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July 11, 2022

Interview with LIMBS

We had the pleasure of interviewing LIMBS over Zoom video.

U.S. post-hardcore rising stars LIMBS have released their lyrically intimate and sonically pummeling new EP Coma Year on UNFD. The band has shared the video for "Blood and Heel.".
The...


We had the pleasure of interviewing LIMBS over Zoom video.

U.S. post-hardcore rising stars LIMBS have released their lyrically intimate and sonically pummeling new EP Coma Year on UNFD. The band has shared the video for "Blood and Heel.".
The video is full of fire, pit-stirring breakdowns, riffy, post-hardcore urgency, and supremely catchy choruses that invite finger-pointing and singing along. The subject matter is something the entire world can relate to. It encapsulates the emotions that rose to the surface due to the restrictions necessitated by the COVID-19 pandemic, and how the lockdowns forced people to take long, hard looks at themselves.


"This song is my quarantine anthem," exclaims singer Austin McAuley. "Simply put, it's a vivid recollection of the mental and physical toll the pandemic has taken on myself and those around me. The song describes the often unhealthy coping mechanisms I employed to deal with the stress and uncertainty I faced in my personal life, as well as my role as an artist while the world was in a volatile state.”


He finishes, "At the end of it all, I felt like the only person who could help me was myself. I didn't want to rely on anyone else to solve any issues I may have due to the stresses of being in unprecedented times from a pandemic."


McAuley is proud of Coma Year as a whole, calling the EP "our most heartfelt and honest release to date."


It's certainly an EP for the people and meant to forge a supportive, therapeutic connection with the listener.


He continues, "Every track paints a picture of my greatest fears coming to fruition from an anxiety filled perspective. Creating these songs was extremely cathartic, serving as a form of therapy to me while I navigated through dark days. Themes of loss, grief, uncertainty, and instability flow through this release but therein also lies a sense of optimism; hinting at the healing process initiated by bringing all of my greatest fears to the forefront."


LIMBS, who have enjoyed editorial praise and support from the likes of Brooklyn Vegan, Revolver, Wall of Sound, Metal Injection, and more on previous releases, including the 2020 EP Only The Lonely Know, which now boasts over 2 million streams.

