Leogun frontman Tommy Smith has never doubted that he should be a musician. The notion struck him when he first picked up an acoustic guitar at age 6. The idea stuck when he won his first school talent show at the age of 12.
"From a very young age, I spent so much time in my bedroom playing guitar," Smith says in his British accent. "I played live for the first time at that talent contest and that was it. We won the contest; my mom let me have a bottle of beer after the show. I was damned sure of it from then on."
Leogun, the London-based rock 'n' roll trio, has been touring the U.S. consistently since before its debut album, By the Reins, was released in June. After all, it takes some time to establish a fan base in the States — with hundreds of miles between venues and rock 'n' roll difficult to find anywhere on Top 20-focused radio stations. Smith and Co. will get to showcase their riff-driven, blues- and soul-infused brand of rock as a part of the 106.5 Weenie Roast on Sept. 28.
"It's an uneducated thing to say [that rock 'n' roll is dead]," Smith says. "It's not uncommon to be on a bill with three or four other rock bands. I think it's an underground scene, but people are getting sick of the everyday stuff [on radio] and going back to rock."
Leogun, with its classic rock-inspired sound, which draws comparisons to Led Zeppelin, the White Stripes and Wolfmother, knows people aren't discovering new music on the radio. The band decided the best way to introduce people to its music was getting on the road and performing. It recently opened a number of shows for Kiss and have hit small clubs, including the Double Door Inn, on its own to win over fans one step at a time.
Aside from the catchy, guitar-driven rock, there's also the performance side. Smith, who constantly shakes his curly mane of hair while playing, says he hates bands who simply stand on stage and look bored. "I don't consider myself a show-off," he says. "There's a difference between showing off and performing. It's about making sure people get the best possible show they can. I get frustrated when I see bands that are emotionless on stage and think they're too cool for school. That's bullshit. I want to be turned on and electrified, so that's what I try to offer people at our shows."