In the middle of a massive tour, Oli and Louis Leimbach talk to Rolling Stone about the importance of looking after yourself, building a community and changing the face of men’s health with Movember.
Lime Cordiale have had a busy year. They’ve been on tour for the majority of this year, following their Fantastical Country Club Experience in March and April, they headed overseas, hitting the UK, America, Canada and Europe. And it isn’t stopping anytime soon, after another month of touring they won’t be back on home soil until later this year, just in time for Spilt Milk.
But if this hectic schedule is taking a toll, you wouldn’t know it to speak with Oli and Louis Leimbach. Dialing in from London, early in the morning after back-to-back performances, the lads are upbeat. This might be because they’re trying to swap the rock and roll lifestyle for something a bit more laid back on their tours these days.
“We have been really good [on this tour] up until maybe a week ago. We were exercising regularly and eating well. But then you get busy and you’re looking for sleep more than trying to stay healthy,” says Oli.
“We did have a little break from touring and we went to Portugal to surf, but in addition to the surfing was a bunch of red wine and staying up until 1am, then surfing at like 5.30am. We just weren’t getting enough sleep, so it kind of wrecked us.”
The late nights and drinking used to be more enticing says Louis. But now that touring is such a big part of their schedules and they’re playing shows to bigger and bigger audiences, their mental health and making sure they put on a good show are the main priorities.
In order to keep the both themselves and the fans happy, the boys from the Northern Beaches are doing a number of things to keep their minds and bodies in tip top condition. Alongside making sure they get as many of their eight hours as they can, taking surf breaks when the opportunity arises and trying to include some greens among the takeaway, they keep the different needs of each band member front of mind.
“Space is a big thing, particularly when you’re tired or you’ve had a couple of big nights. It can creep up and you don’t realise why you’re feeling a bit shit. We’re good at knowing when to back off, knowing when you need to sleep on it; and not getting annoyed at little things. The next day, you know everyone will feel completely different, taking that time can make a massive difference,” says Oli.
Talking about our feelings isn’t something that comes easily to all Australians. There’s something in our makeup that encourages us to push emotions down, there can even be a sense of embarrassment about sharing with those around us. That’s why Lime Cordiale are pumped to be involved with Movember this year, because they’ve experienced firsthand how freeing that communication can be.
“I was feeling a bit low yesterday, I was talking about being tired and Louis asked me about how I was feeling emotionally,” says Oli.
“My first instinct was to shut that down and be like ‘I’m fine’, but then I was like ‘actually I’m feeling pretty low because of this and this’. It instantly made me feel better. I think knowing it’s ok, it’s cool, to talk about your emotions with each other is super important.”
Being open as a group has helped them establish clear dynamics too and become better at understanding what each other needs when they’re in close quarters. Whether that’s knowing which members get anxious on tour, who’s more likely to get stressed when they don’t have enough sleep, or just knowing who needs things to stay organised, spending a lot of time together has helped them understand how to function as a cohesive unit.
Talking Tall Poppies
Lime Cordiale are no stranger to tackling some of the mental challenges we all face head-on. Earlier this year they dropped Tall Poppy-inspired banger, Imposter Syndrome about the masks we all wear.
Given all the success the band has had and the hustle they’ve put in to get there, you’d think imposter syndrome was something they’ve found a way to deal with over time. But Louis says it’s gotten worse the more fame they’ve found.
“As the band grows and more people are coming to our shows, the imposter syndrome is pretty strong. We’re taking longer to record, Imposter Syndrome itself was a long process which is quite ironic. With the bigger crowds, there’s more weight on your music and you do start feeling like a bit of a fraud,” he says.
“We’ve all got our own skills, our live band they’re all incredible jazz musicians and Louis and I wouldn’t call ourselves jazz musicians or improvisers, we feel like we’re songwriters and that’s a hard thing to measure. So a lot of the time we do feel like frauds because we don’t shred on our instruments or have this jazz musical knowledge, and you do start to wonder if you’re just winging your way through this,” adds Oli.
While they do feel more comfortable in many ways, like their songwriting and their confidence in putting music they’ve written into the world, there’s still this level of insecurity the band says.
Being Mo Bros
Oli is no stranger to the Mo, he’s rocking a fairly impressive one when we speak over Zoom. But Louis won’t be joining him anytime soon he says.
“I can’t grow one! If I started growing one on the first of November there’d still be nothing there by the end of the month,” says Louis.
“Maybe if you started now, by the time we got to the end of November there might be something there,” suggests Oli.
Luckily, we know that any moustache grown during the month of Mo saves lives (even the barely-there ones!). And, the spirit of Movember goes beyond growing a Mo, and includes starting important conversations. The boys have also got some tips that work for them, to keeping in front of your mental health.
“I find breathing exercises really helpful. Some breathwork just calms the head. It’s pretty easy to find, you can just Google them and do a couple of minutes if you’re feeling overwhelmed,” says Louis.
“When you’re in a low, it’s hard to imagine getting out of it, and sometimes fitness is the last thing you want to do. We’ve got this great 15-minute workout we do, it’s just on YouTube, it’s just 15 minutes so it’s really short and you can knock it out easily. But even just that short time, after you do it you feel better,” says Oli.
“It’s the same as eating well, or a bit of breath work, five minutes of meditation. Sometimes there’s so much going on that you’re feeling flustered, and your brain is full, but just taking that time can make a massive difference. These little things don’t take much time out of your day, but it makes a huge difference.”