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Transcript

What's going on?! It is Adam. Welcome back to bringing it backwards, a podcast or both legendary and rising artists tell their own personal stories of how they achieve stardom. On this episode, we had a chance to chat with Austin of the band limbs. Over zoom video. Austin was born in Panama city, Florida, and he talks about how he got into music, starting singing at an early age in the church. And he also picked up drums at an early age. His grandfather and dad were both jazz drummers. So his first instrument was the drums. It wasn't until he was about 13 years old. He went to a hardcore show and was just mesmerized by the lead singer. So he knew at that point that's, that's what he wanted to do. 5 (2m 9s): He started a couple bands in high school. He ended up moving to Atlanta to join another band that needed a singer and then eventually became the singer of limbs. And he's got a really cool story about how Chris, the first singer ended up asking him to kind of replace him in the band. We hear about how that experience was filling in for, for Chris as the singer, singing his songs, and then eventually joining the band. He talks to us about getting back from tour and then essentially the world shutting down really quickly after that, putting out the songs abandoned and stair, which were the first two records, the band released with him on vocals. 5 (2m 49s): And he tells us all about this brand new EAP, which is really, really deep rooted and very vulnerable for him about loss and reliving all of these traumas. And he talks about how therapeutic it was to, to write this record and really how vulnerable it was. And we talk about the upcoming tour and the, the EPA it's called coma year. You can watch our interview with Austin on our Facebook page and YouTube channel at bring in a backwards. It'd be rad if you subscribe to our channel like us on Facebook, follow us on Instagram, Twitter, and Tik TOK at bringing back pod. And if you're listening to this on Spotify or apple music, Google podcasts, it would be amazing if you follow us there as well, and hook us up with a five star review. 6 (3m 33s): We'd appreciate your support. If you follow and subscribe to our podcasts, wherever you listen to podcasts, 5 (3m 39s): We're bringing it backwards with limbs. Hey, what's up? How are you? 7 (3m 44s): Good. How's it going, Adam? 5 (3m 46s): I'm doing well. I'm doing well. I appreciate you doing this. 7 (3m 48s): Yeah, man. Thanks for having me. Good morning. 5 (3m 50s): Good morning. Good morning. Whereabouts are you? 7 (3m 53s): I'm in Panama city. Beach, Florida. 5 (3m 56s): Okay. Rad. 7 (3m 57s): Yeah. Right on the coast. 5 (3m 59s): Nice. So this podcast about you and your journey and music, and obviously we'll talk about the new EPA you have coming out and, you know, kind of your origin story and into joining the band. 7 (4m 12s): Yeah. Right on. 5 (4m 14s): Cool. Cool. So I guess first off are you from originally from Florida? 7 (4m 19s): I am, yeah. I grew up in Panama city beach, right. Where I'm at now moved away for a while, lived in the Tampa bay area, which is how I ended up linking up with the guys and limbs and the first place, but yeah. Back home as a couple of weeks ago. 5 (4m 32s): Okay. Rad. Yeah. I did see that the band started in Tampa bay when I was doing my research though. You weren't, you weren't the first singer though. Were you? They had a singer Pryor. 7 (4m 41s): Yeah, my friend Chris. Yeah. My friend Chris was the original vocalist and he's actually, he's part of the reason I'm in the band now. 5 (4m 49s): Okay. Well, we'll get to that point. I love that. So first off, what was it like growing up in Panama city? 7 (4m 55s): Oh, it was a blast man. You know, growing up, being close to the water, I got into surfing and fishing and all things, water related at an early age. So it was really nice to have that in my backyard. And yeah, I've moved all over the place in the last, you know, seven or eight years and even being on the road, seeing a bunch of different parts of the country and this always wins for me. It just always ends up being home. So yeah, it was great to, you know, be able to move home and be back to my roots. 5 (5m 23s): Sure. Well, how did you get the music? Was that big there in your, in your town where you grew up? 7 (5m 29s): Yeah, there was a, I mean there still is a killer local scene here. Not really what it once was, but you know, it's on the up, it's on the come up. Yeah. The, the shows here growing up were just wild because you know, a lot of other big Florida bands like the data remember and under would always come through Panama city in their early years as a band. So, you know, getting to see like under oath. And I don't know if you remember an old band called Calico system from valley day, still a big, still a huge fan of that band, but those bands would come through town and we would have essentially like five or six locals and then sometimes the locals would be headlining over those guys. So it was wild to see that in retrospect, but wow. 5 (6m 10s): Oh, just cause they're there, their fan base is bigger in Panama city than that then whoever else is coming through. 7 (6m 17s): Yeah. And you know, I remember like one of the biggest shows that I've probably ever been to even to this day was under oath, Calico system, evergreens Harris for the all four of those bands on the same bill at like the little hole in the wall joint in Panama city. I was probably like 14. So like getting to experience shows like that at a young age, definitely like lit the fire underneath me to like start playing music. For sure. 5 (6m 44s): I forgot about evergreen terrace. Does that, are they still banned? I don't even, I haven't heard that name in such a long time. 7 (6m 50s): I think the last time I saw them was one of the, one of the first handfuls of shows I played with limbs. We played a music Fest in Savannah, Georgia called RFS and yeah, I think evergreen terrace was like one of the last acts on that fast. Yeah. I think the last time I saw them, I don't know. 5 (7m 10s): I mean, I just curious, I haven't heard that name in a long time. That's awesome. 