Name: Leah Woodward
Location: Germany, originally from Manchester UK
When and how did you realize you had a passion for music?
I have actually played music since I can remember, so the passion has always been there. I’m presuming that the screeching sound of me learning how to play the violin was still somewhat more soothing to my parents than my new-found ability to talk!
How come you ended up playing the guitar?
My mum had a huge passion for music, so when I quit playing violin it didn’t impress her too much! After years of playing Iron Maiden, Megadeth and Metallica tunes on loop to me, pointing out the solos and hoping I would cave, she bought me my first guitar. To which I turned my nose up at… It was only the birthday later where I got a GOOD guitar that I showed any interest! As the saying goes, the rest is history!
And as for music, how come you ended up doing extreme metal? Is there a specific album or event that steered you on this path?
I never fully set out to write anything extreme, even now I don’t class myself as an extreme player! I do however love writing things above my own ability that challenge me, make me want to cry when I change the play-rate back to 1.0 and somehow at the end of it all, make me feel like I have progressed as a player! I can never pin-point one album as I pull my influences from such a wide range of music. I see writing and the whole creative process as a limitless journey with no boundaries, so if I want to write a lounge jazz album next? That’s just how I was feeling… Why not?!?
Best music-related memory?
If anyone’s been to an Aliases show, they’ll probably understand my lack of memory the day after! I’m making new ones every day!
When did you start moving into the the digital world of recording & songwriting?
Technically, I was never a huge part of the digital world, I used to be a bystander/recording puppet in the studio for a whole list of reasons:
1. World’s worst programmed drums. Ever. Period
2. A blank stare and a nod to agree with every tone offered
3. Unplanned snooze sessions
4. Filling desk space with coffee mugs and protein shakers
5. A goldfish-like attention span
I could go on… However, in the last few years I have got my own process together!
How has Toontrack helped in that process?
Toontrack has been a HUGE part of that process for me. The first improvement was having incredible-sounding drums with zero effort using Superior Drummer. The preset grooves then helped my ideas to not sound like they’d fallen down a staircase! Finally, the addition of EZmix 2 solved all issues when it came to demo tones/effects. I can’t thank you guys enough for the boost it has given my writing and confidence in the digital world!
What’s the worst thing that ever happened to you on stage or in the studio?
Playing our music! Should have joined the Justin Bieber backing band…
FIVE Q SHOOTOUT.
Six, seven or eight strings: Six, always.
DI or amp in the studio: DI -> Re-amp
Best non-metal album ever: Fleetwood Mac – Tango In The Night
Best metal-album ever: Strapping Young Lad – The New Black
Dream team band (with you on the guitar): Devin Townsend, Nuno Bettencourt, Victor Wooten & Gene Hoglan – I have no clue how that would end up sounding, but I’d like to know!
QUICK GEAR RUNDOWN.
Main guitar: Blackmachine B2
Studio computer: Mac
Toontrack go-to drum library: N.Y. Avatar
Here’s what’s been spinning in Leah’s headphones lately!