May 20, 2004

Orgy Returns to Rock Again

By Randy J. Klodz

Goth-rock band Orgy may have been a bit MIA in recent years, but the band is back on tour, and better than ever, with a new album, and will be taking its fuzz-rocking show through Chicago for a May 25 House of Blues show.

Orgy--which features Jay Gordon on vocals, Ryan Shuck on guitar, Amir Derakh on guitar synth, Paige Haley on bass and Bobby Hewitt on drums--released “Punk Statik Paranoia,” the band’s third album in February.

Though it has been four years since the band released its second album, 2000’s “Vapor Transmission,” Orgy has made several key business decisions, one of which includes leaving behind the backing of a major record label to become entirely independent. Orgy first made waves with the popular cover of New Order’s 80s hit “Blue Monday” off the 1998 debut album “Candyass” that went on to sell over a million albums.

Although the band no longer has the power of a major label’s heavy concert and album promotion, the band’s new strategy has been for the better. From the outside, the transition from a major label, in Orgy’s case, Elementree Records and Reprise, to independent, D1 Music, may seem drastic, but according to the band, this isn’t the case.

“The only difference is that we don’t have the big wheels turning to get us on MTV and all that, but we also don’t have this huge debt paying for all that,” said Amir Derakh, Orgy’s guitar synth player. “It’s sort of a catch-22 in either direction. But the thing is we are all here making more money than we ever have before, it’s cool. We’re connecting with our fans again, and you can’t really beat that.”

New tracks “Ashamed,” “Make Up Your Mind” and the single “The Obvious” glisten with the heavy guitar, frenzied beats and space noises Orgy fans across the world have grown to love, while “Can’t Take This” and “Beautiful Disgrace” have singer Jay Gordon screaming much more than he has in the past giving the tracks a sturdy deviation from the norm.

A June 5 show at Stramler Park in Bakersfield, Calif. is the final date on Orgy’s current tour. Once the tour is over, Derakh said that the band is going to get things organized, and once things have settled, though there are no current future tour plans, the band will be back on the road in some form or another. In the meantime, Derakh also has a side project with Orgy guitarist Ryan Shuck on lead vocals called Julien-K that Derakh describes as “a bit more electronic, a bit less rock, very 80s Depeche Mode meets 90s electronica.” For more information on that project log on to www.julienk.com.

House of Blues is at 329 N. Dearborn St. Tickets for this all-ages show are listed for $16 each with a show start time slated for 6:15 p.m. Gloom-rock band Godhead is scheduled to warm the stage. For more information on Orgy log on to www.punkstatikparanoia.com.

Orgy Photo: Kevin Winter