7 (7m 14s): Yeah. That shows my age right there. Yeah. 5 (7m 17s): And mine killer. So how, I mean, a lot of shows were coming through there, but how did you get the music? Were you in piano lessons or anything like that? Guitar lessons as a young kid? 7 (7m 28s): No, not really. I I've definitely come from a musical family though. My mom was a, a gospel singer, so I got it on that side of the family, but my dad and grandfather were both jazz drummers. So drum was actually my first love. Yeah. So yeah, played drums for the longest time. And then by the time I was like 13, 14, like started going to shows and like seeing all these bands and you know, I'd always sung a little bit, you know, with my mom at church or whatever, but seeing those guys like fronting like hardcore bands and things like that really kind of piqued my interest. And I was like, I want to do that. And then it kinda kind of snowballed from there and I just kind of went head first into it. 7 (8m 9s): Yeah. Yeah. 5 (8m 10s): But you didn't continue on drums. I would think that, I don't know, I guess maybe like hardcore bands and like how fast they played. Maybe that would be an inspiration as well. But if, I mean obviously your thing. Yeah. 7 (8m 24s): Yeah. I don't know what it was. I was just drawn to like, like the energy that a front man brings to a band and there was something about it that intrigued me to a point where like I still play drums and I play guitar as well, but those kind of hit the back burner and I really focused on like wanting to sing. I don't, I really can't put a, a pin ended up what exactly it was, but I knew that that's what I wanted to do. And I just tunnel vision would that from a young age. Yeah. 5 (8m 51s): And with that, like, did you start a band? Like, were you trying to start a band or a hardcore band or anything like that? And once you kind of seen that, how it all happened? 7 (9m 0s): Yeah. The freshman year of high school, you know, me and a couple of buddies, you know, just post it up in his parents' garage with a friend of mine playing drums and another friend playing guitar. And I kind of just had my first take it, trying to be a vocalist. And at this time, you know, I was listening to, you know, under oath and poison the well and based I'd like a lot of the great post hardcore bands from like the early two thousands and Thursday as well, being a huge influence. I was basically just trying to mimic what I heard and I feel like, I feel like a lot of vocalists do that, you know, in their start, they, they try to sound like whoever their influences are. Well, cause I'm trying to figure out how to use my voice. 7 (9m 42s): And I obviously at that point in time had no idea what I was doing. So basically probably just, just yelling into the mic the whole time, but I mean, you gotta start somewhere, right? 5 (9m 52s): Yeah. Well, it's interesting that you mentioned those bands because I mean like Jeff Brickley can sing and Anthony from base, like those guys are a great vocalist and that can scream. So it wasn't like you were just going for the, like the, you know, super hardcore, like screaming. 7 (10m 9s): Yeah. I mean, cause don't get me wrong. There were plenty of bands that I was into at the time. I mean, bands like 18 visions without a little bit of clean vocals back in the day. But I mean, there were bands that I really love, like throw down. 5 (10m 20s): Oh yeah, 7 (10m 25s): Exactly. Yeah. Like true hardcore. So yeah. So I mean, but that's the music that I was drawn to though. I mean, at that era, I always call it like the golden era of postcard court. So you had Thursdays full collapsed. You had, 5 (10m 40s): Can you believe that record is 21 years old? Now I saw that and I screenshot it to send to my friend. I'm like, you're ready to feel old 21 years old. 7 (10m 52s): Yeah, man. I actually thought about that the other day when we were still like getting settled in our new house here, unloading all my vinyl collection and I've got a copy of full collapse on vinyl and I saw like 2000, 2001, I was like, oh 5 (11m 6s): Dude, I know some of those things. Wow. So freshman year you started a band or did you guys ever get out of the, the, the garage or 7 (11m 19s): Yeah, that one did not. It was just kinda for fun. Closer to the end of 10th grade was when I played my first show. I funny enough had gotten into, it was a band called the answer, me this just like a, like a high school band that started playing shows and I replaced the vocalist. That seems to be a real, it seems to have been a theme in my upbringing in bands, but yeah, they had a singer, I guess it didn't work out with him for whatever reason. And they had already had materials. So I kind of just jumped into singing somebody else's material, which I think in the learning stages of a vocalist, like for myself personally, I feel like that was a good thing because like my writing capability maybe wasn't there yet, or I still was kind of figuring out how to sing really in general, but it was cool to have that foundation. 7 (12m 14s): So just be like, okay, well they've already got songs, I'll just learn these songs and we'll take it from there. But that ended up being a band for a couple of years and then people moved away and went to college the third and yeah, I played, I played in some other local bands over the years and then I moved away from Panama city in 2014 for another band that had just lost a boat list. Yeah, man. 5 (12m 41s): Sorry, go ahead. Sorry. I didn't mean no, 7 (12m 43s): You're fine. Go for it. 5 (12m 44s): I was just going to say like that band, the, cause it sounds like the first band that you replaced, the vocalist was just like a local band in town or like a high school band. And then you replace this other singer. You're your, you move out of Panama city to a different town to replace the singer. Was that band pretty established at the time? Like, or was it, were they kind of just another local banner unsigned band? 7 (13m 6s): Well, I had moved to Atlanta. It was a band called native sons. They had already had a couple of different singers at the time. I think they were on Sumerian for a short period. So I mean, they were mildly established. I know they kind of made a name for themselves in the Atlanta scene, but it was something different for me. It was like a, a softer side of postcard for a little bit more singing oriented. So that kind of drew me to it. And my friend, Jason, who has been another bands on the scene and he was in, he was on slaves for awhile as the bass player. Yeah. He had reached out to me cause he and I have been for he's from the panhandle of Florida originally as well. But he had reached out to me and he's like, Hey man, we lost our singer. 