Influenced by the likes of Robin Trower, Eric Johnson, Yngwie Malmsteen, David Gilmour, Gary Moore, Alex Lifeson and Paul Kossoff, Leon Todd’s current band/project is Ragdoll.

Leon Todd

Surrounded by guitars from an early age, Leon began playing the guitar at the tender of age of 4 years old, although not in an altogether serious manner. His father was not only a guitar player and rock and roll fanatic but also a luthier and guitar collector, so even though it took the best part of a decade, it’s no surprise that Leon decided to seriously pick up the guitar at the age of 14. Initially influenced by 70’s rock bands like Thin Lizzy, Status Quo and Deep Purple, Leon immersed himself in the guitar and the mystique of the instrument given to it by the likes of Page, Iommi, Blackmore, Vaughan and Hendrix.

By the age of 16 Leon was not only playing proficiently and writing and recording his own songs, but he was also teaching several students, some of whom were almost three times his age! It was around this time that Leon discovered players like Yngwie Malmsteen, Paul Gilbert and Randy Rhoads, players who coupled intense, fiery rock based playing with amazing feats of dexterity and technical control. Coupling this with early, blues based influences of players like Gary Moore, Robin Trower and David Gilmour, Leon set out to create a style which bought together the soul and fire of the great ‘feel’ players along with the virtuosity of the ‘shredders’. At the time guitar solos were the epitome of uncool of course and so Leon shied away from pursuing a serious career in music, for the time being…

Taking the time to complete a university degree in Mathematics and Science, it was at university that Leon was exposed to a greater variety of rock based music. His interest in progressive rock bands such as King Crimson, Rush and Genesis as well as classical music flourished around this time; it was as though with every year that passed he was delving deeper into an apprenticeship in the fine art of rock and roll! As fortune would have it, it was at this point that he met current Ragdoll drummer Cam Barrett and the two began to form a musical bond, spending the next 3 and a half years wandering from band to band, lineup to lineup, all in search of a group of musicians who they could play with to express their musical vision of a great rock and roll band that can really play their instruments! With the advent of the band Ragdoll, Leon found a vehicle for his musical expression that extended beyond the four walls of the small home studio he had assembled to record his ideas over the past 5 years.

Within the space of 12 months Ragdoll managed to play over 50 shows locally and throughout country Western Australia, including residencies at venues in Kalgoorlie, Bunbury, Katanning and Collie. Ragdoll also recorded and self produced an 8 track EP which garnered a lot of local attention and positive feedback and lead to Leon establishing his name as a notable up and coming rock guitar virtuoso. With the addition of Paul Cush in 2011, Ragdoll have become a twin lead guitar band in the mould of classic Thin Lizzy and have gone from strength to strength with Ryan Rafferty taking over vocal duties.

Leon is now busier than ever; writing the next Ragdoll album, teaching several nights a week and gigging regularly throughout W.A playing original and cover songs with Ragdoll and compiling ideas for an instrumental solo album somewhere in the pipeline. He is also constantly designing, modifying and building his own electric guitars with his father and someday hopes to run a custom guitar line. In the meantime, it’s back to the woodshed to keep on working on those licks…

Leon Todd: facebook  |  MySpace
Bio Photo by Crosbie Photography.