Acclaimed rockers Left-Over rose to critical acclaim in 2018 with their debut album Empty Shell, which featured such standout, socially-enlightening originals such as "Empty Shell, "Shame on You," and "The Deplorables."
Comprising five seasoned members, including two U.S. Military Veterans*, the Baltimore-based band is passionate about the topics they explore through their songwriting including their new single “We The People,” which they say is a “plea for unity” and “reminds us that we are one nation, under God.”
For fans who have never heard your music, can you pick three words to describe it?! If three words just aren't enough then tell us more!!
I’ve [Scott Willens, Vocalist] always been accused of being far more verbose than pithy, so here’s as cogent but comprehensive as I can muster: edgy, eclectic, socially-provocative, instrumentally-layered, vocally-textured, and lyrically-intricate.
What is your favorite part about being an artist? Is it songwriting, performing, recording, something else?) Tell us why.
We would definitely all agree that it’s performing our original music to an audience, particularly when they’re dancing and singing along, even if it’s the first time they’ve heard the catchy refrains in our songs.
Can you tell us what being in the recording studio is like for you?
We have a great time together there. We take it very seriously, but we don’t take ourselves too seriously and joke around a lot. Everyone comes to the table very well prepared, so we don’t have to do too many takes to get it right. We spend more time throwing in all the extra layers, like multi-part vocal harmonies, 12-string and acoustic guitars. Then, we spend a few weeks perfecting the mix, with few to no effects used, and we’re definitely averse to pitch correction. Our recording home base is the music studio of our guitarist John Smith called Inner Sound Music Store and More, and it does become a second home to us while we’re recording, complete with lots of Mission BBQ and Chinese takeout.
Okay, this a fun question. When you are not doing music, what else do you enjoy doing?
For me, I enjoy Taekwondo. My son and I have been taking classes and teaching since 2011 and attained our 3rd degree black belts together in 2019. I’d definitely recommend starting younger than age 40 to spare your joints. I also like doing veterinary work at my clinic, which I do part-time until my Army retirement coming up in January. Vacationing and gigs have been largely on hold for all of us. I know Donnie [Beecher, Bassist] also enjoys skiing, mountain biking, and hiking. Everyone has their professional day jobs and four of us are fathers, which we probably enjoy most of all. The families get together for parties, to swim at John’s [Smith, Guitar] pool, or go to the Double T Diner after rehearsals.
Who do you admire most in the music scene today and why?
John Rich from Big & Rich has been a strong voice for freedom of expression in the music industry, not just for country music, but for the First Amendment overall. The Cancel Culture Cultists are a threat to that freedom of thought and speech. “Stay Home” by Big & Rich is one of several great contemporary COVID-19 songs out there that resonate with folks across genres. Some of us in Left-Over have always admired Vince Gill, and now more so with his Eagles acclaim. All of us in the group have a strong admiration for the Eagles and Rush.
Can you tell us what song you've written that is the most emotional and describe the meaning behind it?
Our most emotional song is definitely “Learning to Breathe,” written by our founder and guitarist, Jack Pollock, in memory of his fiancé, Renee, who died of cancer in his arms. Many people who have lost loved ones have found solace in the lyrics, and they particularly resonate with countless tragic stories of COVID-19
Are you working on any new material right now or what's in the works for the upcoming year?
Our next single to record will be "Society's Thumb," in continuation of the theme of some of our contemporary socially enlightening originals, such as "Empty Shell,” "Shame on You," and "The Deplorables." Jack has a treasure trove of musical material, literally hundreds of songs in various stages of completion. Those will be on the new CD, along with “We the People” and “Society’s Thumb.” We will no doubt have some completely collaborative material. Thank you so much for this opportunity to reach out to our fans and hopefully make new ones.
Tell us where fans can access your music.
Jack Pollock: guitar, backing vocals
Brian Freund: drums, backing vocals
*Don Beecher: bass guitar (Navy Desert Shield Veteran)
John Smith: guitar, backing vocals
*Scott Willens: lead and backing vocals (Army Lieutenant Colonel since 2002 in the wake of 9/11, including a 2007 Operation Iraqi Freedom deployment)