- 27 Sep 22
Ahead of their Irish tour dates, Hot Press caught up with Lime Cordiale on their busy touring schedule, how they deal with poor mental health on the road, gigging in the UK during the Queen's mourning period, and most importantly - how much they love Guinness.
An outspoken and fearless collective, Lime Cordiale are making major shapes in the industry. The group consists mainly of brothers Oli and Louis Leimbach, with additional members James Jennings, Felix Bornholt and Nicholas Polovineo.
Their debut album, Permanent Vacation, released in 2017, exploded across the Australian music scene. Now making their way to international stardom, the group have just released an EP with Idris Elba, and recently took the 3 For All Music stage at Electric Picnic by storm.
The Australian band return to Ireland this week for two nights in Dublin and Belfast.
"Electric Picnic got us so pumped to play Dublin and Belfast," Oli confessed. "We're still pinching ourselves from EP. I don't know if we've got low self esteem, but every time we play one of these festivals, we think that we're gonna be going out to 30 people. It's just so hard to believe that anyone would know our music on the other side of the world.
"At Electric Picnic we walked out and we couldn't see the audience from the side of the stage. So we, again, thought there would be 20 or 30 people watching, and it was a full tent. So that's actually been the highlight show of the whole tour for us, just because of that surprise."
Cordi Elba, the band's EP with English actor Idris Elba, came out earlier in 2022. Seemingly the oddest mix of people and musical styles, Oli explained how this occurred.
"We knew of Idris Elba before we'd seen the BBC series 'Luther'," Oli explained. "His song 'Boasty' with Wiley, that was our warm up tune for the last tour. We put that on and danced around before going on stage in Australia.
"During that tour, we got this call to say that Idris was in Australia," he continued. "He heard our music, and at the time we were looking for someone to feature on one of our songs. He was down for getting involved. We thought we were just doing that one song with him, but after that it grew. He got his laptop out and wanted to show us a little demo he'd been working on and it ended up turning into six songs. I think it would have been more if he didn't have to go back to London.
"We actually saw him yesterday and he's talking about coming back to Australia for the summer to do more music. So, we'll see."
Bringing the EP and their latest singles on a world tour, the Leimbach brothers have made England their home - and at a particularly odd time.
"We're in the UK now," Oli exclaimed. "We moved here for six months but then we have to go back to Australia for Australian summer to play a bunch of festivals. It's an experimental move. We've been here for five month already. It's been great because the weather was fantastic this summer. It feels like we're in Australia still."
Where the difference lies is in the cultural aspects of the UK. With the Queen's mourning period well underway at the time of our chat, Oli told Hot Press how weird he found it.
"I didn't know what was gonna happen, you know?" the musician posed. "People were saying that everyone has a week off work when the Queen dies. So, I was like, 'does that mean our tour's on hold for a week?' But you know, people have this mixed opinion about the royal family, so you mention the Queen on the mic, and you have half the audience booing and half the audience cheering. It's interesting.
"We're part of the Commonwealth in Australia so, Australia is reacting similarly," the musician clarified. "It's a pretty historical event and it's surreal to be in the UK for it."
In an oddly correlated turn of events, the band's most recent release 'Country Club' makes a mockery out of the upper class. Laughing at the comparison between the monarchy and the class represented in this track, Oli relayed: "It's frustrating in any country, someone that has that privilege and is so upper class that has like a warped sense of reality. The song is kind of about someone that has that swept from under their feet and has to face reality."
He continued, saying: "It was kind of good being able to film that music video in the UK, because there's definitely a pretty strong class system over here. Similar in Australia as well."
Having released a lot of work this year, with more to come, and now touring, the band are busier than ever. While they clearly enjoy what they're doing, even too much of a good thing can be just that. Oli discussed how the band deals with it all.
"I guess just the longevity of the tour, how long it goes for, how many shows we're playing - you have to be fairly sensible. You have to just choose your battles with the big nights out and try and stay healthy," the musician remarked. "I think we're pretty good, like when someone's pretty down, we confront them about it in a nice way, and make sure everyone's mental health is okay. You could be the most confident person, but often this much travelling and all the late nights, you know, everyone feels that. We just have to be supportive and communicate."
Providing excellent advice for emerging bands or musicians dealing with mental health issues or burnout, Oli admitted it's all down to "breaks" and "communication."
"Having breaks is important," the Australian instrumentalist emphasised. "We're not like the greatest example of that but we are having a bit of a break before we get to Ireland. Everyone has gone somewhere else in Europe and then we'll regroup and have loads of energy by the time we get there. You need that energy for the Irish crowds.
"I think staying fit, making sure you're doing some exercise is important too," Oli advised. "More than anything, it's easier to not say anything and be passive aggressive, or to just stay quiet when someone is struggling, or in a bad mood, or pissing you off. It takes a lot of courage and it's harder to open up a conversation with someone. I think that's the braver decision. Communicating and getting everything off your chest and lightening up the shoulders is the most important thing."
Continuing with advice, Oli revealed that this tension still occurs sometimes within the band: "It sort of happened with us recently - everyone had their own things going on and we opened up a conversation, and had a big chat. It's a weight off the shoulders, it feels refreshing. And it feels like you've all got each other's back. It's down to communication, I think, but that's easier said than done sometimes."
The band are ready and eager to arrive back on Irish shores, with Oli sharing his love for Dublin found on the last tour.
"The last Dublin show was probably the favourite show of the whole tour that we did in 2019, for me," the musician divulged. "We had a bar downstairs and the venue upstairs and when we went downstairs, every single person was like: 'Have you tried Guinness?' I had to be like: 'Yeah, mate. The last three guys just bought me a Guinness.' But someone would still buy you a Guinness and tell you all about it. Like you gotta drink down to the G on the glass. And you gotta wait for it all to settle, how it's just like this whole science, and how it's good for you. There's vitamin B and iron, or whatever it is that that that you guys claim are in Guinness.
"I got so bloody drunk in Dublin and woke up the next day feeling the best I'd felt on the whole tour," the Aussie laughed. "I was like: 'Maybe the Irish are onto something here.' Everyone's so friendly and meeting all these people was just a great experience. I had so much fun."
For fans making their way to Lime Cordiale's Irish shows this week, be prepared to hear some new work!
"Album number three is coming," Oli stated. "We just had a meeting with our manager about the next single, which we filmed the music video for all through California. That's due to come out on November at the latest.
"We've still got to do the last little bits of vocal takes here and there, just the icing on the cake for the third album. Hopefully we'll finish that over the Australian summer, and have it ready to release ASAP. Next year for sure."
Get your tickets for Lime Cordiale in The Limelight 2, Belfast, on September 28, and The Academy, Dublin, on September 29 - here.