What´s the name of your band? LEO*LEO
How was the band formed? Sarah and I (Vanessa) have been friends for a long time. Sarah was working a lot as an design engineer and I was in school studying composition. Our work schedules were both very hectic so we weren’t really able to practice our instruments very much. I had started writing songs again after a multi-year hiatus, and had the thought that the best way to get us back to doing what we loved was to just meet up and play the songs I had been writing. We formed LeoLeo not too long after that.
Can you tell about your band?
Vanessa: LeoLeo is a band of two best friends with complimentary skill sets who like each other enough to spend the majority of their time working together making.
Sarah: We use our music to help create opportunities for others where we can.
Where are all band members from?/Who does what in the band?
Sarah is from Tiverton, Rhode Island.
Vanessa is from Los Angeles, California.
What was the ambitions of the band when you started?
Vanessa: To practice our instruments, have fun, take a break from grueling work schedules and get back to what we love to do.
Sarah: Then Monica Riehl stepped into the equation and our business goals have changed so that we are a professional music making team.
Could you explain your music to someone that hasn't heard you? Vanessa: We are a hybrid of our influences, especially Brazilian musical styles, Soul, Burt Bacharach era stuff and Radiohead.
Where was your first gig?
Vanessa: As Leo Leo our first gig was played in Room 5 - Los Angeles!
Where was the latest gig? The Sinclair in Cambridge, Massachusetts
What genre do you feel you are?
Vanessa: We’ve been called NovaRock, which shorthand for a blend of Brazilian musical styles with more Indie Rock genres.
Sarah: We are definitely a blend of music genres.
Why did you pick that particular style?/What are your songs about?
Sarah: Vanessa is Brazilian/American so the Bossa Nova style is one that is most natural to her.
Vanessa: The rock portion is very much due to the use of drum set and electric guitars as a signifier of the rock genre. This is where Sarah’s influence comes in!
Do you write your own material or mainly covers?
Sarah: Vanessa is really great at re-arranging other people’s songs. This has come in handy for our licensing gigs.
Vanessa: Mostly, we write our own material, though. We love writing our own music for Leo Leo and other clients.
We write our own material but we enjoy playing covers for live purposes.
Have you made any albums?/If yes what are they?
Vanessa: Our EP is called SideOne. We released it on August 14th, and we are working a new EP right now.
Sarah: You can download a copy that includes a FREE extra track if you go here:
Do you have any clips on YouTube?
Sarah: Yes. You can find out content on: https://www.youtube.com/user/leoleoband
Vanessa: Come join our channel and subscribe!
Send us a message.
What year was the band started?
Sarah: The band is almost a year old!
Vanessa: I think we started playing out as Leo Leo at the end of February in 2014. Room 5 in Los Angeles.
Best/worst gig you've played?
Vanessa: We have been fortunate enough to have only great gigs. We do have technical difficulties from time to time.
Sarah: Our sound is full and created by 2 people so we depend on technology in order to execute our live sound. We’ve had some challenges but, overall, all of our gigs have been great.
Which band is the best you´ve seen?
Vanessa: The Flaming Lips were incredible when I saw them years ago.
Sarah: Oh my gosh, there are so many great shows I’ve been to.
Is it always the same songs live? No, our live set is always different. Also, we play some of the same songs with different arrangements. Sometimes Sarah plays piano instead of drums or I play Bass instead of only guitar.
What has been the best/most promising gig so far? Probably the set we played with Chadwick Stokes at the Bowery Ballroom in New York City.
How big crowds do you usually play for? Recently they have been around 400+ people
What are the plans for the rest of the year? Record our second EP, play live (possibly a tour), and work on music for clients (we also do custom music work.). We are also working on music for non-profit organizations and endorsement deals with small companies.
Where do you usually play? Lately, we’ve been playing 400+ capacity venues in major cities in the USA. We have played at the Sinclair in Boston twice recently (It is an amazing venue!)
How do you get psyched up for a gig? Be prepared! Rehearse and book shows with other bands we like!
What are your goals with your music? To create, develop as artists, experiment, and connect with people.
When did you decide to go all in for the music?
Vanessa: When I was 5 yrs old
Sarah: When Vanessa and I started playing together a year ago ;)
Is it easier to get your inspiration from older bands or from bands more modern? As far as style is concerned, we are pretty influenced by older bands-soul, Bossa Nova, Funk. Sonically, however, we are very influenced by newer music.
What are your sources of inspiration?
Vanessa- Psychology and cosmology.
Sarah- moods, weather, and relationships.
What's the first step when making a new song? Vanessa: I hear notes in my head that I play on guitar. It starts to develop from there.
What would be your dreams for the band? To be able to survive off just making music, i.e. writing, touring, recording ourselves and others - all the musical activities.
Besides your own music, what genres and bands do you listen to? Pretty much anything we can get our hands on that is at all musically interesting. Our taste are extremely varied, from Noise - Avant Gard - Classical - Jazz - HipHop - Soul - Funk - NeoSoul - Rap - R&B - Alt-Rock - Emo - Classic Rock,… etc. and so on...
What do you hold most dear? Our friends, family and each other.
What would be your greatest fears for the future? There is no sense in fearing the future. Our team keeps up grateful and humbled. We can’t wait to get there!
When you are on stage, what do you fear most then?
Being too aware of ourselves - too much in our heads.
What would you do if there was no music? Invent it.
How important are your fans? The most important!
What's the funniest/most memorable thing a fan has done for you? We first met Frank Coyne when he ran up on stage during one of our gigs yelling Sarah’s name and pushing the producer of the event out of the way. He is awesome and one of the people we look forward to seeing at our shows.
Where do you rehearse? In Boston, Los Angeles, and soon to be Santa Cruz, CA
Name 2 of your own songs you like at the moment? "Iowa” and "Going/Been”, which will be release on the next EP
What do you feel is the best live band you've seen? The Flaming Lips, Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings
What drives a band that isn't all that famous and renowned to try to make a living on their music and to keep playing? We want to get to a place where we can affect the world.
Do you have any webpages?
How would you describe your sound in one sentenceBossa Nova infused Alt-Rock