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Orange-i

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One of the most promising bands from Belgium is Orange-i. As I simply like their debut-album and wanted to chat with them about the band, I recorded it to give you a chance to read what went on in an upstair-room at the Brainwave Festival.

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Interview with: Steven Gerard Tanghe (vocalist)

Date: January 29th 2000

Where: At the annual Brainwave Festival

Other bandmembers: Christof Saelens (drums, samples), Kees Vanmellaerts (bass), Artuur Verschaeve (guitar, guitar synthesizer, samples, background vocals), Mon Prez (guitars, AKA Piet)

Band's Geographical Home: Kortrijk, Belgium

Discography: Hippotraffic (1998)

Available Through: Sally Forth Records

Official Website: Orange-i

Interview by: mpo

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I know very little about Orange-i till know, about what you have been doing. I know you made a CD entitled Hippotraffic. So, can you explain a bit what Orange-i is, how it began, and what are the important feats of arms?

We started about six or seven years ago out of another band that our drummer was in. We wondered for some time what we were going to do and finally we decided to start Orange-i. First we concentrated on writing songs and things like that. And then we did some tours in Poland and Sweden. Yes, and that's basically the rough outline of our history. And recently we added Piet (Mon Prez) as a second guitarist.

Your CD was released about one and a half year ago, Hippotraffic. What happened with the band after that?

New songs! We are really concentrating on new songs now. We still do some gigs when people ask us. But we're not looking for them. So, now we are concentrating a bit on the new songs for the second album.

How concrete are these plans?

Not concrete in fact. There are things going but nothing for definite.

You are signed to Sally Forth Records. Do they say to you: "Hey, do a new CD"?

Well, those negotiations are in a way still going on with Sally. So, we don't really know how it will end.

But you, as a band, are ready to go for it?

It will take us till the Summer before we are ready to go into the studio. Because a lot is concerned, as it comes to producers and stuff.

I understood you did a short tour through Sweden. Three concerts. How was that?

Yeah, that was fun. It's not really different than playing in your home town. It was great to play in front of a different public. The Swedish folks are perhaps even cooler than the Belgian folks. So, that was something we had to get used to when we did the first gig. But then local bands comforted us saying: "They are enthusiastic but don't expect big gestures." Which is different in Holland where we get more feedback from the public. In Belgium we are not used to it but in Sweden....It was great but very cool in way. They are so calm!

Do people in Sweden know about the phenomenon Orange-i?

Yeah, through BoH (Day-Glo Records, mpo). That's a person who is in intimate contact with Sally Forth and so we are a bit known there. But there are quite some people that don't know about us.

Recently it's been silent around Orange-i. You're working on new material of course. But besides that, do you have plans to play the big festivals? I especially think of Pinkpop and identical festivals?

Wishes we have but nothing specifically in this way. Our first feat or arms this year has to be a good CD. And that's what we are concentrating on.

If Orange-i is concerned, what are your dreams? I mean, something you have in mind that you want to achieve.

Uh..... pfff.

Do you have dreams?

Yeah, yeah. In fact, we want to be doing this full-time. That's it. That you can concentrate on music without all those things like record-companies and looking for labels. Or, I mean, negotiations with record-companies, producing, publicity. No, we want to be busy with music alone. That is of course a big desire.

Sally Forth is a nice stepping-stone but then you're still not there. Do you have contacts with other companies out of which something might grow?

Not specifically. No, these are things we can't go into detail for now because there's a lot going on. I don't think this is the right moment to....There is a lot unofficial so nothing is concrete now. But we are satisfied with what happened with Sally....They put an enormous amount of energy into us and whatever happens, we shall never blacken Sally Forth or something like that. Or say "they didn't do well." They did their thing with dedication, taking in consideration that it's a beginning label. But they are ambitious and that's good.

You said that you don't want to blacken them. Is that possible then? Do you have certain experiences?

No, no! I mean, no. No, that's not possible. I mean, we are convinced about their dedication and their efforts. In how far it all will go on is something we can't tell. A new CD is coming and then you automatically want to take another step. So, that's still an open question.

Speaking about the new CD, what direction will it go? More the lighter side of it, the atmospheric side, or the rocking side?

Uh, the new songs are quite smooth. Perhaps a little bit more mellow at moments. Perhaps more poppy. Easier digestible. Not that that's what we are looking for but it grows automatically that way. We don't follow a certain musical line like: "We want to achieve this or that." We just follow our feelings like: "This side we are working on and that's what we will pursue then." So, we'll see how it will end.

You are jamming together and then the songs develop?

More and more it's becoming the works of people. Everyone of us comes up with ideas and then we work on it. The other songs were created out of jam-sessions. That's changing because we exist for quite a while. It's more stylistic. A bit more rational.

On the CD Hippotraffic you use programming too with all kinds of vague sounds. Background sounds. Are you gonna work that out on the new CD more or not?

Uh, we are planning to go back to Pol Isaac. The person with whom we did the other one (producer,mpo). But as it comes to samples and things like that we are not thinking of going that direction. We won't use samples purposefully. It might happen that some will be used. But we'll see.

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