7 (13m 47s): You should really come up to Atlanta for the weekend and you know, jam with us. And then one thing led to another and then I spent the next like four years in Atlanta with that band, which was a lot of fun. Yeah. I mean, it was a good time, but yeah, at the end of that, all, some things kind of went down. We're basically at each other's throats by the end of it about just silly stuff. That's what happens though? When you have like five dudes, all living in a house together, right. Also all being in a band and like they'll pay the power bill. 5 (14m 23s): Oh, so your roommates and bandmates nicely, especially if you're on the road, like you can never get it. Like you're almost like have never separated from these painful 7 (14m 35s): Pretty much. Yeah. Yeah. It never really had like that separation between like, you know, normal life and pan life. So 5 (14m 43s): Getting home from tour and kind of having time to like decompress, it's like we're all home from tour in the same house. 7 (14m 49s): Yeah. Yeah. Like said it was fun for a while. And then things kind of just went south quick. We all kind of grew apart and which was fine because that's what led me to move to the Tampa bay area, Jordan, the guitar player in Lindsay. And I have also been friends for quite a long time. Cause he's from the area of Florida that I grew up in here and you know, it was another one of those situations where I got down to Tampa bay, St. Pete had already hung out with the guys. The boss knew them pretty well. And tour came around in like fall early winter of 2018. And my friend Chris, the previous vocalist for limbs was running a coffee shop at the time. 7 (15m 31s): And I went and saw him one day and had coffee with him. And he was like, Hey man, I want to ask you something. And I was like, yeah, let's go home. And he proceeds to ask me to fill in for him on a tour. And I was like, what? At this point I hadn't, I, yeah, it was a big like what moment? Because I hadn't played heavy music in years. You know, the, the Atlanta band was like pretty much and you know, very minimal screaming. So in my head I was like, can I even still do this? Like, you know, do I have that in me still? But yeah. He asked me to fill in, I reluctantly agreed and then like 10 seconds after he asked me that he's like, cool, cool. So since you're already filling in, how would you feel about just taking over full time? 7 (16m 17s): I was like, wow. Yeah, it was definitely a, a surprising moment to say the least. And you know, I told him I'd think about it. So we went out on that tour. It was a tour with currents and another band from the new England area called sentinels. I love those guys, but yeah. Went out with them for a couple of weeks with a lot of fun. I kind of just stepped right back into the role of being a lead singer and things went relatively smooth and we came home from that UNF, our label did, you know, send out tryouts for a few other people that were interested. Understandably so, because, you know, I didn't want to feel like I was getting into it just because I'm friends with the guys, you know. 7 (17m 1s): Right, 5 (17m 2s): Right. You want to make sure you're the right fit and yeah. I mean, that makes sense. Well, 7 (17m 7s): Real 5 (17m 7s): Quick though, I had a couple of questions. You, they were already signed because they were first signed was with fearless. Right. Originally the label, 7 (17m 18s): No SQL vision, 5 (17m 19s): Sorry. Yeah. Equal vision. So they're on equal vision and then they went to UNFD and so that already had all happened and then they're resigned. So you weren't in the, in that process that people. 7 (17m 32s): Yeah. So like our, our EPC sleep was released through equal vision equals 5 (17m 37s): And then I was getting mixed up 7 (17m 43s): And then a father son, the full length from 2018 was with UNFD. That was their debut release on UNFD. 5 (17m 52s): Oh, you joined after that round? 7 (17m 56s): Nope. 5 (17m 58s): Okay. Was that difficult? I mean, going now you're in a band that, well, first off you, you, the singer is coming you and being like, yo like, can you, can you fill in? And I know that record is like really heavy. Right. I mean, I'm not heavy in the sense, but like it's got a lot of root meaning in it. It isn't that there's a record about him and about him leaving like the church and all this in this stuff and 7 (18m 23s): Yeah. It's yeah. I mean, it's, it's a big narrative. I mean, it's not really like firsthand accounts of anything, but it's just a story. Yeah. It's like, it's like a mini novel about, you know, a kid growing up in a religious household and institution and kind of losing his religion along the way and like finding himself. So it's like this, I mean, even before I was in the band, I was a big fan of that record. Cause like I grew up in a religious household and I had the same path where I fell out of things. So like it hit with me and I was like, yeah, but it's, it was definitely interesting stepping into that role and having to sing those songs. Cause in a way I kind of felt like they were still my own, even though I didn't write them. 5 (19m 3s): Okay. That's cool to know. Yeah. I wasn't sure if that was it, like if it came directly from him and it's like you now you got to go up and not only fill a role of a singer, who's been probably has some, a fan base of some sort and then not only sing, but sing this record that I didn't know. It was like a direct like autobiography of his life versus something like a biopic 7 (19m 25s): That would have. Yeah. I mean, like I said, it's not necessarily a firsthand account of things, but it's more of just like, yeah, it's it's storytelling at its finest, but it's the, the idea at its root is I guess something that he went through as a kid, but wasn't, it's totally relatable. So, which I think is what made it a bit easier for me to step into it and singing those songs live. It, it felt less weird. You know what I mean? 5 (19m 50s): Sure. Yeah. And were you getting any flat, like were, were people showing up at the show like being like, oh, like what happened to blah, blah, you know Chris? Or was that a thing? 