Chicago band discuss age, hype and how they're not 'The new Strokes'
Andrew Trendell

15:25 28th November 2013

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"It just sucks the life out of you," shrugs Orwells frontman Mario Cuomo - asked about what it means to grow old in a band. The Chicago five-piece have one hell of a hype around them at the moment, but after only graduating from high school this year, few can seem to get over their age.

Luckily, Mario believes that time is on their side. 

"Just getting older and all of the events that will happen to you just suck the life out of you," he continues. "Artists like Jack White and The Strokes have been married, gone through divorces and all of these fucked up things in their life. It must just take away the beauty that comes with being young."

"We're starting to understand how super-exciting things can be, but I think that's once we've been around as long as The Strokes then it'll be a totally different thing - touring with your families and everybody having their own bus and crazy shit like that must really put out their fire."

And fire is certainly something that The Orwells have in abundance. Hailed by The Independent as 'one of the best bands to emerge from the US in years' and described by NME as 'total fucking chaos', The Orwells have causing one hell of a storm around the world, leaving a trail of scorched Earth in their wake.

But beyond the hype and the obsession with age, another hurdle for the band to overcome since their debut has been the lazy comparison to other artists - and the massive branding of being hailed as 'the new Strokes'.

"I'm not a big fan of comparisons to other artists," admits Mario. "I think it takes away from what you do. It seems a little bit forced. It's just the lazy way out of talking about the music as much as you should be.

"When we talk about the influences that we share, people turn that into 'oh, this is what they sound like'. Pretty much one of the only bands that we all grew up on was The Strokes, then all of a sudden there was hype people saying 'oh, they're the new Strokes - they sound just like them'. No we don't. We're nothing like them."

It seems that after all the noise and the nonsense, Mario's focus is one clear thing - the music, and rightfully so: "There have been multiple reviews of the EPs where there was no talk of the music. People just say 'oh, they sound kind of like this' and they talk about our age or whoever produced' and there's not one single sentence saying anything about the music. It's just bullshit and name-dropping."

In 2012, the band dropped their debut album Remember When - which fell largely below the radar. Now, they've had time to grow and have bounced back - with balls. So what can we expect from their upcoming second LP?

"I guess you could say that it sounds like a 'proper' record," muses Mario. "It will still sound dirty and bring something out in people, but it will definitely be better, more tuned-up and more expansive sounding. We did have less time this time around than we did with our debut. These aren't songs from a garbage can - these songs really raise the bar for us. That's what we've been doing - not doing anything that's just not good enough."

So, with conviction, determination, a good sound and a solid record in their arsenal, then surely the future is The Orwells' for the taking? Well, 'future' is a very big word for a band who fear growing old. Can The Orwells keep hold of 'the fire' as time marches on?

"If we find a way to keep doing it and not look like a joke, then maybe," answers Mario, "but what we're doing right now, it seems pretty difficult to it at a much older age. It seems like beating a dead horse. I'd hate to be caught faking something in 20 years - you can't pretend to be a bad-ass teenager when you're a grown-up. We want to keep it real."

Their plan for the mean time: "Hopefully we can reach as many people as we can and make a bunch of kids feel good."

If you wanna feel good, then the band will be heading out on tour next year. Full dates are below and tickets are on sale now.

20th February – The Hare and Hounds, Birmingham
21st February – Brudenell Social Club, Leeds
22nd February – Broadcast, Glasgow
25th February – The Haunt, Brighton
27th February – Night & Day, Manchester
1st March – Thekla, Bristol Tickets

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