Originally formed in 1997, ORGY was signed to Korn’s label Elementree Records where they released their debut album Candyass in 1998. Their two hit singles, a cover of the New Order’s “Blue Monday” and “Stitches,” helped propel them to amazing heights as they went on to sell over 2 million copies. Before they knew it, they went from playing small venues to sold out arenas across the nation as part of the Family Values Tour with KORN, Limp Bizkit, Ice Cube, Incubus and Rammstein. Their second album, the science fiction-themed Vapor Transmission, was released in 2000 featuring the singles “Fiction (Dreams in Digital)” and “Opticon” and also garnered critical acclaim.
Through the years, the founding members of Orgy pursued several side projects and Orgy seemed to be losing steam. However, for fans of Orgy, the craving for new material never wained. As demand for new music and a tour grew, charismatic frontman Jay Gordon answered the call. He hand-selected guitarist Carlton Bost (formerly with Elijah Blue Allman’s project Deadsy), guitarist Ashburn Miller (also from Deadsy), bassist Nic Speck (from Run-Run-Run and George Lynch) and drummer Jamie Miller (formerly with Snot, The Start, And You Will Know Us From the Trail of Dead) to carry on the ORGY name.
Now fully re-energized with an infusion of new blood and creativity, the band hit the road for the first time since 2005 on their “Bad Blood Tour 2012.” To further excite fans new and old, the band recently hit the studio to record new material, including a collaboration with Grammy Award-winning EDM artist Skrillex. Icon Vs. Icon recently caught up with Jay Gordon to discuss the reformation of the band, his evolution as an artist and what the future holds for Orgy.
I have been a big fan of Orgy since the first album. Looking to spread the word about you as an artist. I was curious to learn about the first memories of music in your life?
Thanks, man! My father managed bands and was always involved in the music business in some form or another. I was always around it, so initially, that is how it came about. When I got old enough to do it myself, that is when I decided to pursue it professionally.
Who would you cite as your biggest influences as an artist and songwriter?
That’s a tough one because so many different people have influenced me. If I had to pick a favorite, it would be David Bowie, but there were so many influences. That is what Orgy is all about, a sort of mishmash or a hodgepodge, whatever you want to call it, of different influences.
You outlasted many of your peers in the music industry. To what do you owe your longevity?
I just have a lot of drive to keep doing it and to keep delivering the goods if I can.
Orgy has been off the scene for a little while. What the catalyst for rebooting and moving forward with the project?
Ya know, it had just been too long. I was really interested in getting back out on the road. That was the first thing I wanted to do. It had been so long, I just wanted to get out there, brush the rust off and roll with it to see what happens. To do that you have to have a band and start playing gigs right away and that is exactly what I did.
Did you have any reservations about making that move?
Sure, there were a few here and there at first. You are never truly sure about anything you do in this business. I was worried about how the fans would respond and if they would or wouldn’t like it. I had my reservations but I just went ahead with it and it has worked out really well.
I know there was a little controversy on the part of the other original members about you reviving the band with a new lineup. (To catch up on the full backstory – Click Here) Were you surprised at their reactions?
Honestly, yeah, I was surprised. I think a lot of people are because it is not like they are totally busy doing their Julien-K thing, so I don’t really know what to say about that. I was surprised because I had been talking to those guys off and on about getting together to do shows and they were open to the idea, I believe. It just seemed to be taking so long. It seemed like it was never going to happen. I felt like I was getting blown off and nothing was getting done, so I decided to move on.
How did you go about assembling this new lineup and what do they bring to the table?
The new lineup is amazing! I don’t plan on looking back, let’s put it that way, they are that good. They are all amazing artists. Both guitar players, Carlton Bost and Ashburn Miller, came from Deadsy. The bass player, Nic Speck came from Run-Run-Run. The drummer, Jamie Miller, is from Snot and The Start. He is an amazing drummer! All of the guys are truly amazing performers and we get along great.
Were there any unique challenges that presented themselves as you started to reform the band?