7 (19m 59s): I agree, you know, it wasn't as prevalent as I thought it would be because when we got home from that score with currents and sentinels, it, there had been one or two people a night that have been like, oh, Hey, where's Chris. And at the time, obviously I was just like, oh, I'm just, I'm a buddy. I'm just filling in, you know, there'll be back soon kind of thing. But we went on tour in 2019 in the spring of 2019 with the plot new and de seeker and like Masa plans, which was sick. And I did have a handful of nights where people were like, Hey, you're not Chris. And I'm like, I know, sorry, but it wasn't like in a malicious kind of sense. 7 (20m 39s): It was just, people were surprised. I mean, cause we had announced it and everything, you know, we had made a formal announcement and the whole online spiel about me, the band, but you know, a lot of people, I guess didn't know, I miss 5 (20m 52s): Them. 7 (20m 53s): Yeah. So it wasn't really, it wasn't really like a negative thing. But again, all that being said, when people would come up to me and ask what happened to Chris, they would follow that up with, well, by the way, dude, it's not that big a deal because you're fucking great. Like 5 (21m 7s): We're good. 7 (21m 10s): Yes. Yeah. So that made things a lot easier for Sharon, like to have that positive reinforcement after the faculty 5 (21m 17s): And you had the co-sign from him, he asked you to be in the band. Right. I mean, it wasn't like you were just taking his job. It was like he's offering you his job. 7 (21m 26s): Exactly. Yeah. I'm 5 (21m 27s): Sure if there was a mention of it, I bet that was a story that probably followed. Right. I mean that wasn't just like, oh, and then, you know, also it comes to the band, it takes us, it was probably like, and then they had this kind of mutual thing. Like, I mean, that's a cool story. I don't know if that's ever been told, but like, you know 7 (21m 43s): Yeah. I'm very grateful for it and very fortunate. Cause like, you know, before he had asked me to fill in and you know, kind of join up with the rest of the guys, that was a point in time for me musically, where I didn't know if I'd ever be in a band again, you know, it had been a few years since I had done anything. And you know, as, as artists, we were always kind of tinkering with song ideas and you know, writing stuff in our basement, you know, just doing stuff on our own just to kind of, you know, stay limber, so to speak with our craft. But I hadn't played a show. I hadn't recorded anything. I mean, I hadn't done anything relative to heavy music in quite some time. So I'm super thankful in that regard to have that opportunity that he kind of just weighed out in front of me one day, we'll have a coffee together, you know, because I don't know if I, I don't know if I'd be in a band right now. 7 (22m 33s): I have that not happen. So 5 (22m 36s): That's so cool though. I mean, so you said you joined the band 2019 7 (22m 42s): Initially. Yeah. Spring of 2019 officially. 5 (22m 45s): And then you, obviously the world shuts down in 2020 and then are you like in like, okay, I just joined this band now. We're kind of all sitting around figuring out what's going on. And like, was that a weird time aside from being weird for everybody? Like, well, and like as far as like joining this band, when, 7 (23m 5s): Well, when we got home from the plot and use for in spring of 2019, we sat down with Tim from under oath who has worked with us in the past on material. And we cranked out like two, two, I call them feeler songs. Cause it was really like a transitional period still for me as the vocalist, we put out a song called abandoned and another one called stair, which for me it was like testing the waters. It was us all together, riding collectively as opposed to in the past where I think Chris was probably the primary songwriter and everybody else kind of just played their role so to speak, this is your 5 (23m 43s): First like, like yeah. You know, debut on an, on a record. Right. For, for the band 7 (23m 48s): Initially. Yeah, exactly. Yeah. So we all got to sit down collectively and write together, but I ended up, sorry I have a 20 pound cat. That is just up on my, up on my stuff here is every time I sit down at the desk, that's what happens. But yeah, we we've 5 (24m 6s): Jumped off. It's all good. 7 (24m 9s): We'll let you up in a minute, but real quick. 5 (24m 15s): Oh my goodness. That is a big kitty. 7 (24m 18s): This is Walter say, Hey buddy. You know, and he's yeah, he's a fancy boy. He's mad because he didn't get second breakfast. 5 (24m 32s): Oh, 7 (24m 33s): Okay. He's now because they're only on wet food nowadays and yeah. Their energy is off the charts, but anyways, yeah, we, we did those two songs and then towards the end of 2019, we started writing more material for our next release, which is our three song AP on the, the loneliness. That was, that was a big shift in the band. Not only sonically, but just our overall attitude towards, you know, where we wanted to take things. And I feel like those three songs that we put out, cause those came out in 2020 during the pandemic, but we had had them kind of ready to go beforehand. 7 (25m 18s): But those three songs were huge. Like Sonic shift in the way, the direction we wanted to take the band. Cause it's definitely more, less post, less post hardcore, more kind of ambient metal core to a degree, which was a, you know, like I said, a shift from father son, which was just like a straight up post hardcore record. Right. Yeah. 5 (25m 40s): I want to blame on that. I mean, not to blame in the sense of like, are you getting like, like, you know, fans of the band, like coming at you like, oh then the sound chain like was, did you get any of that? 7 (25m 53s): I mean a little bit here and there, which is understandable because we did have number changes, you know, not only myself, but we, you know, got Joey and Chris, our drummer and bass player, they were new to the game. Sure. 5 (26m 5s): We only have the two guys, the two guitarists over the two original people. Yeah. 7 (26m 8s): And Jordan and Tyler. Yeah. And you know, that's, that's to be expected I guess sometimes with bands, you know, when shit got member changes and we all start writing collectively as opposed to one person doing it all. But I also felt like it was a natural progression, you know, they hadn't wanted to do certain things musically all this time and sort of couldn't, you know, because they kind of weren't in the driver's seat with writing, but I test a lot of our change in dynamic and sounds to Tyler, we call him riff Lord. So he'll just start cranking out risks and, you know, skeletons of songs and him and Jordan kind of ping pong off each other. 