Leo performing at the 2006 Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival
|Birth name||Theodore Francis Leo|
|Born||September 11, 1970|
South Bend, Indiana
|Genres||Punk rock, hardcore punk, power pop, indie rock|
|Occupation(s)||Singer, songwriter, guitarist|
|Associated acts||Citizens Arrest, Chisel, Ted Leo and the Pharmacists, The Both|
Theodore Francis Leo is an American singer, songwriter, and multi-instrumentalist. He is the frontman and lead guitarist of rock group Ted Leo and the Pharmacists, and in 2013, he and Aimee Mann formed the indie rock duo the Both.
Born in South Bend, Indiana, Leo grew up in Bloomfield, New Jersey, where his family was from, and spent many formative years in the hardcore punk scene of New York City during the 1980s and early 1990s. He graduated from Seton Hall Preparatory School in West Orange in 1988 and the University of Notre Dame in the fall of 1993 with a degree in English.
Leo was a founding member of the New York punk band Citizens Arrest in 1989. In the 1990s, Leo played in bands that included Chisel, Puzzlehead and the Sin-Eaters.
Ted Leo and the Pharmacists was formed in 1999 in Washington, D.C. The group recorded six studio albums between 1999 and 2010. Leo has also maintained a consistent presence as a solo performer since the 1990s.
In early 2013, Leo and Aimee Mann formed a duo called The Both, after Leo had toured with Mann for several months as her supporting act. He and Mann began writing songs together, and in March 2013, the duo performed their first show together as the Both (originally formatted as the hashtag #BOTH). Their self-titled debut album, The Both, was released in April 2014.
Leo released his debut solo album The Hanged Man on September 8, 2017. The album was inspired by several years of career and personal hardships, including the loss of a daughter in 2011 due to a late-term miscarriage in which Leo's wife was forced to go into premature labor.
For the 2019 animated television film Steven Universe: The Movie, Leo collaborated with Rebecca Sugar and Stemage to write the song "Independent Together". In the film, Leo voiced the role of Steg, a fusion of Steven Universe and Greg Universe. As Steg, Leo performed "Independent Together" alongside Mann (who reprised her role as Opal from the Steven Universe television series) and voice actress Deedee Magno Hall (as Pearl).
Family and personal life
Leo grew up in New Jersey before moving to South Bend to attend Notre Dame, where he formed Chisel. He then moved to D.C., and briefly moved to Boston thereafter. Leo has lived in Rhode Island since 2005, and he also maintained an apartment in New York City until 2016.
Leo met his wife, musician and visual artist Jodi Buonanno, in the late 1990s when both were touring in bands. She is credited with clapping, whistle, and background vocals on the Hearts of Oak album.
Leo is a vegan, and has served as a spokesman for People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals. He has made frequent radio appearances as a contributor to programs on WFMU, such as The Best Show with Tom Scharpling.
- Citizens Arrest cassette EP (1989, Lifetime Records)
- Soaked in Others Blood 7" EP (2012, Painkiller Records)
- See Thru 7" EP (1991, Next Generation Records)
- Animal Crackers/Whipped split 7" EP with Whipped (1991, Sound Pollution Records)
- Animal Crackers 7" EP (1993, Thrashing Mad Records)
- Chisel 7" single (1991, Assembly Records)
- Sunburn 7" EP (1994, Gern Blandsten)
- Nothing New 12" EP (1995, Gern Blandsten)
- 8 A.M. All Day (1996, Gern Blandsten)
- Set You Free (1997, Gern Blandsten)
- Hell No 7" EP (1991, Wardance)
- Skin Job (1992, Wardance)
Ted Leo and the Pharmacists
- Guitar for Jodi 7" EP (1999, Persona Records)
- tej leo(?), Rx / pharmacists (1999, Gern Blandsten)
- Treble in Trouble (September 2000, Ace Fu Records)
- The Tyranny of Distance (June 2001, Lookout! Records)
- Hearts of Oak (February 2003, Lookout! Records)
- Tell Balgeary, Balgury Is Dead EP (October 2003, Lookout! Records)
- Shake the Sheets (October 2004, Lookout! Records)
- Sharkbite Sessions EP (February 2005, Lookout! Records)
- Living with the Living (March 2007, Touch & Go Records)
- Mo' Living EP (March 2007, Touch & Go Records)
- Rapid Response EP (September 2008, Touch & Go Records)
- The Brutalist Bricks (March 2010, Matador Records) U.S. No. 114
- The Both (April 2014, SuperEgo Records)
- The Hanged Man (September 2017, self-released)
- "Oh, Death" (co-written with Scott Miller) on the Game Theory album Supercalifragile (2017)
- "Independent Together" (performed with Deedee Magno Hall and Aimee Mann) in Steven Universe: The Movie (2019)
- "I'm Looking Through You" on This Bird Has Flown – A 40th Anniversary Tribute to the Beatles' Rubber Soul (2005, Razor & Tie)
- Tedder, Michael (July 6, 2017). "Ted Leo Is Like You". Stereogum. Archived from the original on July 7, 2017.
- Cavalieri, Nate. "Biography: Ted Leo". Billboard. Archived from the original on December 14, 2015.
- Lomax, John Nova (April 16, 2007). "Gang of New Jersey: Ted Leo and the Pharmacists mingle rampant Europhilia with American Girl". The Village Voice. Retrieved December 25, 2007.
Bloomfield, Leo's hometown, is just west of New York City and just north of Newark.
- Almond, Steve (March 29, 2007). "Ted Leo". New Times Broward-Palm Beach. Retrieved March 10, 2011.
It's virtually impossible to figure out how Ted Leo became, you know, Ted Leo. Born in Bloomfield, New Jersey, Leo graduated from Seton Hall Prep and received a degree in English from Notre Dame. He is now a strict vegan and plays socially conscious punk music.
- Timberg, Scott (February 18, 2011). "Ted Leo takes an extended solo". Los Angeles Times. Archived from the original on September 19, 2015.
- Chavez, Danette (July 6, 2017). "Ted Leo announces new tour and album dates". The AV Club. Archived from the original on August 27, 2018.
- Gormely, Ian (September 7, 2017). "Ted Leo Uses Hardship as Fuel for The Hanged Man". Exclaim!. Archived from the original on September 8, 2017.
- Trumbore, Dave (July 9, 2019). "First Poster for 'Steven Universe The Movie' Reveals the Looming Threat". Collider. Retrieved July 20, 2019.
- Duguay, Rob (December 8, 2015). "Interview: Now Christmas collaborators, Aimee Mann and Ted Leo find common musical ground". Vanyaland. Archived from the original on February 12, 2018.
- Samons, Jamie (August 24, 2007). "The Independent Man: Punk Activist Ted Leo wants to know: Where have all the rude boys gone?". Rhode Island Monthly. Archived from the original on August 27, 2018.
- Boylan, J. Gabriel (April 2, 2007). "Never Mind the Politics, Here's Ted Leo!". New York Observer. Archived from the original on April 11, 2014.
- PETA2. "Ted Leo's Living With The Living". Archived from the original on November 6, 2015.
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