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  • Tracy Heck

Lenne sharing new music

Lenne, the new project with Jim Taylor, Morgan Rose, and Lenny Cerzosie Jr., recently released their new single "Letting You Down" alongside a video for the track.

The band has some more music coming and are gearing up to hopefully get out on stage in the Fall.

Back in the early 2000's, Cerzosie Jr. started a band with his brother called The Infinite Staircase, an independent band who worked with a number of artists including Candlebox, Sevendust and Zakk Wylde.

After the untimely loss of his girlfriend and his mother's health struggles, he took some time away from music until Sevendust's Rose encouraged him to get into the studio and use music as a form of therapy.

Those recordings eventually led to him getting together with Taylor to form what is now the Lenne lineup.

Cerzosie Jr. and Taylor recently spoke with Rock Life about how they formed the project and what's ahead for them.

Q: How are things going?

Jim Taylor: Oh, fantastic! It's kind of balmy today for Summer. If it would stay this way, I'd be really happy with it. We really appreciate getting a chance to do this too; we love interviews!

Lenny Cerzosie: Pretty good. I had a quick cup of coffee.

Q: Have you gotten a chance to look at playing any upcoming live shows?

JT: Yes, we're hoping to go out when things get rolling in the Fall. We want things to be as close to the record as we can so we're working now on how things will sound on the stage. We're kind of organizing who is playing what part and figuring out all of that stuff now.

LC: Yeah, we're definitely hoping to get out there. I think that we will with things suddenly opening up. There have been a couple of shows here and there and all of these tours are being announced.

It's pretty cool, but I have all of these people hitting me up asking me if I'm going to this or that show and I really don't know yet. It's like everyone has just been waiting and it's just like, go! It's at the point where if it's someone I've seen many times that I'm going to have to pass on that show so I can see someone I haven't seen yet.

Q: Did you guys have any chances to play on stage at all with this project before the shutdown?

JT: We haven't gone out as Lenne yet, but Lenny and I have done some shows with some friends. We did a benefit a couple of months ago for a friend of ours in Allentown and that felt really good. That was all covers, but it was still cool to be out there because prior to doing that, we'd been working on this music for awhile.

All of this was really supposed to come together in March, but then the shutdown happened and we were so upset. The brakes got put on, but when it came to our music, it was kind of a blessing in disguise because we had that whole year to refine everything and record some more stuff and all of that.

Q: In some ways, it's probably better that you hadn't released anything right before before the promotion wouldn't have been there. Right now is the perfect time to be promoting a new project and new music.

LC: You know, it's funny you say that because Morgan said the same thing recently. If you released something right before then you missed out on a lot of those promotional things. Then there was a point where everybody was begging for new music and now we're kind of at the point where everybody kind of wants everything all at once. Especially with Summer being here too because it does make people think of concerts.

I mean, we'd actually started putting it together and thought the songs were done. We were looking at putting a band together, but then ended up back in the studio working on more stuff and kind of changed the lineup a little bit.

Really, the only regular members are me and Jim right now and Morgan is our constant. However, with him being in Sevendust he can't just go on the road with us. If there's ever an opportunity for him to go out with us, he will, but it's just not something we can plan on right now.

Q: Can you talk a bit about how you first came together?

LC: Well I met Morgan first back in '09 on tour and we started recording together in 2010 with my band, The Infinite Staircase. Over the years, we stuck together as friends and then my mom got real sick with ALS. It was a crazy time in my personal life so Morgan took me back into the studio and was kind of like, work on these emotions! I had recently met Jim. Jim, where were we when we met?

JT: Again, it was a benefit show that a mutual friend was putting on. We were both in separate bands and you invited me to actually play on the record and do some mandolin for it. I ended up in Baltimore and then I ended up going out with Morgan two weeks later I believe in 2017?

LC: Yeah, so we went out to Atlanta with Morgan and he introduced us to Corey Lowery and we were writing with him. Right now he's in Seether, who is crushing the charts with their new single.

JT: Oh yeah!

LC: Yeah, so meeting Corey was pretty cool and working with him was awesome. At first it was just a studio project, but then one day Morgan said let's make this a thing so we did. He looked at it and said it had a cool vibe.

Yeah, so we started going out to Atlanta practically once a month for a couple of days at a time and just doing a song or two at a time. We kept doing that for a couple of years.

JT: Pretty much!

LC: Yeah, and then when the label, Imagen Records, was interested, we had to call it something and Morgan was just like, let's call it Lenny. At first Jim and I were like, ehh. We weren't thrilled with the idea, but then we were like, it is what it is and it's simple and we want it to be real.

That's when our guy Steve came up with the idea to change the style and spelling to Lenne. Since I spell my name with a y. I liked that idea because to me, this project may have started with me, but it's not just me any more. It's never just a one-person thing even if you're making a solo record. There's always a ton of people involved.

So yeah, I liked the new spelling idea and it helps differentiate between the two for me. Once we started living with it for a bit, I started to really like it and now I can't think of it any other way. It's cool.

JT: Correct, exactly!

Q: And how did the sound for your music evolve?

JT: It started out really with an electronic and industrial sound.

LC: Yeah, it kind of was like an acoustic album that was almost like Tantric.

JT: Yeah, Morgan was on his electronic drum kit and we were almost going for a Nine Inch Nails' vibe at first. We went with that vibe without thinking about it too much. It kind of fit the lyrics that we were writing at the time. Corey had also had someone in his life who had passed away and there were plenty of emotions that fed into the musical piece that we were creating.

As it kept going, it was once again Morgan who had the light bulb over his head and said we needed to put real drums on the record and step it up a little. That changed everything because then we needed heavier guitars and that sound we got is pretty much the sound of the band now.

LC: Correct, correct! It's funny because a fan recently said to us, this is heavy metal we can listen to, but we're not technically metal. However, I can understand that because of the heavy factor. Jimmy plays keys on all this stuff and I have to say it kind of reminds me of Type O' Negative with out the Peter Steele baritone voice. Instead, I'm like the pop version of Steele!

Q: It is a unique sound that is definitely different from most of what you hear on the radio.

LC: I appreciate that! That's cool to me because what we want to be is different.

Q: And have you been happy with the reaction to the "Letting You Down" single and video?

JT: It's been pretty cool actually. In our first week on Youtube the video broke 10,000 views. We're damn proud of that.

LC: I mean, we'd be excited about two people listening though. Every listen means a lot to us!

JT: Yeah, and we do have a lot of fans and friends form our other projects who have been very supportive too. It's an interesting family/community that we have. We all try to help each other out.

Q: What was the catalyst for you getting involved with music in the first place?

JT: Actually, for me it was movie soundtracks. I've scored horror movies for the last eight years and the way we approach this has me thinking of every song as a scene or a soundtrack to something. I'm looking for the spaces in between Morgan and Lenny and the guitars. It's not like, ok this a solo, it's more of a totality of every part.

I think that's especially true for these next songs we have coming up and also true for "Letting You Down." It just has elements of a little bit of everything. I took it to heart when Corey, myself and Morgan wrote the keyboard parts. It was almost eerie. And then, that whole middle section is our love note to Pantera in a way. We wanted the big break down and Lenny wrote a hell of a solo along with our friend out west, Fluff Harley and company. They did a hell of a job and our other friend Jose as well, who we record with out in L.A.. It's very much like an orchestra rather than just a band. Everyone is contributing to the totality of the whole.

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