7 (26m 48s): And we've got a, we've got a really good thing in place now we've got a very cohesive environment for us to all work together on music. And I think not only that EDP shows it, but the most recent release here, you know, coming out in June Tacoma year, I think it really shows what we've been able to do together collectively. And you know, just like a, like a worry-free environment, like doing what we want to do sonically and not having to worry about it. 5 (27m 15s): <inaudible> and this record is, I mean, it's really true to you. I mean, especially it's like a deep rooted record. Tell me about that and being like so vulnerable and w was that a difficult process to even open up? 7 (27m 30s): I mean, yes and no, because I knew from the get, go with these songs, like even during our recording sessions, I knew with the songs that I was dealing with a lot personally, there were a lot of, you know, skeletons in the closet. So to speak that I was sort of ignoring instead of just dealing with, and every song on this record, like all seven songs that are coming out, it was a form of therapy for me. There were, you know, multiple burdens and fears and uncertainties and, you know, insecurities that I was dealing with. And I felt like the only way to kind of get those things off my chest and to purge that from my consciousness was to put them in tangible form, like to get them out there to kind of just be an open book for anybody that listens to the bands. 7 (28m 19s): And I've, I can honestly say I feel a lot better. I'm a much better mental state now that this record is complete and that I'm able to look back and see what we've done together and realized like that's where I was. I was in a dark place. This is where I am now. And that was huge for me. And, you know, I hope, I hope people resonate with that as well. I hope people listen to it and, you know, understand the, the brevity of it. Yeah. 5 (28m 46s): Yeah. Because I mean, from what I was just reading about, about the record, it has a lot to do with loss. I mean, you said you lost, you lost your father in 2015, and then you have a pandemic that just throws that on top of everything. And like, was it just, did it all kind of come back to you then? Or was it just stuff that eventually, you know, you just knew that you needed to get off your chest? Like, tell me about like, when it came to the point where you're like, I should just write all right, all this out. Like I need to write it and get it off my chest. 7 (29m 17s): Yeah. A hundred percent. I mean, there was definitely a moment when we got off tour in January of 2020, we got home like the first week of February. And that was, yeah, dude. Yeah. Finished, finished this awesome tour with the guys in bare tooth emotionless and why it stick to your guns, which was completely bonkers aside from 5 (29m 39s): The amazing tour. 7 (29m 41s): Absolutely wild again, can't thank those guys enough for having us, but yeah, we got home from this crazy tour and we, you know, I can't speak for everybody, but I know Tyler and myself were both struggling a lot mentally at the time Jordan was going through some things. And I remember sitting on my couch, this was before we had moved to another state because we have a tendency to do that. My wife and I, but I was sitting on the couch, you know, fresh off or sitting there watching the news, like just hearing all of this about like the whole country's about the shutdown. Everything's going dark. Like the industry's going dark. Like everything is just crashing and burning around me. 7 (30m 22s): And it really, like I said, I'm, I'm better for it now because I went through it. But like, it really drummed up all those old feelings of, of the year after losing my father. And that's what the title of the record come a year refers to not only the pandemic, but it refers to 20, 15 to 2016 after losing down. Yeah. So it's got a bit of a double meaning, 5 (30m 43s): Tammy. That all makes complete sense though. 7 (30m 46s): Yeah. But yeah, like I said, I remember just sitting there reading the news and listening to everything online and just being like, wow, I, I don't know what I'm going to do. Just being completely blank to at all. Cause it did drum up a lot of those old feelings of loss and uncertainty from losing my dad. Yeah. 5 (31m 4s): Oh my gosh, man. Well, I'm so sorry to hear about that. That's so terrible. Yeah. And, but to be able to, I'm glad that you're able to kind of, you know, therapeutically, get it out that way and then share that with other people that could are, you know, there's gotta be, you know, so many people that are going through the same thing, you know what I mean? Like they don't take that in and, and use that. Like, I think that's so cool. And that's the, one of the coolest things about music obviously is being able to, you know, take stumping. Yeah, exactly. Universal hit. And that's what I was looking for. And 7 (31m 38s): No, you're probably 5 (31m 39s): Just going to say like, so when do you, when does the record, like when do you guys start writing the record? Was it early 20, 20? Or did it take a while to finally, you know, muster up the courage and you know, be in the right state of mind to write it all out? 7 (31m 54s): Yeah. So the whole process kind of started mid 20, 20. We had a lot, we had a lot of ideas kind of being thrown back and forth, like song wise, you know, half songs here, certain structures of other stuff here, you know, we we're, we're throwing all these ideas back and forth while also in the process of releasing our three song IUPY only lonely now. So that came out in August of 2020, I believe was the first time we, yeah. August is when we dropped the first song off of it. And the holy Pete was done by October and from October, 2020 on to this past year, that's when we really started honing in on our next release, what we really wanted to do it's that we had a handful of demos. 