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On one hand Chris Ashner is the clean-cut force behind upscale homebuilder Bodine-Ashner. The mild-mannered father of a toddler son living a buttoned-down suburban life in south Overland Park.

The flip side: Hes the lead guitar force-to-be-reckoned with behind local metal band Leaded.

The 40-year-old builder/developer thinks he has finally found the singer to take the band to the next level, corporate code writer Jeremy Springer. The new lineup was well-received at local metal czar Jim Kilroys recent Grand Emporium wilding.

Well enough to make Ashner or Ash as he refers to his stage persona quit his day job?

"I'd quit my day job in one second", Ashner says. "But I dont want to leave my wife and my boy. I dont know, we dont want to get a deal, we want to get the deal. All of us would do it if we got the deal."
- Kansas City Star


EP - Self titled - Leaded
7 songs
4 tracks on http://www.myspace.com/leadedmusic




In the beginning, there were two – Chris and Ron.

Ron (to Chris): "Man, how come we never jam together? You rock on guitar. Let's do it!"

Chris (incredulous, turns to Ron and says): "Man, I haven't played in a while – but I'll check out your band some time."

A handful of weeks pass before Chris makes an appearance. After checking them out, now itching to shrug off a self–imposed (3) year hiatus, he rings Ron up on the phone.

Chris (completely impassioned now): "Okay, dude. You rock on drums! Bring your kit over. Let's jam!"

Jamming ensues. After a while, the duo starts to feel lonely.

Ron (putting it out there): "You know any bassists here in town?"

Chris (immediately inspired): "Yeah, Pat Ross. We played together from '92 to '97. Man, we toured ALL over the country..."

Chris (after some reflection & on a roll now): "Pat & I played the HOUSE OF BLUES on the Sunset Strip. Shit, we stayed in ZEPPLIN'S suite at the Riot Hyatt!!! I'll totally give him a call. He'll definitely be into it!"

Pat, unsuspecting, receives "the call."

Chris (convincingly): "Hey man, I've been playing with this kick ass drummer. We're writing some original tunes. It's just for fun – just about the music. Come on over next Wednesday night & we'll jam!"

Pat (without thinking twice, replies): "Sure."

Pat & Chris pick up in the same sweet spot where they left off. Ron has no trouble working his beats in around them. Four years pass as nearly a dozen singers make their way in & out of the group. The guys wonder what's up & start developing a minor complex.

Eleven dusky disciples came, laid down vocals & went.

Each spun their own sad but familiar story:

* "I can't work a full–time job & do this."
* "I don't need YOU guys – I'm the star!"
* "Dude, I thought we were just playing hooky."
* "I didn't know we were taking this seriously."
* "I'm outta here!"

Then, in February of '06, came Jeremy – doing his best to look cool & coming highly recommended.

But he was nervous as a teenaged boy on prom night – not knowing if he'd actually "get the girl" ...sliding off barstools while completely sober & all that jazz.

He brought with him an acoustic guitar, a cache of self–penned lyrics & just enough individual style to intrigue & surprise the rest of the guys.

He was serious about his music – a lead singer who might actually have some staying power...

Here's how it all came down.

The guys were getting ready to start another Wednesday night practice session at Chris's in-home rehearsal studio. Zeppelin, Hendrix & Rush banners are draped, like fine art, over egg-crate padded walls. Industrial strength speakers, bar stools, amps & mics take up every square inch of the room.

Enter Jeremy, literally. Chris offers him a barstool to sit on, as he introduces himself.

Chris (in his usual, affable manner): "Hey, Jeremy! It's good to meet you. These Wednesday nights have become our poker nights, when we have fun & get away from work – from our 'normal' lives..."

Chris (quickly cutting to the chase): "Let's hear what you've got!"

Jeremy (slightly surprised, as he sits down, says): "This is a song I've been working on lately. I don't really have any lyrics but the music & melody are pretty solid. I call it 'No Fault'."

As Jeremy strums the first chord, the barstool gives way. He jumps up.

Jeremy (red faced now): "As if I weren't nervous enough!"

Ron (amused, says wryly): "Great save – you didn't fall completely on your ass!"

Jeremy (back on the barstool) resumes singing as the rest of the guys look on & think to themselves, "Yeah, man, let's do something with this!"

They drink. They work on the song. They record 'No Fault'. Wednesdays officially become rehearsal nights. Thoroughly impressed with the night's outcome, recording ensues.

LEADED develops a batch of original songs that inspires, in all its members, undeniable creativity – fueled by Jeremy's meaningful lyrics, layered with Chris's rapturous yet energetic riffs, which are meaningfully underscored by Ron & Pat's tight, bluesy rhythms.

Without a name, the band begins posting their new music on a crude, 1st attempt website made for friends' & families' sake. The dedicated fans spawn a Thursday morning movement – downloading the sonic creations as fast as they can be posted.

E–mails begin pouring in. "Where are you guys playing at?" most of them read. Nowhere – yet. A local promoter calls Chris. He's got a slot to fill in one of his shows.

Chris (to the other band members, says): "We've got a show. We need a name."

Everyone pitches in. Ron, in a moment of brilliance, suggests naming the band after a song Chris & Pat wrote ages ago, which is called "Leaded."

The band, LEADED, plays its first public gig – a killer one at that – at Kansas City's GRAND EMPORIUM. Chris, post-show, is acc