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MEET LEAH WOODWARD.

Name: Leah Woodward
Band: Aliases
Location: Germany, originally from Manchester UK
Links: https://www.facebook.com/aliasesband/

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
DAW: Reaper
Studio computer: Mac
Toontrack go-to drum library: N.Y. Avatar

GUEST PLAYLIST.

Here’s what’s been spinning in Leah’s headphones lately!

LEAH IN ACTION.

DRUMCEPTION: BEAU BURCHELL.

Saosin guitarist Beau Burchell delivers an epic piece of music over Mario’s drum track.

THE METAL MONTH CUSTOMER JUKEBOX COLLECTION.

Listen to all five editions of this year’s Metal Month Customer Jukebox, right here!

BIG ROCK DRUMS EZX JAM.

Longtime Toontrack user Alan Sacha Laskow wrote this custom piece for Metal Month!

ARTWORK TIMELAPSE.

Watch the Metal Bass Beasts EZmix Pack cover develop from idea to finished art!

DRUMCEPTION: CHRIS BRODERICK.

Listen to Chris Broderick’s insane riffing and lead work over Mario’s drums.

DRUMCEPTION: RIVERS OF NIHIL.

Big, ambient and haunting – listen to how the guys from Rivers of Nihil interpreted Mario’s drum track!

FLUFF – MARK LEWIS DEMO.

Fluff from Riffs, Beards & Gear tries out the Mark Lewis Metal Tones EZmix Pack.

GEAR GODS: THREE MIXES.

Trey demos three different mixing using the EZmix Packs released during Metal Month 2016.

GUEST PLAYLIST – EFRAIM JUNTUNEN (NAGLFAR).

We checked in with Naglfar drummer Efraim Juntunen to see what’s spinning in his headphones right now!

NEW DRUM MIDI PACK FOR BLACK METAL!

Steady doom-like beats, grinding tirades and violent outbursts in fills.

SUPERIOR DRUMMER 2 TUTORIAL.

Luke Oswald shows you his favorite trick for boosting the bass drum and making his overall drum mix pop.

MUSIC CITY USA SDX – ON E-DRUMS.

E-drum performance by Luke Oswald featuring the Music City USA SDX.

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