Limblifter: Year of the Dahle

by Guest

By: Angie Valente

“Tinfoil”. “Vicious”. “Cordova”. “Screwed it Up”. “Ariel vs Lotus”. “Wake up to the Sun”. “Perfect Day to Disappear”. Chances are, if you’re a fan of Canadian rock music, you’ve heard a Limblifter tune or two. At a time where we’ve seen a strong resurgence of many CanRock bands of the 90s (Big Sugar, Big Wreck, Tea Party, Wide Mouth Mason, I Mother Earth, Treble Charger, Rusty) Vancouver, B.C. exports Limblifter, who formed in 1995, are too, at it again.

Setting Limblifter apart from many of their contemporaries is a hard working attitude, and DIY approach, no doubt stemming from the mid-90s when the music scene looked and sounded quite different. Overnight success, reality shows, and social networking as we now know it were a foreign animal. Playing a music festival showcase never ensured a fairy tale ending. Limblifter front man Ryan Dahle says that, “I don’t believe in the romantic notion of someone seeing your band, pulling you from the ditch and making you massive. Success only comes from tenacity, at least in my experience. We needed to fund and create our own recordings and videos and develop ourselves as a live act in order to get attention.”

Leader Dahle, drummer Brent Follett, bassist Megan Bradfield and keyboardist Greg MacDonald are back in the studio (it’s been a while since 2004’s I/O) and want to make a record that not only stands up to, but overshadows the Limblifter back catalogue. That’s not to say the record will have a defined musical direction. Dahle simply doesn’t think in those terms. “I make up things and record them. I don’t try to create things that fit into formats, that’s why I’m not a huge success. I’d make music I want to hear and hopefully others will want to hear it as well.” Let’s just hope we don’t have to wait too long.

The band reminded Toronto music fans that they were once again, a force to be reckoned with, with a packed North by Northeast show at Lee’s Palace this past June, and an overwhelming response at that. Hardcore fans and collectors were more than happy to purchase the vinyl re-release of their 1996 self-titled debut, on manager Eric Warner’s label, We Are Busy Bodies.

No strangers to the Toronto festival circuit, Limblifter recently rocked The Legendary Horseshoe Tavern as part of the Collective Concerts showcase at CMF just last week. Dahle took some precious time out from recording to share his experience. “I don’t mind playing these festivals, but you definitely need to embrace the mayhem that is created by arriving at a small club and playing with 6 other bands. It was great to see many music industry friends at our show. I don’t get to Toronto very often, so it’s good to catch up with people and learn about what is going on in the Canadian music business, which is completely separate from what is happening in Vancouver.”

Vocalist/guitarist/producer/writer Ryan Dahle stays sharp as a musical multi-tasker with a full plate. Besides recording new Limblifter material as we speak, he also co-produced the new K-os album, Black on Blonde. He’s a member of the band Mounties, a newly formed indie super group he co-founded with pals Steve Bays of Hot Hot Heat and singer-songwriter Hawksley Workman. You may be familiar with their radio friendly tune “Headphones”.

Months ago, at Lee’s Palace, Dahle had told me the band was originally called Thunder Bay (how ironic, my hometown) so I’m naturally crushed every time I hear the radio DJs announce the new name. However, Dahle assured me that the song files on his laptop are still under the original band name. This makes me happy.

And of course, as Age of Electric’s biggest fan, I had to enquire about the status of this new album I continue to catch wind of. Four songs have already been recorded. Finally. “I just need to find the time to mix them now. I’m also finishing work this month on a Hot Hot Heat album that I’m co-producing and recording with Mounties. But today we are recording Limblifter songs, so I must go.” And without further ado he vanishes, off to tend to his Dahle-like duties, for 2013 is truly shaping up to be, the year of the Dahle.

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