Welcome to The Limit Club
Interview by Hanna Yando
Band Q&A: "I just kick it and everything falls into place. Or aliens. The Limit Club is here because of aliens." Arising from the desert of Phoenix, AZ comes the Limit Club; a psychobilly-deathrock band that's been bringing fresh sound and energy to the music scene since 2005.
Lead vocalist and guitarist Nick Feratu, upright bassist NickDave, drummer Juan Carlos and, most recent addition, guitarist Monty O'Blivion create a unique chemistry; you can experience their wild alchemy for yourself on their most recent album, "This Is Cutthroat Business". Touring local Arizona and California dates on a regular basis, the band put on live shows bursting with energy and chaos; entertaining and appealing to a wide crowd. You just don't want to miss them. But what's their limit?
Official band website: www.limitclub.com
Official band Facebook: www.facebook.com/thelimitclub
Q: It hasn't always been an easy road for the band - did you ever expect the Limit Club to be this successful (and growing)?
NickDave: Before I joined the band I knew that The Limit Club was unique in its own right, so it's not a terrible surprise that we have fans that recognize that uniqueness and understand it. Success is subjective and it's clear that we have a long way to go before this endeavor pays off in a way that allows us to use it to make a living.
Juan Carlos: My perception of "success" is pretty jaded, I think. It is probably because I have met people or artists that I thought were very successful and many of them still have day jobs. Some of them barely get by and some of them are loaded. I don't know how to measure success, I guess, but I really think the Limit Club is headed in a good direction. If we keep on going, I could see us doing some major gigs over seas, and I can't wait for that.
Nick Feratu: We have a lot of work to do. We've learned everything through trial and error over the course of the band's career... mostly error. I think we're just particularly driven and resourceful so we've lucked out thus far. We've gotten a lot of help along the way, and I always try to show gratitude where it's due. We've taken a lot of cues from other bands that seem to know what they're doing. Bands like the Henchmen, Koffin Kats and the Quakes.
Q: You've recently added a new member to the band - Monty O'Blivion, on guitar. How did he come to join the band? Monty, can you tell us a bit about yourself?
Monty O'Blivion: I've been a close friend of The Limit Club for several years now, always believed highly in this band's potential. We got to know each other when I played guitar for a self-destructive little greaser punk band called the Video Nasties. We stuck together, as both our bands were breaking from the monotony of the various dying music scenes of Phoenix. The difference was, Limit Club were pure talent, and the Nasties were pure chaos. As history shows, chaos doesn't last forever, and the Nasties self-destructed leaving me to focus on recording, producing and composing music for my life's work, Manual Sex Drive. At some point, Nick Feratu and I ended up living together, while The Limit Club were writing songs for "This is Cutthroat Business." We developed a strong musical kinship as we have nearly identical taste, and we helped each other out with our respective projects. When they were ready to record the new tracks, Nick asked me to be a part of the album as "producer." I'm not sure if what I did could actually be considered producing, I was more of a mad scientist really, I just took the recorded tracks into my home studio and experimented. I threw in some brass, keyboards, sound fx, and electronics and basically just had a blast with the tunes. We were all really amped up about the album when it was finished, and Feratu and I had developed a lot of chemistry as dual guitarists after he joined Manual Sex Drive as lead guitarist, and when they returned from their most recent U.S. tour, The Limit Club asked me to join the ranks. I had a good portion of my parts written already due to the work I put in for "Cutthroat Business" so it worked out quite well, and now I'm having a great time jamming with some of my best friends in one of my favorite bands, AWWW gush!
Juan Carlos: Monty has been a friend of ours for a long time. He is pretty talented musically, and he adds a lot to the band. He is also our main character in the music video for "Shake". His band, Manual Sex Drive (which Nick Feratu plays lead guitar for) has become what is probably my favorite local band. They are super good and I could see them going far if they play their cards right.
NickDave: I've known Monty for a few years and the other guys have known him longer. As we were making the new album all of the post production material was done by Monty. I mean ALL of it. We had some ideas of what we wanted to hear but it was limited compared to everything Monty was hearing and applying. It just makes sense having Monty, considering all of the work he did, does AND the dynamic of having a forth member.
Q: This past summer you completed your first full U.S. tour. Overall, was it a success? What were some of the highlights?
NickDave: I think it was a success for sure. Tagging along with Henchmen was great and our two bands playing the Psychobilly Luau was the highlight of the whole tour, for sure.
Juan Carlos: That was our first time that the Limit Club ventured over to the east. I personally think it was quite a successful tour. Of course there were some duds and kinks here and there, but overall I was quite happy with the outcome. New York must have hated us for putting us through hell, but the crowd treated us well. It was great hanging out with all of our friends, too. That is most of the reason that I love doing this.
Nick Feratu: It wasn't quite a full US tour, but it was a large portion! I'd say it was absolutely a success given all the new connections we made with other bands, some great fans and organizers around the country. Not to mention we had a blast! Henchmen and Limit Club tore through those poor, unsuspecting cities. The highlights for me were meeting up with our new UK brothers - Furious, thanks to Rebel Angel Productions, the Psychobilly Luau tour was a lot of fun.
