Interview – Jay Gordon of Orgy

Interview – Jay Gordon of Orgy

Cross-breeding genres is often the innovative spark plugs needed in evolution of music. Founded on that very premise, back in 1994, the band Orgy looked to make their presence known with a unique style all their own. A compelling hybrid of Electronic, Industrial, Synth, Rock, and Metal elements, Orgy’s 1998 album, Candyass, was an explosive debut that not only put the band on the map, but had listeners yearning for more. Unifying eye-catching imagery and hard-hitting music, Orgy distinguished themselves with more success leading into 2000’s Vapor TransmissionUnforeseen to their dedicated following, the band all but vanished in the year following 2004’s Punk Statik Paranoia, leaving an empty space in many fans’ hearts. Filling that void, founding Vocalist Jay Gordon resurrected Orgy with a new lineup five years later, and now, after steady touring, new music in 2015, and plans for a full-length album in 2016, the band is finally hitting a deserved stride. Recently we sat down with Gordon to talk the early days of Orgy, his desire to bring the band back, plans for new music, and much more.

CrypticRock.com – You began Orgy over two decades ago. In that time, the band really established themselves as the premier hybrid of Synth, Electronic, Rock, and Metal all together. Through it all, how would you describe the journey the band has been on?

Jay Gordon – It definitely has been a roller coaster rid, but it’s been good. I learned a lot and I’ve had a lot of fun. A lot of crazy shit has happened along the way. It’s all good though.

CrypticRock.com – Exactly, that is what being in a band is all about; ups, downs, and everything. Now the band really had a huge impact upon your 1998 debut record, Candyass. That record had a lot of great tracks on it, including of course, the second single off the record, the New Order cover of “Blue Monday.”  Were you at all surprised at that massive success that cover track had?

Jay Gordon – Yeah, it’s been kind of nuts. I was definitely surprised at how it took off and everything. The plan was to get successful somehow; whatever it takes.

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CrypticRock.com – Right, exactly. It is a very distinct cover for sure, you know as well as anyone, sometimes a cover track can make or break a band because then everyone is going to compare them to a cover. You guys put out a lot of great original music. As a result, “Blue Monday” was a good foot in the door.

Jay Gordon – Yeah, for sure, it is definitely worked out, so no complaints here.

CrypticRock.com – Now, you further distinguished yourselves in the band in 2000 with  Vapor Transmission and 2004 with Punk Statik Paranoia. Were you happy with the progression and the direction of Orgy?

Jay Gordon – Yeah, I really was. I think it exceeded my expectations to a degree. With any band, turmoil happened, things would go awry, you start doing what you can do to keep it going. I took a break, maybe too long of a break, but it worked out good.

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CrypticRock.com – Right, you did mention about the break there. The band had a good five year hiatus. Did you know it in your heart that you wanted Orgy to continue despite the long layoff?

Jay Gordon – Yeah, I kind of always thought maybe we would kind of sling the old lineup together and maybe get it done. It just didn’t work out that way. I am glad I did it this way. It worked out better, so the new band is killer, everybody loves it, and  it’s a new day for us. I am very happy about that. It took so long to get the wheels turning again. They are finally starting to get there and people are starting to take notice and show up at the shows, so I am stoked about that.

CrypticRock.com – Yes, absolutely. When you guys first came back in 2010 or so, there was a buzz around it. As you state, it has been building slowly over the past five years. Now people are familiarized with the new supporting cast. Fans have now seen them on stage for awhile. How would you describe the chemistry of this second generation of Orgy?

Jay Gordon – It’s really working out good, everybody gets along great. The band is getting better and better. We are getting used to playing the new songs live and we are definitely perfecting the old ones and really trying to energize those as well. We want the old stuff to come off as good or better as we used to play them. I think we are achieving that goal and we are really happy. I am really happy the way things are now.

Orgy live at Revolution Bar & Music Hall Amityville, NY 3-23-13
Orgy live at Revolution Bar & Music Hall Amityville, NY 3-23-13

CrypticRock.com – That is good to hear. Speaking of new material, you released the Talk Sick EP in 2015. You did in fact release a single back in 2012, but for all intensive purposes, this is the first Orgy record in over a decade. What was the writing and recording process for it?