You know, we had to come up with stuff tonally with the original members, so it was really interesting coming up with the elements to make it sound right for this incarnation. We had to figure out a lot of interesting things to make the sounds happen right, ya know.
When you look back at your musical work so far, how do you feel you evolved as an artist?
It depends. I think I have evolved in lots of different ways. It is all about what I like and what I am listening to at the time. I am definitely a spur of the moment kind of person and what I am into at a particular time definitely influences my music. I don’t know what that really says but I like a lot of different things and that goes hand in hand with evolution.
I agree and as an artist it seems you are great at adapting and moving the music forward. As a music fan, I really appreciate that.
You are out on the Bad Blood Tour. What can fans expect from you this time around?
They are really going to love the new band, just give it a song or two. The show is really good and it has been getting better with each gig. We are just looking to tear it up!
You were eager to get out on tour with Orgy. I take it you still love the touring aspect of the music industry?
Definitely, it is my favorite part! It is always crazy at Orgy shows. I really want people to be excited for what is coming next and to know that we are tearing it up more than ever. It’s just going to keep getting better and better.
Where are you in regard to new music for Orgy?
We are doing really well. We are actually going to start with a couple of live mash-ups. We will be doing the Kill The Noise one in the next couple of days and then the Skrillex one after that. Then we will start adding new songs as the tour goes. We have already been writing a little bit for the EP but that probably won’t be put out until after I get back home.
Can we expect a full album of new music at some point?
I don’t know that it doesn’t make more sense just to keep putting out more EPs because they are faster and as you get a few songs done, you can put something out. I think it is a good model to use because you can gauge what you should be doing or what you shouldn’t be doing. That isn’t to say that there couldn’t be a full length album, there certainly could be.
I guess that is another example of evolution and how you continue to adapt to the ever-changing music industry.
Absolutely. And I don’t do it tit for tat but I do like to bring influences from today into the music as well.
What can you tell us about your songwriting process and how new material might begin to take shape?
It’s weird. I might come up with a beat and see if I can use it in my DJ thing, which is called Kill-O-Watt, or it might be better for an Orgy thing. When I figure out something that could work for both, I am generally happy with it. From there, if it is an Orgy thing, I will put some bass or guitar on it and if not, I will keep it dancey and up-tempo and keep it for Kill-O-Watt. Then we begin to flesh it out and see how it comes together from there.
Your music certainly has a fire and personality of its own. Do you have any thoughts on the current state of rock music today?
I have thoughts. I don’t know if they are the most positive thoughts on the current state of the music business but this is what we do. Hopefully, we can support the industry, the artists involved and keep the music thriving somehow, through all the craziness. Music is my favorite thing in the world but the music industry is not my favorite thing in the world! [laughs] There are so many ups and downs, so many things you need to do to succeed, that the results don’t always get back to you with as much as you put into it. I think it is hard for any musician to deal with but I think if you really, really push for it, you can make anything in this business happen. I see some amazing efforts coming up from myself in the next few months.
That is really good advice for up and coming musicians.
Yeah, keep pushing. Keep striving for success and deal with the hurdles as they get to you. They are definitely going to be there. It may feel like a huge wall or a gigantic roadblock but just keep pushing through it and you will get it done. If you have it in your mind that you will get it done, you’ll get it done!
Your career has so many defining moments. Is there something you haven’t tackled musically or even outside of the realm of music you would like to pursue?
Yeah, there is tons of stuff! There is some stuff in regards to movies that I want to get into, not acting but as far as writing goes. I am creating things all the time that I would like to see get mass marketed somehow, maybe with a little luck I can get some of that done.
In your opinion, what does the future hold for Jay Gordon and Orgy?
That’s the million dollar question! [laughs] Obviously, no one knows the future, so I really don’t know. That being said, I know that we are going to try to keep this unit together. We want to make it through some new barriers, do some things that other bands have not done and keep trying to reach the top.
Is it safe to say you are in a very positive place creatively?
For sure, for sure! I am very happy with the way things have been working out creatively.
Where is the best place to catch up with Orgy online these days?
Thanks for your time, Jay. We look forward to spreading the word.
Thanks so much! I really appreciate the support!