This year’s been brutal for touring bands. The COVID-19 pandemic has caused literally every tour across the globe to be cancelled, which has been a major drag for both artists and fans. But in the absence of live shows and festivals, bands have been finding new ways to present performances to listeners without putting anyone at risk. Code Orange were one of the first bands to jump into live streaming during lockdown, doing their March release show for Underneath via Twitch with a mix of both archival footage and live performance. And since then they’ve been one of the most active live-streaming bands in metal, each subsequent show featuring a different theme, including a horror-themed stream back in June.
On this week’s episode of our heavy metal talk show Last Words, hosts Jordan Olds (Two Minutes To Late Night), Katy Irizarry (Season Of Mist), and Doc Coyle (Bad Wolves/Ex Man Podcast) have a chat with the band’s live-streaming mastermind. Jami Morgan, drummer and vocalist for Pittsburgh hardcore bruisers Code Orange, talks to the crew about trying to keep streaming interesting with limited resources and how they had to act fast to keep their record release show from being canceled altogether.
“I foresaw that all of the shit that we wanted to do wasn’t going to happen, so we were like, ‘alright, we gotta figure out a solution’,” Morgan says. So we came up with the livestream idea. We’ve seen people do it in the past, and we had a vision of how we could do it, which would basically be to take all the tour footage that Shade and I, our keyboardist…had worked on for months and months. We wanted every second to almost feel like you were watching a movie as much as you were watching a show.”
Morgan also talks about the band’s experiences with professional wrestling, and how that doesn’t necessarily contradict the idea of Code Orange being a “serious” band. “I don’t see ourselves as this self-serious band as much as I see ourselves as wanting to present our art as just that,” he says. “The baseline now is to put everything out there about your life, to be as funny as you can. …There are so many judgment lasers that you’re crawling through.”
Words by Jeff Terich