Interview: Limblifter Find New Legs with “Pacific Milk”
In 2014, Ryan Dahle deservedly found himself back in the spotlight as his experimental-pop rock act, Mounties, began to take off. Flanked by fellow Canadian music scene veterans Hawksley Workman and Steve Bays (ex-Hot Hot Heat, Fur Trade), the trio’s debut album, Thrash Rock Legacy, was a refreshing record brought to life by what many deemed to be a ‘super group.’
For Dahle, he’d already been a force within a few bands many considered pretty super: The Age of Electric and Limblifter. While the former has long since disbanded, Limblifter is Dahle’s and capable of being resurrected at any point. However, seeing that the last Limblifter album, Eye-Oh, came out in 2005, many could’ve believed that the vocalist, guitarist and studio hound had permanently moved on.
“I thought I was digging in to be a studio rat,” offers Dahle while in conversation with Riffyou.com. “I still am – I’ve built up a lot of studio gear and have slowly over the years become a mastering engineer. I still love doing that. I enjoy every aspect of making records, for sure. Every part of the studio is very exciting to me. For a long time, I’d lost the drive to play live. But now, it’s definitely back.”
Dahle’s resuscitation of Limblifter came from many circumstances. Firstly, outside demand saw the band’s masterful 2006 Self-Titled debut get reissued in 2012. Secondly, Dahle had been compiling new songs over a four-year span that he felt would fit nicely under the Limblifter umbrella. But, he still needed a shove: enter his Mounties bandmates.
Recalls Dahle: “The songs were in the demo state just sitting there in limbo and the energy I’ve felt by playing with Hawksley and Steve has changed my whole outlook. This record was finished with a lot of the energy that came from their excitement over the demos.
“Hawksley is such a powerful force in my life now…he’s a positive force for me,” continues Dahle. “Him being excited about this music definitely injected some belief that I could finish this album and make it great.”
Available April 7 will be Pacific Milk, the end result of those encouraged demos. Joined by Megan Bradfield, (bass), Brent Follett (drums), and Greg MacDonald (keyboard), the latest edition of Limblifter brings us palatable experimental alt-rock that’s mixed with enough hooks to keep listeners out of the rain. Just don’t expect a paint-by-numbers type of album.
Says Dahle of Pacific Milk: “I don’t really start out with a clear intention of what I want to talk about or what I want to write about – it just [depends on] what I’m thinking about, stories I’ve read, or things that friends or I are going through. I do try to tie things together, though. Sometimes if I have an idea, I like for it to wind through a few different songs.”
Dahle goes on to explain that much of his creative process is about getting in the room with people and seeing what comes from that. However, whenever he has an idea, it’s quickly taken note of and/or recorded. He doesn’t like carrying ideas around and risking the chance of losing something special.
In all, what Dahle hopes for in the long run is the ability to continue making the music that makes most sense to him. While many will still identify he and Limblifter as a project born and bred in the ‘90s, right now it’s all about staying committed to the moment.
“I never question why people are into certain bands or the era they’re from. I think more about trying to keep my headspace in the right spot,” concludes Dahle. “I am not a very jealous guy when it comes to success. I feel very happy with what I’ve done and I’ve stuck to my guns for my whole career – that’s what I want to keep on doing. I don’t want to move or shift for the current trends and I don’t want to move or shift based on what people want from me. I want it to be legit.”
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