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Volume 90, Issue 80
Friday, February 14, 1997
A little lip balm goes a long way
©Gazette file photo
WHO'S NEXT TO SEE THE DOCTOR? The boys in Limblifter wait fearfully in line. The band brings its act to Call The Office tonight.
By Jennifer Leonard
"We're nominated for two Junos. Best New Goof and Best Dance Track," says Limblifter drummer Kurt Dahle.
Talking with Kurt one half of Limblifter's brotherly content was entertaining to say the least. Fortunately, I was privy to his sardonic humour.
It was the spring of 1996 and Limblifter was on tour promoting its first full-length, self-titled album. I had ventured westward to the rugged coast of Oregon. It was one of the most capricious nights to ever go down in history: Kurt was a lip-pierced, Vespa-driving, drummer man; Portland presented a mean bean burrito and I will refrain from wearing socks with Birkenstocks if I am ever to sit backstage with Limblifter again.
And now Limblifter is made up of Dahle, his frontman brother Ryan and bassist Ian Somers. The Dahle brothers are Regina natives and are very talented musicians. Not only do they make up two-thirds of Limblifter, they are also an integral part of Age of Electric, a group which has put out three records in eight years and will be releasing its fourth on Feb. 25. Being in Limblifter gives Kurt and Ryan "a chance to do something else. . . whatever we want.
"The next Limblifter album is going to be pretty weird [with] songs [that] aren't as radio-friendly," Kurt says. "But it will probably be just as good."
On top of co-producing and playing in two successful bands, Kurt also produced and played drums on The Bloody Chiclets album.
"I did it as a favour to the guys," he relates.
Limblifter's album cover is designed along the lines of a '50s era mail- order catalogue. Kurt had a bunch of old catalogues lying around and everyone in the band liked them. When asked if he subliminally wanted to come out with Limblifter fashions, Kurt says, "I hate clothing lines. If I had my own clothing line, it would be stuff I picked up at Value Village and put my name on the inside."
Good music, according to the musically-versatile Kurt is, "Something different. Anything that doesn't sound like anything else." Agreeing that good music can come from a variety of sources, Kurt admits, "Sometimes even ignorance can make good music because it creates something so totally off."
Limblifter has been promoting its self-titled debut since the record's release in early 1996 by touring North America and making music videos. Limblifter made several appearances in Ontario over the summer months, including Edgefest '96. This week has seen acceptance of Limblifter's fourth release "Cordova," via MuchMusic, which has granted the band deserved video play for the previous three singles.
"[Limblifter] is a word we used to use in our language. It meant lip balm," Kurt explains. "Ralph [a.k.a. Ryan] was addicted to it for a while but I don't see him use it as much anymore. He got kinda' hooked on Fisherman's Friend after that."
Ryan is the creative inspiration behind the majority of Limblifter lyrics. Younger brother to Kurt, he also sings lead vocals, plays guitar and organ, is co-producer (with Kurt and friend, Krisjan) of Limblifter's record, has well-lubricated lips and can currently be identified by his minty fresh breath.
Limblifter is happy with Canadian label MCA/Universal and not so happy with American label Mercury. "We just ditched them," Kurt says.
Kurt admits he is "completely opposite to a perfectionist" and Ryan is "more of a worker." Their combination, with bassist Somers, works well together and allowed the trio to record its first album on a four-track tape in about 10 days.
Limblifter is fittingly nominated for two Juno awards, no joke this time. Best New Group and Best Alternative Album.
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Copyright © The Gazette 1997