By Danger Coolidge
Unbelievably Bad Editor
Orion is heading to Melbourne to head up one of the finest line-ups of any gig this year at Aarght Death, the collaborative Aarght Records / Cool Death Records showcase at Shadow Electric this Saturday.
The sexy synthwave aliens from Sydney have just polished off their debut LP – the follow-up to last year’s sold-out demo on Paradise Daily – which is due to be released by Cool Death later this year.
UB checks in with bassist Dizzy to find out all about it…
How’s progress on Orion’s much-anticipated album?
The masters will be done this week and sent to Cool Death to eventually plop out like a giant turd we’ve been holding inside for far too long. I’m not sure what the wait is on pressing records but it hopefully won’t be too long a wait. Maybe a few months. Apparently there’s a huge backlog at record plants because all the majors are reissuing every single obscure and ancient release they’ve ever done to cash in on the record revival. Thanks guys!
Is there a title for the record, or S/T’d?
It might just be S/T. We’ve only just started thinking about that sorta thing. The art is coming together slowly. YMAXX [vocals] has been making some stuff with ceramics, and been finding some objects. We have a bit of time before the record even starts being pressed. I guess we’ll see if a name pops up once the art is done. We’ll see what feels right.
Where and when were the tracks recorded?
We laid down the basic synth, bass, guitar, and drum machine parts down over two or three days at the start of last year in a studio in St Peters with Laurence Williams (M.O.B). Over the past year we’ve spent time at his place recording vocals, and writing and recording overdubs to fill it out a bit. That’s kind of drawn out the whole process, but it’s been worth it. Laurence is really good at what he does, and he’s possibly the most patient person I’ve ever met – plus he has mad suggestions and he’s opinionated, rather than being just some monkey pushing buttons for you or whatever. I guess the only thing I’d change is that we could probably start that drawn-out process of recording much earlier on; rather than being like, “OK, so now that the songs are done (which they never really are), let’s lock in a date to start recording,” which is what we’re used to from playing in punk bands where that approach is arguably better. It will be cool to build tracks and rough recordings from almost the moment songs start out; and be writing as we record. I think we’ve been doing that a little bit recently. Worth a go.
What’s the heaviest song on the album – maybe not sound-wise but even thematically?
I’m not sure what’s heaviest thematically on a personal level for YMAXX, who’s written all the lyrics on this record – but I think “Crash Course” might have the darkest narrative. It’s the least dark sounding song on the record, though, besides maybe “Sexy Alien”. “Execution” is also pretty heavy, I think. Falling victim to your own flaws, making mistakes that you can’t change – classic elements of tragedy. There’s a bit of Ivan the Terrible in there…
Seems to us that Melbourne would really love Orion – and that’s not an insult to either! How does you usually go over with audiences in Melbourne? Any difference to Sydney – i.e. dis-chav lads / ladettes squirming under laser lights and occasionally breaking stuff?
I didn’t think we’d go down well in Melbourne at all; but they seem to like us. The main difference with Sydney is that they’re probably not sick of us yet. I really like playing in Melbourne, and I think people get just as loose in both cities these days. I remember when I played down there with Taipan years ago it was a very different vibe than other cities at the time. It was a wall of crossed arms made up of people who were much more into their Lord of the Fries than Lord of the Flies. One thing I’ve noticed though is that some Melbourners pull a face if you wanna use the aux cord to chuck on something that doesn’t have at least one guitar. But I guess things are a lot more segmented than in Sydney, where there just isn’t enough cultcha to stay in a bubble. To be fair, Sydney is pretty shitty for the most part. Our government just slaps a bunch of coloured lights on buildings and calls it culture while pretending that they’re not totally gutting art in this city. Trying to play in a band here is a massive pain in the arse.
Let’s say hypothetically Orion was catching the bus down to Melbourne. Which other member of the band would you most want to sit next to?
I’d probably sit next to whoever’s least likely to get irritated while I eat my way through a kilo of salted sunflower seeds.
Are you still playing songs from the demo live, or is it all stuff from the album, or is there any songs from the demo that will feature in a new form on the album? Any covers?!
We play all the songs from the demo live. All those songs are on the record – recorded better with some new parts. No covers at the moment. Not off the cards or anything, though it’s a bit of a bummer when people demand that a band does a cover and not one of their own.
Listen to Orion’s demo:
Orion play Aarght Death at Shadow Electric (1 St Heliers St, Abbotsford, Melbourne) this Saturday, June 4, w/ NUN, Power, Ausmuteants, Whipper, Terry, Tommy T & The Classical Mishaps, plus M’Lady DJs and MC Aaron Gocs. Starts 5pm. Tix from shadowelectric.com.au.