By Steve Graham
Widow’s Bane frontman Mortimer Leech claims his upcoming Halloween shows in Estes Park and Fort Collins may be the swan song for his band of undead
“God willing, it will be the last show I will ever play in my life,” said Leech. “There’s too many low-life scum-sucking swine in the music business.”
With tongue always in cheek, Leech spoke by phone in a gravelly, spooky accent to this skeptical writer, explaining his band’s supposed decades-long history, his presidential bid and his nemesis, Clay Rose, the Gasoline Lollipops singer who bears an uncanny resemblance to Leech.
“He’s a terrible singer and a terrible songwriter,” Leech said of Rose. “His band is pearls before swine, I’ll tell you that.”
Strangely, Clay and Leech have never been seen in the same place at the same time, despite Leech’s plan to recruit other Gas Pops members for his October 26 (the Stanley Hotel) and 31 (Washington’s) shows.
“Drummers and bass players are a dime a dozen,” he said, suggesting he might have to kill a couple of Rose’s bandmates and resurrect them to perform as part of his zombie death polka collective.
According to Leech’s own ever-shifting story, he was performing with a band of other zombie gentlemen on the aptly named but ill-fated S.S. Widow’s Bane in 1929 when the boat sank. The group took the good ship’s name and started performing its own ghoulish take on sea shanties.
A full 90 years later, the group has released two albums of original Gothic-influenced world music, and moved to Colorado.
“A hippie in a VW bus brought us here,” Leech griped. “He told us we could have all the LSD and orgies that we pleased, but we got here and it turns out it’s just a bunch of f—ing yuppies.”
He eventually went full-on Boulder, though, and started some very New Age hippie practices.
“Once I got sober and taking wheatgrass enemas, I was getting in touch with my chakras and getting unlocked,” he said, noting that he now opens his shows with 30 minutes of onstage yoga and pilates.
“Our fans seem to be quite disappointed,” he mused, laughing.
But they won’t have to be disappointed for long, as he plans to shift into campaign mode and run for president. He said the current president is evil, but not evil enough for his macabre liking.
“Trump is only doing half the job he should be doing,” Leech said. “I am running on a platform of depopulization. We will cut the population in half in the first four years. That half will be the poor, of course. This is a war of class. I am a classy man and I can’t abide these blood-sucking leeches.”
He said he will recruit a zombie army to take out much of the “99 percent.” I asked what will happen if they get too brain-hungry and kill more than half of the population.
“They listen to uncle Morty. Everybody listens to Uncle Morty,” he said. “But if they happen to, no big deal. Whoopsie daisy.”
For a rare and possibly penultimate performance by the potential future POTUS and his undead band, the Widow’s Bane will play the annual masquerade ball on Saturday, October 26 at the purportedly haunted Stanley Hotel in Estes Park.
The ball, in the hotel’s 110-year-old concert hall, will include dancing, drinks, hors d’oeuvres and costumes, as well as a dance party hosted by DJ Shawn of Devotchka.
The Widow’s Bane will also perform on Thursday, October 31 at Washington’s in Fort Collins with Latin metal band iZCALLi and singer-songwriter Rae McAlister.
“iZCALLi are very hardcore folks; they play hardcore music and they can hang,” Leech said.
As for what to expect from the Widow’s Bane set, other than an admittedly unlikely yoga session, he offered a vague and ominous warning.
“They’ll find out when they get there, and it will be too late.”