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OF LIMBO: Long Beach's Hottest Band

Updated on September 20, 2017
Jake Davies, vocal/guitar
Jake Davies, vocal/guitar

I had first met Jake Davies, singer/guitarist of OF LIMBO, five years ago through a mutual friend in Long Beach. I was immediately intrigued by this walking paradox of refined ruggedness with his staggering height, long hair, and whole sex-on-legs persona. Unfortunately, I'd moved out of Long Beach after briefly meeting Jake and was living back in Los Angeles in 2012, visiting only a couple times since. The 710 freeway was a giant cockblock that stood between us artists closer to Hollywood and those across the smoggy rainbow in Long Beach.

Jake and I were able to stay in touch through this phenomenal thing called the "Interweb", where I learned of a show he had coming up at Alex's Bar- a high-energy punk joint on Anaheim Street. Alex's Bar is a great venue because unlike other bars, it's actually wide, which allows the crowd to mosh, and you don't feel like you're in some cramped red nook that reminds you of being trapped in your mother's (or someone else's mother's) womb.

Despite working full-time as a nanny, I knew I had to check out OF LIMBO play live at least once, even if that meant driving from LA to Long Beach. The announcement of OF LIMBO's show had come at a good time for me, as I was looking for an excuse to blow off some stress. You see, I had recently committed myself to stop smoking cigarettes for this nanny gig, but the transition was a bit easier because of NICOTINE, the equally addicting album OF LIMBO had just released.

When I stepped out into the parking lot of Alex's Bar last Thursday night, I was relieved to see that Long Beach hadn't changed much since I'd left. There was a mix of skaters, punks, and cholo-types (Spanish gangsters) hanging out and smoking. This music scene was pretty different than the one in LA I was used to, that was usually just a bunch of standoffish hipsters who kept to themselves at shows and tried to intellectualize every drop of soul from the music.

The two bands that played before OF LIMBO were great in their own way, but I couldn't let myself get distracted. I was there on a mission. I committed myself to sitting alone in the back of the bar with a notebook in my hand and these questions on the forefront of my mind:

Who the FUCK are these people? What is it that makes OF LIMBO so great? Why do they have over 11.8K followers on Instagram? How did they get so many hot girls to come here?

People-watching only gets you so far. I was desperate for some answers. Luke Davies, the guitarist (and brother to Jake Davies), was eager to help answer some of the questions I had regarding OF LIMBO.

Luke Davies, guitar/vocals
Luke Davies, guitar/vocals

MONICA: Hey Luke. Thanks for talking to me.

LUKE: No problem! Thanks for coming!

MONICA *glances at LUKE'S brother, JAKE*: Oh yeah, I came.

LUKE: So...were you going to ask me some questions?

MONICA: Yes, of course. Can you tell me a bit about your band's origin? When and where was OF LIMBO conceived?

LUKE: My brother (Jake - vocals/guitar) and I (Luke - guitar/vocals) grew up in Melbourne, Australia. Jake always had a passion for rock, and after I was born, he began fostering that same love and appreciation within me too. So we grew up on it, listening to it, playing it, breathing it, but being a decade apart in age, it was hard to ever get any projects going early on. It was only once I got a little older, and after years of us practicing and performing individually did we recognize how well our styles and tastes complimented each other.

MONICA: That's awesome!

LUKE: Thanks. In 2013, I moved in with Jake in Long Beach, where we formed “OF LIMBO”, a band that combines groove-driven hard rock with catchy melodies in a way that has never been heard before. We were tired of all these gutless hipsters hijacking rock ’n’ roll…you listen to KROQ nowadays and half the time they play crappy electronic music or folk or indie rock. What the fuck happened? What happened to real rock and roll? That’s what inspired us to pursue music with everything we’ve got.

MONICA: Wow, that's a pretty bold statement.

LUKE: There are very few, good, hard rock bands anymore, and it would be a travesty to let the rawest style of music in history die.

