Kurt Dahle speaks about Limblifter

Limblifter are Ryan Dahle (various instruments, vocals, and main songwriter), Kurt Dahle (drums and vocals), and Ian Somers (bass), and they hail from Vancouver. The self-effacing nature of the band was even more obvious when I spoke to Kurt, right from his description of how they recorded the music, to his reaction at having acquired a lot of radio popularity in the last few weeks.

Limblifter were in an enviable position when they were signed to Mercury records. While the Mercury Record Executives were fawning over their 4-track demo, they were busy recording their first album on stolen two-inch tape reels. Thus by the time the signing deal was done, the major label could not influence their creativity on their first album in any way. That approach seems like a wise one for up-coming unsigned bands. Kurt says that when they were in the process of recording, they "never thought it'd end up on the radio" and that one should "just do what you want to do with the music and if you get a good deal, then go for it."

Apparently Limblifter has had its share of offers. The Dahle brothers have been on the Canadian indie scene for a long time (one incarnation, Age of Electric, will be releasing a album on Mercury Records soon) on many indie labels, and their move to a major prompted the question: why? Kurt displayed his affection for the indie scene, saying that "there's a lot of great music out there" and he said that they had been offered to be signed before, but they picked this one was because it was a good deal and it offered them the greater distribution they wanted. The band apparently enjoys working with Mercury records, and plan to put out a multimedia CD version of their debut album soon in the future.

The songwriting process which seems relatively involved when you listen to the album, doesn't seem that way anymore when you hear Kurt describe it. Ryan apparently "plays around with the guitar and records a rough version and brings it to rehearsal", and the band fills in the rest of the music spontaneously. Kurt cites, among others, the Cars, as one of his favourite bands. After listening to Limblifter, there's a distinctive Cars' sound in some of the tracks in Limblifter's self-titled release. Kurt also cites Superfriends' (a Canadian band) and Swervedriver's latest releases, along with Pavement's Wowie Zowie as some of his favorite records in the past year. Again, a bit of these bands' music (except Superfriends', who I have not heard) is present in Limblifter. In fact, Limblifter are an amalgamation of many of the better Alternative Rock acts out there today---there's a bit of everything.

While the Dahle brothers have enjoyed sucess on the Canadian independent scene, and while the album has generated quite a bit of radio airplay, they have never toured as Limblifter. There's a tour in the works, starting April 10th in Vancouver and spanning the entire eastern seaboard of the U.S. It remains to be seen whether the band can also cut it live, and that should make for an interesting show. Look for them coming to your area soon!

Music ram-blings || Ram Samudrala || me@ram.org || April 4, 1996