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A Q&A with Central Ohio rock band Likspitl
(This interview by Out Of The Blue was conducted in 2007 during Lispitl's EP release Miserable Fantasy
and after participating in OOTB's final "Battle For The Cover," before OOTB's online transition.)
Describe your music in 4 words.  
Diverse, emotional, melodic, grooving

What artists or bands are your guy’s primary influences?
Tool, Flaw, Sevendust, Mudvayne

How and when did you become personally interested in music, in general?
Assman: I have a family of musicians so it’s hard to pinpoint.  I just always knew I like to play and didn’t suck.
J: I have been playing and performing music since I was seven years old.  It runs in the family, and I can’t imagine not being on a stage
making music that I love.
Joe Bobb: Honestly, out of boredom.  I was sixteen years old, living in the country, with nothing to do.  Playing my guitar was my only
constructive way to pass the time.
Legend: I’ve loved music my whole life.
Riley: As long as I can remember

Who taught you to sing / play guitar, drums, bass, etc?
Assman: Personal lessons from Alex Van Halen, Lars Ulrich, Morgan Rose, and Danny Carey…I wish.
J: I am self taught on guitar from various magazines and instructional videos (‘Rock Discipline’ is amazing).  I have taken lessons on
several classical instruments since I was seven, so I had plenty of musical foundation to build my guitar skills off of.
Joe Bobb: By my former best friend “Slynque,” who is actually the vocalist for SOTC.  He taught me the basics; the rest was self taught.
Legend: I took piano lessons from the age of seven through my freshman year of high school.  I’ve continued to play on and off since. I
taught myself to play guitar the summer after graduating high school which is when I first started playing in Likspitl.
Riley: I just have always sung.  Never gave a thought about how to do it.

How does the writing process work?  (Who does the lyrical and instrumental writing, and what role does each band member play in the
process?  What comes first, music or lyrics?)
Typically, the music is written first. We usually start with a guitar riff and we add a drum beat and bass line to it. We just keep jamming on
different ideas until we get some different parts working together.  Riley will generally sit back and help the song flow together, trying to
think of different vocal ideas that he might have and helping shape the song to fit those ideas.  After countless re-orders and arguments,
we have something resembling the music of the song.  The lyrics generally come after all the music is completed.

What’s the lyrical inspiration / motivation?
They are a mix between personal anguish and current events.

How did the band name originate?
The short story is three cases of beer and a dictionary.  For the long story…Adam, Riley and Legend played together after high school
down in Adam’s parent’s basement. After playing a private party for a friend, they were offered a show at a local bar. The owner asked
the band name and they did not have one. He wanted to advertise the show in the local paper, so they had to have a name by the
following Tuesday. They were practicing (and drinking) that Monday night and decided that if they could not come up with a name by the
end of the night, they would pick a word out of the dictionary and use it for the name and come up with a new name later. After too many
drinks, Legend pulled out the dictionary and pointed to "lickspittle." They changed the spelling and that was our temporary name for our
first show. It still hasn’t been changed after more than seven years.

How did Likspitl form?  When did Likspitl form?
Likspitl was formed in 2000 as a cover band back in St. Henry, Ohio.  Legend, Riley, and Assman were among the original members.  
The shows would be four-hour drinking fests, seeing as how the band got free drinks at every show, and tons of cash was made.  After
playing the local bars for several years, the band started to write some originals and mix them into the cover tunes.  In 2004, Likspitl
relocated to Columbus and recorded their debut album
The Second Chapter.  J joined the band in November, 2005 to replace a member
who left the band.  Riley was both singing and playing bass at the time, so the band picked up Joe Bobb in July, 2006.  The lineup has been
set since then.

Where is everyone from?
Assman: St. Henry, Ohio (two hours west of Columbus, right on the Indiana border)
J: Coldwater, Ohio (which is about five minutes from St. Henry)
Joe Bobb: Delaware, Ohio
Legend: St. Henry, Ohio
Riley: St. Henry, Ohio

How often do you guys get together to practice?
Usually we practice once a week, occasionally twice a week.

Does your music have a goal or primary aim for listeners and concert goers?
We want all of the listeners to be emotionally involved in every song we play. When we play live, we want to create a connection
between the crowd and us.  

Q's on
Miserable Fantasy

Where was the album recorded?
Capital City Stud-joe

How long did the recording process take?
TOO DAMN LONG….aka 13 months

Who performed the piano sections, as heard in “The Storm” and the close of “Walk”?
Legend (all piano parts).  Acoustic parts were performed by both Legend and J.

Who designed the album artwork?
Our good friend Rob McNabb

Where can people purchase the album?
Come to a show and buy it at our merch booth!  You can also order the hard copy from cdbaby.com, and you will be able to buy the hard
copy from
our MySpace via PayPal in the near future.  

For downloading purposes…

How do you guys spend your free time?  
Assman: I stay pretty busy with school and my job so I can afford to play in a band.
J: Whenever I can find some, I am either partying on OSU campus or out at a local show.
Joe Bobb: Free time?  What the hell is free time?
Legend: I like watching movies. If there is a weekend that we’re not playing, I try to make it out to see other local bands play (and have a
few drinks).
Riley: I like to go hunting and other various outdoor things.

If Likspitl could open for ANY band, what band would it be?  Why?
Sevendust.  We think our style would go over very well with their fans.  Also, Sevendust represents what we hope to be one day; a band
with an incredibly loyal fan base that creates the music that they want to create.

Are any of you involved in any side projects, if so, what are they?
Assman: No
J: I could never dedicate myself to two bands.  I never feel like I am working hard enough just for one band.  So much effort is required to
realize a career in music.
Joe Bobb: Yes, I have been playing with 30 ot 6.  When a band that has done as much as they have asks you to help out, you don’t say no.
Legend: Nope
Riley: Negative

Each member’s favorite song to perform live?
Assman: "My Resolution"
J: "Draw the Line"
Joe Bobb: Roulette
Legend: "Roulette"
Riley: "Everywhere"

Where does Likspitl see itself in 8-10 years?
Hopefully we are on a tour bus, exploring the world.  No matter what, we will all still be playing music.  Either with different groups or
with each other.  We are what you call “lifers”.

Anything you’d like to add?
After an entire year of recording
Miserable Fantasy and not being able to play out near as much as we would like too, we are incredibly
excited to be out playing frequently again.  We will be hitting up as many cities as we can and working as hard as possible to forward our
music career.  So if we come to your town, you better come check us out.  We really do put on one hell of show.
(Click any photo above to enlarge. Photos taken in 2007 and 2008 by N. Shumate, Out Of The Blue)