Dynamic brother duo Lime Cordiale current ‘Money’ tour is blessing Australia and N.Z. with an iconic blend of chilled jazzy pop, and will drop in to Sydney for Bad Friday on April 19. We chatted to Oliver Leimbach, one half of the outfit, about all things touring, toxic masculinity and the pressures of Sydney life.
BYO: What’s been your favourite aspect of the Australian and N.Z. ‘Money’ tour so far?
Oliver: Being down in Melbourne is always great. Every venue has great food and great booze and the venues are always so well put together. Sydney is going one way with the drinking and nightlife culture and Melbourne is going a complete opposite way. Even simple things like you can walk out the front of the pub with your beer and stand on the curb, and you look down the road and everyone at every other pub is doing that so it just feels really friendly in a way. You feel like you can approach anyone and say g’day.
BYO: Are there any challenges that come with creating music and touring with your brother?
Oliver: Not really. I think it is more frustrating for other people, because we can gang up on them. But we are used to it and feel like we have a pretty good dynamic. We are still working things out on how to create and tour but it seems to be getting easier rather than harder. The only challenge can be when one of us shows the other a song that they don’t really like. That’s when it’s really great because a producer or band member can come in. I was thinking yesterday, I wonder when it is going to blow up and we are going to have one of those family feuds and never talk to each other again? But we are still waiting for that to happen.
BYO: Could you tell us a little bit about what was behind your latest track ‘Money’?
Oliver: Louis originally wrote the lyrics about a friend that was just so obsessed with money and status, which become a bit of a theme for this album we are working on at the moment. It’s about how money shapes society in Sydney in particular, and the pressures that come with that. Coming in to your late 20s, a lot of people have already got a shitload of money and as artists you have so many things pushing you back and saying you can’t do this because you’re not making money.
BYO: It feels as though a lot of your songs explore human weakness and the difficulties of living your authentic self. Are these themes you like to explore in your music?
Oliver: I feel like you tend to grow up and realise you can only really win when you are being completely yourself, and there’s a lot of that in our songs. Following Fools was based on a bunch of Tim Winton talks about toxic masculinity. He wrote it about being in the surf in WA and we are on the other side in the East Coast, and you definitely see that “you can’t be a pussy” mentality. Fortunately, I think it is mostly the older generation in the music industry, who rock up to gigs and try to impress you by being really grotesque and gross. But we have also had it in interviews, where they ask us what we’ve been up to on tour. Luckily, it feels like it has changed a lot now in the younger generations, where there are kids who are openly transgender in schools and there’s a lot more acceptance.
BYO: I feel like your music has this really interesting mix of mellow beach vibe meets jazzy indie pop. Would you say your sound doesn’t ascribe to one specific genre?
Oliver: I studied classical music, Louis went to art school and most of the other guys studied jazz. It’s not so much that we are trying to put those elements into the music, but we certainly have a lot of influences outside of indie rock and that sort of thing. People have an obsession with labelling your sound. We did attempt it a little bit, but it just comes after years of playing. You’re still the same singer and same player, and the sound just comes eventually. You do find approaches of doing things with your writing, but having a variety is great. No one wants to listen to the same song 12 times on an album.
BYO: What helps you creatively when making music?
Oliver: Lyrically, I guess I find it is really easy writing away from home. If we’re in America or just up the coast away from the city, it feels like you can reflect and write about the city a lot more easily, because you’re not there amongst it. It might not be critical, it might be a fond reflection, but it definitely feels easier being away. And I think musically, being at a lot of live shows you get a lot of influence because you see everything and you just sort of want to take it home and punch out a song with what you’ve been inspired by.
BYO: What sort of life experiences tend to influence your music most?
Oliver: We can’t stop writing about the pressures that people try to put on you. I definitely think that is a very Sydney thing that we are very affected by, as well as everything being gentrified. Things have changed a lot around the northern beaches where we grew up, and there’s actually only one venue left on the beaches that we grew up with. We also experienced this when we were playing at Narrabeen the other weekend. We ended up canning the second show, which was a massive bummer, because we were told there had been all these noise restrictions and complaints and that we had to play the whole gig at a certain noise decibel. We just knew we couldn’t do it because there was a good chance it was going to be really shit. It’s ironic because the old guys making noise complaints are the ones who you meet that are talking about when David Bowie and Prince came to play at the beaches and how much better it was in the good old days. It just feels like a very different place and you can’t help but want to write about where that’s going.
The next stop on Lime Cordiale’s Money tour is in North Hobart on April 5. Lime Cordiale play Bad Friday on April 19. Find out all tour dates and more info here: http://www.limecordiale.com/