scene in USA and more !! The new Stun Leer album(Last man standing) will be released later this year(MTM Records)

Hi Doug ! Can you tell us about the new STUN LEER album,
where was it recorded & will it be in the same kinda "style" as
your first album "Once" ??
Thanks for your compliment..... and a big Long Time No See and hello to our fans   You should check out  (BLATANT PLUG #1) for more info and news on our latest movements. There's some free full length mp3's for download too.  Lars can scream all he wants.....zzzzzzzzzz.    Anyway,   as far as the new album goes.... it was about damn time don't you think?  What a lazy bunch of wankers we can be sometimes!   The new album contains 11 all new songs except for one cover of "Black Betty".  (12 on the Japanese version).    Most people think Black Betty was written by Ram Jam... it in fact was not.  
It was written by Huddie Letbetter also known as the legendary "Leadbelly" one of the
original Delta Blues musicians from the US who was born in 1885 and died in 1945 (as best as anyone can tell). His life is story is unbelievable. Anyway...  it was pretty typical for rock acts in the 60's and 70's  to take old blues songs and pretend they were original. Ask Bo Diddly about that sometime..... he'll set your ears on fire about white boys ripping off black artists... lame ol' same ol' .  Now  I'm not saying Ram Jam did that intentionally, but it is prettypathetic that most people don't even know who Lead Belly was let alone that he wrote the song. I'll be posting a compete bio on this man and his music as soon as the album is out.

Yeah...I´ve heard that you´ve recorded a cover of "Black betty" Why just that song ?
Black Betty is a teaser for the third album after this one.  We'd like to get even more blues oriented but who knows what will happen.   Most of the time we do things on the spur of the moment.  But the song is great and we thought it would be fun to do a real ass kick version. It came out pretty smokin' and pretty true to the original blues version.  Fate's lead guitar work sound like some gus is getting his ears torn off.

Stun Leer have a new guitarist " Fate Taylor" (ex-Love Junkies)  How did you guys meet and how come that Michael McCabe "left"   ?
I've known Fate since I was with Todd Rundgren many years ago. He's one of the hottest and soulful players I know.  It's easy to shred.... it seems anyone can do that... but to be able to rip peoples hearts out at the same time with just one screaming note takes "soul".  Not may players have that.  Fate and I have always wanted to be in a band together but the timing never seemed to be right.  Right now he's very busy on a few other projects and my schedule is sort of a mess too.  We're trying to talk about a tour in the Fall at this point.

I absolutely love "Once" I think it´s a superb album with a great sound a-la the 80´s!  What´s your opinion about the album ? How do you think the response have been ? and I guess that some of the songs are actually from the 80´s ?
Thanks for the compliment and it really does make us feel great,  there's a free download from  "Once" at     (BLATANT PLUG #2).  I really felt that the album at the time was one of the best I'd ever had the opportunity to to,  but personally I'm really glad the 80's are over..... I hope that answers your question without sounding too snotty.   But you have to understand that that music was great then...... but,...uhhh.... hello...wakey
wakey.... it's 2000.  Time to try different things otherwise you end up doing your "Greatest Hits" is some crappy Las Vegas lounge like Loverboy.   At $200 per ticket I might add.   I just heard the new Bon Jovi single on the radio the
other day....... I was embarrassed for him......  "Living On A Prayer" with Britney Spears/N'Sync drum samples.... I mean how fucking humiliating is that?  He should have taken that re-mix engineer out in the parking lot and kicked the living snot out of him.   Or maybe he just doesn't care anymore.  I remember one time years ago he compared himself to the "Smurfs".... that was a fucking cartoon ya' know.

Can you tell us about your musical history before you joined TOUCH.Did you play in any bands ??
I was pretty involved with the CBGB downtown scene before Touch.   I wasn't really sure what I wanted to do but the energy there was what I liked about it.   Then I met Mark and he taught us all how to write "formula songs".  It workedfor the first album.... but as far as I was concerned the second one was missing something (like balls for one thing) and anyhow I got offered the gig with Utopia to replace Kasim Sultan during his hiatus.... then I went with Edgar Winter and a collection of other road acts....I really had no interest in pursuing Touch anylonger.
How did you meet Mark Mangold and do you have any contact with him nowadays or any of the other members ?

