Great Britain’s The Petal Falls music and unique style is the result of a lifetime of musical influences that have grown into a sound that is hard to pigeon hole but is always vibrant, interesting, powerful and surprising in both its scope and execution. Lead vocalist/guitarist/keyboardist Keith Leahy was chill enough to answer some of our question below.
How did you first get into music?
Music was always a part of my life from a young age as my Mother and Father were publicans/Bar owners and having “live” music being played in the Pubs or Clubs they owned and worked in was always a way of like and a part of their business.
Both parents loved to sing be it on busy night in the pub or at family parties and I suppose that rubbed off on me.
What got you started playing music and how old were you?
Originally, I was dead set on being drummer from an early age but one day my parents employed an Irish singer/guitarist named Shaun Delaney to gig as a regular on a Saturday night in one of their pubs.
I used to listen to him play and I fell in love with the whole idea of making music with an instrument that could provide melody and tone instead of just rhythm and beat.
How did you become a guitarist, bassist, drummer, vocalist?
I set my heart on becoming a guitarist and by the time I was 16 I was playing in small club bands throughout London but even at this age I was never totally happy with playing cover songs and I wanted to create my own music and started to tentatively write my own material from about the age of 17.
The passion for songwriting has never left and whilst a minority of fans will remember a great guitar solo almost all will remember a great song.
Who or what turned you on to progressive rock?
Once I began to realize what the possibilities could be if a learnt to play guitar.
it was just listening to just about every legendary rock guitar band you can name.
As with songwriting it gave me the passion to play and perform and it’s never truly left me.
What are your influences personally and the band’s influences musically?
My influences are very wide from AOR, Country and western through to progressive and hard rock, I like well performed and crafted songs and I think that shows in the material
Which artist has inspired you the most?
Phew …well let me see, I would say for song writing Springsteen as I love to tell stories in my songs, he is a fantastic exponent of that, for vocals I would have to say Coverdale I think he has the finest all round rock voice ever. For guitar I would have to say Angus Young he is such a superb showman not mention brilliant guitarist.
Are you proficient in any other instruments?
I am ok with keyboards but I would not say A1 by any means.
Have you always been creative?
Yes, I have always been creative whether it be with art, computers or music.
I always have a project on the go.
What was the local scene like where you’re from, was there a particular band you aspired to be like, favourite local bands back then, favourite local bands now?
To be honest the local band scene in London and Kent when I was growing up was not that good and finding gigs for bands playing their own material was almost impossible.
The music scene now by comparison is almost unrecognizable and incredibly vibrant.
What do you think separates bands of today from bands of the past?
I think bands now have a much better chance of being heard by a much larger audience and there is now comparison with how bands can release their music without the need for a record deal in any way.
On the down side this massive expansion in new music onto the market has made it much more competitive in the market place and the choice is a little overwhelming for the ordinary customer.
How did The Petal Falls come about?
The Petal Falls were originally founded in the mid 90’s in Kent.
I was looking for a vehicle to improve my songwriting and get the songs played and heard at the same time so decided the best way was to form a band with a few friends.
Where did you develop the name?
The name itself is based on a line from the Rudyard Kipling poem “The Answer” although for me the name has always represented that journey, we all travel together on our way to oblivion.
What other band names were considered?
LoL.Good question. I think the two hot favorites were WaterFront and Rub.
I know that we found out WaterFront was already in use and although I liked Rub we decided against it but I can’t remember why..lol!
How would you best describe your sound?
I have always thought of the music as hard melodic rock.
I once described it as “a meal made of lush, deep production with smart interesting lyrics followed up by lashings of huge catchy choruses” and it pretty much is all those things..lol..But at its heart it is Rock music pure and simple.
Who living or dead is in your dream 5 piece super group?
Great question and soooo hard..I will go for a classic if a little dated line up.
Drums – Bonham
Bass – Entistle
Guitar – Young
Keys – Lord
Vocals – Coverdale
What kind of gear is bringing us the The Petal Falls sound?
Fender and Gibson Guitars
Orange, Marshal and Fender amps and cabs
New endorsements and dream endorsements?
Any of the above..lol
Name the one album that epitomizes your style of music above all others?
I can’t because the music encapsulates so many styles all under the same Petal Falls umbrella. I have so many influences I can’t pin one down and say that is what The Petal Falls music sounds like.
What’s your go to album for motivation?
I don’t have a single album that motivates me I have dozens..lol
U2 the Joshua Tree, Thin Lizzie “live and dangerous”, AC/DC Highway to Hell, Black stone Cherry The Human Condition, Springsteen The River, Pink Floyd The Wall, The Foo Fighters Echoes, Silence, Patience & Grace to name just a tiny fraction
Why that album?
They are all brilliant!!
Who have been some of your favourite bands you’ve hung out with and shared the stage with?
I have never shared a stage with anyone famous although I did share a rehearsal studio with Mark Knopfler and he was a very very nice guy.
How much time do you spend on social media a day?
Far too much but I understand that people expect that interaction particularly if they buying your products
Which do you hate the most but can’t live without?
Do you still buy cd’s or mostly use streaming sites?
I still buy CD’s although they are becoming harder to find as many labels simply don’t release them. I am a fan of streaming but not in its current state as the payment model for indie musicians simply stinks and the big streaming companies should be ashamed of themselves for continuing to pay such tiny amounts.
If people really want to support their favorite band then please download their music as they can earn money that way.
Top 5 albums or songs released this year so far?
Black Stone Cherry’s The Human Condition – Springsteen’s A Letter To You – AC/DC Power Up,Pearl Jam, ‘Gigaton,
Top 5 books and movies released this year so far?
Not read too many novels this year but fav movies are
Greenland, The Gentleman, Greyhound, The Outpost, 1917
Bands you would love to tour with on a dream tour package?
Springsteen, U2, Coverdale, Foo Fighters, Joe Bonamassa and many, many more.
Song to be played at your funeral and 3 albums to take to your grave?
An as yet unreleased song called Shadows Of The Past
Thin Lizzy “Live and Dangerous”
Pink Floyd “The Wall”
U2 “Joshua Tree”
Final thoughts, what’s next?
I want to release a few singles then another album and record a load of new songs which have begun to pile up for some New albums.
So The Petal Falls music will be very busy this coming year and I’m looking forward to it enormously.