Jay Gordon – You know, it was cool. We just tried to get familiarized working with each other as a unit, that worked out really good. Now we have a full-length coming out really soon, sometime before the Summer. During the Summer, we will be releasing Entropy, which is the new stuff. It will be a bunch of new songs, which we are going to have to learn those and get those ready on the set. We might do some kind of medely or something to run through to try and get to a little bit of everything of the new stuff.

CrypticRock.com – That is exciting news. The Talk Sick EP, it is seven tracks, that could really be a full length record. Some full-length records are only seven or eights tracks, so it really is almost a full-length record.

Jay Gordon – Yeah, exactly, so there is no shortage of material there. We are going to keep busting through. Having this new record coming out will really increase the catalogue quite a bit. I think people are going to be really happy about that. Like I said, it’s starting to happen. We recently played a sold out show at The Whiskey. It’s starting to happen for us and it’s always good to come on and play to a packed out house. It makes you feel good.

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CrypticRock.com – That is great. This new record scheduled for the Summer, what can fans expect? Will this be kind of a continuation of Talk Sick or do you have some more tricks up your sleeve for this new offering?

Jay Gordon – There are definitely some tricks up our sleeve. I think they are going to start to hear the heavy tracks are really coming back. I am feeling the heavy thing right now, maybe a little sprinkle of drum and bass, things like that will be in there. I think it’s going to work out really good. I’m really happy about that and I think fans will be too. I think, more importantly, we are going to be able to reach a larger audience and people will start to understand what we are trying to do here. I want to break that prodigy pendulum type and get that huge factor going. We could do a lot of things like that and expand the horizons a great deal.

CrypticRock.com – It is compelling to see the music heading on two ends of spectrum like that.  That diversity is important, and fans wll appreciate the diversity.

Jay Gordon – Yes, definitely, and I hope they do. I think the old fans are really going to appreciate the level it has evolved to. I think the new fans are going to appreciate the level of new that’s going to come from all this new material. I think we will be able to broaden the horizons, like I said, and look forward to doing bigger and better things.

CrypticRock.com – As we mentioned earlier, you guys have really been pounding the pavement, touring over the past few years. It seems like you are always on the road. You are actually touring through this Spring and you are going to be teaming up with Filter, Vampires Everywhere!, and Death Valley High. How excited are you for this tour?

Jay Gordon – It should be really, really good! Looking forward to that. We have a blast with Death Valley High, I think they are up and coming. We are going to start to really latch onto them as well, and that will be good for them, good for us, and everything. We are going to keep that union happening, because it’s a strong lineup with them. We have toured with Vampires Everywhere! in the past and radio shows with Filter before. Richard Patrick is a good buddy. Yeah, it will be a good thing.

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CrypticRock.com – It really is a wonderful lineup. Since you spend a lot of time on the road, what is the key for you to stay healthy?

Jay Gordon – Yeah, it’s definitely a grind. It’s the weather that makes it difficult if anything, it kind of beats you up every now and then. We always catch a cold and that kind of stuff, you gotta keep moving. Just hope you stay good enough to make the shows happen.

CrypticRock.com – Right, understandable. You have been involved in the music industry for a very long time. You have done production as well as being a musician, and you also been on the journalism side.

Jay Gordon – I have done a little bit of this and that, yeah. I am used to it all so nothing surprises me anymore. You just gotta try to, like I said, beat the pavement, keep it happening. Keep it relevant, that’s all I can do.

CrypticRock.com – Absolutely true. Since you have had this wide range of experience on production and the business end and the musician end, what are some of the biggest changes you have seen in the past decade or so in the music industry? It seems like the past fifteen years things have dramatically changed.

Jay Gordon – Yeah, it’s cool with me. As long as there is still a way to get the music to people. As long as people are willing to buy it a little bit and show up at the shows, that’s what you can look forward to. We are here to deliver, that’s what we want to do. We want to make sure we are a well-tuned machine and that we are going to give as much as we can every night. We want every show to be better than the last one, and that’s what we are doing. We seem to be achieving that goal and seem like we are getting stronger and stronger.

