Leila was Girls Rock Dallas’ drum instructor and band coach at last year’s summer camp. She also plays drums for The Chloes.
She got into music as a little girl, and decided to learn guitar at the age of 13. Her first band, in high school, was Poor Uncle Walt. They had a female drummer, which inspired her to start playing drums. “She was so talented and she emenated this incredible understated power”. She has been playing drums ever since.
Leila plays on a Pearl set, and likes to keep it simple – using just one rack tom, a floor tom, and a crash. She likes to get out from behind the drum set and play on an electronic percussion pad (those things are so fun!) and keeps a wood block in the mix in case she’s feeling frisky.
She initially learned to play her understated subtle style by listening to Weezer’s The Blue Album, but pulls inspiration from all kinds of bands and beats.
When asked what her favorite parts of camp were last year, Leila stated, “Imagine this: 1 big room, 7 drum sets, 5 girls who’ve never played the drums, 2 drum instructors. Go! It was really a sight to behold and those girls rocked it! Also, being in charge of the youngest group whose ages ranged from 7 to 11 years old. Suffice it to say, their ‘band naming session’ was EPIC! If I ever start a side project, I might have to borrow some of their ideas! Another favorite moment was being the youngest group, one might expect their lyrics to be on the lighter side of life… ten minutes with a pencil and a notepad and the band’s singer (10 years old) had written the entire song. It started out ‘I’m running away from this country! I’m running away to be free…’ It was so deep and political. One thing is certain – these little girls are not to be underestimated! Also, getting to hang out with amazing ladies all week. So many talented and strong women and such a palpable sense of camaraderie. I wish every day was rock camp… And finally, afternoon dance parties. Need I say more?!”
Some advice Leila would give to upcoming performers? “You just start. The best thing about drums is you don’t have to know any chords or study music theory. You literally just start by hitting things and then the more things you hit, the better you get at hitting things. And then you’re a good drummer. And then you take over the world.”