When I was a pre-teen in the early 90s, I would go to the import section of Sam Goody (a cd store) and pick a random cd in the $20 range. I’d play it when my friends were around and pretend I was sophisticated and cool for having it. One of those CDs was Leather Strip’s 1992 album Material.
At some point Leather Strip gave way to the 90s grunge and punk bands (I lived near Seattle after all) and I was listening to Nirvana, Pearl Jam and Green Day instead of my expensive imported CD.
A Little History on Leather Strip
Leather Strip is a Danish act, formed in the late 80s by Claus Larsen. What I thought was “techno” was actually EBM (electronic body music).
One man acts, in my experience, are fairly typical in EBM and industrial music. For live shows they may bring on a keyboardist and/or drummer but in the studio they’re putting everything together. That’s how Claus wanted it.
The first release was in 1989 but there were demos released years earlier. Leather Strip performed up until 2000 and then there was nothing. Also typical for projects like this in the EBM and industrial world (looking at you Santa Hates You).
Five years later, in 2005, Leather Strip would finally become active again with the release of Suicide Bombers.
Rediscovering Leather Strip
So, I had stopped listening to my coveted import CD by 1995 however something happened in 2000. White Wolf, publisher of the RPG Vampire the Masquerade, released a CD called Music from the Succubus Club.
Within the RPG, the Succubus Club appeared to be a typical night club where all the goth kiddies hung out. Of course this would mean that the bands on the Succubus Club album would play “goth” music. Move aside grunge and punk, it’s time for Dark Wave!
I think every single person who ever played Vampire the Masquerade “discovered” The Cruxshadows, Bella Morte and Diary of Dreams because of this album. And because of these bands, I’d go on to discover band like Clan of Xymox and The Dreamside.
In 2005 I moved from Florida to the Netherlands. As it happens, Dark Wave is extremely popular in Germany and at the time there was spill over here. For the first few years there was a festival in Utrecht called Summer Darkness where the bands would come play. This is where I’d discovered more bands such as God is an Austronaut, Covenant, and She Past Away.
Around 2008 I made gaming friends who were well into the EBM and industrial scene. Through them I started to discover all sorts of bands. This is when I discovered that Leather Strip (who I always thought was a german band) was actually considered EBM.
Trying to Get a Live Show
Of course, once I discovered that they’re EBM I started listening to them with a new appreciation. I also kept my eye out to try to find when they were playing nearby.
Now is my time. When I saw them on the E-Tropolis Electronic Festival 2022 playbill, I just had to pick up a ticket. It’s taken 30ish years, but I’m finally going to get to see the project that I started out as a “poser” with but turned into an actual fan. I’ve got to say I’m pretty stoked and just hope they play Body Machine Body!