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MUSIC PREVIEW

Orgy’s Jay Gordon, Ashburn Miller Talk Sunset Strip Music Festival

Fri, Jul 26, 2013   By Chad Zachary Mulchin   
orgy

Band members left to right: Bobby Amaro (drums), Ashburn Miller (guitar, synths and gadgets), Carlton Bost, (guitar and vocals), Nic Speck (bass & vocals) and Jay Gordon (vocals).

One of the best things about the Sunset Strip Music Festival is that the hometown heroes get a spot in the line-up. The L.A.-based electro-industrial rock band Orgy, formed in 1994 and signed to KORN’s label Elementree Records, will perform on Saturday, Aug. 3 at the Whisky a Go Go as part of the three-day event’s street festival.

Orgy’s most successful albums were 1998’s “Candyass” and 2000’s “Vapor Transmission.” The band’s upcoming album will be titled “Welcome to my Girlfriend.”

Jay Gordon, lead singer, and Ashburn Miller, guitars and gadgets, spoke with us about the new album, the SSMF and how band members battle pre-show jitters.

Question: How many musicians are in the band and does everyone write?

Answer: Miller — “With five guys in the band, the writing process is ever-evolving and roles are always shifting, but it’s definitely a team effort and everyone has a hand in it.”

Q: How did you come to be involved with the SSMF?

A: Gordon — “We were asked by the guys at the Whisky and have known Phil from Swinghouse for quite a while.”

Q: What does the Sunset Strip mean to you?

AM: “Carlton and I moved out here in 97 and our first night in town was at the Days Inn on Sunset. So for us it is literally where it all began. Crazy how time flies and things change but it all ends up on sunset eventually, right?”

Q: Which bands are you excited about sharing the bill with?

JG: “Obviously it’s always good to catch up with the guys from our era like Linkin Park, but 7 Lions is sick, along with Awolnation, and it will be good to see the Julien-K guys. I loved Masta Ace back in the day, and of course Slick Rick, and Logic too.”

AM: “The whole day will be an eclectic one, regardless of the type of sound you dig. With plenty of variety across all genres, those are always the best festivals. Excited about the whole event but obviously LP and hoping to see Stolen Babies, Terraplane Sun and our boys in The Dreaming are playing the Whisky.”

Q: Tell us a little bit about Orgy’s sound and style.

JG: “It’s an orgy of styles (hence the name). I’ve always been about mixing different genres/styles ‘cause I listen to so much different stuff. I couldn’t be in a band unless we could mix it up a bit.”

AM: “I guess we all are pretty deeply rooted in the hard electronic side of things so that’s kind of what naturally occurs as a group.”

Q: Your name, how did you come up with it?

JG: “Watching porn. No, actually it was one of those 976 commercials on TV, and it dawned on me that I love the thought of cross-pollinating different styles, but I didn’t think about the negative effects the name carries (like my kid going to school and saying ‘My daddy’s in Orgy’). You live and you learn. It just sounded crazy and felt good at the time.”

Q: Who are some of your biggest influences?

JG: “Bruce Lee, and Bowie. They both have had the most impact in my life hands down for some reason. Both of those guys are true heroes.”

Q: Does your band/music have a message, and if so, what is it?

JG: “God I hope not. I don’t want to whore out my music to try and get people to do anything other than come and have a good time. If they want to take it more seriously than that, so be it. If someone wants to take what I say and turn it into something good, or positive, that makes me happy though. To each their own. I want people to do what they want. Not what I think they should.”

Q: What are you calling your latest album?

JG: “Welcome to my Girlfriend” (I think?). Just something a guy who came on the bus said about his intoxicated other half’s actions on the bus.”

Q: How do you want to change the world you live in?

JG: “There isn’t enough paper for my response to that. I would like it if we were all told the truth a bit more (even though most Americans couldn’t handle that). War and economics, are both such ugly beasts.”

AM: “The playing field is not level as far as opportunities that are available to the less fortunate areas of the country. Everyone deserves the same chance at their dreams.”

Q: If you could work with any musician, who and why?

JG: “Rob Swire (Knife Party/Pendulum). Genius, and a beast in the studio from what I know. Bowie, (genius, and a freak), Izzy Izalia cause she’s crazy and I love her style. I would love to work on a track with Monsta, and a shitload of other producer DJs.”

AM: “Cyndi Lauper, yeah really.  I have no clue what would happen there musically, but always wondered what it would it be like to do a song with her.”

Q: What advice do you have for upcoming musicians?

AM: “Just enjoy it all. Ups, downs, drama, no drama , money, no money. And take pictures.”

Q: How do you like to expand your mind?

JG: “Over the counter cough suppressants mixed in with some cake, and molasses. Try it, it’s pretty nuts, just kidding. I don’t smoke weed or do hardcore shit anymore, but it used to be like that. Reading really helps, even though I fall asleep a lot.”

AM: “I probably trade and buy and sell more on Craigslist than anyone I know. I’m obsessed with touching new gear. I have drastically changed my live rig every tour. One tour, it’s all tucked in a computer and the sound is soft synth-based but the next tour it’s a refrigerator-size rack of analog synths. The Whisky show will be a hybrid.”

Are you nervous at all? If so, how do you battle it?

JG: “I bite my nails, and move my feet and hands around a lot ‘cause I always feel like I’m about to explode. Going to the gym generally alleviates that but when I don’t have time, a really unhealthy mixture of smoking, and light drinking, accompanied by the nail biting, and making beats tends to help.”

AM: “I’m way more nervous going to the grocery store than hitting the stage. Playing is truly the only time I feel that I truly kind of fit. I know I’m not alone there, but yeah, I get nerves mostly because I want it to be the best. See you at the Whisky.”

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About Chad Zachary Mulchin

Chad Zachary Mulchin is a Los Angeles-based creative writer and musician. His primary focus is on art-inspired journalism, artist interviews, and reviews of live performances.

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