Ricky Leonard – drummer at Loveboxx (Buffalo metal/rock/alt)
We’ve chatted with Loveboxx a few times over the past several months. They’ve been making serious waves in the Buffalo music scene, drawing a lot of attention and throwing some pretty decent shows as of late. However, as I recall, we at WRETCHED SOUND failed to give their drummer, Ricky Leonard, his just due. We’re going to rectify that now…
1. For starters, give us your “scene history”. For those who don’t know, tell us about every band you’ve ever been in (actively live or not) in chronological order. I think this will draw out some connections people may not be conscious of.
The first band I was ever a part of, we were called The Glass Breakers and I actually played drums because my father was a drummer and that lasted a couple months. This is when I decided to switch to guitar playing and formed a band called Surrender Dorothy. I played guitar until the drummer left, then I became the drummer, and that lasted about 2 and a half years until my junior year of high school. The next band I was in was named The Unwanted SuperHeroes and this was the kick start to playing professionally. From there I played in As Summer Dies, then took a break for a few years. During that time, I just filled in for a couple of cover bands and did original sit ins. Then I joined Black Heart Suicide, which is where I met Angelo, the guitarist in Loveboxx. I did that for 2 years then took a little time off. I then formed a Black Sabbath cover band named Rat Salad. After about 3 years, I didn’t want to do covers anymore so I left that band. Soon after, I was contacted by Angelo to join Loveboxx.
2. How did you first come to join Loveboxx?
I got a text from my dear old friend, Angelo about a proposition. He was working on a project with Mary and he wanted me to join. They were an acoustic duo and wanted to move forward with a full band. We worked so well together writing music in the past that when I heard the music they were trying to create, it was exactly what I was looking to be part of and create as well. That made the decision very easy. Angelo is a very creative song writer and the lyrics Mary put to the songs matched what I was looking for.
3. How long have you been playing drums? Who first inspired you to start up?
I guess it’s tough to say because my father was a drummer so there were always drums setup in my basement and I would play them but my real passion was to play guitar. But drummers were really hard to find and it was something that kinda came natural to me. I started playing drums around 15 years old as my main instrument.
When it comes to inspiration to play drums, it comes from my father playing, and seeing all of his friends have so much fun. On Saturday mornings the stereo was always playing music and my father would always point out drummers and techniques. It made it very engaging.
4. Do you play any other instruments we may not be aware of?
I can play guitar a little bit, maybe enough to fool somebody. I can play a little piano enough to make you think I know what I’m doing but I really don’t.
5. Talk about the first bands or artists you got into that really inspired you to become a musician, going back to before you even decided which instrument you’d play.
From the beginning, like I said before, the stereo was always on in my house and my dad would point out drummers like Neil Piert for example. Also, things like going to Washinton DC when I was 13 during a long car ride listening to Rage Against The Machine on my sony discman. I listened to it back and forth and I was just in awe, immersed in all of the music as a whole.
The first 2 drummers which inspired me on my style, and you can probably hear it in my drumming, are Joey Jordanson of Slipknot and Travis Barker of Blink 182. Their styles are who I am as a drummer. They made me want to play drums. They made me love playing because it taught me that I could play like them and showed me there is an entertainment aspect to playing.
6. Fast forwarding to today, talk about some bands who have emerged within the past decade who have really inspired you or influenced your playing? Drop some local band names here if it calls for it.
Definitely Slipkot, Blink 182, System of a Down, Bullet for My Valentine, and I also have a lot of hip hop influences like Little Wayne, DMX, Ludacris.
7. Thinking about your current project, discuss the Loveboxx songs you’re most proud of and why they’re so special to you.
I’m most proud of Broken, because there are a lot of aspects and changes in the song that cover multiple genres in only 4 minutes. It’s one of those songs you can relate to musically and lyrically. The song has its yin and yang. The beginning part, you want to smash anything in your way, then you get to the second part, which is really emotional and you want to rebuild everything you just smashed.
8. Talk about the most memorable live shows you’ve ever done and why those events were so special to you. These could involve any band you’ve ever been in.
The first show was with Unwanted Superheroes playing a worldwide battle of the bands, named Emergenza, in front of a sold out Club Infinity. This was also the first time I played with a national touring band, Gym Class Heroes, and it was all in front of my family and friends.
The second one would be the live audition show I played with As Summer Dies. Right after the show, they offered me the job then they told me in two weeks we would be touring with Mushroomhead. This started my touring experiences.
The third memorable show was the last live show I played with As Summer Dies at the haunted catacombs, with the Misfits.
9. Discuss any future plans Loveboxx have that you’re at liberty to divulge. (shows, recording, cool merch runs, etc.)
We’re currently recording and we write new songs constantly. We’re looking to do an EP release party in the near future. We don’t have old material to draw from the past as everything is brand new with all of our members. That’s the fun challenge of being in an original project. We have music streaming on all platforms now and we have merch at all of our live shows and we will have internet sales in the future.
10. Plug your full online presence! (band, any solo or studio stuff you might have, etc.)
For Loveboxx, check out our website http://www.loveboxxband.com, and you will find all of our social media, and music streaming links.
I also joined a new fun live karaoke band (Pop and Top 40 edition) with 2 outstanding local musicians, Tori Daye (XOXO pop band) and Blair Simmons (Salem Driver), both formerly of Displaced. We play once a month at Rec Room for their Live Band Karaoke and it is wicked fun, and you people should come.
I am also a session drummer, so I am available if anyone needs it. You can message me through the Loveboxx band page, because we support each other (laughs).
Vocals: Mary Fantrazzo
Guitar: Angelo Fantrazzo
Bass: Seth Welty
Drums: Ricky Leonard