OurStage Q and A: Orange Avenue Gear Up for 'Small Victories'

OurStage Exclusive InterviewsIt’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.

OS: You’ve been gearing up to release your new album, Small Victories, later this month. What is the meaning behind the title of the record?

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.

OS: Who would you say are your biggest influences on this record?

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!

Can’t wait for February 21st? Click here to download “Wondergirl” now! And be sure to follow Orange Avenue on Facebook and Twitter for more exciting news, tour dates and future victories.

Rock 'n' Roll Call: Best Of OurStage 2010

This year was certainly a huge one for rock on OurStage. Our 2010 competitions allowed winning artists to play with incredible acts, such as Bon Jovi, Hanson, the Goo Goo Dolls, Mayday Parade, Anberlin and John Mayer.

Outside of the site, our artists have received national radio airplay, scored festival performance sets and had songs placed in TV shows, commercials and movie trailers. From experimental to pop punk, here are 10 of the best OurStage rock artists from 2010!

The Worsties

The Worsties

It takes a very talented band to be able to reach the Number 1 spot on the Best of Rock Charts, and The Worsties kept that spot for 20 weeks! After having their songs placed on MTV and Oxygen, the band won the coveted opening spot for Bon Jovi and Kid Rock in Chicago. Take a listen to “What’s Her Face” in the player below”we guarantee you’ll be headbanging with this female-fronted rock outfit in no time.

Eclectic Approach

As their name suggests, Seattle’s Eclectic Approach pull from a variety of influences to make funky pop rock that is sure to get you off your feet. Meeting somewhere between Maroon 5 and the Black Eyed Peas, Eclectic Approach have got it all” tight beats, catchy hooks, sweet guitar licks and smooth vocals. This year was a big for these guys thanks to six Top 10 wins, including two in the “Shout It Out with HANSON” Competition (they ended up opening for the trio in Portland, OR). Check out “Cool” in the player below and be sure to add it to your next party playlist!

Again and Again

They’ve played at the Vans Warped Tour, sold over 150,000 records and had their album mixed by top modern rock producer Marc Hudson (Chiodos, Saves the Day). They’re Again and Again from Renton, WA and they’re shaping up to be the next big electronic pop rock act. While competing in the “SUBWAY Fresh Artists” Competition (they finished in the Top 10 for their region), the bad was out on tour across the US. Listen to “Excuse This Honesty” in the player below and get ready to mark your calendars with future tour dates!

Take One Car live at Bamboozle

Take One Car

Millerton, NY’s experimental rock group Take One Car have had an extremely successful year. Having released their full-length album When the Ceiling Meets The Floor last year, the band set out to tour and promote their effort as much as possible in 2010. Their hard work paid off when they were selected to perform TWICE at New Jersey’s Bamboozle festival in May (once at Hoodwink, covering At The Drive-In, and a daytime set on Saturday, as themselves). The group followed their Bamboozle performances with more touring, competing in Airwalk Unsigned Hero Contest and opening for the likes of VersaEmerge and The Gay Blades. Check out “The Menagerie” in the player below and be sure to stay tuned, because these guys (and girl) will be releasing a new album next year! They’ve also been invited back to Bamboozle for 2011, so don’t miss their set!

Transmit Now

Can you imagine watching the People’s Choice Awards and hearing your song play as Hugh Jackman accepts his award for Best Action Hero? Well, Tampa, Florida’s pop rock group Transmit Now experienced it in 2010. Additionally, they were featured in J-14 Magazine as a weekly “Hot Band” and released their first full-length album, Downtown Merry-Go-Round. Listen to “Let’s Go Out Tonight” in the player below and blast it on your next night out!

Bronze Radio Return

Bronze Radio Return won fans over in 2010 with their smooth and sultry indie rock. With a warm acoustic sound, Bronze Radio Return are easily compared to Damien Rice and Coldplay. They won the coveted John Mayer “Side Stage Warfare” Competition for the Boston date and racked up four more Top 10 wins in Acoustic, Indie Rock and Modern Rock Channels. Check out “Digital Love” in the player below by BRR, a band that MySpace Records calls one of the best unsigned groups.

Cedar Avenue

Minneapolis acoustic rock outfit Cedar Avenue had great success on OurStage this year. They opened for Hanson in Milwaukee, had their song placed on ABC’s Cougartown and had eight Top 10 wins on the site, including the “SUBWAY Fresh Artists” Competition for their region. Fronted by husband and wife team Derrin and Jesse Mathews, Cedar Avenue has also opened for sold out crowds at Augustana, A Fine Frenzy and Graham Colton concerts. Check out “Up North” in the player below and get ready to rock!

Orange Avenue

Orange Avenue

From one avenue to the next, pop rock group Orange Avenue was named as one of MTV’s newest Buzzworthy bands for 2010. They’ve shared the stage with the All American Rejects, Rihanna, Smash Mouth and more, and had three Top 10 wins on OurStage, including one for their region in the “SUBWAY Fresh Artists” Competition. They also had their music featured on “MLB Tonight” and their video for “Just Refrain” was played at the Winter Olympics. Listen to the track in the player below and be on the lookout for Orange Avenue on MTV and on the radio!

The Appreciation Post

After being named Alternative Press’ Top Unsigned Band in 2009, The Appreciation Post took 2010 by storm. In addition to releasing two EPs, the group also competed in the “Converse Battle of the Bands” Competition and took home the title of champion after opening for Mayday Parade and Anberlin. Check out the synth-heavy “The Beating of a Lifetime” in the player below and check out the band’s webstore for awesome deals and free music!

The Black Rabbits

Indie rock group The Black Rabbits spent 2010 as both the winners of a year’s worth of guitar strings from Ernie Ball and one of our Needle in the Haystack artists. They were subsequently signed to Rock Ridge Music and have been working hard putting together their debut album! Listen to “Emotion” in the player below and stay tuned for new music coming soon!

We’re already looking forward to meeting the next rock stars of 2011! Who were your favorite OS rock artists this year? Let us know in the comments below!