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The LRW Project

todayAugust 9, 2021 68 4

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Born the 22nd February 1990 into a music loving household, Leon’s father Robert (hence his middle name) was an avid music fan (like a human Spotify before Spotify was around say’s Winteringham) purchasing music from all the decades, everything from ELO, the Pet Shop Boys, London Boys, OMD and a plethora of chart toppers from each decade which no doubt gave Leon that pop ear and a great understanding for melody!

It wasn’t until he got into Guitar at a very young age after one being in the house and his father offering to buy him one and lessons if he learnt four chords! “Needless to say he bought me a guitar and lessons not long after that offer” says Leon.

So after learning for a few years with a great teacher (Sean McMullan) Leon became a bit distracted by the usual teenage boy stuff! That went on for a few years but when that got boring Leon dusted his guitars off for the second time and took it a little more serious than he had previously being a child learning scales and

Joe Satriani licks.

Around the age of 15 and dusting off his guitars, Leon begun learning how to record using a Line 6 Tone Port UX1 into his home PC that his father had gotten him. Around this time he also begun discovering the likes of FM and Motley Crue through local record shops where he would spend all of his money. Along with that and starting to go see bands locally Leon decided it was time to chose what he wanted to study after school and applied for York Collect so study Music.

Fast forward a year later and Leon was at York Collage doing a First Diploma in Music where they taught students how to use recording software such as Cubase and various other helpful things along the way. This course progressed into a National Diploma where Leon was there with the likes of Asking Alexandria members but not totally feeling the whole academic side of music anymore and decided to leave collage and learn at his own pace there after.

It was around this time Leon discovered the whole world of AOR and Melodic rock via a local record store owners wife selling her vinyl collection! (You name it, it was in there!) “those times were very precious” tells

Leon as his family home hadn’t yet gotten the internet so those were great ways to find new bands. “I remember just to find new bands I’d cycle to the library just to use their computers to sift through all these obscure bands myspaces and old videos which were being uploaded to YouTube. It was amazing seeing that whole bombastic wold of Hair Metal bands like Saraya and Danger Danger!” “It became a bit of an obsession learning everything I could about the whole genre but in a way also a bit distracted as I tried to write like that for some years!”

“I used to do open mic nights with a friend singing stripped back Hair Metal songs which was fun at the time but it’s just not authentic coming from a brit”

“I’ve done a few college band gigs and cover band/wedding band stuff too which was great but there’s something about writing a song of your own that just does it for me”

“I take influence from all the above artists (Pet Shop Boys, OMD etc) and there might be a sprinkle of the whole Hair Metal thing at times but I’m an English born and bread man. I can only write as an English man from Yorkshire. I wish that had clicked in me when I was younger but very fun times indeed.” Following on from learning about the whole world or AOR and Melodic Rock Leon discovered a show in

Nottingham England called FireFest after buying a Skid Row VHS off eBay and a leaflet for the upcoming festival fell out when opening the case. “I was blown away that such a festival even existed!”

“Luckily I’d just passed my driving test the year before and drove myself and a good friend to the whole festival and was blown away by the whole thing! I was 18 at the time (2008) and snuck into the Welbeck next-door where the bands went after the show and met all my idols like Danger Danger, Firehouse and

Mitch Malloy. The Dargans who put on the show were wonderful to me too.”

“Subsequent years became much more of a blur as Alcohol unfortunately became a dominant roll in having fun to me! I sometimes wish I could’ve done those years a little different and who knows maybe I could’ve got my own band together and played there! We live and learn.”

“I live a very different life these days… Very clean living and productive. And although I’m super proud of the two “the LRW Project” Albums, I don’t yet think I’ve even remotely hit my peak as a writer! Watch this space. I’m not done just yet”

Leon Robert Winteringham.

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Fight & Climb is the second Album from York (UK) Singer Songwriter Leon Robert Winteringham under the name The LRW Project after his 2019 Debut Album: To Love, Repeat & Wonder?

In Leon’s own words…

This one has been a challenge! Not the writing/demoing or the recording (those were a breeze) but the climate in which we’ve all lived through for almost two years along with the juggling of life, music and sanity all whilst self funding and self releasing an Album which has all been a logistical nightmare to say the least! Writing/demoing for Fight & Climb (which was originally going to be titled The Second Stint… Later Round

Two: The Second Stint after writing Round Two last for the Album) started whilst Album 1 was being wrapped up in early 2019… I believe the first song I wrote for this Album was Who Did She Marry? Which was influenced (like most of my songs) by sat at the keyboard just flicking through sounds on a programme called Omnisphere. That track came together really fast and set the standard for the rest of the Album there after…

The way I write is that I have this empty “Song Chart” at the end of my bed which when I’ve filled it with 10 great songs I’ve wrote and demo’d then that’s when I consider I’ve got an Albums worth of material… I think I had 8 songs up on the board within just a few months of writing/demoing but I had gaps on the board and I kept hearing these titles in my head “Just for Nothing” & “Back to Life” literally just the tiles which I thought sounded cool and would look good against all the other titles! I had no musical ideas or melody for the two titles at all so I threw those up on the board to fill the gaps and began writing those songs from the title backwards (luckily they turned out great as I hadn’t done it that way before)

I originally had another song opening the Album too which I’ve shelved yet again (it was meant to be on Album 1 too but it remains tucked away again for now) as that’s when Round Two came to mind. That one was wrote very fast and I felt best set the tone for the Album (hence being the first single) Round Two is a song about carrying on… Getting up for a second time and being good to yourself in the process. I’m a firm believer that when you’re going through a rough patch to stay straight headed. I’m almost certain I wrote the Album mostly in chronological order other than pulling the odd track back off the shelve to work on… I do class my self as an Album writer rather than just individual songs… It helps the process if your can feel the motion though out an Album.

