Tyson Leslie & The Scarlet Letters
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Tyson Leslie & The Scarlet Letters

Shawnee, Kansas, United States | Established. Jan 01, 2013

Shawnee, Kansas, United States
Established on Jan, 2013
Band Rock Pop


This band has not uploaded any videos
This band has not uploaded any videos



"Music part pleasure, part business for Shawnee rocker"

Tyson Leslie takes to instruments like a child takes to toys.

If you do not believe that, just check out the basement of his Shawnee house. On one side sits a keyboard, drum set and guitars. On the other are building blocks, Legos and other toys for his son.

Leslie has been a fixture on the Kansas City music scene for more than 15 years playing in a wide variety of bands. He may be most recognized for his work as keyboard player in Pomeroy, but that is just the beginning of his work.

Currently, he also leads ‘90s cover band 90 Minutes, plays solo gigs, and plays heavy metal in Banshee as well as occasional gigs with bands like Disco Dick and the Mirror Balls.

He also has a potential project with a well-known lead rock singer that he cannot yet divulge.

For Leslie, staying busy is part pleasure, part necessity.

“I’ve always needed to be busy,” Leslie said. “But also I have a family and bills to pay, so this is my job. I made the choice a while ago that I wanted to make playing music what I do, so there is no room for me to slow down.”

In the pecking order of his bands, Pomeroy comes first for Leslie. The original alternative rock band has been together for more than 10 years and has toured throughout much of the country.

“If we’re going out on the road, I usually find someone to fill in for me with the other bands,” Leslie, a Shawnee Mission South graduate, said. “With Pomeroy, we are usually actually out on the road, so that takes more of a commitment. But everyone in all my bands knows that they should go for whatever is going to get them the farthest.”

While Pomeroy can fill larger venues and headline dates, Leslie’s ‘90s cover band 90 Minutes plays to smaller crowds. The band has a weekly Wednesday gig at Jerry’s Bait Shop in Lee’s Summit and plays other venues in the Kansas City metro.

The band also includes Go-Go Ray, well-known local drummer and part of national touring act Mike Dillon’s Go-Go Jungle.

Leslie said the band has a catalog of about 200 songs from the ‘90s.

“A few years ago, I was thinking about forming a cover band,” Leslie said. “I had been in a ‘70s cover band and there was already a band, The Zeros, doing ‘80s covers. But there was nobody really doing only ‘90s songs that I knew of. And we’ve been sticklers about that. The songs can’t come from 1989 or 2000, it has to be from 90 to 99. We will go to Wikipedia to check the dates on some songs.”

Leslie plays bass and keyboards in the band and handles most of the business side, choosing the set list for most shows.

The ‘90s song he is most tired of playing?

“‘Possum Kingdom’ (by The Toadies),” Leslie said. “We started playing that one right out of the gate, so we’ve played that a lot.”

Leslie was born in Vietnam, and was raised in Greeley, Colo., but moved to the Kansas City area as a teenager. His mother said Leslie played piano since the age of 3 and even won several talent competitions as a child for his classical piano work.

However, at that point Leslie already had taken to the hair metal bands of the ‘80s and spent the award money from his first talent show on a guitar.

Leslie started playing gigs while still attending Shawnee Mission South, recalling that band members and club owners rushed him in just before the show and ran him out as soon as the curtain fell.

Now, Leslie said he is in a place where he still plays music with some of the major acts he opened for in the early ‘90s.

Leslie is still unsure how he will measure himself in the business.

“My wife always asks, ‘what is success to you?’” Leslie said. “And I really don’t know. I hate to sound like it’s all about money, but as I get older is about taking care of my family and paying my bills and making a living. But that doesn’t mean that I don’t want to go as far as music can take me.”

Despite a nice house in the Shawnee suburbs, a 3-year old son and wife, Leslie is still a rock star. Perhaps his most famous example came from playing with Pomeroy at a festival show in Omaha, Neb. Leslie set fire to part of his keyboards, not knowing the fire marshal stood in the crowd. After the show, the fire marshal told him he could be arrested, he said.

“As I am getting my things ready to possibly go to jail, one of the officers called me over,” Leslie said. “I thought, here we go, on my way to jail. But he told me ‘You’re not going anywhere, we’re all big Pomeroy fans.’” - By: Kurt Kloeblen Overland Park SUN


Still working on that hot first release.



Tyson Leslie has been part of the Kansas City music scene for over 20 years and has played on stage with some of the most influential musicians in music including Corey Taylor (Slipknot/Stone Sour), Gavin DeGraw, Paul Gilbert (Mr. Big), Carmine Appice (Vanilla Fudge, Rod Stewart, etc.), George Lynch (Dokken/Lynch Mob), etc... and was most recently seen touring with up and comers Red Line Chemistry opening for Whitesnake in 2013 for a handful of dates.

Leslie will be presented with a Lifetime Achievement award through the Project Backstage organization in April of 2014.  He was also awarded "Outstanding Musician" by Banzai Magazine in 2010.

But after years of playing in numerous bands around the Kansas City scene like Pomeroy, 90 Minutes, Disco Dick & The Mirrorballs, Simplexity, and many more, it was time for Leslie to finally release his first solo album that had been 20 years in the making.

The album "Train Wrecks, Havoc & Heartbreak" was written and produced solely by Leslie and aside from the drum tracks (provided by KC drumming legend Go-Go Ray), some amazing guitar solos, and some very special guest backing vocal spots, the record was recorded and performed by Leslie as well.

All rhythm and bass guitars, keyboards, and vocals were performed by Leslie. 

Additional appearances include:

Backup vocals:
David George (David George & A Crooken Mile)
Melissa Bollman (Switch)
Curtis Anderson (Disco Dick & The Mirrorballs/Baloney Ponyz)
Jason Reinhard (Sean McNown band)
Laura Roach (Solus)
Lyndsey Lou (Lost Wax)
Colby Gile (Stolen Winnebagos)
Shenon Bone (Retroactive)
Jason Molnar (90 Minutes)
Jacklyn Unruh

Guitar solos on select tracks provided by:

Samantha Fish
Tory Stoffregen (Enuff Z' Nuff/New Black Seven)
Freddie Francis (Saucy Jack)
Josh Johnson (The Slowdown/Wonderfuzz)

And percussion by David Fairbanks (Pomeroy), Go-Go Ray, and Leslie.

"Train Wrecks, Havoc & Heartbreak" was released worldwide on Tuesday, October 22nd.

Leslie's new ALL FEMALE live band THE SCARLET LETTERS will be performing dates throughout the Midwest beginning this Spring.

Band Members