It’s no surprise that OurStage artists Orange Avenue have named their new record Small Victories. The band has had a countless number of them in their five years together, including being named Buzzworthy by MTV, opening for The All-American Rejects and Rihanna and song placements on MTV, FOX Sports and Teen Nick. Here on OurStage, they’ve been named one of the top rock bands of 2010, chosen as a Needle In the Haystack artist and won the Video Grand Prize in 2011. With the release of Small Victories just a few weeks away, we caught up with Orange Avenue to learn more about the album and what we can expect from these guys in 2012. PS:There’s a free download waiting for you at the end of the article!
OS: You had a song (“Just Refrain”) featured in the first episode of The OurStage Panel. What was it like to watch the episode and hear the panelists’ commentary?
OA: Very enlightening. It was really cool to see the different outside opinions and critiques, and it was really cool to see the other artists that we were against…it was a nice glimpse of the music industry from the inside. It was a good episode all around. It’s a phenomenal thing, what you guys are doing at OurStage. It’s awesome for independent bands, it’s a phenomenal outlet. Back in the day, we weren’t so fortunate to have this tool. We’re definitely grateful.
OA: It basically means overcoming obstacles to achieve what you want to achieve. Taking things one day at a time, one battle at a time. One small victory towards winning the ultimate war [laughs].
OS: Small Victories will be your third album. How do you feel that you’ve grown as a band since the first and second albums?
OA: The album itself, if anyone’s heard our Reset EP…it’s along the same lines. We’ve definitely grown as far as writing together and individually musically. This is some of the best stuff we’ve come up with. But there was a serious elimination process that we had to undergo. We came up with around sixty songs, so you can imagine! And every song, somebody had a serious tie to each one… so we went through a process of elimination with our management and our producer. We came up with what we thought was a well-rounded album.
OS: How many songs of those sixty did you end up using for the album?
OA: We actually used nine. We actually took a couple of choice tracks from Reset because we wanted to actually push them and get them a little more exposure, “Just Refrain” being one of them… “No Goodbyes,” and “Nightwalk” actually starts off the record. We just always thought that was a great album starter. This is kind of like our dream album. If we could have had the money to do this when we were doing Reset, this is probably what we would have done [laughs]. It’s twelve tracks total, but we have a bonus track for those who are pre-ordering to offer them a little something extra.
OS: The first single, “Wondergirl,” has a very high-energy, electronic feel to it. Can we expect more of the same on Small Victories? Have you thrown any curveballs in there?
OA: It’s very moody, it’s not really all high-energy. We just like to give people something that just kind of rocks, to begin with, then get down to the deeper part of Orange Avenue, you know? [laughs] Start with a bang, first of all, and hopefully they come back for more and realize there’s more sides to the band than just the fast stuff. There’s definitely some moody stuff there.
OA: There’s tons of them, to be honest with you. The Killers, All-American Rejects, The Used, Muse, Chili Peppers, Radiohead. All of us individually have a lot of separate influences and collectively we agree and have the same as well. I can kind of hear all of that being used in all the songs, like a rollercoaster ride. You can hear those different vibes throughout the entire record.
OS: You play hundreds of shows a year. Do you have any big touring plans for 2012?
OA: Big plans! [laughs] We are in the process of trying to do a small little tour around Florida just as a kickstart to get it going and promote the new record. But every day, good things are happening! We’re getting news every day on different things that are popping in and hopefully in another couple weeks, it will be completed where we can go ahead and do everything and really make an impact. Spring break goes off in Florida, so lots of gigs here this time of year!
OS: When are you going to come to Boston? We need to see you up here!
OA: We’d love to do that! The plans are that if this tour that we’re speaking of goes well, the next plan is to do an east coast run. We’d love to be there, it’s definitely on the list.
OS: Anything else you’d like to say to your fans on OurStage?
OA: Small Victories, 2/21! Order the CD now on iTunes! [laughs] We really worked hard on this album and there’s something on the album for everyone. We think people will appreciate the sound that we’ve come to develop on this third album!