New(ish) kids on the block, Limb, have recently released their self-titled debut and while it’s busy tearing their fans a new one, the London four-piece are gearing up to promote it with a launch show. The Shaman collared vocalist Rob and bassist Sam to get the lowdown on if life on a record label is making them big-headed and pick their brains about the lyrical content of the album…
Okay, so for those that have yet to check you guys out, talk us through a brief history of Limb and how you guys formed.
Rob: Jodie (drums) and Sam (bass) had the idea to start a heavy band, and started jamming together. After he asked very nicely, Pat was allowed to join on guitar, and rounded off the wall of noise. They placed an ad, which attracted a string of very odd demos from would-be singers, until I replied. So, in short, a fairly standard beginning—sorry that wasn’t more interesting!
You’ve released a split with GURT and shared a stage with some pretty big names, including Manatees and Conan, it’s fairly easy to pigeonhole you into the category of sludge/doom/stoner, but how do YOU describe your sound?
Rob: I certainly wouldn’t say we are straight-up doom or sludge, but there are elements and we are lucky enough to play with some amazing bands in those genres. Our influences are pretty varied, and the process of putting the album together really brought those out.
Sam: I think we play ‘glam doom’. I’m only half joking. Unfortunately we’re yet to incorporate sequinned capes into our stage attire.
Your first full length is out on the 14th, what have you got planned in the run up to this and, of course, once it’s released?
Rob: Just booking in more shows really, getting around the country and getting the good Limb name out to people. We’ll start writing some new stuff soon too, I should imagine.
How is life, since being signed, treating you?
Rob: Yeah it’s really good. NHS (New Heavy Sounds) are really good to us and the other bands on the label (Black Moth, Antlered Man and Cut Yourself In Half). They just ‘get it’ and are putting out good sounding and looking products without cutting corners. It’s great to work with people who are as passionate about the music as we are.
You touch upon some pretty heavy sounding subject matter in your lyrics and have some occult-sounding song titles, such as ‘Daemoness’ and ‘Twelve Ghosts’. What does it all mean and where does the inspiration come from?
Rob: Well Daemoness is mostly about Agrippina the Younger who was the Empress of Rome and sister of Caligula. She was seriously bloodthirsty and was known as ‘the empress of poison’. Twelve Ghosts is about how the Greek government ran a railway right through The Altar Of The Twelve Gods at the Acropolis. Basically anything that captures my imagination!
You’ve mentioned on Twitter that the inner gatefold to your LP is homage to a certain prog record. Care to reveal which one? What sparked that decision?
Sam: I’m interested to see if people can spot the homage, without us revealing it just yet. One thing I like about the record as an object is that it’s visually very striking—particularly Richey Beckett’s illustration and the centrefold photo of our faces—and it contains very minimal text. No lyrics, not even our names are on there. The band shot certainly isn’t what one expects from a doom record. We’re not stood looking moody in a graveyard, for example (though we do have photos like that from our early days!). But it’s good to push against a genre’s conventions, in musical and artistic content.
Best and worst experiences as a band since forming?
Sam: I’m pretty sure our best live experience was Desertfest 2013, when we played to a packed and raucous room at the Black Heart. Those times when we’ve had projects proposed to us by labels we’ve gone on to work with – New Heavy Sounds, and previously Witch Hunter – have been very exciting too. Not much tops the feeling of first holding a record that contains your own music though. That’s been a personal ambition since my early teens.
Worst experience? I’m not sure; probably best not to dwell on them. One show in Birmingham that we did was a right shocker, though. We’d been really excited: two of us are from the West Midlands and, of course, heavy metal also comes from there. But we had crazy technical problems, crap sound, we delivered a pretty poor performance, and we were ripped off by the promoter. In those occasions we usually resort to drinking hard enough for a bad night to become a good night, or at least a forgotten night. On the night in question, in Birmingham, we found solace in a 2-4-1 deal on Bacardi Breezers.
Any bands that are on your bucket list to share a stage/collaborate with?
Sam: The Smiths. More realistically, though: Morrissey.
Rob: If we could play with Goatsnake that would be amazing! Or maybe someone like Wishbone Ash or Sir Lord Baltimore.
Your vocalist, Rob, is a comedian; does the music and the comedy ever collide?
Rob: I try not to let the two worlds collide too much (in terms of being on stage). Limb are a very silly band off the stage and we love to get up to mischief, so that more than makes up for needing to be silly on stage with the band – I’m not really sure that would go down too well. I love both equally and I am extremely lucky to have two separate outlets.
What’s in store for the future of Limb?
Rob: We’re going to do a concept album featuring Paul Hogan of Crocodile Dundee fame called ‘It Came From Australia’ and it’s going to be a doom re-working of the score from his 1990 blockbuster ‘Almost An Angel’
Any final words?
Rob: “I told you that bleach doesn’t taste like Chewits!”
Interviewed by: Angela Davey