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Interview with Death Valley High and Orgy

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Death Valley High (Photo by Mark Heaps)

SMI contributor Michael Baltierra had the opportunity to speak with Reyka Osburn and Daniel Ka$$hu of the band Death Valley High, as well as Carlton Bost and Nic Speck of the band Orgy.

SMI: First, how is the tour going and how did come together?
Osburn: They tour is going great! We have three shows remaining on the tour. All the bands have been getting along really well. We are really good friends with the guys in Orgy and they invited us on this tour, matter of fact this is our forth tour with them. At the conclusion of this tour, we are off for about two weeks before heading to Europe to do direct support with Orgy for five to six week tour. Hopefully we’ll be back later summer or early fall.
Speck: Everyone is getting along really well. The shows have been well attended, with a lot of energy, very enthusiastic crowds. This is our first co-headling tour, co-headling with Powerman 5000. We are alternating who’s closing out the evening. It’s a nice balance. We spend a lot of time together with DHV, even sharing the same bus together – I don’t think we can do that with another a band.
Bost: All the bands have different sounds and styles so the audience gets a get into all of the bands. We get along great with DVH, and we have toured with them previously, so it was pretty much a no brainer to bring them out with us on this tour.
Ka$$hu: Lots of enthusiastic crowds and no one sitting around with their arms crossed.

SMI: Who are some of the influences that help shape your sound?
Osburn: We take a lot of influences from late 80’s early 90’s industrial and what’s going on today, primarily Block Party and Interpol.
Ka$$hu: Can’t get away from our hard core roots as well, such as Gang of Four, Fugazi, the Cure and My Bloody Valentine…oh can’t forget about Christian Death.
Bost: I grew up listening to rocking bands such as the Motley Crues and the Dokkens. Later, I got into the dark wave industrial scene after that, getting into bands such as Skinny Puppy and Nails.
Speck: I was raised on jazz…my father loved jazz music. I grew up in 90’s listening to alternative and hip hop, I got into the electronic scene around 1997 when I moved out to Miami. Currently I am a big fan of Prodigy, Pendulum, and Nails.  

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Orgy (Photo courtesy of Adrenaline PR)

SMI: What are some of your favorite cities to play in?
Bost: Man, I love playing in Texas, particularly Dallas and Houston. Usually the major markets are really cool. Pittsburgh has always been really good to us, though we didn’t make it there on this tour.
Speck: Amityville is really cool! Long Island. We love playing Los Angeles, Toronto, New York City…..

SMI: What do you see as some of the differences between fans and venues within the United States and fans and venues in places such as Europe?
Osburn: The quality of venues how they are ran in Europe tend to have more of a communal vibe to them. Meaning, the people who run the venues try their best to give a family atmosphere, for example, everyone working the show, performers and stage hands tend to do things together, such as sitting down for a meal together. Similar to how the House of Blues operates – Dan Ankroyd wanted everyone to feel as if they were the headliners, making them feel respected and important. European venues are often funded by the government as they fall under performing arts. Whereas here in the States, most venues are privately owned, which isn’t a bad thing!! Also, European audiences love the music, and they are very passionate about music – which also has an influence to our style and playing.
Speck: We love our fans. The US Fans are great! But the fans outside of the US didn’t get to see the original lineup, so they will be seeing us for the first time as this current lineup. Same thing with South America. There is a slightly different vibe, but in cities outside of the US, where there aren’t bands playing every night, the fans appreciate (us) being there. Not that we’re jaded or spoiled in the US, but there are bands playing all the time, in say Los Angeles, every night. The best was getting the Orgy chant in Argentina! Like how they chant Ole! Ole! Ole! at soccer games, they were chanting Orgy! Orgy! Orgy! It was awesome!
Bost: There are many venues here in the US so they tend to be a little smaller, where as in Europe or South America, there tends to be more larger shows, such as festivals, where the fans get to see a good number of bands in a larger capacity because those bands many not come through their country maybe ever couple of years.  Countries like Mexico – fans are very amped and pumped for live music. There are awesome fans everywhere, we love them all!