13 Questions to Rob Leydon (Red Sun Revival, Sanity Council, Voices Of Masada)

Rob Leydon (Red Sun Revival, Sanity Council, Voices Of Masada)Rob Leydon

Red Sun Revival

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Sanity Council

Voices Of Masada

Voices Of Masada On Bandcamp

What was the very first record you bought?

Rainbow – ‘Long Live Rock and Roll’, a second-hand cassette tape purchased from an indoor market with my pocket money as a kid. I was attempting to learn one of the songs on this album: ‘Kill the King’, having never actually heard the song. Hearing it only made this task seem even more impossible, and I never did actually learn it properly; a project for my retirement perhaps?

What is the most expensive record have you bought?

Sorry, I don’t remember any particularly expensive records. I was pretty close to getting a limited release clear vinyl of ‘Laura’ by FotN, although I may be remembering that wrong. In any case my mate who actually had money on him that day ended up getting it instead. Gutted.

What are your 5 very favorite bands ever?

Pink Floyd


The Damned

Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds

The Chameleons

Name 5 bands that have changed your life?

All the bands I’ve played with or have written for have changed my life in very real ways, and have taken up a large part of it. Without these bands, my life would be unrecognisable now. However, if we’re excluded those groups I’ve been involved in, then the five above will have to do.

Name your 3 favorite Gothic Fests?

Wave Gothic Treffen – I’ve played this festival four times and loved it on all four occasions. I’ve also been a couple of times as a punter, and whilst it was still great I did miss playing there. I’m hoping I’ll get to go back there one day, it’s been a few years now, and I do miss it.

Castle Party – I’ve been here a few times also, and whilst it’s much smaller than WGT, there’s a really great atmosphere in a wonderful setting. It’s in a little town in Poland, and the festival in located in and around an old castle (as the name suggests.) It’s a bit like Whitby, in terms of the size of the place, and its remoteness, but without the foul weather.

Lumous Festival – I love Lumous Festival and was delighted to be invited back with RSR last year. Due to the latitude and the time of year it barely gets dark at all, and for some reason I really like that. It’s another festival I’ve played at a few times, and always had a fantastic experience.

Name your 3 favorite gigs as a musician and as fan?

As a musician:

Werk II with Voices of Masada at WGT 2006 – I’d just finished writing a second album with VoM that contained some very special songs. Unfortunately, they didn’t come out all that well on the record, but playing them live in front of a massive audience on my first ever trip to WGT was a really special thing. I remember savouring the moment and thinking ‘never forget this’.

Mattatoio, Carpi – Italy. This was one of the first international shows for Red Sun Revival, and one of the first we ever did. The organisers were really lovely and the whole event was superb. I was amazed that someone would put so much effort in to get us over from the UK, and that people would show up to see us. It felt like an important step for RSR, which was still a very new project at the time.

Darkland, Porto with Red Sun Revival 2016 – For me, this was the gig where everything just came together for Red Sun Revival. Live drums, great sound on and off stage, everyone played well, the audience reacted fantastically. We all had a blast.

As a fan:

FotN at Eurorock 2000 – The first time I ever saw them, although sadly without the Wright brothers and Peter Yates. I got into this band a couple of years after they split, and never expected I’d get the chance to see them.

The Damned WGT 2011 – Another of my favourite bands, this was at the WerkII which was a great venue for them. I’d been drinking outside all afternoon and there was a real concern that I’d have trouble getting back in to see them as the venue was packed and the queue monumental. Fortunately I did.

Bauhaus London (The Forum, I think) 2006 – Another band I never thought I’d get to see, I think this was at the Kentish Town Forum. Sadly the electrics gave out half way through and it turned into a bit of a Peter Murphy acoustic set. Nevertheless, it was great to see them.

Name the most 3 influential albums for you as an artist

The Wall – Pink Floyd: I got into this album whilst I was a student, having been aware of them for years but having never paid much attention to them. I sort of became the soundtrack to the miserable last month of revision I had in my final year, and has stayed with me ever since, but in a good way.

Elisium – FotN: In some ways, this is my favourite album of all time. When I was 17 years old, contentment meant nothing more than listening to Elisium in my bedroom. The transition between ‘For her Light’ and ‘At the Gates of Silent Memory’ being the most magical bit of all.

Grimly Fiendish – The Damned: I love this as a collection of songs more than as an album, the last two choices being very much concept albums to be listened to from beginning to end. That said, I think I had this album on continuous play on my CD Walkman (a few years back) every day, to and from work for a month.

Describe yourself with 3 adjectives

Rational – Introspective – Discontented

What is the most overrated gothic band?

Christian Death, I know people love them, but I just never felt it. I bought a bunch of alternative LPs off a bloke who used to keep them for me in my local record shop when I was 18. I’d usually just pay him a few quid for the lot. One of these was a Christian Death album, or possibly EP (I didn’t keep it long and don’t remember the name) and it was an abortion. I’ve never really gotten over that.

What is the most underrated gothic band?

The Chameleons. I know they’re not a goth band, but most bands Goths like wouldn’t call themselves that anyway. To my shame, I’d not heard of The Chameleons until about ten years ago, and I’ve no idea why. Maybe this says more about me, but I frequently encounter people in the scene who are completely unaware of this wonderful band that encapsulates everything I love about music.

In which band would you have liked to play live?

I’d love to have been one of the many problematic guitarists in Thin Lizzy’s revolving door of musicians, even if just for one gig. Sadly they ceased to exist before I was old enough to play a power chord.

Name 3 new gothic bands that have caught your attention lately?

Aeon Sable and Principe Valiente are two fairly contemporary bands that have caught my attention recently. Sadly I haven’t had the chance to see either of these bands live yet. The third is Last July, for whom I recently filled in for guitar in Worcester. I think this band deserves a lot more attention on account of their fresh sound and catchy hook-filled songs.

Gothic Rock or Post Punk and why?

For me, Gothic Rock. I like the jangly guitars and crooning vocals, there’s just more depth and intrigue. I’m not averse to all Post Punk stuff, and there are many songs I really like. On the whole though, I’m not into the whole minimalism thing. Sometimes less is more, but for me it’s often just less.