August , 2014
By James Rowe
The Orwells: Chicago American Band Speaks With JAM Magazine
Interview With Matt O'Keefe And Mario Cuomo
Photography courtesy of The Orwells Facebook Page and Kelly Puleio Photography
After playing a very dynamic and confident set to an intrigued and expectant crowd. I managed to get and interview with Mario & Matt from The Orwells. Here are some interesting quotes on their sound, touring and the Rock & Roll lifestyle.
Mario Cuomo: "Make a record for five people. Don't make a record for the world. Make a record for yourself and maybe four other people. But first of all make it for yourself. Wise words indeed. The minute you make a song for other people, your lost. It's a weird fucking game. The year with live in, people's parents putting them though college. You'r talking at least 50 thousand dollar."
On recounting a band trip to Tokyo, Japan. Mario added candidly to this point. "I tried to pull out money in my Tokyo hotel room for a food and a beer. I had zero dollars and kinda like frustrated. I text my parents to ask them for money, If I wasn't in an band my parents would have to put 50 grand in my account."
"You sign to a label. You think your doing the right thing. You think everything's fine and its not like that and then all of a sudden you can't afford a beer and a piece of bread and then your like wow! What the fuck have we done! Cos I don't have a dollar to buy anything I want right now."
You're doing your own thing that's personal. They are paying not even one fifth of that. Following on from his point about parents putting their kids through college.
Matt ( Guitarist )
Matt O'Keefe: "I don't know if many bands got to the middle east, but I think it will be cool to go to Iraq and do a show there. If you could make it safe enough. I am sure as hell kids are gonna feel it the same as like any kid in the world. Such as Japan, Canada, US & Europe. We'd be like. Here's Rock & Roll. We know that you like it."
Matt adds that safety is a very important issue in such a decision. "You don't wanna end up in a mad situation."
Mario adds his opinion when asked if there were any particular destination they would like to play? For example somewhere no band or artist has ever been before.
"You know where I wanna play, the town to the right and left of us in Chicago. I wanna play suburbs. Villa Park, Lombard and I wanna play Bensenville. Where we grew out out of. Because as much as people in the Middle East don't know what Rock & Roll is, you know who's else doesn't know who Rock & Roll is or what it is. The people who live 0.2 miles away from us. I wanna reach the ghettos that are around our towns that suck."
Having witnessed the band play live for a second time last night after seeing them play in New York in May 2013 in a small venue ( Music Hall of Williamsburg ). I would say that they have definitely improved and sound a more cohesive unit. They played a few surprise covers such as The Stooges "I Wanna Be Your Dog" which Matt revealed was the first song they ever played and also "Build Me Up Buttercup" by the Foundations. In my opinion they really succeeded in taking the sweetness and light tone out of that song. They will no doubt keep plugging away and get their just desserts however near or far from the ghettos they may be.