Oli and Louis Leimbach — the brothers behind rising Australian band Lime Cordiale — lead a pretty enviable lifestyle. When they’re home, they surf and write music and make art, living with a heap of friends in a run-down mansion in Sydney’s Northern Beaches. And when they’re not, they’re touring Australia and around the world, playing their infectious alt pop-rock tunes to an ever-growing base of dedicated fans. As their star rises, they’re helping other bands too. A few years ago, Oli and Louis saw a lack of opportunities afforded to Australian bands generally, and so established their own annual festival, The Squeeze, in 2018, asking their favourite local bands, artists and even comedians to perform. And it’s not just in Australia that they’re making waves. In 2018, they performed at South by Southwest and were named as one of the top eight break-through artists, and then in 2019, they signed a deal with Post Malone and his manager Dre London’s management company London Cowboys. In addition to making music, touring, surfing, and running their own festival, Oli and Louis keep busy with other creative passions. They make super LOL music videos with their friends, which are usually dreamed up by Oli — see their latest video for ‘Addicted to the Sunshine’ as a good example — while Louis makes original psychedelic linocut artworks for the band’s posters, album covers and promotional material. Given that they’re brothers, we wondered how they do it all without killing each other.
Be honest: do you drive each other insane? Does being brothers make band life easier or harder? Well, we’ve always been pretty insane, and we don’t know any different. We probably should chill out and have some time apart, but it feels easier this way. We share studio equipment, furniture and clothes, so it’s better not having to buy double everything
Do you think you’d hang out as much if you weren’t in a band together? We always hung out a lot as kids, but we had different friends. Since starting a band together, everything sort of morphed together. We started doing the same things and hanging with the same people. It’s interesting to wonder what we’d be doing if we weren’t playing music. Louis would probably be a reclusive artist. I’d probably walk around saying ‘I’ve got a lot going on’ when there’s nothing happening at all.
I read that you live in a mansion with a helipad — true? Ever caught a helicopter there? What is life like in Casa de Cordiale? That just sounds like we’re loaded. There’s eight of us living in a big old place on the northern beaches. It’s huge but definitely one of the oldest places in the area. We’re trying to find someone to land on the helipad but we just don’t have many friends with helicopters funnily enough. We keep finding snake skins in the rafters. Definitely pretty Casa de Cordiale.
I know you love the surf — was it ever an option to do that professionally, or was it always music first?
Nah, Louis surfed in some local competitions but doing that professionally is even stupider than playing music. Surfing is where we can forget about everything else, and it’s a great excuse to not answer the phone.
Is your recent single ‘Robbery’ based on a real person? It’s based on a few people. When you play a lot of shows, you meet a lot of people and a lot of them you never see again. Robbery is about some of those gems.
Louis wears Adam Jones animal print coat and trousers
Oli Wears Bonds vest and Suzie Bostock red trousers.
Have you ever been robbed? Yeah, we were living in Sydney city and our roommate left the living room open. I think a crack addict broke in because our house was trashed but all they took was cash. Didn’t even bother with laptops. The funny thing is that our roommate’s sex toys were all taken out of a box and lined up neatly on his bed. Someone was definitely having a laugh.
You recently signed with Post Malone’s management company London Cowboys— how did that happen and what does it mean for you? Are you like, best friends with Post Malone? A girl up in Brisbane showed Posty’s manager one of our songs at their afterparty in Brisbane. It just went from there… now they’re co-managing us. We’ve hung out a few times with Posty and done a few shows in the US. Pretty insane stuff.
You seem to tour pretty much constantly — do you like living on the road? What are the best and worst parts? We all love travelling, hanging out and playing music. There’s really nothing better. It definitely burns you out but as soon as you have a day off, you just wanna do it all again.
Why did you start your festival The Squeeze? At the time we weren’t getting on the line-up for any festivals and it was so frustrating that we decided to start our own. We want it to be about good music before any sort of industry hype. We want the audience to be able to discover new music and we want it to be inclusive. It’s pretty stressful just choosing the line-up, let alone getting everything organised… and we’re just doing it on a small scale. The dream is to keep growing it so we plan to keep bringing it back each year.
Is it completely different to running a band? Yeah definitely. Running a band is an ongoing saga whereas a festival comes to a climax on the day and then it’s pretty much all over until next year. A lot of the stress is the same, like making sure everyone is happy and you’re not going to go bankrupt!
Everything you do seems so happy — your music, your social media presence, your live sets. What’s your secret? Anything over-the-counter? We stay pretty happy. There are low points for sure, but we work to keep each other healthy and happy. As soon as one person in the band goes down, it’s easy for everyone to fall so it’s important to watch out for each other. We’re doing what we love and we’re very stoked about it.
You guys seem to work constantly. Have you always been ‘hard workers’ or is your work just fun? We’ve had to push shit uphill for years and years and we’ve definitely learnt a lot from that. The hardest challenge for a band is not breaking up and so we’re doing OK there. Now we just keep pushing that shit uphill but it doesn’t feel as steep as it always has.
What are you listening to at the moment? Can you share some of your top songs for the upcoming summer? We’ve been digging some locals such as Benee, Winston Surfshirt, Teenage Dads, Approachable Members Of Your Local Community, Eagle Eye Jones and we’ve been listening to a lot of Michael Kiwanuka, The Growlers and The Tesky Brothers.
How would you describe your music as an… Ice cream? Gelato Holiday? I will turn this car round right now. Wine? Cheap white wine Video game? We can’t play the modern shit. Pet? Not killing the wildlife. Movie character? The guy you thought was the killer but wasn’t. Salad? Too many nuts and little bits. Outdoor table setting? Sun weathered. Wig? Old lady’s wig on one of us. Idiosyncratic style of music specific to one band? Pop.
What are you guys working on at the moment / next? We’ve finished our next album and hoping to get it all packaged up for everyone asap. We’re lining up 2020 and just want to keep the momentum rolling.
What do you guys want from 2020? It’s already pretty planned out! We’re heading back to Europe, the USA and a big Australian tour again. I’m keen to get this new music out! But I also want 2020 to be an environmentally friendly year. Our carbon footprint isn’t great due to all of this touring, so I want to do more than just offset it. I want to work at giving back and helping to prevent climate change this year.