Adelaide indie-rockers Leader Cheetah are midway through their second tour around Australia. After a critically acclaimed first album, their second record, Lotus Skies, is due out in July. We caught up with brothers Dan Crannitch (vocals, guitar) and Joel Crannitch (drums).
How long have you been playing? DC: The band has been together four years but Jay and I have been playing for 10 years, since Jay was 12. It’s been an evolution.
The first album you bought? DC: Something really dorky like 100 per cent rap. It was pretty awesome though and had Snoop Dogg and Public Enemy. Was yours 5ive, Jay? JC: It probably was 5ive.
What’s the new album like? DC: It’s cinematic and nostalgic with a lot going on from big rockers to 50s influences. There’s drama in there but also light-hearted moments. We tried to make it a well-balanced kind of affair.
The sibling dynamic works well. JC: It’s easier to find a common ground and the similarities help us to be both defined and more broad. DC: It’s symbiotic.
How did you get your name? DC: We’d had a few drinks and were throwing tonnes of ideas around. JC: Dan and Mark were at the bar and Mark said, “Me the cheeter”, but Dan thought he said, “Leader cheetah”.
Enjoying being back on road? DC: Very much. Once you burst through that initial phase of anxiety that comes when you go out of your comfort zone, you get into an entirely new headspace. I start feeling really comfortable and enjoying it.
What has been a tour highlight? JC: The Corner Shows in Melbourne with the Middle East. And I really enjoyed the Metro in Sydney. DC: The Old Museum in Brisbane was amazing. It’s this huge old hall but I think my favourite has been Splendour in the Grass 2009. There’s something about being on that huge stage where you have your vocals blasting and guitars cranked.
If you weren’t playing in the band, what would you be doing? DC: When I was a kid I wanted to be a paleontologist. But it’s a hard question. I’d definitely be doing something creative. JC: I’d be cooking. Or maybe a boot maker.
Your favourite holiday spot in Australia? DC: I’d love to get up to the Daintree or Broome. We haven’t had a relaxing holiday in Australia for a long time. It’s been mainly Sydney and Melbourne for us. They’re both great cities and I could easily live in either. JC: I’d definitely would rather live in Melbourne. The only place we have to just hang out is our sister’s place in Blackwood, Victoria. Also, there are a few places around South Australia to go to like heading up to the Murray to the river or the mountains where the French shacks are nice.
If you could play anywhere in the world where would it be? DC: In a crazy, big festival in the middle of the desert in America. Or Iceland.
Leader Cheetah play Splendour in the Grass (July 29-31) and then support Gomez in Sydney (Aug 1 & 3), Melbourne (Aug 4) and Adelaide (Aug 6). www.leadercheetah.com