Part 2: Mortimer Leech, Age Unknown
When you’re in a band of undead pirates, it’s pretty hard to stand out. But Gov. Mortimer Leech, of The Widow’s Bane, fares just fine. We got to chat with him about music, women and money.
Wonderbound: How would you define your role in The Widow’s Bane?
Mortimer Leech: Um, their fearless leader. The star of the show, the President, the Emperor, the King.
Wonderbound: How old are you?
Mortimer Leech: Um, I’m not quite sure.
Wonderbound: Where were you born?
Mortimer Leech: I was born in London.
Wonderbound: Do you speak any other languages?
Mortimer Leech: Yes, but none that you would know; none that you would’ve heard of.
Wonderbound: How did you get to New Orleans?
Mortimer Leech: The nutshell version is that my skeeving, conniving whore of a wife put arsenic in me’ whiskey tumbler one night. And I coughed up copious amounts of blood and the next thing I knew, I was on the devil’s ship. And I was with a bunch of no-talent, lackluster fellows, who asked me to be the lead singer of the band, so that they had inspiring music to row to.
So it didn’t look like I had many options at that point. It was either do my best lounge act, or get thrown overboard. So I did what I could, and I guess it got me the job. And that job lasted some 300 years. And we went all kinds of places, in addition to New Orleans (notice how he says Or-leans), but we did frequent the docks of New Orleans for about 150 years.
And yeah, I got to know some of the locals there and some of the local lore. Spent some time in a meth lab out in the swamp. That’s not really narrowing it down, there’s millions of them. They got good meth down there, and moonshine. And Gator Burgers.
Wonderbound: Gator Burgers, huh?
Mortimer Leech: Oh yeah. You haven’t lived unless you’ve eaten a gator burger. In fact, you haven’t lived until you’ve died.
Wonderbound: So that actually leads me to my next question: Are you alive or undead?
Mortimer Leech: That depends on how you define it. If you define by having a beating heart, then I suppose no I’m not alive. But if you define being alive by having a measurable amount of passion, then I’m very much alive.
Wonderbound: Okay, so let’s go back to New Orleans because I know that’s where the Old Bayou song came to fruition. What drove you—like what mindset were you in when you decided to write it? Did something happen that spurred the story of “Old Bayou” into a song?
Mortimer Leech: Well, in fact—and I don’t like to admit this much. I wrote the song, but it was inspired purely by the lore that I heard when I was down there. I suppose more of the people who know those stories have died off now and been replaced by the descendants of drunk college kids that go down there to throw Mardi Gras beads at bare breasts. Back in the day, there was real culture and real understanding of the history of the land down there. That was all just non-fiction, “Old Bayou” was. There actually was a Bruja there in the swamps who would come up there back in the 1500s, and she was a shape shifter. She’s take the shape of an alligator and in her human form, she seduced a very talented puppeteer and put him to work for her—snatching up children so that she could maintain her immortality by absorbing their souls.
Mortimer Leech: Well, I thought it was quite inspiring and creative. It gave me a lot of ideas. I tried my hand at puppeteering. I just don’t have the knack for it.
Wonderbound: Well what do you think of ballet?
Mortimer Leech: Ballet? I don’t.
Wonderbound: And what about dance, period?
Mortimer Leech: I’m a pretty good dancer, ya know. In fact, down at that sneak preview the other day, I was teaching those so-called dancers a thing or two.
Wonderbound: I saw that. I wonder how you feel about your song being turned into a dance.
Mortimer Leech: Oh, well I think it’s honestly…I think it’s a disgrace. But I will sell my soul or my integrity for any amount of money, and the price was right.
Wonderbound: Okay. And your fellow bandmates; did you meet them aboard the ship or did they just like…did you pick them specifically?
Mortimer Leech: No, I met them all on the ship. Not all of them rode ashore when the devil’s ship was sank. We were like a 13 piece band on the devil’s ship. When we rode ashore, only 6 of us had made it. I thought the rest were dead, but through social media, turns out a lot of them had survived, and they’ve been making their way to Boulder to join the band. Which is lucky, because I’ve had to send a few of them to hell since we got here. So they’ve been getting replaced.
Keep reading at the top →
Get your tickets here:
Saturday, October 20 at 7:30 p.m.
Sunday, October 21 at 2:00 p.m.
Parker Arts, Culture & Events
20000 Pikes Peak Avenue
Parker, CO 80138
Friday, October 26 at 7:30 p.m.
Saturday, October 27 at 7:30 p.m.
Sunday, October 28 at 2:00 p.m.
Performing Arts Complex
at Pinnacle Charter School
1001 W. 84th Avenue
Denver, CO 80260
Wonderbound: You use social media?
Mortimer Leech: We don’t, but our PR feller uses it. I take a lot of selfies, if that counts for anything. And I give them to the PR guy so that he can send them out to the target audience at the right time to get get the most people viewing me.
Wonderbound: Now here’s another question. How did you meet your band manager, Clay Rose?
Mortimer Leech: Oh, well, I had heard of him when we first came to town. He had a band put together. He seemed to be pretty well acquainted with the venues and booking agents in the area. And uh, back in my prime, I had no problem gettin’ gigs. But the times have changed, by the time we got here. There’s a lot of hipsters and people weren’t taking us quite seriously. But this feller Clay Rose, he said he could make us some money. So I gave him a shot. It’s a non-exclusive deal, obviously. I would never sign an exclusive deal with somebody who’s evidently as spineless as he is.
Wonderbound: And what about Garrett and Dawn? Are they cool? Not cool? Do you like how they’re collaborating with you?
Mortimer Leech: Oh yeah, they show a respect, you know. And they write checks that don’t bounce. I mean honestly, I respect what they’re trying to do here. The odds are really stacked against them, you know what I mean. Trying to bring culture into a place that’s more suited for someone like me—a capitalistic society that’s pretty shallow. It’s all about who has the biggest ego, and so honestly..I think they’ll fail miserably. But I wish them the best.
Wonderbound: Okay, a little off topic but. If we were to bayou a…let me back up-
Mortimer Leech: Was that a pun?
Wonderbound: Yes, it was. Do you wear bowties?
Mortimer Leech: Of course.
Wonderbound: Okay, so if we buy you a Wonderbound red bowtie, will you wear it at opening night or something?
Mortimer Leech: Sure, but I prefer pink.
Wonderbound: Okay cool. And um, are you married?
Mortimer Leech: No, good god. I mean, I officially never got a divorce-
Wonderbound: From that lady that poisoned you, right?
Mortimer Leech: Yeah that’s right. I would’ve done away with the ring a long time ago, if it wasn’t 22 carat gold.
Wonderbound: You still wear it?
Mortimer Leech: Oh yeah. It keeps the hussies away, ya know.
Wonderbound: Got it. You live in Boulder. Why?
Mortimer Leech: Well one of my great heroes of capitalism lives here, Mr. Steven Tebow. Me and him have very similar values. And there’s actually quite a few of us [out] here. Us cut-throat capitalists. They’re all about killing the poor to feed the rich here, which is my really my kinda place.
Wonderbound: But there’s no water.
Mortimer Leech: I don’t need water.
Wonderbound: You don’t miss that boat life?
Mortimer Leech: Hell no. I did nothing but try to get off that boat since I got on it. I didn’t get there by choice. I never wanted that. You can’t make any money on a boat.
Wonderbound: Okay, so last question. I spoke to your manager about eventually creating “Mortimer’s Favorite Hits.” Would you wanna do that, like put in five or six songs that are on your must listen to playlist?
Mortimer Leech: Yeah absolutely. There would be some Spice Girls on there.