MONICA: I dig your passion. I agree.

LUKE: Jake and I were the founding core, and in 2014 we teamed up with Herbie Brady (bass) and Anthony Aguilar (drums) to complete the first lineup of the band. Only this past year did Juan Paz join the group to replace Anthony, so yeah, only one personnel change thus far.

MONICA: What venues have you played at? Do you have any upcoming shows?

LUKE: In the last couple years we’ve played a good 60+ shows at some of Los Angeles most prestigious venues including Whiskey A Go Go, The Viper Room, The Avalon Rooftop, Alex’s Bar, The Wayfarer, The Slide Bar and The Federal Underground. Next big one is Halloween night at our favorite bar - The V Room in Long Beach.

MONICA: Tell me more about OF LIMBO's sound. What are your band's greatest influences?

LUKE: OF LIMBO is rock, and we take elements from the 90s and 70s and put them together with a modern flavor. Alice in Chains is our number one influence, followed by Metallica, Guns N Roses, Led Zeppelin. Marilyn Manson's "Eat Me Drink Me", as well a Opeth's "Damnation" had huge roles in influencing our sound also.

MONICA: How is OF LIMBO original from other bands in the same genre?

LUKE: We pride ourselves on making every song very different in color and vibe. There are a lot of bands sound killer, but often you can't tell the difference from one song to the next. We make a concerted effort bring something new to the table with every tune.

MONICA: Tell me about any albums released and any that may be released soon.

LUKE: In June we released our debut album "Nicotine", the first follow since our self-titled, self-produced EP was dropped in 2015. "Nicotine" was huge step up for was the first time that we had recorded in a professional studio (Project K Studios) with an engineer/producer (Keith Sorrells) to help us achieve the sound we wanted, and it showed. We couldn't have been happier with the results.

Here's a link to a recap of the album release show we had at the Slide Bar in June:

MONICA: Can you tell me a crazy/funny or weird story that's happened at one of your shows?

LUKE: We have been using classic, 90s school-buses (with a 15 gallon keg onboard) to bring our local Long Beach fans to and from shows up in Hollywood and LA. As you can imagine, it gets pretty rowdy with partying and all-round shenanigans. On the way back from a show last year at the Whiskey A Go Go, there were two individuals who got particularly intimate on the bus. They started fucking against the back window and with 70 drunk maniacs crammed onboard, it didn’t take long for everyone to twig on. What’s more, no one knew who they were! They probably didn’t even know each other.

MONICA: Nice! I definitely have to get on one of those buses sometime. Sounds like a good time.

It was almost 11:30, and OF LIMBO was about to play. Everyone that had been smoking in the parking lot and hanging out around the bar made their way in front of the stage, excited to hear the band they all came to see. It was then that I bravely walked through this sea of penises and made my way to the front row of the crowd. It was here where I would observe, learn, judge, and maybe

OF LIMBO's performance was epic. Luke had described their sound to me perfectly in the interview- you could definitely hear the 70s and 90s influence seep through every musician's instrument. Luke was to the left of the stage playing guitar energetically, while the bass player Herbie was on the right, adding a cool flavor of passive intensity to the band. Jake was in the center, serenading the audience with his perfect deep voice. Jake was particularly in sync with his drummer, Juan Paz, which I thought was a cool twist that I hadn't witnessed much in live bands.

Herby Brady getting down on bass
Herby Brady getting down on bass

If someone put a gun to my head and forced me to choose only three words to describe OF LIMBO, I would say "dynamic, raw, and powerful." How else would they attract such a variety of people to their shows? In the audience, there were horny white girls from Belmont Shore, Mexican dudes with tattoos on their heads, ambiguous artsy dudes with pencil moustaches, skaters, and more.

If you like good music and sexy dudes, you'd be a fool not to keep up with OF LIMBO.

To listen to OF LIMBO's new album NICOTINE, check out the links below. Be sure to follow @oflimbo on Instagram to keep up with any upcoming shows they may have!


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