Leæther Strip is a Danish musical project founded on January 13, 1988 by Claus Larsen. Its influence has been most felt in the electronic body music and electro-industrial genres. Perhaps to a certain extent, it may have influenced various film score productions. Leæther Strip was one of the earliest and most prominent acts on Germany's now defunct Zoth Ommog record label. For distribution outside of Europe, the music has been licensed to the U.S. labels Cleopatra Records and Metropolis Records. After the demise of Zoth Ommog in 1999, Larsen signed to Bloodline Records, which only released a single before also going out of business. Since 2005, Leæther Strip is signed with the Belgian Alfa Matrix label.

History

According to founder Claus Larsen, Leæther Strip is, and always will be, only him. Larsen was born on November 13, 1967 in Aalborg, Denmark. He first released music under the name of Leæther Strip in 1989. However, his 1995 release G.A.W.M.U.S. (Getting Away With Murder U. S.) included two early demos from 1982 and 1984, with the latter forming the unknown beginning of the band according to an interview conducted with Claus Larsen. In 1991, Larsen created a side-project called Klute in which he also remained the sole member.

It can be argued, and is by many, that the sound of Leæther Strip throughout the early 1990s helped define what is today known as electro-industrial. In a search performed on MySpace on December 1, 2008, 294 bands had listed Leæther Strip (or "Leather Strip") as a musical influence, although the true number of bands influenced by Larsen's work is undoubtedly much higher. In 1994, Claus Larsen drastically changed the sound of Leæther Strip, with the release of a synthesized semi classical album. Conceived as a soundtrack to a fictional film, it was named Serenade for the Dead. The releases since then have reincorporated electronic dance elements, and have redefined Leæther Strip into what Larsen calls, "symphonic electro".

Leæther Strip remained silent for several years after the release of the single Carry Me in 2000 and the official band website, which once contained a wealth of information regarding the project, was taken offline. In foreshadowing the return of his band, Larsen's remix of the band KiEw's song Graograman on the Diskette EP (2003) states at the beginning of the song, in a sing-song computer-generated voice, "Leæther Strip will return for more electronic mayhem". In an interview conducted late 2005, Larsen revealed that label issues, as well as personal concerns, caused the dormancy of the band during the 2000 - 2005 period.

October 28, 2005, marked the official return of Leæther Strip with the EP release Suicide Bombers on the Alfa Matrix label. Claus Larsen opened a blog to inform fans of his current activities and progress on the project. A string of releases followed including the 2-CD album After the Devastation, and the 2006 EP releases Walking on Volcanos and Fætish. Also in 2006, Claus Larsen released a free song via his MySpace page, a remix of Frank Tovey taught me things. The song was subsequently downloaded over 10,000 times.

On April 13 2007, Leæther Strip released the album The Giant Minutes to the Dawn. It was made available in several editions, including a special limited edition box-set which includes the band's first DVD release. According to various reviewers, the album constituted the "true" return of the band to classic Leæther Strip form.

In a post to his MySpace blog made in late November 2008, Larsen announced his intention to develop a live show for a small run of exclusive engagements in 2009. Two shows took place in Denmark in April 2009, and Leaether Strip has been confirmed to perform at the Power Strip Festival in the USA and the Amphi Festival in Germany during Summer 2009.

Via a video teaser on YouTube Claus Larsen announced that the first Leaether Strip album The Pleasure Of Penetration would be re-released as a remastered double CD set on November 13, 2007, Claus Larsen's birthday, under the title Retention n°1. The release is part of an ongoing box series through which Claus Larsen will re-release his complete back-catalogue via the Belgian label Alfa Matrix. Each re-release will have both the fully remastered version of the original album on disc 1 and on the second disc, a totally re-written and reinterpretation of some selected songs from the original album by Leaether Strip himself re-recorded with current technologies. The original track-list on disc 1 has been extended to 15 tracks with the addition of early 12" tracks and other rarities of the period.

Larsen's lyrics for Leaether Strip are often frank and direct, sometimes to the point of being hostile. Political songs include the anti-Nazi song "AEighty AEight" which contains the chorus "You are not human / You are not soldiers" as well as the song "Suicide Bombers" (On the Suicide Bombers EP) with its chorus question, "Who told you to die that way?" More frequently, Larsen explores his own personal issues in the same open fashion, resulting in many tracks that are simultaneously aggressive and introspective.