The brainchild of Grammy nominated former Motörhead guitarist Würzel and bass player Tim Atkinson who after forming the band Leader of Down, busied themselves in a London rehearsal studio writing dozens of tracks in preparation for recording an album. They then recruited drummer, Steve Clarke (Ex Fastway) to join the ranks and continue preparing for the debut album Cascade into Chaos. Würzel suggested Steve Clarke as he had worked with him before and known him as a great drummer for years. “The teeth rattling bass guitar and ear splitting double bass drums really compliment Würzel’s guitar playing”, just one comment on a Motörhead forum site.
The name Leader of Down came from Würzel mishearing the lyrics to the Status Quo track “Down, Down” Würzel found this extremely funny as he had been singing the wrong words “Down Down, Leader of Down” for over 30 years.
The band started recording the initial tracks for the album which included a reworking of Würzel’s solo release from the 80’s “People say I’m Crazy” ( B side of the single “Bess”). These initial sessions also included a track that was always intended for Lemmy to sing on, as Würzel said “We think it would suit him”. This track eventually became “Paradise turned into Dust” with Lemmy finishing his recording at Paramount Studios in Los Angeles shortly before his own passing during a very emotional session that Steve & Tim attended.
Cascade into Chaos boasts several guest vocalists, such as Whitfield Crane (Ugly Kid Joe) but the line-up of Leader of Down is completed by vocalist Matt Baker and guitarist Alex Ward who have slipped seamlessly into the fold.
Cascade into Chaos is named after a phrase that Würzel and Tim used during the initial songwriting sessions, it seemed a very obvious choice and was the only title that the two of them ever really discussed.
After Würzel’s tragic death in 2011 the band continued to finish the album and enlisted the help of some friends to honour the great man. Featuring guest appearances from Lemmy, Phil Campbell (who joined Motörhead on the same day as Würzel in 1984), Whitfield Crane (who sang on “Born to Raise Hell” with Motörhead during Würzel’s time with the band), Lee Richard (ex Godsmack and Richards/Crane), Bruce Foxton (The Jam) and Cliff Evans (Tank). Also contributing was Fast Eddie Clarke, who sadly passed away this year. Leader of Down’s Steve Clarke had remained great friends with Eddie since the Fastway days and was instrumental in getting Eddie involved.
The album features blockbusting tracks with titles such as Serial Killjoy and Killing Rain, all mixed by Motörhead Grammy winning producer Cameron Webb at Maple Studios in California.
The album is, of course, a tribute to Würzel and the other fallen Motörhead heroes. It is also the beginning for Leader of Down who after a successful appearance at Hard Rock Hell are embarking on a tour with Phil Campbell and the Bastard Sons in November 2018 and will be very busy next year, with live shows planned.
Lemmy once shouted from the stage at Hammersmith Odeon in ‘84, shortly after Würzel and Phil Campbell joined, “Well, are we back??” We can safely say that Würzel is back, we just wish that he was still with us for the ride.