When I was a mere upstart at 17 years of age I played in a band (now I think of it I am not sure we even had a name, we probably didn’t
deserve one) and we played a small festival called The Tall Ships Festival on the island of Unst (second star to the right and straight on till morning). We played a variety of covers from The Jam to Jimi Hendrix and we played them impressively bad. They were all bass heavy songs because the bass player ‘started’ the band and therefore deemed himself the leader and set list master. We sat on stage playing poorly, and out of time, to a staggering 30 people. The bass player playing so loud he managed to drown out all the other instruments combined. It was then I learned how it felt to be in a shit band at a young age. Now let’s take The Orwells, another group of way more talented young lads, picking up instruments with the intent of rocking some people’s worlds. The major difference is that these boys totally knocked it out of the fucking park.
The Orwells debut album ‘Remember When’ is the album every high school band in America, and Josh Tillman, wish they had written. Clearly the band has been schooled in the greats of garage rock and they have taken these influences and somehow made them seem fresh again. Picking up the torch where The Libertines had left it in a puddle as Pete flung it to the side to pick up needles in both hands, the band pogo from cheery anthem to depressing ballad without ever missing the chance for some distorted hi-jinks.
If you thought Mallrats (La La La) sounded loud on record it sounds a hundred times more visceral played live. As 2012 is drawing to a close it’s a pretty fair assumption to say that ‘Remember When’ will be making a lot of end of year lists (it’s on mine for sure.)
The band spent a month out here in LA to promote the album and had a billion shows planned. Unfortunately their young age meant when venues found out they were under 21 they were dropped and left with some free time on their hands. They spent this free time wisely playing house parties all around the city, which ended up with people asking who throws the better house parties FIDLAR or The Orwells?
Band member Baby Chuck took some time to answer a few of our questions and let us know what The Orwells have planned for 2013, and who would win in a fight between them and FIDLAR, and how they got banned from playing at their own school.
Atlas Jams: Your album Remember When has been getting praise from all over the place. Did you
expect the reaction you got when you were recording it?
Baby Chuck: We were super proud of the record when we finished it, and we thought it was good and all, but no, I don’t think any of us thought it was going to get as much attention as it has.
Atlas Jams: The album has a great sound and I can hear a lot of different influences throughout it, what
bands did you all grow up listening to?
Baby Chuck: All those early 2000’s rock n’ roll bands, like The Strokes, The White Stripes, and The Hives. We were also trained from Nuggets box sets and Elvis records, our old men taught us well.
Atlas Jams: You guys spent a month out here in LA tearing shit up, what were the highlights from your time here?
Baby Chuck: We played a bunch of house shows when we were out there because every venue we booked with found out we were
under 21 and wouldn’t let us play, so I’d say the highlights were playing people’s living rooms and backyards. It helped reminded us of the Midwest.
Atlas Jams: You guys rocked your first festival in LA at the FYF Fest, how did you find the festival experience?
Baby Chuck: FYF was awesome, it was the first time we ever played somewhere and the crowed was singing our lyrics, pretty
cool feeling. And not only did we get to play on the same stage as FIDLAR and King Tuff, we got to share trailers with them… they drank all our beer. Dicks.
Atlas Jams: Who would win in a fight between The Orwells and FIDLAR?
Baby Chuck: FIDLAR’s got like 9 inches on all of us, those dudes are tall as shit, except Zack… but we’d still come out
triumphant, no doubt.
Atlas Jams: Another Los Angeleno who has been singing your praise is Father John Misty (aka Josh
Tillman) are you fans?
Baby Chuck: Yeah, we met Josh when we went out to L.A. this summer, super nice dude. And yeah, Fear Fun was one of the best records of this year. Bob Dylan on acid, a lot of acid.
Atlas Jams: Do you guys prefer to play a house party or a music venue?
Baby Chuck: It comes down to getting drunk or sounding good? Yeah, house parties.
Atlas Jams: If you could pick any band to go on tour with who would top your list?
Baby Chuck: Twin Peaks, they’re a bunch of kids who also come from Chicago. Best buddies of ours.
Atlas Jams: This is the time of year when music sites like to compile their end of year lists. Who would make The Orwells top 3 albums of 2012?
Baby Chuck: 1. Twin Peaks- Sunken, 2. Lace Curtains- The Garden of Joy and the Well of Loneliness, 3. Waka Flocka Flame- Triple F Life
Atlas Jams: Have any of you ever read any George Orwell books?
Baby Chuck: The Brinner brothers love George Orwell, no one else in the band has read a book by him. Grant actually came up with the name; we all just thought it sounded cool.
Atlas Jams: So what does the band have up its sleeve for 2013?
Baby Chuck: Tour, right away. And then have our second album come out. Then tour some more.
Atlas Jams: You guys are all nearly done with High School have you been invited to play your schools prom at all?
Baby Chuck: We got banned from playing at the school freshman year. Our town had a huge heroin problem, we’d always have public speakers coming in and telling us stories about addiction in the gym, like two a month. So when the school asked us to play some fundraising event, we thought it’d be funny to cover The Velvet Underground’s “Heroin.” After we finished, we were escorted out of the building, and the doors got locked behind us.
For more info on The Orwells go to http://autumntone.com/artist/orwells