Local band ‘Leaf’-s out

Watch out MTV because Leaf is a new local band on the rise that you will soon be familiar with.

Sources say the “melodic rock” variety of music is back in style and Michael Sutphen agrees. Sutphen’s opinion is important, because he is the guitarist for the Houston based band.

The band has been together since December 1999, and practices diligently. Sutphen said the band practices three times a week at a rented practice room, from 8 p.m. to 11 p.m. He said all the members of Leaf are extremely dedicated to pursuing the band to its fullest extent.

According to Sutphen, Leaf’s ultimate goal is to go national. With a street team distributing Leaf flyers and spreading the word, the band’s fan base has already grown larger.

“With the more promotion out, the bigger our audience gets,” Sutphen said. “You’ll get bigger – if you’re better.”

The group has recently cashed in on Houston’s local music scene and has plans to go nationwide. The band’s reputation has taken them statewide, with a pit stop on the west coast for, hopefully, a little fame and fortune.

Leaf played small venues in Houston to begin and gradually made a local name for themselves.

Sutphen said the band has opened for several national acts, including Staind, Dope, King’s X and Primmer 55. They were, however, still only a local band in a big city.

Aaron Wilhelm, producer and manager for Network Management in California, later discovered Leaf through a source that heard the band on an Internet Web site. After working with the band for a while, Wilhelm saw Leaf’s potential and encouraged the group to play at venues in other cities.

Sutphen said with a little professional coaching, hard work and support from dedicated fans, Leaf was recently asked to tour with the newly signed band, Spiritfall.

Leaf will be joining Spiritfall on the road from March 20 – 28, promoting its new E.P., “The Drought.”

The first show is in Corpus Christi, Texas, at the club Shades, on March 20.

On March 21, Leaf will play another show in Corpus on the “‘Booze Cruise – Capitan Clark’s Flagship” for the “Wild On Spring Break” series that will air on Entertainment Television.

On March 22, Leaf will be in Houston, followed by a show in Austin on March 23. Tempe, Ariz. marks the next stop for the band on March 25.

Leaf will play a showcase for various record labels in San Diego March 26, and will play another showcase in Hollywood the following day. Leaf has double duty on March 27, as before the scheduled showcase the band will play a student festival at Loyola Marymount University. March 28 ends the tour for Leaf with a show at the Hard Rock Hotel in Las Vegas, Nev.

Sutphen said the upcoming tour is the chance of a lifetime. It will provide good exposure for the band, and help get the group positive, national publicity.

“It’s a good opportunity for us to do this,” Sutphen said. “It’s going to be awesome.”

As far as the band goes, Sutphen said over time nothing has changed but their music.

“The friendships between us (in the group) have gotten stronger,” Sutphen said. “We still have the same friends, but we have fans now. We’re hoping for a record deal.” It seems as though Leaf may be on the right track.

For more information on Leaf, visit its Web site at http://www.leafmusic.com.

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