Monday 12 June 2017

An Interview with Will Hinkle from L.M.I.

US Stoner/Hardcore/Sludge Punks L.M.I. are about to release their super heavy new album - Far Beyond Nothing on Friday June 16th 2017 via Dullest Records. I've reviewed the album earlier this month which you can read here.

I've been a fan of the band since their 2014 release - Sleepwalker. I was blown away by their heavy sludge/stoner punk sound. Though on this record the band have added darker elements to their music. I spoke to Will from the band to discuss their formation, the evolution of their new sound and future touring plans.

Here is what Will had to say.....

Hi Will, Thanks for doing this interview. How are things with you today. You excited for the release of your new album.

Things have been very busy but enjoyable. Yes we are definitely excited to release our new album.

Can you give a brief history of how the band came about and where it is today.

L.M.I. started in 2010 by Brando, Kevin, and I when we were still in high school. I think we are almost completely different band now from when we started back then. Both regarding influences as well as sound wise. 

What can people expect with your new album – Far Beyond Nothing.

I think people who enjoyed our last album, as well our latest EP will not be disappointed. I think this new album is a lot more hard hitting and straight forward than anything we have put out.

What are the underlying themes of the album.

First of all anyone can interpret this album however they want. I can’t control what they think these songs or themes of the album are actually about and I don’t really have the right to. It’s entirely up to the listener. On that note, some underlying themes of the album really go about the idea of time passing and being stuck in the same situation you were in years ago. You may think as time passes that situations have changed and your perspective is different but in reality nothing has changed and you’re dealing with the same problems as before.

What influenced you when recording the album.

Every song is really has some different influences. But I guess some bands that inspired me a lot for this record would be Kylesa, Rolo Tomassi, Tragedy, Best Coast, Belgrado, Melt-Banana, Fight Amp and Dum Dum Girls. All of these were in heavy rotation while I was writing this album.

It’s very different to the other records you’ve released so far. Where you focused on Stoner Punk sounds on your previous albums, this time round you’ve focused more on Post-Hardcore and Sludgier grooves. Is that a fair assumption to make.

Yea I would say so. We went more so for specific riffs and being straight forward as apposed to adding more chorus for a stoner vibe that was apparent on the last album.

Why did you decide to release a darker album such as this.

I think it just had to do with what was going on in our lives and the progression of the band as a whole.

What’s the song-writing dynamic within the band. Is it down to one individual or is it a group collective.

Usually I(Will) will write a skeleton of a song and bring it to practice. Our drummer will help cement all the parts to really create a structure and our bass player will add his part last while I’m adding the lyrics to complete the song. But sometimes one of the other guys will come to the table with a song but the process will still be similar.

Dullest Records are releasing the album. How did you hook-up with them. Did you have any other record label offers.

We were going to shop this record around a bit but Dullest was the first label to really be interested in putting it out. Dullest Records is located in the same town as us so we have known the guys who have run it for a while.

Will you be touring this record heavily or will it just be individual, one-off shows such as festival appearances.

Our plan is to tour for this album as much as possible. We will be heading out on our first full US tour this summer in support of it. We also have plans to do more touring in support of this album in the future. On top of that we play pretty regularly in the Northeast US so we try to stay as active as we can.

Do you guys get the chance to tour regularly. Or is it only on certain occasions.

We usually get to tour a few times a year. They typically are out for a few weeks but the tour this summer will be the longest we have been out on the road consistently.

Is L.M.I. your main band. Are you involved with any other bands/projects you like to tell us about.

L.M.I. is definitely our main band. This is the only band all of us are in.

L.M.I. sound is stretched across a wide range of different genres. How would you describe your own sound. As you’re not the easiest band to describe. Parts Punk, Stoner, Sludge, Doom and Post-Hardcore. Especially with the new album.

Yea it can be a bit tough to explain our band to people haha. If I were talking to someone who was familiar with the kinds of music we play I would say we are a Stoner Punk/Hardcore band. But to people who aren't familiar with us I would say we are a heavy Punk band.

What have your been high points and low points being with L.M.I. or your musical career in general.

Some high points would be opening for Black Tusk or Pentagram. We get to play some great local shows with our friends as well. We have also gotten to play a lot of fun shows on tour. Some low points would be when we played a basement that was covered in broken glass and both my and our bass players amp heads blew out. That definitely sucked. But for the most part we just enjoy playing together as a band.

Looking back on your musical career so far, is there anything that you would change. Or any funny stories that have happened on your musical journey.

Ha ha I don’t know if I would call our journey as a band a career but we have definitely have some funny stories. One would be when we played in Tallahassee, Florida. We were supposed to play with one other punk band that night but the venue was double booked. When we got to the show we found out the other punk band cancelled so we ended up playing a show with some old school Americana country guys. 

Two of the guys we played with were older retired punks so they were cool. But one of the guys was definitely a doped up cowboy. He was pretty crazy for sure ha ha. He kept telling us that he had George Clinton back at his studio a few blocks away and kept trying to convince us to go back with him. He also wasn’t even able to finish his set because he was definitely too fucked up. He had another guy playing lead guitar with him but that guy was so fucked up he was basically playing random notes on his guitar. 

He kept saying weird stuff between songs too. But no one could understand him so it was basically gibberish. We were also the only band that used a drum set that night. Definitely an experience for sure.

Before you go Will, do you have anything to say to your fans.

Thank you to everyone who has supported us and helped us out over the years. We truly appreciate everything you do for us. We look forward playing as much as possible for all of you with our latest album.

Words by Steve Howe and Will Hinkle

Thanks to Will for doing this interview.  Far Beyond Nothing will be available to buy on CD/DD via Dullest Records from June 16th 2017.