Monday, 4 March 2013

The Severed Limb Interview

First performing at Northampton's Ex-Servicemen's Club and then playing Spiral Archive Record Shop instore the next day, we had a chat to Serious Types signees The Severed Limb on the second stop of their ten-date UK tour all about their humongously titled debut album Kill You and Bill You the Price of the Bullet.

First up, because I have to ask, how did you come up with such a great title for your album?

Rob: Thanks. It's one of the lyrics from one of the songs, and it's one of the first songs I wrote for the band. So we took the best line and stuck it on as the album title.

How did you about making the album?

Sam: We recorded it all in Rob's front room - if you listen carefully you can hear a bit of the ambiance of the street outside or occasionally a police siren going past - but we all did it ourselves. There wasn't really a point when we said: "Right, we're going to do an album," it just naturally came together by itself.

Is there anything you were trying to achieve with this album?

Rob: We'd written about ten or fifteen songs and we just wanted to get them down to represent the first two or three years of the band so we could move on because we've got a lot of other stuff we're working on. We just wanted to get it out and go from there, really. It's quite a skiffly thing - that's the starting point for the band and we're developing that - but it's rough and thrown down in places. I think it's good for the first album to be like that and then we'll polish it up later for the next one!

We're at the second stop of your UK tour to support the album. How do you think that is going to go?

Rob: I'm knackered already! It's mostly quite small places but there's one or two bigger places. But I think it's good for us to get out of London. We're playing at some unusual places: Ironbridge, Bath, Swanage, Worthing so it's not the big places that everybody goes and hopefully people will appreciate that. So hopefully that should go down well.

You mentioned there coming from London. What's it like being a London band. What are the pros and cons?

Charlie: The thing about London is that there's so much going on you can find pretty much anything you want there, which means we can do something like what we do and find an audience for it. It might be difficult if we were from somewhere smaller because places like that tend to have there own scenes and if you don't fit in the scene then you don't get anywhere, but in London there's a scene for everyone and if not you can just make your own. I like to think that's what we're doing.

So how do you make The Severed Limb you?

Rob: There's two different ways to do that, really. The first is what you sing about and what you write songs about because if your references are modern and contemporary and make sense to people then they can relate to that. I like a lot of fifties songs but a lot of them seem to just go: "baby, baby, baby, baby." And the other thing is to put elements in musically. In the past I don't think there's been as much cross over in between the styles, but because in London there are so many different musical styles I would be ridiculous if we didn't get inspired by everything. Also punk happened and a lot of great post-punk music happened and you can't really ignore that because if you're into live music and getting people going then that energy and that sound just has to be an inspiration.

There are some music videos up on your YouTube page. How did they come about? Did you do them yourselves?

Rob & Charlie: The first one, Woo Eee Ha Ha, was done in Bethnal Green Working Men's Club by a guy called Rowan Costello so that was fairly professional but the second two I did myself on Super 8 film and they were quite DIY and fitted in with the music. And now we've just done another one for the song Kill You with a guy called Chris Martin (who isn't from Coldplay) which we did on Simon our bass player's boat.

6 Music and other radio stations have played your songs a bit. How do you think that's helped the band?

Charlie: I think it's helped a lot. It's great that some of the DJs at 6 Music and even Radio 2 have started playing our stuff. It helps not least with getting to a bigger audience but also helps us pay for the next record as well.

Alex: Also what's really inspiring is that we didn't hire any pluggers, that just comes from them liking the record and putting it on the radio. It's really gratifying to know that people like Steve Lamacq and John Kennedy are supportive.

Well, you've just come from playing at Spiral Archive Records. Have ever done anything like that before?

Sam: No we haven't played any record shops before I don't think. We played in a vintage clothes shop and a few other shops

Simon: The good thing about our set up is that it's acoustic and we can almost play anywhere we want to if we like it, so it works really well.

Rob: In fact on Thursday [7th March] we're playing at the oldest record shop in the world [Spillers] in Cardiff.

Simon: That's quite a statement.

Alex: Stone Age!

Rob: The oldest one that's still going, allegedly. You know what I mean.

And if you just want to wrap up with anything that you've got coming up in the future after this tour? If you survive that far.

Rob: Well first we're going to France and then after that we've got probably about eight songs already for the next album but I don't know how many of them will actually be on it but we are still writing loads and we're ready for the next one.

Charlie: Round Two!

But before we get carried away with the second LP you'd probably want to have a listen to the first one. Kill You and Bill You the Price of the Bullet is available now from the Serious Types website or by going to



The Severed Limb Extravaganza:

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