I saw his picture on the back of a milk carton asking 'Have You Seen This Man".... so I called the number and it was connected to a 1-900-Chat-A-'Ho line..... I ran up a bitch of a bill with a tart by the name of Wanda.... but never got
through to Mark unfortunately.  I have no idea what he's doing....Craig and Glen I stay in "touch" with though.
TOUCH was also the first band to ever play on "The Monsters of Rock" in England 1980 ! What did you guys think about it back then and PLEASE tell us the real story about that BEE !!!
What "real"story do you want to hearYou can't be"stupid"enough to think that I staged that :-)  What happened was   I picked up a beer with a bee inside of it and the little fucker stung me in the throat on the way down.  I'm allergic to insect bites to begin with so I started puking all over the back stage area and then my throat closed up so I couldn't breathe.Having someone shove a plastic tube down your throat in an ambulance is a pretty crappy way to celebrate a great show like that.So any over the hill publicity starved has been who thinks that was staged should suggest that directly to my face and I'll gladly hand them their teeth in a bag.  Believe me... it may have been funny afterwards.... but when it happened it was horrid.
Frontiers/Now & Then Records released the second TOUCH album a couple of years ago What´s your feelings about that ? I guess that you by then thought it would never be released ?
I thought the second album was weak then and my opinion hasn't changed since.  Rock and roll is about revolution..... Copying Leo Sayer licks and thinking that will finally make you a star regardless of your mediocre abilities won't do the trick.... get my drift?    One of the main reasons I left the band was because I knew that album was unlistenable to any good head banger and   the idea of playing in a band that appeared to be progressing into another version of Air Supply made my skin crawl...... thanks..... not!
Correct me if I´m wrong but STUN LEER "Once" 1998 was the first album with you since 1979 (TOUCH).You wanna tell us what you did the years in between ??? :-)
I toured allot...I mean ALOT...  Edgar Winter, Todd Rundgren, Roy Buchannan and others..... I did alot of session work as a back up singer and bassist for more stuff than I care to remember.   Lately what I do now is film work....
remastering audio.... production of original music....  and write, write, write....    make babies.... get divorced... get married.... do it again..... you know.... the typical.  But I'm very anxious to get back onto the road.  Problem
being it would seem that the talent pool of musicians is seriously depleted these days.   Paul is having some health problems and it's not clear if he'll be able to do it.   Mike is trying to be Buffalo Bill or some shit in Nashville......
I really want Fate in the project but...schedules...schedules!!!  Anyway I'm currently based out of New York and will probably put out the word that we're looking for new members very soon.    Anyone interested  and think they can cut this stuff  should email the band at the website  (BLATANT PLUG 3#).    Bozo's need not apply.
What do you think about the whole music industry in USA today ?
Can you find any new,good music that you like and What about AOR/Melodic Hardrock in the states ? Dead or still alive ? Maybe you all should move to Europe? It´s not huge here either but it´s for sure coming back again ! (a bit anyway)
There is no music scene in the States today.   You have about 12 artists selling  a gazillion records controlled by 5 major record labels.   There is a ton of great  music dying on th vine because of this monopoly.  Thank God for MP3,Napster and Gnutilla...... this should maybe not completely change the rules altogether.....but it will hopefully put an end to this warmed over Disney Mouketeer shit they've been feeding us for the past few years.  I'm praying for bands like Filter or Rage to place in the top five as these bands talk about shit that really means something in peoples lives.   If you want to sell masturbation materials for underage girls..... then just get it over with and include a personal vibrator with the next 98 degrees album....might as well....that's the only thing they HAVEN'T done yet.

Anyway, I'm seriously considering coming over and spending some time in Europe..... particularly Germany or England.... the stuff I hear coming out of there rawks the house!   But .... who knows.... if it's meant to happen it will.  I hear the Queen of England isn't home often.... and chance for a reasonable sublet while she's traveling?



Urban Wallström - originally published in Catchy Hooks.