While initially formed in 2009 to play and record lead-vocalist Matt Joe Gow’s solo work, The Dead Leaves (featuring guitarist Andrew Pollock, bassist Cameron Grindrod and drummer Joel Witenberg) have evolved far beyond a solo artist’s backing band. The band recorded their debut album Cities On The Sea at BJB Studios in Sydney, Australia, with producers Scott Horscroft (The Presets, Birds of Tokyo, The Panics) and Eric J Dubowsky (Art vs Science, Weezer). To celebrate the release, The Dead Leaves are embarking on an East Coast tour throughout March and April. Joel thankfully had time to get in the Tone Deaf Spotlight.

What’s your earliest memory of performing and who inspired you to start?

A grade six performance. The school had just bought a new drum kit which looked so appealing. Someone showed me that simple pattern that everyone knows, and off I went.

You must answer this question honestly or we steal your rider. What and where was the first gig you went to?

As far as I can remember it was Millencolin at the Palace in St Kilda.

 ‘Fess up. What records have you stolen from your parent’s record collection and why?

Miles Davis, Kind of Blue. If you’re ging to listen to a jazz record, it may as well be the best selling album to date.

What’s on heavy rotation on your iPod right now?

Portugal. The Man. In The Mountain In The Cloud.

How do you find new music?

Radio, word of mouth and general internet trawling.

If you could curate your own festival, where would it be, who would be on the bill, how many people would you let in and what features would it have?

It’d be headlined by Paul McCartney and Radiohead at a location to be determined by the general public. Cities would campaign for the right to host the festival (although I’d pick the initial list..).

When you’re Rolling Stones Big, what are you going to request on your rider: don’t be shy. We want specifics!

4 Magnums and a suit case filled with foi gras.

What is your band’s music the best soundtrack for?


Where we can see you play next, what releases do you have available and where can we get them? 

We have a run of shows in March up and down the East Coast – kicking off on 2 March at GoodGod Small Club in Sydney. Check out www.facebook.com/thedeadleavesmusic for all of the dates. Cities on The Sea is available in stores nationally and on iTunes from 24 February.