New York City & Upstate Join Forces
Written by Art Fredette on October 14, 2019
New York City and Upstate Join Forces By Ralph Renna
Between 1985 and 1995 the metal & hardcore crossover genre was thriving, which catapulted the underground hardcore scene to the forefront. Over 35 years later 2 very well known New York Hardcore metal crossover acts are about to embark on a US Fall Tour. Merauder, who is no stranger to Troy and Albany hardcore scenes, also was a major factor in connecting the NYHC scene with Troy-Core heavy weights Stigmata. 10 years prior and early bridge was connected, also by Stigmata, with the now legendary Leeway. Over the years both Leeway and Merauder made frequent stops in Troy & Albany. Contributing to help secure unity in the scene that put the 518 on the map with venues like QE2, Bogies and Saratoga Winners in the 90’s and early 2000’s.
Both bands have had a long hard road, but were given the respect, with many high points, tours and sold out shows. At the Same time negligent record labels, a rotating door of changing members, and Leeway re-releases of records without prior knowledge of? Eddie Sutton vocalist of Leeway and Merauder’s front man Jorge Rosado are also fighting a similar battle. The Hardcore scene can be real hard on its bands, lines are drawn, fans sometimes take sides and this can be a bands doom. But for over 10 years now both Sutton and Rosado have taken their music all over the world by traveling “The higher road”, with younger hungry talented musicians who share the passion to get these guys on the stage front where they belong, carrying their torch.
“The Escape From New York Tour’ kicks off this Sunday October 20 at The Fuze Box formerly QE2 in Albany. “It all has come full circle” says frontman Eddie ”Leeway” Sutton and adds “I met Gordon Ancis a long time ago as he was Leeway’s original lead guitarist. Gordon now co-manages Leeway and Merauder with Laz Pina from Ill Nino. Jorge at one point was also in Ill Nino. It was the right time for all of us, most of all we all see through the bullshit”
Sutton is a very focused man, pissed off into positivity about his music, with regular life events, everyday issues and matters to deal with. Sutton adds “No matter what anyone says, I will sing these songs, they are my life stories, my struggles, my lessons learned and hardships earned, and if people want to think we’re a tribute band then fuck ’em, I know where my heart is. Out of respect for Leeway, we will now go by the name Leeway N.Y.C.”
Leeway’s 1989 ground breaking debut “Born To Expire” took them to new heights in and even bigger with their sophomore release in 1991 with“Desperate Meaures” . These recordings became two most influential metal crossover records, to metal and hardcore musicians at the time, and still is. In 1996 Merauder’s gargantuan “Master Killer” is released. Merauder took the metal crossover genre, sharpened its sword, stiffened its punch and aimed to kill with accuracy. Jorge Rosado brought a most ferocious vocal style to the front line at the time and the message was being recieved loud and clear. Like Leeway, Merauder influenced yet another generation. So the light at the end of this beautiful nightmare is? Another bridge was connected. “Mike Valente knew what I was trying to do, suggested that I check out. Upstate Records and I am glad I did” Sutton tells us.
“I introduced Eddie to Mario from upstate records. Mario really cares about music. He’s not just some company that is looking to make a buck. Eddie has been through the ringer with record labels. I thought of upstate records because they are family oriented and transparent” says Mike Valente of Upstate Black N Blue Productions. Upstate Records founder Mario Cangemi was very eager to have this meeting and states ”Leeway is easily in my top ten list for favorite bands of all time. It is an honor to work with Eddie and bring back a fresh new Leeway sound, reminiscent of Born to Expire and Desperate Measures. Being able to work with Eddie at this point in his career for us.” this all led to the release of Leeway NYC song “I’m your pusher” this past summer!
Eddie Sutton has carried on the tradition and bridge building process as he has just recruited two young guns from 518. “These kids have the spirit, they will do this music justice, keep me on my toes, and be the strong band we need to do this the right way” says Sutton. First up Reuben Ginsburg of the band Ghostwalker, who didn’t hesitate to call axeman Nick Stamas of Frozen Sun and Moriah Formica. “Reuben called me up after getting asked to play and said that they needed a bass player. I quickly told him I would do it and after they said yes, I told him to call them back and see if they would like to have two guitarists- that’s my passion, here we are and I am psyched”. Says Stamas.
“This is the trial run for what may leads us to a longer tour or Europe and a new record” Sutton adds about what “The Escape for New York tour could bring to the table for both bands. Let’s not forget about the new guys, who get to share the stage with Leeway and Merauder this Sunday! Nick Leannain of Hate The Adversary says “we are Incredibly excited and honored to be sharing the same stage as both of them. Having been in the metal hardcore scene for 20+ years with legends such as Merauder and Leeway”.
This Sunday October 20 5:00pm Merauder , Leeway NYC, Concrete, Close to Nothing, Violent By Design, Hate The Adversary at the FuzeBox(QE2) 12 Central Ave Albany NY
Click below to read October 2019 interview with Violent By Design