In Focus: Code Orange
Our In Focus artist for the month of January, Code Orange have once again proven their cred by dropping Forever, their third full length, and yet another step up in quality for a band who are still yet to reach their mid-twenties.
You can read our thoughts on the album here, but we were delighted to be able to get some additional insight into the record. Read on for discussion about the message behind it, Code Orange’s goals, and working with Roadrunner.
Hi guys! Thanks for taking the time to answer some questions. You’re our In Focus artist for the month of January (congratulations on this dubious honour!). After 8 or so years, do you feel you are getting to a point where the band is more recognised for its efforts?
Thanks! We are in an interesting situation because our 8 years started when we were 14 – so I think we are definitely on the path we want to be on. I care less about recognition and more so about creating a body of work that stands out and that I’m proud of.
Was there ever a vision for how successful Code Orange would be by this point and how does it compare to the reality?
The vision is less about perceived success and more about completing personal goals that we have and continuing to push forward and challenge ourselves and the audience every step of the way. The goals we had when we were teenagers and started this band were mostly about playing hardcore shows where people would care about us – and we are very lucky to have achieved that – I do feel that we can take this a lot further though, and we intend to do that.
I read an interview with Jami once that said I Am King was about embracing yourself to be better than you think you are – so it’s fair to say self-worth is important to Code Orange. What kind of things do you try to do to live that philosophy?
We believe in the art we are creating and believe in each other as people. That’s the foundation of who we are and where our confidence comes from. You can’t let others determine how you feel about yourself at any step of this game. We are self driven and united as a unit.
Following that – is there a message behind Forever?
There is a decent amount to unpack on the record from my standpoint – but above all else, on an extremely primal level, the message is that even through pain, take no bullshit and take no prisoners.
On a basic level Code Orange are a hardcore band, but you go way beyond that on this record. What do you think will surprise people most about Forever?
I’m not sure what will surprise people as everyone’s perception is different, but I think we pushed ourselves in new directions and further in the same ones. We made a much more thick, layered, painful record with higher highs and lower lows than we ever have before. We made the record we want to hear and I think there’s a lot of other people out their who want to hear something like it as well.
There are some pretty interesting sounds on the record: some pretty industrial Nine Inch Nail kind of stuff, and bits that take from noise rock; have any bands or records particularly inspired you with regards to this album? How do you go about incorporating new elements into your music?
We are inspired by all sorts of music and art. Our goal on this record was to convey a mood and a feeling in your soul more than anything. New influences and elements are all tools that we are using to continue to grow the sound and feeling that is Code Orange. We want to be the first us more then the second anything. And we worked really hard on being able to utilize new forms of music to do so.
Has working with Roadrunner had any significant impact on how Forever was pieced together? How has it been different to working with Deathwish?
Not really. They let us do our thing and give us more means to get it out there as they are a large organization. That’s all we wanted. The resource and the platform. We don’t want our creative touched by anyone.
You’ve been together a long time, are on your third album, and have toured a huge amount – but you’re still relatively young. Do you feel your age affects how people treat you (positively or negatively)? Have you run into any situations where you perhaps haven’t been given the respect your experience warrants, or learned something new despite it?
I don’t think it really matters. When we need respect we take it. We try to treat everyone with respect and love as long as it’s reciprocated. We are very young and have only just started this chapter of our journey as a band. We have had the opportunity to learn from many people we respect in both extremely positive and negative ways. I feel starting at 14 was a very large leg up; we are seasoned in this game – and have gone through many lows and highs – but being in our early 20s we have plenty of time to leave the destructive impact we intend on leaving.
2017: post-release, what are Code Orange’s plans for the year? Any overseas touring in the pipeline?
100 percent, we will be touring everywhere. For a long time. Bringing this record to life. We are very excited.