The Transatlantic mathgrind duo Fawn Limbs have been steadily cranking out short, hellacious releases since August and show absolutely no signs of stopping. With current and former members of Infinite Nomad, Mireplaner, Psyopus and Commit Suicide at the helm, it should go without saying that these two gentlemen have a firm grasp on all things chaotic. With three EPs currently under their belt and more records slated to be unleashed in the future, Fawn Limbs are poised to be the name on every grind fan’s tongue.
In this interview with Svbterranean, Fawn Limbs’ Eeli Helin and Lee Fisher discuss the origins of the project, their releases up to this date, and future plans. Check it all out below.
Could you please introduce yourself and your role in Fawn Limbs?
Eeli: Eeli Helin, handling vocals, guitars, bass, noise stuff and visuals
Lee: Lee Fisher, drums, percussion and spoken word.
How did Fawn Limbs come together? How did you two get acquainted?
Eeli: We we’re both already in Infinite Nomad, the project by Jeanne and Sylvia of Coma Cluster Void, so we knew each other prior to Fawn Limbs. I had had the idea of forming a chaotic mathgrind band for a while and approached Lee with it this past June, after he posted a clip of himself playing, stating that he’d like to start a new grind/math/noise project. We both swiped right, instant match and that’s how this begun.
How do you approach Fawn Limbs differently than your previous projects?
Eeli: With hunger for chaos and dissonance. The trust and chemistry between us is excellent; We act as a consistent unit rather than as two individuals. When presenting ideas, the one coming up with it already mainly knows how the other one will react. We also get shit done rather fast, since we don’t feel the need to ponder certain parts or riffs for weeks, months or years. Good example for this, is that every single ep was composed and recorded after releasing the previous one.
Lee: The level of quality in the material being sent between us is extremely helpful to me. And it all happens quite swiftly. Enough so, that it’s almost silly. So you get an instant rush of inspiration, and the bigger picture is usually quite clear. Eeli, also has an amazing ear for the various relationships drums can have in a song structure or riff. Very inspiring. I’ve learned quite a bit about my drumming from his perspective.
This type of spastic, dissonant grindcore, mathcore, what have you, has had a bit of a resurgence in recent years. How do you think Fawn Limbs approaches the style differently than others?
Eeli: I think the biggest factor is that while I write most of the music, I don’t have any backround within this type of music. We also share an extremely wide spectrum of musical influences, which definitely brings freshness, abrupt and unexpected twists and turns to our music.
Lee: This is my first experience playing with so much dissonance, all exciting and new to me. Perhaps our lack of dissonant history will play the largest roll in our distinction haha. Also, as we continue to write, we try different things. Within reason of course. We’re both very much aware of what FL is, and that a some what natural progression needs to play out in real time. THRUM is a perfect example of all of that. It’s Fawn Limbs, but to us it’s more like FL telling another story, if that makes sense. It allowed us to try out other areas….Safely.
What are the advantages and disadvantages to making music in the way that Fawn Limbs does, other than the obvious distance between you two?
Eeli: The distance and different timezones are definitely the biggest disadvantages, but we make it work. We’d love to be able to perform live, and while that’s sadly impossible at the moment, it’s still something that definitely could happen at some point. The greatest advantage is definitely the way we work perfectly together, the aforementioned chemistry and the fact that while the distance is what it is, we can still fully concentrate on making the best possible music we can.
Lee: The not so obvious advantage I think is having the time (individually) to experiment with ideas at our own pace. We don’t have to sit there and hear all of the ideas that are terrible haha. I would love to have us in the same room working parts out live, it’s fun! I honestly don’t think we’ve ever talked about the pros and cons of a long distance band, we just started doing it. And it’s been fruitful from the start. Being able to track my drums at home definitely makes it easier of course. Not a fancy drum studio, but I work with what I have.
What can you tell us about the creation of your debut EP, Towing Heads?
Lee: TH is without a doubt, the direct result of Eeli’s ideas He sent me the material to see if I was into it. I was surprised, was not expecting to hear such detailed material. I didn’t even feel the need to personalize the drums he wrote…I mean, there was no need to. The shit was heavy haha. I just took the opportunity to show him that I was able to handle it and that I was totally sold.
