They are one of the most passionate homages to classic hard rock that has stood out in recent years: CoreLeoni, founded in 2018. In the center of the formation literally beats the musical (lion-)heart of guitar icon and GOTTHARD founding member Leo Leoni.
“I’m happy and honored to be a part of this new and exciting chapter! Thank you, Atomic Fire Records, for keeping the metal community alive and healthy, long live rock ‘n’ roll,” comments Leo Leoni, guitar player and the heart of the band. “I am following GOTTHARD since day one,” says Atomic Fire Records CEO and founder Markus Wosgien and adds: “They were the hottest hard rock act of the 90’s and I was always thrilled by their amazing riffs. Leo Leoni is a prodigy, he lives, breaths and plays rock ‘n’ roll like no one else. Luckily, I was able to work with GOTTHARD on their »Lipservice«, »Need To Believe« und »Firebirth« records, developed a friendship with the members and was also happy to see Leo going back to his more heavier roots with CoreLeoni. Now we are proud to welcome the band to the Atomic Fire Records family!”
In 2018, CoreLeoni surprised the rock community with their »The Greatest Hits – Part 1«, which was released seemingly overnight. The album, which revived the old GOTTHARD classics – and with them the spirit of the time – caused quite a stir. CoreLeoni‘s third work will be released in May 2022.
New on board with CoreLeoni is singer Eugent Bushpepa. With his powerful voice, he adds a whole new level of authenticity and old spirit to the songs. “I don’t think anyone has released an album like this in a long time,” Leo Leoni states. “Hardly anyone thinks and writes in this way anymore or still uses Les Pauls guitars and Marshall amps the way we do. Personally, as a rock fan, I’ve missed that a lot in recent years. And Eugent Bushpepa has turned out to be an absolute stroke of luck for that. He underlines vocally exactly what I feel like doing and what I want to hear on a new rock album.”
Born in Tirana/Albania, the musician and songwriter Eugent Bushpepa started his career early: already at the age of six, he won a national singing competition. After school, he moved to Bologna/Italy to study dentistry until he began his professional career with the band SUNRISE in 1998. With them, he opened for DEEP PURPLE and Duff McKagan (ex-GUNS N’ ROSES) among others. Since 2011, he has been working as a vocal coach for the TV format »The Voice Of Albania«. In 2018, he represented his home country at the »Eurovision Song Contest« in Lisbon (song: ‘Mall’) and reached the seventh position.
“The first time I actually noticed Eugent was at the ESC,” says Leo Leoni about him. “I liked his voice right away and I also liked his ESC song. Then when we got into the situation of having to look for a new singer, he immediately came back to my mind and I just contacted him. He was astonished at first and pleased alike. He is a great singer and an amazingly great person. He has an incredible amount of soul and emotion in his voice and his way of making music. That fascinates me a lot and I hope you guys out there as well.”
Watch out for the first new single to be unveiled in January 2022!
CoreLeoni are: Eugent Bushpepa (vocals), Leo Leoni (guitars), Jgor Gianola (guitars), Mila Merker (bass) and Alex Motta (drums).