Q: Best and worst aspects of touring?
Juan Carlos: Best? Month long party. Paid travels. Many friends in short time. Worst? Blue balls, coming home and needing money.
Nick Feratu: Best would be meeting all the cool people and running amok in someone else's city every night. The conditioning you gain as a musician from playing every single night is fantastic. I noticed my finger dexterity, stage performance and confidence level were boosted incredibly by the end of the tour. Henchmen are a good, pro band so having them as tour-mates made things rather smooth. We never once got in an inter-band argument. The worst is the food! Being a vegetarian on tour can be a drag. There are lots of stops at fast food joints (which I always try to avoid , but NickDave loves). Oh well, a lot of people hate sleeping on floors, but I like it (good for yer spine)!
NickDave: Best: Playing to a packed house. Worst: Shystie ass promoters. (They know who they are).
Q: You recorded your first official music video this past fall, for the single "Shake" off This Is Cutthroat Business (2011) and have another video in the works. What was it like to record your first music video and were you happy with the result?
Nick Feratu: I felt absolutely fucking frantic and nerve-shaken until we actually started shooting! Organizing the whole thing was mostly undertaken by the director, Elijah Bustos (UCB Productions), but it was still a strenuous affair. It was shot on the top of a hotel. Lugging all the equipment (amps, drums, guitars, lighting rigs, etc) made me feel like a crazed person. All the extras were held to a strict dress code ("dress sexy"). The police broke up our operation on one night due to hotel patrons complaining about the loud drums in the middle of the night! And as you know, it's just not a party until the cops are involved.
Juan Carlos: It came out a lot better than I thought it would.
NickDave: I was extremely happy. Filming on top of the Hotel Claredon was great and the vibe of the shoot was always cool. That mostly has to do with Elijah of UCB productions and his direction.
Q: As musicians, how have each of you developed since joining the Limit Club? It seems that the band is always experimenting and never slowing pace, which must certainly be a challenge at times.
Nick Feratu: I'm constantly learning from all the other bands we play with. I'm a huge music nerd too, so I'm forever seeking out new sounds and cool bands. I've always considered the band to be my career, and I'm in it for the long haul. We're still figuring things out in a lot of ways.
NickDave: I just kick it and see what happens. I can always count on Nick, Juan and Monty to inspire me to do what I need to do. Especially Juan, since we keep rhythm we have to keep the other two in check and, in doing so, we up the bad-assness between the two of us. Either that or everything just falls into place. Or aliens. The Limit Club is here because of aliens.
Monty O'Blivion: When I joined the Limit Club, I had only a few days to learn the songs before the first show I played with them, so it definitely lit a fire under my ass and got me motivated, and as a result, my guitar work has already evolved. I'm the type of guitarist that pretty much only plays shit that I write, so The Limit Club has definitely inspired me to become more versatile. This is also the first time I've played with a stand-up bass player which is whole new animal for me. It's interesting arranging guitar parts to correspond with, not only Juan's unique dance-style drums, but also the patterns and rhythms created by NickDave's bass playing. It's like piecing together a 3 dimensional jigsaw puzzle, I love it.
Q: You have three full length albums, which have all been recorded independently. I know you've spoken in the past of wanting to wait before signing to a record label. Do you foresee signing anytime in the near future or are you happy just making it on your own? What are you looking for in a deal?
Juan Carlos: Unless EMI, Interscope, Sony, RCA, Sub Pop, Island or any other huge record company wants to give us a smoking deal, I don't see a problem with doing things independently. I don't think there is anything a small record label could do for us that we couldn't do.
NickDave: If we can make a living off of our art than we will gladly do so, but chances are we'll go on with our lives and have careers and family's and such and if we're not making money off of what we love than it won't really matter 'cause we'll still play music on a regular basis and have fun doing so.
Nick Feratu: I've heard an awful lot of horror stories from bands that have come and gone before us foreboding of trouble whenever a label is involved. I think it's more fulfilling to just do things on your own anyway. We have one-hundred percent control over our music, artwork, t-shirts and tour dates. In the internet age, signing to a label simply isn't necessary.
Monty O'Blivion: Being fairly well educated on the subject of music business (and from being an intern in the music industry), I've learned to be quite distrustful of record labels. Even many of these so-called indie labels, are in cahoots with the big boys. Don't get me wrong, I'm sure there are plenty of indies out there who are in it for the right reasons, however, in this day and age it is risky business. The majors are certainly not looking for groundbreaking new sounds, it is no coincidence that there has not been a single artist or band worthy of going down as legends in the rock n roll bible for the past two decades. When the corporate demi-gods of music discover a band whose fresh new sound might compete with the mediocre drivel they have worked so hard to stuff into the ears of the braindead masses of consumers, they stroke them into signing a contract with hidden clauses allowing them to shelf the band with acts of anti-promotion to keep the public focused on buying whatever crap they want them to buy. It's ingenious actually. So, to answer your question, fuck yeah I would sign I record deal, just as soon as I had a lawyer dissect the shit out of it. If the label in question still agreed to the deal after all the scams were removed, they just might be worth a damn. At this point, however, I think the underground is the way to go.
