The Severed Limb / by E

Catch up with lead singer/guitarist Bobby Paul of London-based six-piece The Severed Limb and watch the video for the band's latest single "Bela Lugosi" off their forthcoming third album.

What brought you together and made you decide to start The Severed Limb?

Bobby: The reason I started the band is because it dawned on me, relatively late in life, that no one was going to hand anything to me in terms of having an exciting life, etc. Maybe there was less to do in London eight years ago when we started the band, although I doubt it. We were all outsiders really in different ways. That sounds like I'm trying to be cool, but what I mean is I was a total geek. I didn't have a social life. The band gave me everything.

Which musicians would you say you've been influenced by?

The cool thing about The Severed Limb is that each of us has quite different influences and they do come out in the music. I suppose I've been influenced by 1950s rock and roll and to some extent garage. Our bass player Simon is fairly punk. Alex is quite into South American music and has a cumbia band called Malphino who are very good. Charlie is into Brazilian percussion. Leo loves '80s music. It all sort of comes together. Sam our guitarist is an encyclopaedia of guitar music - he loves it all. He loves John Frusciante I think. So do I. 

If you were to make a playlist for your fans, which 3 songs - from other artists - would you have to include?

In terms of the way our new record sounds... Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds "Dig Lazarus Dig", Iggy Pop "The Passenger" and Tom Waits "Heart Attack and Vine".

Which words would you use to describe your sound to someone who had never heard your music?

I wouldn't describe my music to someone who hadn't listened to it. I'd just play it to them! I don't know, I always say it's rock and roll, but I don't think that starts to cover it really.

What were your inspirations behind your single and the video for "Bela Lugosi"?

Well in terms of the lyrics, I've been into Bela Lugosi and Dracula in general for a long time. Probably since I watched the film by Ed Wood. Musically, I was actually thinking along the lines of The B52s at the time I wrote it, but it came out a bit heavier than that. The video was all the work of the director Roger Francis Cook. He came up with the idea and we just said 'great, let's do it'. It's fast paced and full of smoke which is good, because we're not as young as we used to be.

Could you tell us more about your upcoming album and how it compares to your previous releases?

It's quite different to the previous records. Each song is more intense. It's heavier and weirder. There's next to no accordion, next to no washboard (which we're known for a little bit), next to no double bass. It's the record we're most proud of though.

In one sentence, how would you sum up your forthcoming album?

Another fine mess!

What do you hope listeners are able to take away from your music?

I hope they like it. That's all. We've played way too many (often small) gigs and put in way too many hours to be anything but humble about what we do. We're not massive, but we are there to be enjoyed, and whenever that happens it feels like it's worthwhile.

Is there anything you want to add?

Thanks for interviewing me and I'd just like encourage people to check out and support our friends Ritzy Living Wage.

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