Mon panier

0 Articles dans votre panier

Code Orange

The members of hardcore outfit Code Orange have earned a reputation for their unrelenting drive. Whether writing heavier riffs, intensifying their live shows, or finding creative ways to engage fans during the pandemic, Code Orange is always pushing the envelope. In this episode we speak with guitarists Reba Meyers and Dominic Landolina about the power of bringing audio and visual together, the tricky balance of executing guitar parts while delivering a high energy performance, the importance of pushing boundaries, and more.

LISTEN:
SHARE:

Transcript

Evan Ball:
Hello, I'm Evan Ball. Welcome to Ernie Ball's Striking A Chord podcast. Today on the show we have Code Orange guitarists, Reba Meyers and Dominic Landolina. Code Orange has gained a reputation for being heavy, for being hardworking, and for pushing that envelope. So in today's episode, we'll talk about the power and potential of adding visual components to music, the balancing act of playing guitar parts well, while delivering a high energy performance, the importance of pushing the envelope and more. Ladies and gentlemen, Reba Meyers and Dominic Landolina.

Evan Ball:
Code Orange guitarists, Reba Meyers, and Dominic Landolina, welcome to the podcast.

Reba Meyers:
What's up?

Dominic Landolina:
Thanks for having us.

Evan Ball:
Yeah. All right. Something I think about sometimes is the evolution of music. I think you would be a good band to bounce this off. So the heavy music of any era, I'm sure always feels extreme and then time passes. New bands emulate it, music gets heavier, and then you look back the older era doesn't feel as heavy. Do you consciously think about how to push it further?

Reba Meyers:
Yes.

Dominic Landolina:
I definitely have that thought in my mind a lot. What you just described. I mean, for me and Reba and the guitar standpoint, yeah, we totally drove ourselves crazy for, well, like a year, just trying to write the most extreme, original thing we could on the guitar.

Reba Meyers:
I could show you my fucking riff bank. It's like hours and hours, days worth of riffs that maybe are like good, but don't have an original enough aspect to them. So it's like, what's the point? It's like, you know, like there might be a song code wrote that we all really liked, but if it wasn't pushing it enough, we would just be like, it just couldn't move on. So that's always kind of like, I mean, I would say it's almost number one thing. Even if a song, that's why it's so difficult to write with this band because you can write a good song, but that's not always the only thing that matters. And I think some people don't feel that way about music, but for us it's like, especially because we're not just some pop band, we're not like a rock and roll band, we're a metal band and then a hardcore band. And there was something else that comes with that and it's to push music forward.

You can't just write a good song. You can't just like, make it catchy. That's not like what matters. And that's, I think why we also get hated on sometimes because we're a bit protective of that, especially in the hardcore metal scene. Because it's like anyone could come in and write, especially now with the well of music that there is out there to study and to listen to, and to figure out the formula on how to make a heavy riff, sounds like a weird YouTube video clip, which I'm sure actually does exist.

But anyone could do that. Anyone can write a catchy little heavy riff. It's like, I could write that in my fucking sleep, it's so Dom, you know, if we wanted to. But that's not what makes Code Orange special, and that's not what is important in the world needs right now. If a bunch of heavy bands come out and they're all just catchy heavy pop music, which that does exist, then the genre is never going to matter anymore, and it's not going to grow culturally and be important and make a statement. It's like, you have to be different and you have to be intentionally trying to do risky things.

Evan Ball:
Totally. Especially in today when there's just an overwhelming amount of content at our fingertips. So it can be really challenging to stand out from the crowd.

Reba Meyers:
Yeah.

Dominic Landolina:
Yeah.

Evan Ball:
All right. I always like learning where bands come from. So let's go back to the olden days. Where did you guys grow up? Was there music in the home? Were their interests apart from music?

Reba Meyers:
Yeah. I mean, I'll start it with that. My parents didn't do any real playing music at all, but they loved playing it in the house. Neither of them play instruments or anything like that. But you know, as a kid, there was always like music around, I think that was important to them. And you know, when I was in like third grade, I started playing flute as a kid and grew into that like a lot, you know, just started caring about like the little details of music when I was really young and, you know, later on got into guitar and bass and I think, yeah, just like caring about like the little, the important artistic aspects of playing a song and melodies and harmonies and that type of thing that a young age made it, like, you know, it had an impact on me and helped me learn how to write songs earlier on.

And, you know, we also started the band when we were pretty young, so it's a bit different than some people. You know, when we were in like eighth grade, me and Jami started jamming, just like covers, you know? And then in ninth grade Code Orange Kids started and we met Dom like a little bit later on too.

Evan Ball:
Yeah. And, and so Dom, you joined a little later, I want to get to that. So, how about before that, what's your history as far as growing up with music?