Q: What are your favorite songs to play live?
Juan Carlos: Condemned Vessel for me. I love to add vocal harmonies to songs, and that song gives me a lot of liberty to do so.
Nick Feratu: Some of our songs are fairly difficult to play properly and those are my favorites. I like complexity. Keeps my disorder in check. "Condemned Vessel" is a favorite thanks to the vocal play and "Just A Mirage" has become really powerful since adding Monty to the band. I'm quite proud of those two songs in particular.
NickDave: Anything I write. I'm vain like that.
Monty O'Blivion: My favorite song to play live is "Condemned Vessel," it drives me into a frenzy every time.
Q: Have your families all been supportive of your musical careers and the band?
Juan Carlos: Definitely.
Nick Feratu: I think so. I've never really asked them!
NickDave: My family, for sure, has been supportive. My father goes to our shows whenever he can and lets us use his vehicle to tow our stuff, my Grandparents bought my first upright bass and let us use their vehicle for out of town gigs, and my mother let us crash at her place in the East Coast when we were out there. Hell, even my cousins and uncles go to our show on occasion whenever we play in California.
Q: You have a growing fanbase, both in the U.S. as well as in Europe. What are your touring plans for the next year or two? Do you expect to be abroad anytime soon?
Juan Carlos: I sure hope so. I have been in contact with people in Brazil and the UK. If it means we have to shed a bit of money to initiate a tour, that would be great. I really hope to play that German Goth Wave festival soon though. At least before the world ends.
Nick Feratu: I want to tour Europe soon, but I want us to be ready. I feel like we're still working toward that goal. Maybe if I keep plugging our friends in interviews, they'll help us find a way over to their countries (ahem*Furious*coughcough)
Monty O'Blivion: Where the music goes, I shall follow.
Q: What are some of your favorite bands to play with (either locals or those that you've played with while on tour)?
NickDave: Henchmen, Furious, Rezurex, These Charming Men, Lesser Saints. There are definitely more, but these are my favorites for sure.
Juan Carlos: I love playing with The Reckless Ones. I think they are a great and very talented band. They have a completely different style than us, but I love watching them live. Hell, I listen to their CDs every once in a while too! I also loved playing with Furious. Again, completely different style, but I love them and their music. I can't wait to see them when they come over for their US West coast tour. Touring with the Henchmen was a lot of fun, they are good guys and they are quite fun when they get really drunk.
Monty O'Blivion: These Charming Men, Roughin It, The Sex (where are you??), Calabrese (honestly I don't own any of their albums but their live show is so entertaining and those guys are a riot) just to name a few.
Q: If you had the chance to play a show with any band (past or present) who would it be?
Nick Feratu: Playing a show with The Damned is a dream of mine. Once Daniel DeLeon (Rezurex) casually asked me "So, have you ever played a show with The Damned?", I said "No". "I have", he said just to piss me off! Hahaha.
Juan Carlos: Bauhaus circa 1981? I don't know, we don't really have a sound that you could fit with many other bands. If the style of music didn't matter, I would definitely want to play with Mano Negra. Just so I could watch them side-stage!
Monty O'Blivion: From the present, I would love to play with Slim Cessna's Auto Club and if I could play with anyone, I'd probably reunite The Birthday Party and do a show with them.
NickDave: Mama's and the Papa's. Either that or Cat Stevens.
Q: What other musical projects and hobbies do you guys pursue?
Monty O'Blivion: I briefly touched on this earlier, but my other band is a gloomy, yet aggressive six-piece known as Manual Sex Drive. It's actually been my brainchild for nearly a decade, beginning as a small one-man band that spanned not much further than whatever bedroom I happened to be living in. A little over a year ago I began taking it more seriously. It became less of an electronic-based project and more of a bluesy gothic rock band. I recruited 5 more members including The Limit Club's own Nick Feratu on lead guitar.
Nick Feratu: I love playing with Manual Sex Drive, as it gives me freedom from the microphone. I get to run around and jump all over the place with my guitar blaring while Monty does all the lead vocals. It's like therapy! I suppose I became addicted to have a big band sound behind us and I wanted to add something more to the Limit Club, hence adding Monty.
Juan Carlos: None for me at the moment. I did record an album with a buddy of mine, Garry Castleman. Garry played guitar for the Long Tall Texans on the Album, "Adventure". He wrote most of it. We met backstage when I was playing for The Quakes at a festival. Had breakfast in the hostel the next morning and became pals! The current guitarist and Bass player for the The Long Tall Texans also play on the album that I recorded with Garry. The album is not out yet.
NickDave: The first band I've ever played gigs regularly with was my high school band Sun City Riot. Just recently we've gotten back together and jammed and we're just kickin' it as of now but I imagine we'll play a few shows in the near future. That or we'll just run around in our underwear scaring little children. Yeah, either/or works.
Q: Anything else that you'd like to add?
Juan Carlos: Don't eat yellow snow.