Interview by dadair
A bunch of US based kids who go by the name of Orange, have exorcised the punk spirit from ghosts of the past, sprinkling in some youthful exuberance that comes out in the piercing debut album; 'Welcome To The World Of Orange'. The vibrant young scamps; Zak, Mike, Jack and Joe speak openly about the love of their life; punk and reveal the story behind their prolific poignancy.
1. You all seem to have quite colourful upbringings. Describe the inception
JOE - Hey I'm 17, you can't use big words like INSEPTION! Just kidding. Mike and I formed Orange 4 years ago. 2 bass's and a keyboard. That was it. Ready to rock. Then after about a month we realized having 2 bass's just wasn't the sound we were going for.
It's so funny to think of those days. We used to have really bad lyrics like 'I can't go to school, this sure as hell aint cool, aint cool...' That was really about the edge of the creative boundaries in those days. So then we got Jack in on guitar then Mike made the switch to rhythm guitar, then after a few years of different drummers Zak came along and was a perfect fit. We all knew what we wanted to do with our lives from a pretty early age. So that's all we did practice, practice, practice play shows, practice some more. Jack and I dropped out of school at 15 and Zak got kicked out of 2 schools because of that. We really had no life apart from music, and that's the way we wanted it
2. Describe your song writing process. Is it a democratic affair or is that outdated these days and does one person write the lyrics and you build from there? Also, where do you do most of your song writing, is the venue important?
JACK - Joe writes all the songs, and the rest of us tell him if it's shit or not. We may change a riff every once in awhile if it isn't a scorcher.
JOE - I write all the songs at home on my computer using the 'Garage band' programme, Usually in about a 5-hour period in which love, sex, and rock n roll all combine as I hit the record button (ha-ha)!!!!.Some songs take weeks, others a few hours. The biggest reward I get from song writing is actually being able to listen back to my thoughts and feelings spewing back at me through the speakers at earsplitting volume! Its truly a wonderful feeling to have a song completed that you put you heart and soul into writing and making it the best song you can. Then after that Ill bring it to the boys at band practice and they completely ruin it!!!. Just kidding! They then add their own musical fresh air scents to the mix too. Like Mike wrote the affirmation song intro guitar riff and jack writes all the solos. And Zak is my bitch; he does what I tell him.
3. Your self titled debut album combines irreverence and frustration to create a modern punk album to be proud of, containing the anthemic 'Affirmation Song'. Is this your affirmation album? It promotes the positive mindset of self belief, how hard has it been for you to retain self belief Given the falseness of the world that you swipe at in the piercing 'Hollywood'?
JOE - . I've been thru a lot of crazy shit for someone my age. Stuff some people will never experience no matter how old they get. But thru all the shit, I find that, no matter what, something good always comes from it. Whether it is a stronger relationship with your parents, or your sister. Or whether you gain a whole new appreciation and perspective for life after it. Something life changing usually does happen when bad shit goes down. IF you can keep a positive attitude there is always a light at the end of the tunnel, and I like to be the light. There's always a bright side. And remember, no matter how dark it gets, one only has to remember to turn on the light...
4. A simple question; has modern punk lost its way?Also, what does the term punk mean to you guys?
JOE - Punk to us is doing what you want when you want! It's not a style of music or a safety pinned shirt. It's about spirit. And as long as you have spirit and courage to do whatever it is you want to, like wearing glitter lipstick for example, then you can call yourself a punk.
Zak < With so many different styles of music going around I think the term Punk has lost, not its way, but its power. Punk Rock in America means a totally different style of music to the term Punk in England. Over here its created a very narrow minded group of people and some others who are totally open minded, like us, whereas in England I think it opened up a lot of people minds to the fact that music could be simple and uncomplicated and still be good. The spirit of 76 rocks on.. For me at least
JACK -- It hasn't lost its way it has just evolved. Different groups of people have different things to say. So all these different sounding 'Punk' sub genres were born, like the So Cal scene, and the New York Scene. I see punk as the weapon of choice of people who have put up with a lot of shit and have something to say about
MIKE - I don't think modern punk can loose its way, doesn't "modern" mean it
has to change with the times?
5. What does it feel like to be an American Citizen?
Have your feelings changed much over recent years?
JACK - I'm British and proud of it but I'm guessing most Americans would feel pretty shitty about the way their 'Cuntry ' is perceived. Bush is a grade A piece of shit
Zak -- WHY CAN'T WE ALL JUST GET ALONG!!!!!.Im an American by birth and Bush is a complete embarrassment to ALL Americans. FUCK Bush AND his dumb lame ass policies. America is quickly becoming a Police state. 1984 has arrived, Orwell got the year wrong, he should have called his book 2005!.
LETS ALL MOVE TO CANADA!!!!!!
