The prima ballerina Margot Fonteyne once noted that great artists are people who find the way to be themselves in their art. Any sort of pretension induces mediocrity in art and life alike.
Kids on Leashes, a Fort Collins band known for such groundbreaking hits as “Opera’s Opera” and “Deli Style Ham,” are most certainly themselves in their art.
Sitting down for a “very serious interview,” David “Death”, (who provides guitar for the duo’s often minimalist tracks), found his cape (a towel tied around his neck) flying gracefully in the breeze as onlookers gaped with puzzled expressions at the accessory.
“Who are you guys?” a passerby inquired, staring intently at the helmets, short pants and wrist guards worn by Death and his compatriot in music, Basho W. Parks, who provides violin and often falsetto vocals to the band.
“We’re rock stars,” Parks noted drolly to the questioner. “We’re in a rock band.”
That explanation seemed enough for the passerby who nodded in understanding and moved along.
For Kids on Leashes, being rock stars is all in a day’s work.
Kids on Leashes was formed, as Death and Parks note, when they realized they shared an interest in peanut butter and thus assumed that they had enough in common to form a band. Kids on Leashes has worked since then to spread their unique sound, a sharp styling called “Drunk-a-gothi” by the duo.
Asserting their brilliance and adherence to couture brand names in songs such as “Dolce and Gabana,” the solid helmets they both wear are the signs of true rock stars.
“They keep us safe from projectiles,” Death said, noting that the band has often seen things launched at their head. “Projectiles of love,” Death assured all those concerned.
Naming themselves after the ubiquitous harnesses that often are used to restrain small children in public places, the two note that their fans are often the very same individuals who were once restrained by these leashes.
For the duo, spreading the musical word is an important task; in recent times, they’ve even donned their band uniforms and taken to the streets around Library Park, going door to door in an effort to gain listeners. Not all were so friendly, however, such as one gentleman at a local church who slammed the door on their sound. However, such rejection has not deterred the duo.
“In summary, I think we are drunken super heroes,” Parks boldly declared.
When not wearing the helmets and performing as the rock stars Kids on Leashes, Parks and Death are actually music lovers and artists who take their appreciation for music very seriously.
Dressed in their outrageous capes and socks with an image of Mozart emblazoned on the sides, (“he’s a frequent collaborator. We call him ‘Wolfy,'” Parks noted in deadpan) the duo cleverly and creatively mocks much of the pomp and circumstance that surrounds much of the rock scene.
Even as they mock the pretension that inspires so much mediocrity in music today, their sound is undeniably fun to listen to and their rock star personas are too much of a blast to miss.
Appearing at open mic nights and other venues around town (and perhaps the very streets themselves) Kids on Leashes are, as they declare with deadpan seriousness, rock stars that shouldn’t be passed up.
“We are almost completely serious,” said Death as he brushed his towel-cape off his shoulder with a toss of his head.
For more information on Kids on Leashes (and actual photos of said leashes), see www.myspace.com/kidsonleashes