Growing up in the NSW country town of Bega, Leif Helland began his musical career playing piano before taking up the viola in primary school. He focused on the viola for the next 10 years, studying under Veronica Wilcox, and later Vincent Edwards.
Leif played for a number of years with the Bega Valley String Orchestra, the Kameruka String Quartet, SALT String Quartet, and was one of the founding members of the Kameruka Bush Orchestra. He also played in a family band, The Hellands, with his elder brother Sven and younger sister Sigrid, performing at folk festivals around Australia until Sven moving away for university (as well as the arguments that can only be from the love between siblings).
In 2005 Leif traveled to Europe to perform with the NSW State School's Symphony Orchestra.
Leif completed his 8th Grade AMEB exam in just before graduating from the HSC. It was in his last years of high school that Leif began dancing with Fling Physical Theatre, a youth dance company based in the Bega Valley.
After finding this new love of dance, Leif auditioned to study at the Victorian Collage of the Arts (VCA). He was accepted into a Bachelor of Fine Arts (Contemporary Dance) at the VCA, so moved to Melbourne in 2008 to study.
Leif met Melbourne singer-songwriter, Matt Glass at a friends birthday party. Instantly they struck up a musical connection, and Leif joined the Matt Glass Band just after the release of their first album, Famous Last Words in 2011.
Upon finishing his dance degree, Leif began working with Melbourne based dance company Chunky Move in July 2012. He performed in two works by the company's new artistic director Anouk van Dijk. An Act Of Now (Oct. 2012), and 247 Days (March 2013).
Only weeks after the final production of 247 Days, Leif had a severe car accident which left him hospitalised for three months, lucky to be alive. During his rehabilitation Leif worked closely with Matt on a new instrument, the mandolin banjo (or Manjo as The Cannons fondly call it), as well as singing and arranging new material. Leif began performing again with Matt as a folk duo, and began producing and tracking Matt's second studio album, The Spaces in Between.
Matt and Leif toured up Australia's East Coast as a duo during the tracking process in mid-2014.
2014 also saw Aaron Allen joined the band on the mandolin and vocals; and between Aaron and Leif, The Loose Cannons were born.
After an almost full recovery after his accident, Leif returned to work as a dancer for a European tour with Chunky Move (247 Days, Nov 2014). He hopes to continue working and creating as a professional dancer in the future.
2015 saw another tour of the East Coast, this time with Aaron in tow, promoting various singles and releases from The Spaces Inbetween.
More recently Leif founded the Ferrous Wheel Arts Collective at a large warehouse in Preston, Vic. He and his colleagues hope to create a teaching and training space for the physical arts, as well as a support hub for local artists, artisans and performers.