The fact that we are going out with Filter and everybody, coming up here again won’t be so much time off, a couple of months, but that’s no big deal. I will get a lot of work done on the new record while we have the time down, and then we will be out there stronger than ever with those guys. We are hoping that pays off well and everybody gets out to the shows. Also, the weather, so we expect the numbers to be better, they are already ready to go on this recent run. I am really stoked and looking forward to it all.

CrypticRock.com – All positive things. You seem to have a pretty wide range of sound within Orgy. What are some of your musical influences yourself?

Jay Gordon – David Bowie was a huge influence on my career;  just the way he did so many cool things. He was able to cross genres by doing the most outrageous things and stuff like that, which makes it possible for bands like Orgy and things to exist. Thank God for that guy. Then there is always acts like Prodigy, Nine Inch Nail, Ministry, and all those kind of bands that really helped pave the way. I am very grateful to all those guys as well.

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CrypticRock.com – Those are some great Electronic Industrial bands, and, of course, David Bowie pioneered pretty much everything. That man influenced everyone, whether they know it or not.

Jay Gordon – Yeah, exactly, there are guys that don’t even know what he was all about, but he did wonders.

CrypticRock.com – Yes, he certainly did. Our last question is pertaining movies. CrypticRock.com covers all areas of music and Horror/Sci-Fi films. If you are a fan of either of those genres, do you have any favorite films.

Jay Gordon – I am into both. I just recently saw a pretty scary ass movie,  As Above, So Below (2014). I try to get in and out and see what I can get into. I love a lot of that stuff. I’m a big Star Wars fan and stuff like that.

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CrypticRock.com – Very cool.  Orgy sort of has a cinematic quality to them on stage and within the music. Have you ever thought of dabbling in film at all?

Jay Gordon – Yeah, I’m interested in everything. I wouldn’t mind directing some stuff and things like that. Yeah, I love to direct some movies. I’ve pretty much written some stuff and things like that, I’m ready to go. It’s just a matter of getting in the right situation to be able to deliver that. That’s a new world for me. I’d do a really good job at it, it depends on how it all comes together.

Tour Dates:
4/13 — San Francisco, Calif. — Slim’s
4/15 — Portland, Ore. — Dante’s
4/16 — Vancouver, British Columbia — Venue
4/17 — Seattle, Wash. — Studio Seven
4/20 — Minneapolis, Minn. — Mill City Nights
4/21 — Arlington Heights, Ill. — Home Bar
4/22 — Cleveland, Ohio — Agora
4/23 — Pontiac, Mich. — The Crofoot
4/24 — Toronto, Ontario — Opera House
4/26 — Philadelphia, Pa. — TLA
4/27 — Boston, Mass. — Middle East
4/28 — Amityville, N.Y. — Revolution Music Hall
4/29 — Virginia Beach, Va. — Shaka’s (no Orgy)
4/30 — Jacksonville, Fla. — Welcome to Rockville (Filter only)
5/1 — Atlanta, Ga. — Masquerade Hall
5/3 — New York, N.Y. — Gramercy Theater
5/4 — Washington, D.C. — Howard Theater
5/5 — Knoxville, Tenn. — The International
5/6 — Charlotte, N.C. — Carolina Rebellion (Filter only)
5/7 — Athens, Ga. — Georgia Theater
5/8 — Nashville, Tenn. — Exit/In
5/10 — Houston, Texas — House of Blues
5/11 — San Antonio, Texas — Aztec Theater
5/12 — Dallas, Texas — Gas Monkey
5/13 — Tulsa, Okla. — Cains Ballroom
5/14 — Omaha, Neb. — Bourbon Theatre
5/15 — Denver, Colo. — Hermans Hideaway
5/17 — Tempe, Ariz. — Marquee
5/18 — Las Vegas, Nev. — Brooklyn Bowl
5/19 — San Diego, Calif. — House of Blues
5/20 — Pomona, Calif. — Glasshouse
5/21 — Los Angeles, Calif. — Roxy

For more on Orgy: orgymusic.com | Facebook | Twitter

Purchase Talk Sick: Amazon | iTunes 

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Frank Malerba
frank@crypticrock.com
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