Bill Leeb, of Skinny Puppy, Front Line Assembly and DELERIUM fame, started his musical upbringing as a fan and vinyl collector, never really thinking he’d become a musician someday. He was exposed to many different kinds of new music and started collecting 12” imports, limited editions, bootlegs and colored vinyl, etc.. Bands that he would gravitate towards were Wire, Cabaret Voltaire, Joy Division, and Kraftwerk, just to name a few. “It started as a hobby and then that hobby turned into a creative passion. But I think you need to have your roots and this was a sort of a musical upbringing for me.” (altvenger)
Prior to this Bill grew up in a convent in Austria where he picked up learning how to play the violin. It wasn’t until his family moved to Canada when he was 14 that his passion for music would begin. From the old world of Austria to the wild frontier of Canada the stage was set for one of the greatest purveyors of industrial music.
After leaving Skinny Puppy in 1986, Bill started Front Line Assembly, a name that stands the test of time with an open door policy for all members past and present. His work can also be heard on a handful of side projects, including Delerium, Noise Unit, Fauxliage, InterMix, Cyberaktif, Equinox, and Synaesthesia and has also contributed music to the popular video game, Quake 3 – The Arena.
Black Needle Noise is a 50/50 partnership between Fryer and many different talented singer/songwriters, including Attasalina, Mimi Page, ZiaLand, Omniflux, Jarboe, Betsy Martin, Andrea Kerr, Ledfoot, Spectra Paris, Jennie Vee, Ana Breton, Kendra Frost, Elena Alice Fossi, Antic Clay, Andreas Elvenes, Bill Leeb, and Sivert Høyem.
‘A Shiver Of Want’ with Bill Leeb was also included on the latest Black Needle Noise album, ‘Lost In Reflections‘.
Bill Leeb spoke to TM about ‘A Shiver Of Want’, his contribution to the BNN project.
TM – John says “every song should be like its own movie, you should close your eyes and get taken to a different place.” Where do you see “A Shiver Of Want” taking you?
BL – This song evokes a sense of a life passing in front of you… Perhaps walking through a moonlit graveyard at night with an early-morning dew as you visit old friends and feeling like your own life is quickly passing by. We all are trying to find a sense of resolve and mortality giving some sort of strength and not fearing a sense of life as time passes by. With thoughts of so many people that were lost over the past year, it brings your own mortality to the forefront of your thoughts.
TM – (M DELERIUM) Tell me a little about your creative process with John.
BL – The very first time John and I met was in Oslo, Norway while we were on tour with FLA. A mutual friend had put us in touch with one another and we met for the first time there. Knowing of John’s reputation as a top notch producer and the anticipation of meeting him peaked my interest and I was excited to see if we had a creative connection. After hanging out with John backstage for a while, John ask if I was interested in working with him doing lyrics and vocals for a song. Ironically I told him that up until now I had never done vocals or written lyrics for anyone else before and I couldn’t promise that I would do it for him. But I wanted to see what might happen so I ask him to send me a song and we would see what happened. Some time went by and once I was back in Canada and he sent me this song. I reached out to him and told him the link had expired and he had already given the song to someone else. He then he me an additional track. I listened to it, became inspired and wrote lyrics and the rest is history…
TM – What are some of your past, present, or future projects that you’d like to note?
BL – I have worked on so many projects with so many musicians and vocalists over the past three decades. We just recently released our latest studio album for DELERIUM entitled “Mythologie” and worked with a lot of new singers on that project. With Front Line Assembly, we also just completed and mastered WarMech, the follow up to AirMech, for Carbon Games which is a online gaming entity. As this is being typed we are fully geared up to produce a new FLA studio album which is going to have a lot of things that we have never done before, as well as some new guest artists which we are very excited about. We hope to have this out soon as we are doing a major Fall tour in Europe this year.
Keep Up With Front Line Assembly and Bill Leeb