Recently, electronic dance music has been taking over the radio stations, but remember when every car was pumping MGMT’s “Electric Feel” or when every shopping center was blasting Foster the People’s “Pumped Up Kicks”? While those days are gone, indie bands are still producing great music – bands such as Orange Avenue,an indie rock band hailing from Daytona Beach, Fla.
Their songs have been featured on networks like MTV and Fox Sports, and a few singles have even made it on top charts in other countries. Even with all of this success, Orange Avenue sticks to their independent music label, even giving fans the option to book them directly through a Facebook app called GetBooked. Intermission caught up with Orange Avenue over Thanksgiving break to get the chance to look behind the scenes with what goes on with an indie rock band.
Intermission (INT): Thanks for sitting down with The Daily. Our first question is, where did the name come from?
Sean Sedita (drums): We would all practice on a street called Orange Avenue in Daytona Beach. We’d always call each other and say, “Hey let’s meet at this time on this day at Orange Avenue.” We kept constantly saying “Orange Avenue,” so we decided on keeping that name for our band, and it wasn’t a very nice part of Florida either. It’s also a reminder of where we came from and the hard times.
INT: Why did you guys decide to go the independent label route?
Chris Yetter (guitar): We wanted to have control over our own music and be able to build our own market instead of having somebody treat us like puppets. We love being indie artists, but we’re also not against major record labels, and we know the pros and cons of each. We just want to make sure that we do our own music the way we want it and not be beholden by anyone else.
INT: These days it seems like everyone has an indie band. What are some hurdles you’ve had to overcome being an indie band?
Jamie Pohl (bass): Everything – I mean from recording, we’ve had issues losing the hard drive for recorded songs, going to several music studios for this past album, “Small Victories,” having our practice stations close down…it’s like constantly having the door shut in your face, but that’s why we entitled our recent album “Small Victories.” You just need to keep moving forward, no matter what happens.
INT: You guys just recently released a new music video. Why did you guys choose “As You Fall” as the song for the video?
Chris: “As You Fall” is actually one of our personal favorite songs on the new album. Of all of the songs, it’s definitely the most different from what we usually do. It’s more of a ballad than a hard pop-rock song, and it’s definitely full of more emotion than our other songs. It’s a story of heartbreak, and it’s a collaborative story of how we’ve all felt. We fell in love with it, and when the album came out, we got a lot of great feedback on the song from our fans.
INT: One of your songs appeared as #18 on the Top 40 Chart of Bali, Indonesia. Which song was that and how did that happen?
Sean: It was “Just Refrain,” and how that happened … we really don’t know, actually. There’s something called Promo Only that goes out to different DJs and radio stations every month. They choose only 18 songs a month, and our song was chosen, so we think that’s how it might’ve gotten into the hands of some Bali-Indonesian radio station, but we really don’t know. With today’s technology, it’s hard to tell, but we’ve seen traffic on our Facebook from all over the world, and we even had one of our songs appear in a commercial in New Zealand.
INT: Another thing that Orange Avenue is known for is collaboration with different nonprofit organizations. Could you talk a little more about that?
Sean: We’re always looking for ways for our music to do good in the world. We’ve worked with PACER’s National Bullying Prevention Center. They’ve been doing really wonderful things. We’ve also worked with Musicians on Call. They bring musicians to the bedside of patients in hospitals, and we’ve had the privilege of being able to visit a hospital in the Bronx and play for kids there. It was great experience, and even though they didn’t know our music, they really appreciated that we were there.