Other notable mentions are that Hide Away was one of those tracks that just wouldn’t come together for quite some time and then one day it just clicked. The Ride was another meant to be on Album 1 but I could never figure out what key was best to sing it in (luckily for me I quit smoking and drinking a few years ago and it’s improved my singing rage massively) The Wrong Fight is a fairly old idea I’ve toyed around with for years on guitar too! A go to riff I came up with ages ago, but again that song lyrically fits the tone of the Album as well (there’s a fighting and pulling through vibe again on this Album)

The Second Stint I wrote back in 2015 I believe and always struggled to lay it down how I heard it in my head. I love how it’s turned out now though. It’s about a death that happened close to me once. Who Did She Marry? Again I wrote this song first when setting out to start this Album. I just had this vision that one day we’ll all be told how people have moved on in life that we once cared for so deeply. This song for me is what The LRW Project is all about (although after hearing it for two years I’m ready to beat it and keep getting better)

Just for Nothing like I’ve said above just started out as a title on paper… All I knew is that I wanted to start the song with a stripped back chorus. I also wanted the song to evolve as it progressed so you might notice every chorus is musically different. This is actually my favourite track off the Album as although it’s moody lyrically, it’s quite poppy and happy in it’s style.

Stay the Night. Huge Chorus! This one was great to write and have fun with. I love my lyrics in this one too. All or Nothing. I’m sure I was listening to a lot of 80s/90s R&B around this time and wanted that Bruce Hornsby type intro into the weird phrasing of the lyrics. The Choir knocked this one out of the park too. It was a fairly risky move was the Choir as I didn’t know if it was going to work at all (I’d only sang a rough guide on the Demo which sounded like it was going to be great)

Back to Life. This one was the last song I wrote for the Album and it was a weird one as (no word of a lie) I’d literally wrote the last lyric and my phone rang with some bad news which just goes to show that exactly what I sing about is so true and that you never know what is lurking around the corner.
After the writing was wrapped up in December 2019, I was in the studio in the January of 2020.

Thing’s in the studio were a little bit different this time around as the guys who I worked with again (Sam & Joe Graves) were in the middle of moving their entire studio to a whole new location! Luckily a lot of what I recorded in the Demo stages at home were good enough to use on the final tracks. So we began the recording at Joe House doing a few overdubs on guitars and tidying up drums etc and I believe that took a week? After that I was with Joes brother Sam to track my Vocals. We decided to do this back at the old studio as it was a more appropriate space to be singing in and I believe I was one of the last to ever record at 1.0 of Innersound Audio York. Those Vocal sessions went great again down to cleo living (the whole process up to this point went super smooth)

Next up was the mixing process back at Joes House. For these few days we just mixed one song I believe to set the standard for the rest of the Album which ultimately meant I had to book some extra time (can you see where this is going yet?)

I’ll share with you all the dates I had booked in the studio and along with the state the UK has been in these past almost two years, you’ll now understand why this Album has took so long to complete!

Jan 6th 2020
Jan 7th 2020
Jan 8th 2020
Jan 9th 2020
Jan 10th 2020
Jan 13th 2020
Jan 14th 2020
Jan 15th 2020
Jan 20th 2020
Jan 21st 2020
Jan 22nd 2020
Jan 27th 2020
Jan 28th 2020
Jan 29th 2020
Jan 30th 2020
Feb 3rd 2020
Feb 4th 2020
Feb 5th 2020
Feb 6th 2020
Feb 7th 2020

(Here’s where it all got weird!)

July 20th 2020
July 21st 2020
July 22nd 2020
July 23rd 2020
July 24th 2020
Aug 17th 2020
Aug 18th 2020
Aug 19th 2020
Aug 20th 2020
Aug 21st 2020*
*Choir Day
Oct 1st 2020
Oct 2nd 2020
Oct 5th 2020
April 15th 2021
May 6th 2021

So now you should all understand why this Album has took so long. Having my unfinished Album on a computer at a Studio that had to close it’s doors multiple times and re jiggle bookings around once back open was beyond hard to deal with and it was in those locked down times when I decided to change the title of the album to Fight & Climb… It just seemed a more appropriate title with what was going on in the world and with myself the frustration of not being able to get to my baby and get things done!

Once some restrictions were lifted and it was my time to get back into the new studio (the lads made the most of their time away and completed the new Innersound Audio York 2.0) – Myself and Joe got straight back to Mixing where we had left off! This took some time as I’d had a lot of time on my hands to realise the odd few things that needed to change (re-recording vocals/re-record guitar bits etc) along with Sam and Joe seeing to all the other customers who’d had their slots moved this took a long time to complete!

Anyway, the Album was done in May 2021! Pretty much exactly two years after starting writing it and a whole year and four months after recording it. Crazy I know but I suppose we all felt it in some way or another and I know it’s a better Album because of the whole situation.
So that’s that. Other that chipping away at Artwork in the huge gaps, the Videos being filming after the Masters were sent over and CD’s ordered and arrived a few week ago, here is where I’m at now just planning the release 🙂

I’ve no idea what to expect with this release. I just hope people like it! My plan from here on out is to just build a better more professional home recording rig and become a lot more self sufficient in recording/mixing and mastering just incase the world ever throws us a curve ball ever again and that I can be prepared and not have any project ever take this long again!

Enjoy the Album guys.

Leon – The LRW Project


Written by: chrismarsdenweb

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