Lime Cordiale are a musical chimera. With a charming mix of upbeat indie-pop, soulful blues-rock and the occasional brass section, you don’t come across a band like Lime Cordiale often, and when you do, you tell your friends. Beginning with brothers Oliver and Louis Leimbach, Lime Cordiale have spent years cultivating a feel-good, laid-back ethos in the form of sonic sunshine, quirky visual art and playful charisma.
Having just played Sydney’s Fusion Festival and in between tracking their debut album, the lovable Leimbach brothers took time out from the studio to chat about what has been and what is still to come.
I’ve been across Lime Cordiale since Bullshit Aside – it’s still my favourite both live and recorded – but your sound as a band has matured greatly over the years. You can hear the shift on Feel Alright especially. Was it a natural progression or a conscious decision?
We’ve just finished tracking our debut album which feels like a shift in another direction, or maybe a combination of both. We’ve always spent a lot of time in the studio searching for something that resembles ourselves but this is probably the first time that it’s feeling really natural. It’s the first time we’ve worked with producer Dave Hammer. He’s the hardest working dude I’ve ever met and completely dedicated to finding out what’s in our head and getting it in the can.
One of my first introductions to your band was a video of the two of you rowing down a stream singing the very tongue-in-cheek Downstairs Area. Any chance of these back catalogue gems seeing the inside of the studio?
Haha that song closed our live set about two hundred times back in 2011/2012. It was fun to play live but I think it’s done its job. I’ve tried bringing it back a few times but I think it’s left us. Gone. So you’ll have to save that video before we get too self-conscious and take it off YouTube. There’s a few old songs that I’d like to revitalise such as a silly old tango-inspired song. I love a bit of Tango. I blast it in the car and do mainies up and down George St.
I’ve got a four-day limit with my younger brother before we start in on each other. How is it being both brothers and bandmates?
Yeah, we used to be like that but not so much anymore. I feel sorry for friends and girlfriends that want to hang one-on-one. Louis and I live together, work together and have many of the same mates, so we spend very little time apart. Maybe one day it’ll all blow up and we’ll never talk to each other again, but at the moment it works.
Does growing up with the same music must help with seeing eye-to-eye when it comes to the musical direction of the band, or the songwriting process?
Our musical knowledge can get competitive at times. If Louis knows a lot about a particular artist and I don’t, I’ll go into study mode to catch up. Same goes for songwriting and playing an instrument. At the moment we’re trying to out-do each other on the piano. We’re both practising in different corners of the house until one of us cracks it and goes to bed.
You’ve got a great range of influences – I credit your Spotify playlists to my introduction to Dr. Dog. What’s your top tracks right now, and what’s the perfect setting to listen to them?
Oh man, I always forget that people can see our Spotify activity. There’s probably some embarrassing shit on there. We share the same Spotify (Lime Cordiale) account so we both see what we’re both listening to. I’m looking through our saved songs now… love the Julian Casablancas-produced album by The Growlers, new Mac Demarco, Michael Kiwanuka, Liam Baily, Winston Surfshirt… our producer told us to get stuck into Kanye West but at the moment it’s not really working. We’ll keep trying, I guess.
The Lime Cordiale artwork is the perfect visual representation of your music, and it’s my understanding that Louis is the man behind it. Has the style been influenced by the music, or vice versa?
I think your creative taste just develops and matures as one big happy (or sad) family. Louis has always had a bit of pressure put on him with the album cover/merch/tour poster designs, but he seems to find a lot of his art inspiration elsewhere. It must be a nice break from music although he watches live concerts and music documentaries whilst he works.
You’ve nailed the band merchandise too, have you ever thought about expanding the Lime Co. brand to a clothing label?
Yeah, that’s our plan. We were hoping to launch it at the start of this year but it takes time and of course, money, which the album stole a lot of. Short answer; yep.
Your film clips are always full of colourful characters, and your LIMETV episodes tell us that that you’re not afraid to have a laugh at yourselves. Do you go in with a specific approach to the clips, or just let yourselves have a bit of fun with it?
We’re both interested in film. Our Dad is a filmmaker so we’ve always been surrounded and involved with the process. We’re pretty fussy with our music videos. Matilda Brown just directed our newest, unreleased music video and it’s looking sexy as hell. The Lime TV episodes are an attempt to break down the fourth wall and show people the not-so-glamorous life of a band like ours. It confuses me when people presume that we come back from a tour with money in our pockets, so these episodes are trying to expose some sort of truth.
Your live show is also pretty wild. I always aim for higher crowd as the crowd floods to the front. Any crazy fan experiences?
A little while ago we were playing in St. Kilda in Melbourne and a fight broke out in front of the stage. It was pretty full on and obviously pretty exciting as half the crowd followed the guys as they got pulled outside. We were left there waiting for the fight to settle down so we could carry on with the set. And a bit gutted that we couldn’t leave the stage to go watch.
You’ve got a few notches on your belts now! Sold out shows across the country, sharing the stage with plenty of Australian music big rigs, playing SXSW in the States. What’s your next adventure?
We took our first trip to New Zealand earlier this year and played some great shows so we’re trying to organise another trip ASAP. The West Coast of America has been great to us but we’re yet to go to the East. Also Europe. But really, anywhere’s good. I just love travelling and playing shows so anywhere we’ll get on a plane to go anywhere. Although, we turned down playing to the soldiers in Afghanistan. Not heaps keen on that.
You’re no stranger to the festival culture, most recently having played Tropfest And Party In The Paddock. If Lime Cordiale curated their own festival, where would it be, what would it be called, and who’s on the lineup?
A lot of bands don’t get added to festivals because they haven’t had much radio play, so I’d grab a whole bunch of those great bands. I love festivals like Bluesfest where you discover new music and take it home to show your friends. I’d call the festival “That’s Festy”.
Stay up to date with Lime Cordiale at www.limecordiale.com.