Groningen is not only the city of VORTEX, but also LEADER’s origin is from this city in the north of Holland. Founded in 1984 by Jack Schurer (ex-TIJE’s MESS EXPRESS, ex-COMBAT) and Paul Kremer (ex-LINDA OH and ex-PARIS TAXI). After a short time Ricard de Jonge joins the band and the band records their first demo. But the band really got noticed when they released their second demo "V for Victory". The funny thing is that together with the demo a nail is included with the slogan ‘if you didn’t get a headache from the music, you always can use the nail’. In 1986, they release their third demo "Victims Of The Vulture". This time the band is more ‘friendly’ for the fans, an aspirin is added! Musically, LEADER brings you heavy/speed metal with quite a few breaks and great guitar riffs.
In 1987 singer Richard Koning (who sung before in ANGLE) leaves the band and gets replaced by Englishman Keith Ellis who sung before in the German band MAD MAX. And in early 1988 Paul Kremer is replaced by Erik van Dijken. In this line-up, they decide to make a full-length LP and approach Top Hole Records to release it. Result is the LP "Out In The Wasteland". A great cliché metal cover gives the fans a good sign, but the very poor production brings the quality very much down hill. It sounds like a poor sounding demo, but if you listen through it you can hear great songs like "Ride Like The Wind", "Wings Of Steel" or the title track "Out In The Wasteland". Anyway, the band even makes a video clip to promote the LP, but it didn’t work out.
Last fact is a contribution for a local sampler CD, called "Groningen 1990". But it meant the end of LEADER and the band split up.
Drummer Jack Schurer takes part of the VORTEX reunion in 1998, but after a year he left the band and plays now in a rockcoverband. The other members also played in cover bands with names like WANG DANG. Keith Ellis is now living in Germany.
(text conducted by Stefan van Zijl)
Keith Ellis – vocals
Oscar Carre – guitar
Richard de Jonge – guitar
Erik van Dijken – bass
Jack Schurer – drums (ex-VORTEX)
*V for Victory (Demo 1986)
*Victims Of The Vulture (demo 1986)
*Out In The Wasteland (LP 1988)
*Top Hole (Compilation CD 1988; "Wings Of Steel" taken off "Out In The Wasteland)
*Groningen 1990 (Compilation CD 1990; "Time")