After winning last week’s battle of the bands, members of The Lymbs began preparation for their show at this Saturday’s Fiestas, where they will be opening for Breathe Carolina and several other artists. The Daily Lobo spoke with the two-man outfit, which includes Gage Bickerstaff as vocalist/guitarist and Jeff Bell on drums. We discussed their music, its messages and their plans for the future.
Daily Lobo: What approach do you take when composing your music?
Gage Bickerstaff: Our approach is trying to be part of something bigger than ourselves by creating something the people can relate to and respond to, and really become a part of culture. We want to represent what American culture is nowadays and be reflective so that we can change for the better.
DL: Can you tell me about the music itself?
GB: The music itself is based in the minimalist perspective: Less is more. If you have less elements, can you write a better song? That allows you to hear the pure soul of it. With a lot of artists, if you don’t believe them — you don’t immediately feel their energy or whatnot — it’s not effective. That’s what we want to be. We want to affect, we want to influence people in a good way.
Jeff Bell: (Bickerstaff) does the songwriting and gets things going. And then I come in and add rhythm and transition. We talk a lot about where a song can go once it’s started. It’s a conversation we have when writing the music because we want to compose a song that someone can listen to over and over again and feel a relation to it.
DL: What themes and messages are present in your songs?
GB: We want to promote social and political awareness, but we don’t want to represent anything that’s negative. Rock ‘n’ roll kind of has rebel tendencies, which is fine, but for the sake of change. And that is what our music is about. All the lyrics are always about something that we feel is a social aspect in American society that we feel needs to be talked about … or is a part of our lives or a part of the lives we see.
DL: Is there any deeper meaning embedded in any of your music?
GB: I don’t necessarily like to talk about what individual songs are about, because it goes along with the experience. So when people hear a song and think it’s about something and they relate to that, I don’t want to take that away from them by saying, ‘Well, this song is actually about this.’ I think a good song can be interpreted in lots of different ways. I rarely tell anybody what the songs are really about.
DL: How do you feel your fans typically associate themselves with the music?
JB: There’s two parts to it. The audience connects right away because they get immersed in our energy — the way we feel it — but then we pull the rug out from under them almost, and then it affects them even more. I like it when artists do that — and I’m the one listening — that’s why I listen to music over and over again. Because I find something different every time.
DL: How do you balance school and music and everything else?
JB: We both work, but we’re trying to get support from as many outlets as possible. A lot of people have told us to start a Kickstarter, and we’re looking in to that. On the other hand, my mom’s trying to get us on the Ellen DeGeneres show. There’s so many ways that artists figure out how to make their art work for them.
GB: That’s the goal right now … to get to where we can really just focus on this completely. We don’t want money to be an issue, but we don’t want to be millionaires or anything, either. We just want to live so that we can make art and write and do our thing.
DL: What’s the reception been like so far?
GB: It’s been oddly positive, really. We haven’t had any negative response … I’m sure it exists, we just don’t hear it or try not to hear it. We’ve even done some traveling — we’ve played Santa Fe here and there, and we went to San Diego and played there — and the response has been pretty good, so we feel confident that we’re doing something right.
You can purchase The Lymbs’ single “Wicker Man” on iTunes.
The band performs live this weekend at Fiestas at 2 p.m.
Fiestas, presented by ASUNM Student Special Events, is Saturday starting at 2 p.m. on Johnson Field. Admission is free.