Howard Leese is an American guitarist, record producer, and musical director who played with Heart for 22 years (1975 through 1997). He continues to record and tour as a solo artist, and as guitarist with The Paul Rodgers Band and Bad Company.
2009 saw the release of Leese’s first solo effort, Secret Weapon, through Frontiers Records. The disc includes special guest appearances by Joe Lynn Turner, Paul Rodgers, Jimi Jamison and Keith Emerson.
Howard is a longtime player and endorser of Paul Reed Smith Guitars. In 2009, Paul Reed Smith announced and launched the “Howard Leese Limited Edition Golden Eagle” in tribute to the #1 guitar that he played on stage for over 15 years. In the late 1970s, he performed live with the rare Sardonyx guitar.
Howard has used and endorsed Toadworks guitar effects since 2004. In January 2009, ToadWorks USA released the Howard Leese Signature Model analog flanger named Barracuda, after the intro in the Heart song of the same name).
HML Guitars was founded in 1994 by Howard Leese. As a woodworker and luthier, he participated in all aspects of construction as well as quality control. HML guitars were totally hand-built in Seattle by luthier Jack Pimentel. Pimentel has continued to build hand-crafted custom guitars under his own brand JP Guitars.