In Conversation With Ryan Dahle

Ryan Dahle.jpg

Chances are you’ve heard Ryan Dahle’s songs even though you might not recognize his name right off the bat. That is all about to change with his new record, Irrational Anthems.

Dahle was one of the guitarists/vocalists in the Canadian rock band Age Of Electric and also fronted the group Limblifter. During the mid to late 90’s, Dahle was on a roll, earning seven radio hits and four Juno nominations between the two bands for songs like Limblifter’s ‘Tinfoil’ and ‘Remote Control’ by Age of Electric.

Age of Electric went their separate ways in 1998 after more than a decade of slugging it out and striving to achieve a level of notoriety that only really came their way during their final few years together. When asked for the reasons behind their split, Dahle hesitates for a moment and then explains.

“That’s a tough question,” he admits down the line from British Columbia. “We had worked so hard for a long time and I guess it just started to wear on all of us within the band.”

The end of Age Of Electric wasn’t an explosive or controversial thing by any means, according to Dahle.

“We ended up playing two really big shows with Our Lady Peace and broke up amicably between those two dates. We have a lot of great memories and truly had a great time while we were together.”

Limblifter would become Dahle’s primary musical outlet and would go on to make two other great records (2000’s Bellaclava and 2004’s I/O) before Dahle would somewhat voluntarily fade into the background of the Canadian music scene.

Dahle remained entrenched in helping music be created, just not in the performing sense. He became a self-professed “studio rat,” amassing recording equipment and building his own studio, the RecRoom, in Vancouver’s Song City Complex which is also home to Greenhouse Studios.

Dahle has had the opportunity to work on many projects and in many different facets including recording, mixing and mastering. Not only did Dahle know his way around a mixing board, he would also help artists find the exact sound that best suited the songs being recorded. Even though the process of finding the perfect match of guitars and amplifiers could be an arduous process, Dahle recognizes the importance of the music sounding just right for the final product.

One of the most impressive credits on his resume is having mixed the upcoming Hot Hot Heat record.

“I’ve concentrated on making great sounding records with good equipment. Having the opportunity to have mixed the Hot Hot Heat record was a huge privilege and one I am very proud of, considering a band of their stature chose to work with me.

“I initially fell into the studio work by accident but welcomed it as it was a break from performing,” Dahle says. “After awhile though, everything goes full circle and I came back around to song-writing. I realized that writing songs is kind of a luxury.”

The renewed interest in song-writing would ultimately produce the 12 tracks on Dahle’s new record Irrational Anthems. Recorded over the course of a year, Dahle admits the record has been completed for a year and a half. Dahle has been taking great care in the advance setup of his new record. He wanted to ensure all the right people were in all the right places and lending their support to his record prior to the album’s release.

But rather than returning to the relative safety blanket of the Limblifter name, Dahle opted to release the record under his own name instead.

“I was actually torn between using the Limblifter name and releasing the record under my own name,” Dahle explains. “I wanted to make and sell my new record without any kind of history being attached to it and received a lot of encouragement to go this route from my band mate Megan.”

In this writer’s opinion, selling his new record will not be a problem for Dahle. Irrational Anthems will be the catalyst to return him to the forefront of the Canadian music conscious. The 12 tracks on the record show a definite maturity in Dahle’s song-writing, incorporating strings on songs like “Target Practice” while keeping the pop and power-pop edge that he is known for on tracks like “Chop Chop” and “Sixes and Sevens.”

Shows in the Maritimes aren’t currently on Dahle’s tour schedule, but admits he would love to make it out to this part of the country before long.

“I think it’s realistic that it will take some time for people to find out about this new record so we are thinking this might be more of a possibility in the spring.”

Irrational Anthems is in stores and available online now.

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