Eeli: I had the material for Towing Heads written and demoed when I approached Lee about forming a new band. Lee started tracking his parts the following week. First thing we did after final recordings, was that we put together a promo that included three of the five tracks. However, we were a bit impatient with it, and decided to proceed with full DIY ethic straight away, rather than to lay low and wait for answers that were never coming in the first place.
What can you tell us about the creation of sophomore EP, Languor?
Eeli: A while before the release of Towing Heads, we decided to do another ep. A Dim Locus was the first track we did for this ep, and it also set the darker tone for the whole thing. We just went with the flow and composed the songs within the following weeks. Initially, about half of the material we wrote for Languor got replaced for one reason or another.
Lee: The musical relationship between us was already starting to shift and grow through the finalizing phase of our tracks for TH. We had a lot of “I knew it!” moments when talking about each song for Languor. It went so smoothly with new ideas that halfway through we had the idea for Thrum in our sights. FL has been nothing but a great adventure so far, and so much more to share…
Baring Teeth guitarist/vocalist Andrew Hawkins is featured on two tracks on Languor. How do you feel his contribution shaped those particular tracks?
Eeli: Being a long time fan of Baring Teeth, having Andrew featured on my songs was (and still is) unbelievable. We felt that his voice would fit perfectly to the atmosphere of these songs, and so it did. His inclusion amplified the darker and heavier tone of the ep, and these songs wouldn’t be the same without his contribution. We earmly welcome him to join us again in the future.
Lee: Andrew!! I think his tone, together with his phrasing was perfect for those songs. He was also very professional and incredibly proficient. (Baring Teeth are no joke.) It was an honor to have him contribute his abilities to Languor.
From where did you draw lyrical inspiration for both EPs?
Eeli: Mainly from the current events, tragedies and conflicts constantly occuring around the globe as well as in my personal life. I wanted to write the lyrics in a way where besides the initial idea, the reader/listener could make their own interpretations about them. Without going further into details, the themes are about death and losing close persons, chaos, addictions, refugees, internal and external conflicts and so forth. In a nutshell, there is not enough love in this world.
On your most recent EP, Thrum, the songs feature a mix of Fawn Limbs’ established “mathgrind” sound and lengthy sections of abstract noise and soundscapes. What was the genesis for this change and sound and how did this EP come together?
Eeli: The idea behind this was to create a thematical release and further explore the noise elements we had on the earlier releases. Few of the ideas weren’t even written for Fawn Limbs in the first place. Personally I drew a lot of influence from older ”artsy” movies, Nick Cave’s ”Murder Ballads”, seeing Author & Punisher live this past Fall as well as discovering the collaboration works of The Body. The noise elements are integral part of our style, and we simply wanted to push it further. While this ep is really different from the other two, it’s not a permanent change of style or anything like that.
Lee: I just wanna add that this EP was also written in a slightly different fashion than the other 2. I had an empty canvas to write the drums, which was really exciting. Also was a little concerning for me, as I didn’t really know how it would turn out. Last thing I wanted was to kill any momentum we had built up to that point.
Lee recites a haunting narrative throughout the duration of Thrum. What was the inspiration behind the story featured on the record? Will the story be explored further on future releases?
Lee: Hahaha, haunting?! That’s my normal voice!
Eeli: Inspiration for the narrative came from the aforementioned movies and the Nick Cave lp. While the lyrics tell their own stories, the narrative is ongoing and links each song to one another, also adding a lot of depth to the overall feel. The story is also based on real events and real people (mainly the narrator) with some clues of his identity embedded here and there. Though we don’t know when it’ll happen exactly, we already have some ideas for the thematic follow-up for Thrum, so the unfortunate incidents of this fella definitely aren’t over.
What’s next for Fawn Limbs in the near future? Any other projects you’d care to plug?
Eeli: Lots of stuff really. A full-length, few smaller releases, and some special things that will be announced soon. I also heard a rumour about a third member stepping in Fawn Limbs. Unrelated to FL, I’m currently on the finishing stages of the first Mireplaner lp, and we’ll both be working on the Infinite Nomad debut as well.
Lee: A lot more FL for sure. The first release from a new old school style grindcore project ALPHANUMERIC will be out soon. Featuring ex/members of Assück, Malevolent Creation, Commit Suicide, Swamp Gas & Solstice. I also recorded a few tracks for Takafumi Matsubara’s (Gridlink/Retortion Terror) Solo Album. And also Trench Warfare’s first LP. Very grateful for the opportunities.
Thank you for your time!
Thank you for having us!