7 (32m 41s): We didn't really know which ones to pick and choose. Thankfully UNFD helped us out with that. We just like sent them a giant basket of music and they're like here help. Yeah. So they, they thankfully provided a guiding hand in which ones they thought would, you know, work the best together. But as far as like lyrical content and subject matter, it's a lot of the things in these songs. That's, it's something that I struggle with on a daily basis. So I knew, you know, early on that I wanted to get these things off my chest. I needed that. Cause I'm, I'm super stubborn. Like my wife tells me all the time, like maybe you should try, you know, talking to somebody, maybe you should try some therapy and like I'm all for it. 7 (33m 23s): I'm not against it. I'm just incredibly stubborn and be like, oh yeah, yeah, I'll, I'll do that later. I'll get to it eventually, you know, but yeah. Sitting down and writing these songs, like I said, were, were that therapy for me, I'm actually, I should probably still talk to somebody, but yeah, I knew that, like I said, I knew early on that, that's what I wanted to focus on. Everything that I was dealing with, all of my loss, all of my struggles, all of my grief. I want, I wanted to get that out there and just put it out front because like you said, you know, everybody goes through these types of things and I feel like it's, it's really important to be open and up front about it because I'm not the only one. 7 (34m 8s): And you know, if somebody else listens to this record and makes that realization that like, oh shit, he's gone through it too. But look at him now he made it out clean on the other side, you know, maybe that would give them the motivation to, you know, keep on trucking. So to speak. 5 (34m 24s): I love that when you put out the first, you know, songs from the out or from the EAP coming out, what is it like, were you concerned at all or are you like, how are people going to react to this? Or was that even a thought? 7 (34m 37s): I mean, there's always that thought in the back of my mind, like when we released me, it was like, oh, are people gonna like this? What are people gonna think? Sure. But I feel like that was overshadowed by my excitement, because this is in my opinion, like the best material that we've ever released, both sonically and lyrically, you know, I feel like we all just put 110% into everything with this. I know I did for sure. As well as the rest of the guys, but yeah. You know, I feel like that little bit of doubt was overshadowed by everybody being so stoked to drop this because at the end of the day, if you're not a fan of your own music, how can you expect somebody else to enjoy it? 7 (35m 19s): You know? 5 (35m 20s): So, 7 (35m 21s): Yeah. So we were, we were super excited for it. And with spirit breaker, the first, the first song that we released about a month and a half ago, that one was super heavy on the subject matter as well. It, it follows the dialogue of a friend and a friend. And I's last conversation before he passed away from a drug. 5 (35m 40s): Oh my gosh. 7 (35m 41s): Yeah, man, this is, this is one of those things, man. These are things that I had been struggling with for so long. Cause he passed away during the pandemic and yeah, man, it was, it was tough to get that one out. So again, I wasn't necessarily worried if people would like it or not. It was more of a relief to kind of step that one out into the wild because of the heaviness of the subject matter. And because the whole song follows the last phone conversation that he and I had. So it kind of jumps back and forth. Yeah. It jumps back and forth between, you know, him being calm and collected and then kind of snapping and becoming erratic. Like some people do when they have, you know, substance abuse issues. 7 (36m 22s): And like the latter half of the song is me trying to like unscramble my brain from all of this, trying to, you know, come to terms with what's going on. So it was, it was definitely a big relief to get that one out for me, that one, that one was really tough. That one income a year were probably the most difficult to record, you know, even though I wrote the lyrics and everything for him and I knew what I was getting myself into with like writing songs like this, those were the most difficult to like get down in a recording environment. Not, not so much like from a physical standpoint with singing and everything, but just the emotion that comes with it, you know, having to like check myself in the vocal booth. 7 (37m 5s): Like, no dude don't cry. You gotta sing. 5 (37m 8s): Yeah. Oh my God. 7 (37m 10s): Yeah. 5 (37m 11s): Was it something to where you were like over critical of the song or you wanted to make sure like this, I have to sing this perfect. Like, I don't know where you even more, you know, like, I dunno, I guess like over cautious of like how it would come out or, or didn't even think about it 7 (37m 31s): At first, maybe a little bit, but I kind of, I remember cause that one was done during our first recording session with our buddy Chris Wiseman who's incurrence and shadowed and scent. He did all the engineering on this record, but it was during our first session with him at this studio. And I remember feeling like that for the first couple of takes. And then I kinda just, I kind of just snapped out of it and not for any specific reason, but I kinda just got into the zone, you know, and, and just kind of went head first into it and didn't try to worry too much about like, as if something was wrong or it's like something went like south as far as like a vocal pick or something like that. If something sounded walky, like Chris would be like, ah, yeah, Hey dude, let's do that one again. 7 (38m 15s): That was, it was not quite there yet. 5 (38m 18s): And he's got, yeah, he's got your back. Okay. 7 (38m 23s): So yeah, I kinda just kinda zoned out and kind of immerse myself into those feelings and not feel like that's what guided me to, you know, do my best in those, in that regard. 5 (38m 34s): Have you had a chance? I know you're doing a tour coming up and a little less than a month and you had a chance to play any of these songs live yet. And do you think that'll, I mean, that'll probably spark some emotions as well. 7 (38m 45s): Yeah, we haven't. Well, no, that's not true. We, we played spirit breaker live on this last tour, back in February, but the rest of the songs have yet to be played. There were definitely a few nights on tour. I remember one night specifically, we're at Marquis theater in Denver and there's, there's a part in the song. That's like a bridge before the breakdown and like the lyrics are, this is me reaching out, but it's too late. I close my eyes and I see your face again. And again, even though, even though it's words that I've written, that I've come to terms with having in a song like that part of the song comes up and like I'll make eye contact with somebody in the crowd. 