JOE - Well actually I'm not an American Citizen. I was born in England and moved here when I was 6.Im British and extremely proud of it. You don't realize how Great Britain (pun intended) is until you live in a shit hole like Hollywood. In England people are genuinely creative and talented and mostly modest about it. My views on America have changed a lot the past few months. It's very corrupt in some ways. It really seems, and I've just noticed this, that if you don't wear a tie and work at a computer soft wear company then you're pretty much guilty of anything the cops want you to be. I have a real hatred for authority, I fucking hate it.
Its terrible to talk to someone like your so fucking special and mighty. What the fuck have you done with your life that's so special for you to say that shit to me? That's really my attitude. I'm glad I don't have to deal with that anymore.
MIKE - It feels the same as it always has been to be an American Citizen. Its not really a big deal, to me I'm just a 17 year old who lives in Los Angeles and anyone who sees me as more than that is thinking too hard.
6. A question for each of you to answer
Individually; what song, book, T.V. Show or poem sums you up and why?
Zak - The book that sums up my life would be an, as yet, unpublished work called 'Zak Glossermans guide to Rockin and Rollin', other than that it would probably have to be 'The Day of the Locust' because it profiles how shitty life in Hollywood is, even back in the Thirties. Its my belief that Hollywood is just a straight up horrible place and it always has been, and
it always will be.
JACK - ' Ballrooms of Mars' - by T. Rex. Why? The line "You talk about day.
I'm talkin bout night time" really sticks out and reminds me of me.
JOE: I once found a hotdog that looked like a thumb,Oh what fun, To gaze upon a hotdog without the bun.'
I wrote that when I was 9, It's a true story too. I chose that because it was for a school project and I never took school seriously I didn't learn anything about the real world from school. Watching The Simpson's taught me more about life than school ever did and I never take ANYTHING too seriously because where's the fun in that? Never take yourself too seriously and always have a sense of humor about things. That's my motto.
MIKE; - 'Live Forever" by Oasis. Because who doesn't want to live forever!
And Noel wrote that about his Mom and that's cool
7. Were you alarmed about the relevantly recent court case in America where it emerged that record labels pay DJs to play their artists tunes? What implication does this have for struggling non mainstream artists trying to make it these days? Is the music industry up for sale?
JACK - . That doesn't surprise me. Payola has been going on for decades. To be honest, if I was in the djs position I would probably take the cash. And most djs don't get to choose what they play anyway.
JOE - Well actually I haven't heard that before till now. That sounds ridiculous but I'd believe it. Radio is so mainstream these days. Well I guess it always has been but it really seems hard for new bands to break mainstream Radio these days. Indie 103.1 is great though! They play what they want when they want to. That's punk remember? Ha-ha. Steve Jones has a show called 'Jonesys Jukebox' and he plays anything he feels like, where as say a big station like KROQ has been playing the same fucking songs for the past 10 years! As great as some of those songs are, when are they gonna stop playing songs from '95 and start playing songs that actually did come out this year? Nearly every Radio station has a strict play list so it's not the DJ's
8. It seems far more important for a band to be great live these days. Does this suit you guys and what do you want people to take out of a live Orange Show?
JOE - Our live show is WAY better than the album. Its faster, bigger, meaner and in your fucking face! Fun, energetic and crazy! We don't stay in the same place for more that 2 seconds usually. I love our live shows, we have a great time and the audience responds really well with a nice mosh pit or 2. Everything becomes so worth it when you're on stage. It's truly magical. I love the energy and excitement playing live generates
JACK - .I think putting on a show is one of our stronger points. I want people leaving our show thinking "Damn, I've gotta start a band." That's what were all about really. Trying to inspire people to pick up guitars and do what we did. If we did so can you
9 Which of your songs sums up your current mood and why?
JOE - Currently, id have to say... 'Never too late'. Because its one of the most positive songs on the album and its got a killa catchy chorus! I love playing it. It's so uplifting and wonderful to play songs that you actually love and care about. 'Never too late' is really inspiring I think. Its all about how when you think your time is up and there is no where else to go. But there's this driving feeling inside that says, 'keep going you're almost there'. That's what I love about it.
10. How do you guys resolve any creative differences that arise?
JACK - .By throwing temper tantrums and acting like babies.
JOE - The manager... Blame it all on him.
11. Finally, how many crowd surfers have you had at your gigs and what do you think of this pastime? How do you feel that it is becoming like smoking and is now banned in some venues??
JACK - I've never seen crowd surfing at our shows, but there is quite a bit of dancing, which I've never seen anywhere else. Some of my friends have gotten kicked out of other shows for crowd surfing and I think it is ridiculous.
JOE - Crowd surfing is SO much fun, I love to do it and its great to see that same energy that you experience in the crowd but this time the crowd is for you! I think its stupid and lame that it's getting banned. But don't worry, we won't tell anyone at our shows that your doing it...
Let me leave you with this 'Never take a moment for granted. This Life is all we got. Love it. Live it.