Before they destroyed the O2 Academy in Bristol, we got to sit down with guitarist/vocalist Reba Meyers of Code Orange and talk about the bands career progression, their latest record ‘Forever‘ and what they’d like to see change in the music industry.
For those who aren’t familiar, how would you describe Code Orange?
We are a aard, aggressive band. Whatever we want, pretty much!
You are halfway through this tour with Gojira, how has the experience been for this tour so far?
It’s been great. It’s definitely different with the crowds than we are used to in the US, there are some stoic crowds for sure up north, but its been awesome and Gojira are an amazing band.
What has been the most craziest moment of this tour, whether it be live or behind the scenes?
Probably the London show. A couple of UK shows were definitely some of the craziest moments. The crowd kind of came out of nowhere because we had played in Copenhagen and Oslo and people were respectful but it wasn’t anything like we’ve seen in the UK, like the reaction we’ve gotten is insane.
Your latest album ‘Forever‘ has been out for a few months now, how has the reception been for the record as a whole?
Good as far as I can see. You can never really tell until later down the line but I think the response has been good and people seem to understand it which is the best that we can ask for.
Who were your main inspirations for the record?
Lists of bands! There’s kind of different sections that we take influence from such as hardcore, especially from the Pittsburg area. You’ve also got metal bands and you also have synth based bands like Nine Inch Nails and then you’ve also got more alt type bands like Nirvana and Soundgarden. Just all over the map.
Do the colour schemes on your records represent anything in particular?
I mean, I wasn’t the one who decided on the colour scheme, that was Jami (drummer), but yeah I would say that red just kind of fit now with the boldness of the colour and the record is even more out there and darker. Like ‘I Am King‘ is dark but this is a whole other level and we felt that fit.
Out of all the tracks in your discography, which ones would you say are your favourites and why?
Like all of our songs? I don’t know, thats really tough but right now we just wrote this record and I feel that all those songs are better than any other song we’ve ever written, so all the songs on ‘Forever‘
What were your first shows like as a band in comparison to now?
Very different. Like it’s a slow build and there will be random shows here and there that are just crazy but it’s been awesome recently, especially when ‘Forever‘ came out we did our first full US tour in America.
Is there a show that you’ve played where you felt like the band has legs/a show where you felt like you’ve made it as a band?
I mean, its hard to describe. I mean you can have an amazing show and then have a horrible show the next day and we’re so used to the ups and downs of that, that we try and look more at the overall picture and questions like ‘Is our band getting better?‘ and personally ‘are we getting better?‘. You can only really know that yourself, you can’t really tell from the crowd. We’re used to playing shows to people who don’t care or to people we need to make them care, so it’s kind of just on us really.
What’s the biggest change you’ve seen in yourself growing in the band and personally?
Just trying to be a bigger and more diverse music fan, getting new influences and not not listening to music. You have to have your ears open to things and spend actual time listening to music and finding new cool ideas and new influences as well as just staying with it.
How do you overcome the stigma around your band with the type of violence that happens at your shows?
People are going to say whatever. Sometimes it’s true and things can get out of hand but that happens at all types of shows, we’re not the only band that has that. It’s a whole community and scene that’s been around for years and there’s going to be people who don’t fully understand it and I can’t really fault them for that. It is what it is and you just gotta hope nothing gets out of control.
Has there ever been a moment in your bands career that you have been discriminated because of your gender?
No, I mean there’s stuff in life, being a woman, but it’s not like it is isolated to hardcore or this kind of music. Thats just life, that’s just world we live in. I have friends who will always get my back so I’m not worried about it in any kind of real way. I’m sure there’s people in the world who have to be a lot more worried than I do.
What advice would you give to aspiring female artists who have doubts about it due to the type of discrimination that might happen to them?
Just do your thing. There’s reasons to have worries, I understand that, but as long as you’re confident and you put yourself out there as being confident then you’re a lot less open to attacks.
If there is one thing you would like to change in the music scene you’re in, what would it be?
I just wish that there were more real bands and that more real bands were given a chance. There’s a lot of bands that work really hard that don’t get given the light of day and there’s a lot of bands who just slap songs together that are what people want to hear now, supposedly. I definitely wish there was a lot less ‘easy listening’ that was given those resources and those resources were given to bands who work hard.
Is there any bands on your radar that you feel people should check out?
Yeah, this band Eternal Sleep from Pittsburgh, they’re awesome. A lot of Closed Casket Activities bands on that label such as Incendiary. There’s a young band called Vein from Massachusetts. A lot of different kinds of bands, small or big. Full of Hell, they’re an amazing up and coming metal band.
What are the plans for Code Orange in 2017?
Touring. We’re going back to the US to tour with Killswitch Engage and Anthrax which is right after this, then we come back here to do some festivals and shows and I am sure there will be some more tours soon!
Any final words?
Thanks for listening to us!