Code Orange Are Looking To Take In A Batch Of New Fans At Download Festival

9 March 2019 | 1:40 pm | Rod Whitfield

Jami Morgan of Code Orange explains to Rod Whitfield that for these hardcore punks playing festivals is all about making new fans.

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Pittsburgh-based noise merchants Code Orange have only toured Australia once previously in their decade-long career and that was back in 2015 when they ventured Down Under to plug 2014 record I Am King. Now they're returning as part of Download Festival. Little can prepare the average punter for the catastrophic onslaught that is Code Orange live, however drummer and vocalist Jami Morgan has a few choice words that attempt to do exactly that.

“We’re going to bring it, 100%. Especially with the shorter [festival] set, you’re going to get a lot of blistering intensity, but also a lot of dynamics, not just ‘Ra-ra-ra!’ You’re going to feel scared.”

That said, they are actually a band that is difficult to categorise, combining elements from right across the broad spectrum that is heavy, metal, hardcore and punk music. The end product is something really quite unique, and this manifests itself palpably in their live show as well as on their records.

“We bring it, like I said, but I think we bring it in a very different way than most bands, and especially most bands that you’re going to see playing at this festival. I don’t think there’s anyone playing there that’s similar to us, and that’s really cool. We have our own lane that we drive in, and I think we’re going to be in a really nice spot for a lot of new people, and hopefully there’s some people familiar with us there too.

“We try to paint a whole landscape with our live set, whether that’s through the electronics that we thread through the songs, or just the general way we approach it all.”

According to Morgan, this festival tour, which includes a sideshow of their own in Brisbane, has come at a great time for the band, as they try to make new fans across the globe.

“We love doing sideshows, but what we’re trying to do is try to wheel new people in. While the sideshow allows us to play for a bunch of our fans, we want to get in front of new people... I love playing those shows, but we want those shows to grow, and the only way to do that is to put ourselves in new positions.

“That’s why we waited a little bit. We knew 100% that we’d get there to play for all of our fans in all the different places, but this time we need to get out there and get in front of new people.”

It is obvious that this growth strategy is already working. By the time the band reaches our shores, their last album Forever will be just on two years old - and its popularity goes partway to explaining demand to see the band live. 

“I think the record definitely took us to a different level, and that’s what the record needs to do every time. It more than did its job and got us some mainstream recognition too, whether than means getting nominated for a Grammy or getting played on WWE. The main reason that stuff is cool is, again, trying to get exposed to new people, and I think that the record really did that.”

Morgan is very confident that it won’t be too long after Download before we see them in Australia again – maybe off the back of a new record. “Probably not, but the next record will probably be here sooner than you think, so I wouldn’t worry about it, we’ll be back soon.”