Leaves Russell, Symmetry/Symmetry

Leaves Russell

Matthew “Sandman” Russell: lead vocals, piano
Isaac “Depth Charge” Medina: electric bass, electric-acoustic bass
Jackson “Locomotive” Conrad: drums, percussion
Thacher “Arconaut” Schmid: backup vox, violin, viola, mandolin


With the release of its first full length CD “We Chose the Devil Red,” Leaves Russell is poised to take its music to the next level in 2013, its fourth year. Having performed at ever-larger Northwest venues, the young quartet is planning regional tours.
The group’s rocking, emotional sound both pays homage to and charts new territory away from the so-called “Portland sound.”
Written by the band, “Devil Red” was produced by bassist Isaac Medina, mixed by Kendra Lynn at Jackpot! and mastered by Adam Gonzales at Telegraph. “It’s an album that sets out to explore the complexity of the human shadow, celebrating our simultaneous denial and acceptance of the darkness within each of us,” explains lead singer and lyricist Matthew Russell. With keys, electric strings, huge vocals, acoustic/electric bass and raging drums, Leaves melds ragtime and rock, electronica, folk and pop.
Its unique sound is the reason the quartet has been invited to perform at a number of festivals throughout Oregon and dozens of other venues. It’s why the band won Portland State University’s 2010 “Battle of the Bands.” It’s a sound that comes from its members’ lifelong love affair with music.
After hearing his granddad play “In The Mood” on a shaky upright at age 7, Russell nagged his parents until they got him his very own Casio, then an upright he pounded into the Texas dust.
Medina didn’t learn bass from his father; he saw it as the way to pick up chicks. But when as a young adult the Mexican-born Medina met his dad, now a professional guitarrista in Spain, the connection was undeniable.
Portland native Conrad’s mom played guitar and sang, while dad played drums in the same amplifier and totem-filled Hazelwood basement Leaves uses. His folks, who survived club fires and fights, never losing their love of music, forged Jackson’s rocking style.
Milwaukee transplant Schmid built on classical training with blue notes and electricity: his work on violin, mandolin and viola centers on improvisation, amplifiers and effects. His dad is a retired music professor who played in a polka band, his mom plays the Autoharp and organizes music workshops.
Truth, there is no artifice to Leaves Russell. Whether inviting concert attendees into an authentic, cocoon-like bubble of sonic warmth, or making recordings like “We Chose the Devil Red,” Leaves Russell are simply doing what they know best; having fun and making exciting music.

Symmetry/Symmetry

$10 in advance • $12 day of show

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Leaves Russell, Symmetry/Symmetry

Saturday, October 12 · Doors 8:45 PM / Show 9:00 PM at The Secret Society