“We just wanted to make it heavy” – An Interview With Limb
With their profile steadily rising, 2014 looks set to be a great year for London sludge merchants Limb. Already gaining quite a reputation on the live front, and with a handful of acclaimed releases behind them, they unleash their self-titled debut album this month. Pure Rawk sat down with the band in the pub and had a chat about all things Limb.
“They had an advert on Gumtree, so I went down (to audition) and it was… good”, recalls frontman Rob Hoey of how he came to be in the band. “They had one song that was nearly finished and it was alright wasn’t it?” he says, turning to his band mates with a cheeky glint in his eye. “We got rid of it quite quickly.”
Hoey is very much the front-man of the band, unafraid to speak his mind and make jokes at the expense of his band-mates, but Limb were formed around the rhythm section of drummer Jodie Wyatt and bassist Sam Cooper, with the addition of Pat Pask on guitar (“They let me join out of sympathy”). They’re willing to admit that they hadn’t quite figured out their direction prior to Hoey’s arrival however… “It was our second rehearsal,” says Pat, “we just wanted to make it heavy.”
Citing their primary influences as bands like Eyehategod and Electric Wizard, with “Slade, Thin Lizzy and Wishbone Ash in there somewhere”, Limb are certainly heavy. Doling out the kind of riffs that can level buildings at 50 feet away, 2012’s self-released three track demo caught the attention of a lot of people, including London label New Heavy Sounds who promptly signed them. The band are full of praise for the label.
“I love working with them,” says Pat “Because they’re fans of the genre and for them it’s personal. I’ve worked with labels before where you’re just another band on the roster and you’re seen as a profit or a loss, these guys just love the music.”
“They’re very aware of keeping up the quality,” says Rob “they’ve put some really cool albums out and we know ours is going to have to sound like a professional album to the best of our ability.”
The record has been produced by Ross Halden (Blacklisters, Castrovalva), who can apparently “make drums sound amazing”, but the album was something the band hadn’t really thought about too much until signing to NHS.
“When we joined NHS they wanted to do the single with us first (2013’s Gift Of The Sun EP),” says Jodie, “but they were very adamant that they wanted an album, when we’d only actually got to the point where we were building our set. Then suddenly, it became about how we could make an album.”
“We had about five songs before and we wrote five for it” continues Rob “I think between us we have a short attention span so we naturally construct things quite quickly. The album is heavy, but not ‘with a load of fuzz’ heavy, more in the atmosphere it creates. The original stuff was a lot heavier but the album is a lot more refined. When you start a band you’re like ‘These are our influences, this is our sound’, but after a while you share your record collections and you go ‘Oh! I like Slade too!’ and stuff starts to creep in, bits and pieces that you wouldn’t originally have had.”
Pat agrees saying “When we started out we were writing stuff just for the purpose of writing a song, now we think ‘what is that going to do to the sound of the album?’”
One thing the band are very happy about is the freedom to make that sound their own. “If you’re on Fat Wreck Chords you’re going to sound like NOFX,” says Rob “whereas NHS is varied and although it’s all heavy, none of the bands are similar, there’s no particular sound. Some record labels will pass everybody through the same filters, so it’s exciting they’re not doing that. We’re really proud of the fact that Limb is not just a generic version of the sound we’re going for,” he continues, “we could just have been an Electric Wizard cover band. It’s really easy to go down that road and say ‘I really like them, this sounds like their riffs’ and it does happen (to bands). We have really tried to do something different.”
Limb’s debut album is released on 14th March on New Heavy Sounds.