Heavy Leef is led by rock guitarist and songwriter David Noel, who has remained fairly unknown since his beginnings in the mid 1980s. Noel has fronted or worked with several groups and musical projects over the years, including Plastic Overlords, I Almost Saw GOD in the Metro, and Alloy Now. An early DIY basement taper, Noel wrote and recorded his first single at age 19, quickly amassing hundreds of songs and albums that largely remained unreleased. The few who have heard Noel's music often comment on his unique and authentic blending of various forms of 70s British rock, including heavy psych, space rock, early prog, British heavy blues, and even new wave. One album produced by Noel that actually was released, Sonic Astronomy by Plastic Overlords, was listed by English music critic Basil Francis as one of the best albums of the last decade.
In the early 1980s, a teenage David Noel saw an ad claiming that if the Beatles could create Sgt. Pepper on a simple 4-track recorder, anybody could. Believing this hook, line, and sinker, Noel purchased a Fostex 4-track tape recorder and started producing his own primitive recordings.
Noel quickly amassed hundreds of songs - some so eccentrically recorded they included objects being dropped out of attics, percussion on pewter salad bowls and toy drum kits, and a revolving roster of musicians who came and went. Noel's vision to bring back classic British rock did not mesh well with the angry punk scene that greeted him in the late 1980s. At 21, he shelved his guitar to play bass for Phantom 309, a proto alternative band that included drummer Gary Held, co-founder of Tupelo Records and early collaborator with Nirvana in Seattle. Rather unwisely, Noel complained about the group's punk stylings and was promptly fired. Shaken by this early defeat and feeling increasingly alienated from the direction the music world was taking, Noel decided to return to home taping.
A fan of English "headphone" rock since his childhood, Noel dreamed of owning a Mellotron and making it the prominent instrument in his sound. The dream became a reality in 1993 when Noel took out his first bank loan to purchase a mid-1970s M400. Alas, despite high hopes, the temperamental instrument proved elusive whenever a recording button was pushed.