By paul

Paul: Hi, for those readers who may not yet have come across you, who are Orange?
Joe: Orange is a crazy hard working power-pop-punk band signed to Hellcat Records. We just released our 3rd album “Phoenix” in America and it’s available in England and Europe on iTunes!

Paul: How did you guys form? Which bands would you say have been an influence on you so far?
Joe: We first formed right when I moved out to LA in 2001. Both Mike, my best friend, and I started playing bass so we thought it would be cool to start a band with 2 bassists and a keyboardist. It wasn’t cool. In fact it was un-cool. We named ourselves “West Si-eed” and wrote songs about furbys and girls with big asses. After a few months of that we went to see Sum 41 and realized what we were doing wrong. That night Mike, Jack and I formed what became Orange. We all came together from our love of bands that have a great pop element such as Green Day and Weezer to name a few. Once we started the band we didn’t have the normal type of teenage lifestyle anymore and missed out on a lot of fun experiences. We were pretty serious about doing this for a long time since day one and when we were 16 we recorded a 3-song demo solely to hand out to our friends at school but before we knew it we were getting calls from labels such as Geffen and Sony! It’s been a pretty wild ride since then.

Paul: How would you describe the Orange sound to someone who possibly has never heard you before? Is there one single song of yours you feel nails the Orange sound/vibe?
Joe: “No rest for the weekend” has always been a fan favorite since day one. The kids just got totally bonkers for it and it was one of the first songs I ever wrote. From our new record though I’d have to choose “Standing Still” and “Each Other”. I like to say our sound is like Green Day taking The Cure to a Clash concert.

Paul: How did you hook up with Hellcat?
Joe: After we made our first demo our friend Bryan gave it to Tim Armstrong. As soon as Tim heard it he said to Bryan “Don’t give this to anyone else. I’m gonna sign them.” We also had offers from labels such as Geffen and Sony but we decided Hellcat had what we were looking for at the time. We needed a few years to grow and develop our sound and being on Hellcat allowed us to do that. I really feel we’ve now become what Orange has always meant to be with this record.

Paul: How does your new record ‘Phoenix’ differ from your older material? What did you learn from working with Gavin MacKillop, who has produced a lot more ‘mainstream’-sounding bands?
Joe: Well for starters not all the songs sound the same anymore! I love our past records but to me as a writer I feel like this new album is the one. The one that best represents us as a band and has the biggest message we’ve ever created. I hope I don’t sound arrogant but I’m just so proud of it and the response from the fans has really been overwhelming! As for working with Gavin, man Ill tell ya, that was an experience! In the past we’ve made all of our records in 2 weeks. Recorded, mixed, mastered, the works. But with this one Gavin gave us 3 months of non-stop commitment and in the end with his help I think we made the best record possible. I knew as soon as I met with him that he was the guy that was gonna take Orange to the next level. I knew that I wanted to make a bigger record this time too. I’ve always seen us as a pretty mainstream sounding band and sometimes people get caught up in the fact that were signed to a street punk label and are super surprised when they actually hear us!

Paul: Why did you choose to cover Lou Reed’s ‘Perfect Day’?
Joe: We were about 3 days into recording when Gavin swiveled round in his chair and turned to us and said, “Have you guys thought about doing a cover?” After a few minutes of reeling off my list of about 100 songs I’d like to cover he just said “Well how about perfect day?” and as soon as he said it there was just this great burst of energy in the room and we all knew that instantly that this is the song we were meant to do. I love how it turned out too. We rearranged some parts and added a sonic youth type of guitar solo over a piano segment and it sounds brilliant! It was a pretty amazing experience to have an orchestra on our record too.

Paul: You’ve spoken up about your “battle” with Cystic Fibrosis and recently had to cancel dates because of the disease. For those readers who may not be familiar with CF, how has it affected you as a band and where can people learn more about it, and how to raise awareness?
Joe: I was diagnosed at only 4 months so I’ve never known any differently. I seriously cant even imagine what it would be like to be able to stand next to my friends who are having a smoke and not having to walk away. It does make things a lot more difficult and everything I do has to have double the effort put into it but at the end of the day I want to do this as a living and I love it. Nothing will ever stop me. Especially having CF. I’ve never come out with this information before until now but I feel like it’s the right time for it. I’ve always had a goal to inspire people and to encourage them to follow their dreams despite everything else. If I could do that and leave a footprint in someone’s life then I feel I will have done my job.

Paul: I read in another interview that you like to do magic tricks on stage…is that really true? What’s your favourite trick? Do you prefer traditional magicians or illusionists?
Joe: We don’t do magic at every show but yes we do throw it in there every now and then! I thoroughly enjoy pulling flowers and canes out of thin air haha. I went to magic school for a year at the magic castle in LA and it was one of the funnest things I’ve ever done in my life. I’m much more of a traditional magician. I love street magic. Not too into this whole Criss Angel massive scale production thing. I like to keep my magic simple, honest and wonderful.

Paul: Equal Vision Records has just released the new This Time Next Year album as a ‘pay-what-you-want’ download where fans can choose the quality of the file and pay whatever they want for the MP3s – whether it be nothing, $5, $10 or even more. Where do you stand on downloading? Do you think the CD will ever become redundant? Do you feel the ‘pay-what-you-like’ model is sustainable for bands and/or labels?
Joe: CDs are already on the way out. Indies such as Hellcat are starting to release only on iTunes now. Infact were one of the first to be part of that movement in England and Europe. You can only get our new album online to download but no hard copies will be available. Personally I hate that. There is nothing I love more than opening a fresh CD and reading all the credits, liner notes and lyrics. I have to know everything about the CD. Where it was recorded, who produced it etc. I’m really gonna miss that but with the industry how it is now there is no way hard records will be around in 5 years time. The digital revolution is coming, and torchwood will be ready.

Paul: We’re coming towards the end of the year and the traditional ‘best of’ lists will be out soon – which three records have rocked your world this year?
Joe: Gaslight Anthems “That 59 sound” is the best record of the whole year. No doubt. I love every single song on that record. They do so much with so little. No fancy production and no strings attached. Just honest, catchy, nostalgic pop songs. Love it. Also Rise Against‘s “Appeal to reason” and Frank Turners “Love Ire and song” were fantastic. I was a huge fan of Frank Turner years and years ago. It’s really cool to see him blowing up now.

Paul: What does 2010 hold for the band? Any plans to come over to Europe/the UK?
Joe: We’re coming to tour England in March/April 2010 with a certain band which I can’t name just yet. But trust me, its gonna be fucking amazing! I can’t wait to bring Orange home. Also our plans are to tour as much as possible and get our message of hope and positivity around the world as much as we can. I feel we’ve never toured quite enough in the past, lets just say we’ve got a lot of catching up to do. England, here we come! Lock up your daughters.

Try these three interviews

Interview: Greywind [Reading 2016]

Interview: Arcane Roots [Reading 2016]

Interview: Trash Boat [Reading 2016]