Leeroy Stagger

Official Site
MapleMusic Newsletter
Sign up to keep informed of MapleMusic happenings

Leeroy Stagger

The rural outskirts of British Columbia is a place where desperation lurks and the bars are full of broken-hearted dreamers wondering what the hell's happened to them. Raised here by his grandparents and his mechanic-father, it's no wonder that an air of domestic discord and dreams of white picket fences charge the song craft of one Leeroy Stagger.

Stagger blew like a hurricane into Victoria's independent music scene. With a voice of ferocious intensity, Stagger howled and screamed his way through several bands, including homegrown punk band The Staggers and The Graveyard Sluts. Bands that came out of Victoria's music scene either quickly gave up, or stood the test of apathy, climbing their way out of the capital city. Stagger's bands may have imploded but Hot Hot Heat took the latter route. In 2002 they brought Stagger with them on a 'cross-Canada tour and it was then, at the ripe old age of 20, that Stagger decided to mellow out a bit: relying less on antics and focusing more on craft.

Stagger was quickly thrust into the spotlight by another high profile Victoria resident, Carolyn Mark. Stagger recalls,"She stuck a guitar in my hand one night at a hootenanny. I'd never played guitar in front of anybody before and it was the most nerve-wracking thing I'd ever done. It was pretty embarrassing, but I'm so glad that she did that because it got me to where I am today."

Drawing on country, rock and punk-to-the-fore influences, Leeroy reinvented himself as a powerful singer/songwriter and recorded the eponymous Six Tales of Danger EP (2002) with Tolan McNeil (Neko Case). The "blue collar" weekend undertaking turned out a surge of heart rendering lyrics and infectious songs. In time, the EP evolved into an LP. Stagger's debut album Dear Love was released in April 2004 and fused a deep-seated punk fury with a pop sweetness and back-country cynicism.

After multiple tours through the US and Canada, including exclusive showcases at this years' SXSW and CMW music festivals, Leeroy has managed to amass a loud and loyal following. "I've learned that to be a success, you have to tour your ass off," he says. He has acquired this attention, including breaking into the fan press south of the border, based solely on his live shows and songwriting talents.

At home Stagger has opened for The Pixies and Modest Mouse and while opening for Kathleen Edwards, he met Danny Michel. Hailed by the CBC as a Canadian national treasure, Stagger had admired Michel as a songwriter for some time. "Me and Danny kind of bonded and kept in touch over email," says Stagger. During a subsequent visit, Leeroy suggested, on a whim, that he and Danny work together on Stagger's next album, to which Michel responded "Well, yeah, why not?"

Recorded and produced by Danny Michel, Leeroy Stagger's second album entitled Beautiful House, will be released through Vancouver's Boompa Records on February 22, 2005. Early reaction to the album has it marked as both an "instant classic" and the "finest New Wave Rock and Roll record to come out of Canada in years."