Electro-noise outfit All Leather was founded by Justin Pearson (Locust, Holy Molar, Crimson Curse, etc.) and his former Some Girls bandmate Nathan Joyner.
In 2008, Pearson (co-owner of experimental/hardcore label Three One G) came to Joyner with “Let Me Think About It,” by Ida Corr, envisioning an aesthetic that replaced the palatable vocals with screams and discarded the cheesy breakdowns and generic lyrics.
“I thought it’d be rad if it had some balls,” says Pearson.
In May 2010, Zach Fiocca (7000 Dying Rats) drove to Detroit from Chicago with a trampoline on the roof of his car (at Joyner’s request) to join the touring group as a second percussionist in addition to Jung Sing (Maniqui Lazer). Also in May, Pearson's autobiography From the Graveyard of the Arousal Industry went to print.
All Leather has been remixed by Nick Zinner (the Yeah Yeah Yeahs), Melt Banana, Disco Villains, Shark Attack, Yip Yip, the Bloody Beetroots, Congorock, and Otto Von Shirach.
“When we play, the crowd loves it or the crowd hates it,” says Pearson, “and I’m happy with that. As long as people react, have a feeling, an opinion, then that’s good.”
An EP, LP, and two remix albums later, in September 2010, All Leather won a San Diego Music Award as Best Hard Rock Album, for their record When I Grow Up I Wanna Fuck Like A Girl. Echoing the brevity of Pearson’s previous groups, the nine-song album clocks in at about 23 minutes.
“It’s sort of like that futuristic, postapocalyptic aesthetic, but to a dance beat,” says Pearson. “I have all these pedals so I was, like, okay, let’s make it sound not like a guitar, not like a synth,” says Joyner, who produces electro tracks as Big Ears using the software he became acquainted with as a pornography editor. “Make it sound like a bus crashing into a UFO or something.”
In September 2010, All Leather was one of 42 artists featured on a David Bowie tribute album. We Were So Turned On includes their rendition of “Fame” amid covers by Duran Duran, Devendra Banhart, and Vivian Girls. Tracks from Radiohead, Nine Inch Nails, and MGMT never materialized due to recording and scheduling conflicts. The Manimal Vinyl release is a benefit for War Child, an aid organization for children affected by war.
July 2011 found Pearson and Joyner touring Europe with the reunited 1990s screamo band Swing Kids, renamed Blue Note and with Joyner sitting in for the late Eric Allen, who died in 1998. On their return, Pearson began planning to issue two of his books as a joint edition, with flexidisc inserts to include All Leather music.
“All Leather is no longer a band. No last show, no reunions, no final record,” Nathan Joyner told the Reader in January 2012. With drummer Jung Sing living in Mexicali, and synthesizer player Eric Livingstone living between San Francisco and Los Angeles, the logistics of simply being in the same room in order to write and rehearse became a financial burden.
“There’s no bad blood between anybody...we did have a whole albums worth of material, we just decided not to record it. It’s a waste of time and money to not tour on it, or play a show with it...we just decided to move on with other projects, ’cause everybody has something else going on.”
Leg Lifters, which consists of Joyner and All Leather vocalist Justin Pearson, continue to record for Pearson’s label, 31G. Pearson also sings for Retox, Sing plays drums in Maniqui Lazer, and Joyner drums for Hot Nerds.
In early 2012, Joyner’s duo, Ese’ & Zain (with whom Pearson occasionally guests) landed a bimonthly residency in Mexico, playing Yourevolution Bar in Tijuana.
Then, walking home from work in September 2012, Joyner was hit by a car while crossing Washington Street at Cleveland in Hillcrest. His girlfriend and bandmate Alia Jyawook (Hot Nerds, Vaginals, Ana/, Kata) says the police report clocks the car at around 35 miles per hour. Joyner suffered life-threatening injuries, including a serious head wound. Several local benefits were staged to help him raise money during his lengthy recovery.
Pearson and Joyner reconvened to record new All Leather songs in late 2013. "Justin and I started in early November after the Leg Lifters Radical Humiliaton 7-inch was finished with production," Joyner told the Reader. "We realized that our current production situation was much easier and practical than it was in the past. One of the main obstacles with All Leather was the distances between members. With new technology, we can work on new material from long distances and move at a comfortable pace, without the financial burden of transportation costs."
“The new sound is an accurate representation of our personalities as individuals,” said Joyner once two songs, “Insufficient Apology” and “You Too Can Steal,” were entirely finished. “We're just focusing on making a record that will stand the test of time,” Joyner told the Reader. “Something that will poke its head out of all the white wash currently being passed off as music.”
A new 7-inch on the Three One G label released in summer 2014 features “An Insufficient Apology” and a cover of Dave Van Ronk's “Luang Prabang,” limited to 500 copies pressed on colored vinyl. A video for “An Insufficient Apology” was directed by Dennis Bersales.
Singer/percussionist turned up in 2015 with a new band called Silent, alongside Andrea Varela, Rodo Ibarra, and Alejandro Lara.