The Orwells are an American rock band from Elmhurst, Illinois, a western suburb of Chicago, consisting of Mario Cuomo (vocals), Dominic Corso (guitar), Matt O’Keefe (guitar), Grant Brinner (bass), and Henry Brinner (drums). Their debut album Remember When was released on August 7, 2012 through Autumn Tone Records. Their first EP entitled Other Voices was released on June 24, 2013 on National Anthem Records. On September 10, 2013, The Orwells released their second EP, Who Needs You, also on National Anthem.
The Orwells formed when all the members were in high school. Corso and Cuomo are cousins and the Brinners are twin brothers and all of the members of the band have been family friends for years. The band was discovered in late 2011 by Aquarium Drunkard blogger Justin Gage, who signed them to his Autumn Tone label imprint. They graduated high school early in 2013 to pursue their musical career. The Orwells were named one of the most criminally overlooked artists of 2012 in MTV’s annual list. Their single “Mallrats (La La La)” has been reviewed by the popular music website, Pitchfork and in 2013 they played the popular yearly Chicago music festival, Lollapalooza. The song “Who Needs You?” from their latest EP was featured on the August 6th, 2013 episode of NPR’s “All Songs Considered.” Co-host Bob Boilen said of the group “You can’t say The Orwells without saying ‘young,” and called the song his summer anthem (MTV).
The Orwells are coming to The Drunken Unicorn 10/2 opening for FIDLAR. Tickets are $10 in advance and $12 at the door. Online and phone sales close at 4:00 pm day of show. Also appearing: Concord America
We got to chat with The Orwell’s guitarist Matt O’Keefe so read on to check out what he had to say!
How has this latest tour been going?
It’s going great! We’ve done about 5 shows by now. We’re opening for FIDLAR and we share a lot of the same fans so when we get on stage it isn’t like everyone’s just waiting to hear FIDLAR so the shows have been going really good.
Any funny stories from the road so far?
Not much. Just a lot of drinking.
What do you guys like to do on your days off?
We usually drive for like 12 hours and then get drunk in our hotel rooms and watch Seinfeld reruns. Other than that nothing too exciting.
Being from Chicago, what was playing Lollapalooza like? Did it meet your expectations?
It was awesome. It was probably one of the biggest shows we’ve ever played. Just because we had the biggest crowd there. The crowd was awesome and it was like we were playing our high school talent show because half the crowd were kids we had gone to school with so it was kind of like a big reunion we all got to have. And afterwards we got to walk around the festival. It definitely met all our expectations.
How do you guys connect with an audience during a live show?
We, usually, if they’re jumping around and stuff, we will do it too. We always try to get them up on the stage. Normally it’s very successful. We don’t really talk much during sets.
Your latest EP, “Who Needs You,” came out September 10. What kinds of feedback have you received?
It’s been pretty good. It’s mostly been about the “Who Needs You” song. The other two we’ve done, we recorded in my basement. Those other two were in the shadow.
So, you guys are coming to Atlanta October 2. What can we expect from your show?
It’s a lot of energy. Every time we come to Atlanta it’s a dream come true. We always have the craziest kids come out to shows.
What is the strangest thing a fan has done for you at a show?
We had a psycho fan at Indianapolis come down and buy like 10 t-shirts of every size and every design – pretty much bought out every t-shirt we had. Somebody made cupcakes for us once that had our album cover on them – stuff like that.
Get your tickets to see FIDLAR and The Orwells by clicking this link!