Code Orange are an incredibly special band, you already know that. They’ve taken the world by storm over the past eighteen months; dropping an album that has conquered so many respected journalist’s ends of year lists, touring the globe, and most prominently being nominated for the Grammy’s, ‘Best Metal’ prize last year. We sat down with frontman Jami Morgan at the Portsmouth Wedgewood Rooms on the last headlining show of this tour to hear about their outstanding achievements, talking hardcore and where the band are going to go in the future.
“Now we’re changing more than ever…”
Code Orange have always felt like an evolving beast. You’ve never been able to pin them down to a certain genre or style. There isn’t always a lineage in an individual song, case in point their newest track, Only One Way. The band are still incredibly young, with Morgan himself only clocking in at the ripe old age of 24. “We’ve now been on the road constantly for 6 years. We’ve been in this band since we were 14 years old, so I feel like we’re constantly evolving. But that comes with getting older. Now we’re changing more than ever, but we’re putting out our best stuff.” Commented Morgan.
Back in February, the band dropped a brand new standalone single, Only One Way. At the time, it was met with a few mixed reactions, however, it’s something that Morgan shrugs off. “As a band, we’re in a position where we can write different types of song. It doesn’t have to all be the same thing. I don’t necessarily think that Only One Way would have fit on Forever, it doesn’t really feel like part of that cycle.” He continues, “When we were making the I Am King record, and even Forever, we still felt like beginners, just tacking stuff on to songs. We’re not like that anymore, we’re much better writers now.” This is testament to how good of a song Only One Way actually is, linking a huge alt-rock-esque vocal performance from guitarist Reba Meyers with monolithic industrial electronic breaks. It would have been easy for Code Orange to go down a more accessible route on newer material, particularly after the success of previously released single, Bleeding In the Blur. However, it feels as though the band still have their integrity intact and are still open to backing intelligent, challenging music.
“Did it surprise me that we got nominated? yeah. Do I feel like we deserve it? Absolutely.”
Conversation obviously took a turn towards the Grammy nomination the band received last year. “Did it surprise me that we got nominated? yeah. Do I feel like we deserve it? Absolutely.” It’s this sense of confidence that sets Morgan apart from his peers. He knows his band are good, and he knows the attention they are getting is well deserved, however it doesn’t feel cocky or pretentious. “I love Forever, I don’t think its as niche as people make it out to be. It’s definitely not the kind of record that we thought the Grammy’s panel would vote for, but they did and I’m proud of it.”
The recognition that Forever gained was completely deserved. For a scene that is far too often looked over in the mainstream eye, it felt like a crowning moment in a year full of incredible music.
“ “The hardcore scene is fickle. I love it to death, but my perspective has changed a bit.”
When quizzed about the prospect of new material Morgan stated, “We’ve already got tonnes of stuff. We don’t really take a break because people in the industry take too much time to put anything out.” Morgan briefly pauses almost as if he’s reflecting back on the vast body of work Code Orange have put their name to over the last year. “This is my life, so if we’re not touring, then we’re at home writing music. I want the process to be quick and I don’t want it to take forever.” It almost feels as though Morgan feels like them bottom could fall out at any given moment, so while they’ve got this exceptional platform, they’ll run with it. Finishing our conversation, Morgan spoke about the hardcore scene’s public image in 2018. “The hardcore scene is fickle. I love it to death, but my perspective has changed a bit. Hardcore works in cycles, and right now we’re in but in a couple of years who knows what will happen.”
We’re lucky to have a band like Code Orange. They truly feel like they are the epitome of what it means to identify as a hardcore kid in 2018. However, the most exciting thing is we have no idea what will happen next.
FOREVER IS OUT NOW VIA ROADRUNNER RECORDS | THE BAND ALSO HEADLINE NEXT MONTH’S OUTBREAK FESTIVAL. GRAB YOUR TICKETS HERE.