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Night Demon – Darkness remains

By Lynn Lopez

Since forming in 2011 and dropping their first, self-titled EP in 2012, Night Demon has been bringing their own amalgamation of old school British and American metal to the attention of enthusiasts worldwide. Jarvis Leatherby (vocals, bass), Dusty Squires (drums), and Armand John Anthony (guitar) have kept a constant schedule of touring anywhere from six to seven months out of the year to writing and recording whenever they aren’t on tour. Somehow they’ve managed to keep the gears of the Night Demon machine cranking flawlessly. Jarvis Leatherby confesses, “At our stage, it’s survival, you have to stay on the road. You know? I mean it’s good… It’s a good life.”

Night Demon wrapped up the Mexico, Central, and South American tour for their last EP (Curse of the Damned) last January. At present the band is currently touring with Anvil and has padded the tour with headlining dates of their own as well. They have released their first single, Welcome to the Night, off their upcoming album entitled Darkness Remains, which is currently available for preorder through nightdemon.net. The second single, Hallowed Ground, will be available for perusal on April 7th. Then, ND will take a brief pit stop in Glendale, California for their album release party on April 17th. By the time their new album drops, on April 21st, ND will be kicking off the European leg of their tour by taking the stage in Germany.

Leatherby goes on, “Sometimes I really don’t pay too much attention to things like, where we are going to be in two days. It just gets to be too much. You can’t start counting the days. But, it’s really cool playing with Anvil. They’ve become friends of ours. It’s been a whirlwind but, really its kickass man. We’ve got a ways to go. – It’s funny different people, the band and the crew, have different memories. Like, you’ll get reminded all the time. You know, remember that show a couple years ago where this or that happened? And, I’ll be like describe it. Oh, Yeah! (Laughs) It’s a lot. It’s not for everybody. But, yeah the shows have been great. We’re playing both of the first two singles (Welcome to the Night, and Hallowed Ground) off the upcoming album and they’re being received well. It’s funny because they’re both probably the two most difficult songs to play on the whole album so, I get a little nervous each night when we’re going to play them. But, I think they’re probably the two strongest stand up songs off of the album. I’m really enjoying them.”

When asked for his opinion on some of ND’s most memorable moments or milestones Leatherby replied, “It’s cool to now be friends and peers with some of your heroes that you’ve looked up to. We’ve toured with bands that have been around for 40 years. You know, we toured with UFO in Germany. Raven took us on our first tour. They took Metallica on their first tour. It’s really cool. Glenn Danzig asked us to play the Samhain Reunion Show (2014) at the Wiltern in L.A. He was very cool to us. Talked to us before the show and after the show. It was totally cool. We’ve always looked up to him and he’s been an influence. “

Speaking of influences and memorable moments, Leatherby says that while he originally started playing guitar around the age of 12, he stopped for about 2 years when an occurrence caused him to reconsider. “I was about 14,” he says “I went to this private school and they showed us this movie called Hells Bells. It was like a 3 hour documentary on the evils of rock and roll and heavy metal. They were pulling all sorts of examples, like they played Stairway (to Heaven) backwards. Then they played Judas Priest. Then Metallica, Fade to Black. Then listen to this song it’s all about suicide. And most of my classmates were like, aww man, this is f*cked up. Then I shit you not they had a cd smashing party at the school. Where kids brought in their cds and like, were like pounding them. And they were like F*ck this devil shit. And me and two other dudes were like, dude, this is amazing! We have to do this! We were already a rock band but we were a mainstream rock band. We didn’t really know about the subculture or anything, especially in that environment. It just completely turned me on and I was just like, I know exactly what I want to with my life for sure right now. I’ve done it ever since and that’s 22 years ago.”

He continues, “It’s a progression. It’s who you are. It’s a constant flow. It’s not like ‘I’ve made it’ or ‘when am I going to make it?’ You know, you’re ‘making it when you’re doing it.” It’s a fact. A lot of people have a wrong conception about their lives where they want everything to be easy. Their goal is to have an easy life but that’s not the goal to have, especially if you want to be an entertainer. Stuff just doesn’t happen that. And, when it does happen overnight that way it’s usually a very bad thing. And most people crash and burn pretty easily and they get taken advantage of and all that shit. The evolution of it, like when you’re doing it all the time… you get there when you’re experience and when you’re ready. When you never quit, you get there.”

“You know, like years ago looking at where I was and all the shit I’ve been through. I would’ve been stoked to be at this point where we are now. But, when you’re in it you’re always constantly chasing the next tube. You always thinking about how you’d like it better. And here’s the thing, people want that financial freedom and independence, that f*ck you money but it’s like the best way to do that is to just live free and independent. It’s like, I make less money now that when I had a ‘real job’. But, I’ve never worried less about money in my entire life, ever.”

ND is out there, touring with friends, doing what they love and, they’re living it.  “And, that’s the whole thing. Anybody can do that in whatever they want to do in life. You just have to dedicate yourself to it. You know, and accept it. And, be like okay. But, it really only happens when you really figure out who you are. Some people don’t know. Some people do. But, I really hate to see people that do and they’re too afraid to make something out of it. They’re doing themselves a disservice… and really the rest of the world. They’re starving the rest of the world of what they have to offer. And, most people really have nothing to lose.”

“Sometimes you get to like, how I got. Where I was basically saying alright I’m willing to be homeless and in the street, in the gutter with nothing, regardless of what my family or friends might say. And, a lot of people know me where I’m from. You want to keep up a good face, a good reputation with people. But I got to the point where I was like, I’ve just got to do this full on or I’d just rather be dead. I just felt dead inside doing something that I just didn’t want to be doing…and having doubts. It was just total despair. I just felt like I was wasting my time. I was wasting a lot of my life. It was just costing me to work, financially and physically, emotionally, everything. I just said you know what, I’d rather die than keep doing this. I’m gonna go die, now. Like I just left that world. I just completely left it and now I’m doing this. I’m onto something here. I know what potential this has. I never looked back and it’s crazy to think about it.”

“Like, every situation can be temporary. It’s hard for people to realize that, and sometimes things get so bad in people’s lives that they feel that they have no way out. I know what that feels like. If you can just find the ability to just keep going. You have to swallow your pride a lot but you just have to get down to it. But basically that’s how we got to where we are now doing what we’re doing. And, it’s been successful. You have to have a purpose and when you know what it is, you just gotta find any way you can to make it happen. You just have to commit to it. When things get in the way, which they will, you just have to know that you’ve got to get through it. And you’ll forget about it. You’ve gotta think about every other time in your life when it was way worse. You have to know that that’s who you are and this is the path you’re on and you just do it. When the shit in life gets in the way you’ve just gotta mow through it.”

“After being in so many other bands, and being friends with Armand (20+ years) and Dusty (7+ years), I believe we’re finally in a spot where we are meant to play together. I’m glad it’s happening for us now. It’s good to have things happen when you’re mature enough to handle then. I’m glad I’ve experienced all those bands (from before) and all those tours. I’m glad I’ve made a lot of the mistakes I’ve made in life. I think, I hopefully have learned from them. It’s good to have the experience. It really is priceless.”

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