Facebook R&B crooner Mario has been relatively quiet on the music front for…
- Posted on Jun 6th 2012 3:00PM by Sarah Kurchak
Although the band, originally a side project for Age of Electric's ridiculously prolific guitarist and writer Ryan Dahle's extra songs, never officially broke up, they've been mostly inactive since releasing and touring their third and last record, 2004's I/O. That's all about to change, though, thanks to a vinyl rerelease of the band's eponymous 1996 debut album in July, and a pair of shows in Hamilton and Toronto for NXNE (June 14 and 16 respectively) to celebrate. If all goes well, Dahle is even willing to consider a brand new album.
In honor of the band's triumphant return, Spinner talked to Ryan Dahle about the self-titled disc, the future of Limblifter, and the possibility that one of the songs from the soon to be re-released record might have inspired one of Aerosmith's biggest hits.
What made you decide to re-release Limblifter on vinyl, and why now?
Well, a guy by the name of Eric Warner, who has a label called We are Busybodies, he found out, somehow, that the first Limblifter was never released on vinyl. He grew up listening to that record and he thought that it was important somehow to release it. So it was his idea. It's his fault.
Was this an idea you'd considered before? Or did his suggestion come completely out of the blue for you?
I don't really think about re-releasing new material for the most part. We've had some offers to re-release Limblifter with Universal and they also offered to re-release Age of Electric and we said no both times because they didn't want to write off the small amount of debt that we had owed them. And they also wanted to release it in one of those... you know when you go to the drug store and you see those silver 20th Anniversary Masters or whatever they are? They wanted to do one of those and we just thought that would be hokey. I mean, it might have made us a lot of money, but we didn't give a shit.
Yeah, that's really not in line with what I remember about Limblifter or Age of Electric.
And that's what's important to me is that people have a memory of those bands and we just don't want to disturb that memory. Which brings us to coming to play there, which is strange, but it's going to be fun.
I've written all of these songs and I can't really play them live, so it's kind of a nice opportunity to be able to play some of those old songs live. I have this whole catalogue of songs that I wrote, I wrote a lot of the Age of Electric songs as well, and I wrote all of the Limblifter songs. So it's good to be able to play a whole catalogue worth of material.
Are these shows going to feature career-spanning sets, then?
Yeah. I think we're gonna mostly focus on the first record because of the re-release, but we will play a lot of songs from Bellaclava, the second record and the last record, I/O, as well.
Is your brother Kurt [Dahle, of Age of Electric, New Pornographers and early Limblifter fame] going to be joining you for these shows?
I kind of looked at a list of the people who have been in the band and I asked my brother and he was interested but he had already agreed to play some dates with Neko Case. So he's actually in Salt Lake City that night.
Do you have any plans for the band beyond the re-release and the two gigs?
I don't know. This has just kind of come up. Before this came up, I'd written probably a double album's worth of material for a new solo record. But I started thinking that there's an element of certain songs that sound like Limblifter to me. I'd kind of abandoned that name after the I/O record. I thought maybe I'd do a solo record, because the material sounded different than Limblifter, aside from a couple of songs. But I think what I've done is written a solo record and a Limblifter record at the same time. So if there's enough excitement about Limblifter and enough profile, I might release one as a Limblifter record and the softer stuff as a Ryan Dahle record.
When Limblifter came out in 1996, I remember a certain amount of discussion about the song "Beard of Bees." One interviewer asked you if the song was about oral sex, and your answer was pretty cagey. Sixteen years later, are you willing to shed some light on the subject?
I don't remember what I wrote it about. I wrote it for Age of Electric and we were in Little Mountain studio, so about '92 or something. Aerosmith was recording across the hall, and every morning Steven Tyler would come in like, "Hey guys!" and hang around. It was so cool to have Steven Tyler there.
I'd written the song some time before that, and we had tried to do it, but it was just too light for Age of Electric. But, if you think about it, on the record that Aerosmith made at the time, they had that song "Crazy" on it. It was also in 6/8 time in the key of D. I remember at the time, people were saying, "Oh wow! Did they take that from you? You should sue them." And I was like, "Well, they would have to countersue us for everything we stole from Aerosmith" because Aerosmith was so cool. When I was young, albums like Rocks were amazing.