7 (39m 25s): That's just like fully into what we're doing. And he can't help a choke up a little bit, man. Like I had to like definitely take a breath and like stop myself. I'm like, Hey dude, snap out of it. You got a breakdown coming up. Like, but it, yeah, man, it, it got easier for sure. You know, just in, in playing that song every night. But that, that looming feeling kind of never goes away. But again, I feel like it's a form of healing in its own, right. To, you know, not necessarily become callous to that emotion, but to understand how to cope with it and playing it over and over. 5 (40m 2s): Yeah. I was going to say maybe the repetition will help a little bit. Yeah. And like I said, obviously you have this big tour coming up and more heavy songs or heavy meaning behind these songs that you're going to have to bring to the 7 (40m 14s): Stage. At some point 5 (40m 17s): I was going to say, so what I right? Oh man, well that's red. So you're playing starting the third of next month. 7 (40m 26s): Yeah. June 3rd. I will boys and gray Haven and the Cal dabble. That's going to be fun, man. We were getting super hyped up. We're going to be headed up to Connecticut where our rehearsal space is in the next couple of weeks. And we're all getting that itch, man again, get out on the road. 5 (40m 43s): Yeah. So you guys are hurting Connecticut. 7 (40m 46s): We do. Yeah. We've got a, we've got a bit of a strange dynamic in the band. Cause I'm in Florida. Jordan. My guitar player lives in Manhattan. Tyler is in Nashville or other guitar player and Joey, our drummer and Chris, our bass player are both in Connecticut. 5 (41m 3s): Oh wow. Okay. You guys are all over the, on the east coast. Ish. 7 (41m 9s): Yeah, yeah, yeah. So yeah, at least like this chunk of the country. Yeah, 5 (41m 14s): Sure. 7 (41m 16s): We make it work though. And you know, it somehow goes off without a hitch every time, you know, knock on desks. But yeah, it, it, it is fun though. We get super excited. We get super hyped up because we don't see each other for a couple of months at a time and they're like, hell yeah, go. We're going to be back with the boys. And then we start rehearsing and then, you know, it's like, we never left, you know, we just fall right back into it and it's a really good feeling to have. 5 (41m 42s): So cool. So cool. Well, I appreciate your time today. This has been awesome. I, I love the songs I've heard off the record thus far. And thank you for talking to me about like such deep, deep things. These records all have to offer. I mean, it's from pre you being in the band. I mean, you just continued the, you know, the super vulnerable lyrics and subject matter. I think that's awesome. 7 (42m 7s): Well, I appreciate that, man. I just, I feel like it's super important these days because there's definitely been times in the past with other bands where I've like written something that I thought just sounded good. Didn't really necessarily mean anything to me. I was like, oh, I'll just, I'll just say this. Or I'll just sing it this way. Cause I think it's just cool. You know, but with, like I said, with this record, I, I really just honed in and I was like, this is what I need to do. I don't care if it's like overly vulnerable or if it makes me or anybody else uncomfortable, like this needs to just come out, you know? So I really appreciate the kind words on 5 (42m 41s): Yeah, of course, man. I appreciate you doing this. I have one more quick question. I want to know if you have any advice for aspiring artists 7 (42m 50s): Don't give up. Yeah. No matter, no matter what life throws at you don't give up. Cause I mean, there have been plenty of times when I definitely felt like just walking away from music and had I done that. I wouldn't be here talking to you today. So, and you know, opportunities happen at the strangest of times, like when you're having coffee with a friend and he asked you to take over his hands. Yeah man. And you know, people have asked me that before it shows and stuff too, as far as far as like, you know, doing vocals and like honing in on your craft. And I always tell them the same thing. Like, well I sucked for a really long time and eventually you'll figure it out, just, you know, just stick with it. 7 (43m 32s): And don't, don't like, don't be afraid to ask other people in vans, questions, like, you know, pick people's brains. Like I learned so much from other people over the years just by, you know, sitting down and having a beer or just hanging out and be like, Hey man, this part of the song, when you sing like this, you know, what does that feel like? And cause I've never had vocal lessons or anything, but I know a lot of people have, and that definitely helps a lot of people, but yeah, don't give up, ask questions, hang out with your friends, pick their brains. If you know, if they're also a musician, you know, learn from each other.

Austin McAuley Profile Photo

Austin McAuley

LIMBS found a home with UNFD in 2018, ahead of the release of their debut album Father’s Son, which gives listeners a dark and brooding look at a young man’s journey out of religion as he comes to terms with both his upbringing and his own actions.. A conceptual album following a young man breaking free from his indoctrinated upbringing, the album explores the harm it causes and the strength in reclaiming your own life. In 2022, they now present new single ‘Empty Vessel’.

‘Spirit Breaker’ finds vocalist Austin McAuley grappling with compounding experiences of loss in his life, the track climaxing with the gut-wrenching lyric “…it’s just the cycle of loss stuck on repeat again.” On this sentiment, McAuley shares: “These words are a look inward to the personal loss I can’t seem to escape. From grandparents, my father, friends and even pets, it’s a looming feeling that I can’t shake off. I’m always worried about what’s going to come next and it fuels my anxiety to an uncontrollable degree. After losing so much in such a short time, I have times mentally, where I become numb to the thought of losing someone or something else.”