Dominic Landolina:
Well, I grew up in a household where nobody played an instrument, but my dad was like a total music junkie. We have a whole bunch of bookshelves in the house that are just lined with CDs and records and cassette tapes and all this stuff. So I mean, my dad's obsessed with music like I am. So I think I got that from him. Him and all his brothers played guitar as kids, but my dad was the worst out of all of them, so he didn't continue that on into adulthood. But that was something me and my uncles bond over. I was encouraged to listen to music that was like, you know, were there weren't a lot of swear words thrown around. So like rap would get an eyebrow raise from my parents, but I still listened to that.

But, it took me a little longer to find rock music and stuff is like my main thing. I think that probably happened my early teenage years, and when that happened, I think my dad was really relieved about that, and we kind of entered a new bonding thing over that.

Evan Ball:
So before that you mostly listen to rap?

Dominic Landolina:
Yeah, it was usually a rap, just whatever was on the radio. I didn't think about it too hard. You know, I had older siblings that had CDs. I remember hearing rock bands, like, you know, Sum 41 or Blink 182 or something like that, just cause that's what was on the radio. But just radio stuff, I never thought about it as something serious.

Evan Ball:
Okay, cool. So, let's go back to the inception of Code Orange, actually Code Orange Kids. Is that correct, Reba?

Reba Meyers:
Yeah. Until we put out I Am King we were Code Orange Kids.

Evan Ball:
Okay. And this is freshman year?

Reba Meyers:
Yeah, about freshman year is when we started the band. We basically, me and Jami were really good friends, and we were looking for another guitar player. We had this one guy in the band when we were kids, but he didn't end up sticking around for that long. But you know, we had heard around that Eric was, you know, he was like an art major or whatever at our school, which I think we had like little majors where we would be split up, and like half the day we could do the major and half the day we would do academics.

So he was like an art major quote, unquote. And we had heard around that he played guitar. So we kind of seeked him out and we were like, "Yo, you want to do the band with us?" And he was into it and he was super cool, and we just all clicked really fucking hard and, you know, practiced at whoever's house until we got a noise complaint and then switched houses. Most of the time, we ended up in Eric's basement. His parents have this crazy old house in the North side of Pittsburgh, that's like a historic landmark. And he had this, like, just a little basement spot where we could kind of seclude ourselves and we would just go there everyday after school and just play forever for hours from, yeah, like ninth grade until we graduated.

Evan Ball:
Was it always heavier music? Did you guys start heavy?

Reba Meyers:
Yeah. Well we loved punk rock. We were very much punk rock kids. Like Eric had a fucking Mohawk and we all had like, you know, we were those kids at a school. We were punk rock, but we also just loved all kinds of stuff like that. There was always, you know, factions in Pittsburgh, like the punk kids, like the crust kids, the hardcore kids, the metal kids. And none of them had like that much of a scene, it was all kind of like smaller pockets. And that's why it was a bit hard to get shows to be like big in Pittsburgh, which I think is a problem with a lot of smaller cities have. But we were kind of different because we, for some reason, didn't care about any of that, because we didn't really understand, we just loved music.

So we would go to all kinds of shows. Metal it took a little bit longer, but with crust, punk and hardcore, we would go everywhere. We just wanted to play as many shows as we could get our hands on. So, we just begged everyone to let us play shows. And we just ended up meeting kind of like all the different groups of people. And we definitely had a really weird sound at the time, but we were just obsessed with it. And I think Dom was also around, even though he wasn't in the band. I think he was probably going to shows at some point in there too when he met Joe, so.

Evan Ball:
Was Dom at the same high school?

Dominic Landolina:
Oh yeah, yeah. I went to the same high school. I mean, I go back further with some of them. Me and Reba grew up about three blocks away from each other and went to elementary school and middle school and all that together.

Evan Ball:
That's awesome.

Dominic Landolina:
And then I met some of the other ones in middle school and then Eric and Joe met in high school. But yeah, I remember back when I was like a freshmen or sophomore in high school, Jami would just run around the halls begging people to come to a Code Orange Kids show. So there's a couple of times I ended up seeing them like way back in the day at the local spot near our school that they had like little kid shows and stuff like that.

Evan Ball:
It sounds like you had maybe kind of a unique high school?

Dominic Landolina:
Yeah. It was, I guess you'd call it a magnet school.

Evan Ball:
Okay.

Dominic Landolina:
I was an art major with Eric and the other three did music. So I was a little disconnected from them, but I think by the time I was like a senior in high school, I was trying to make it a point to go out to all the same punk hardcore shows, whatever metal shows that Joe or Jami or Reba were going to.

Evan Ball:
So, in this high school, were you guys all in the midst of more artistic people then?

Dominic Landolina:
Absolutely, it was kind of an artsy-

Reba Meyers:
Sort of. In an annoying way a bit, I would say. But it was sick because we could do whatever, you know, half the day we could do our thing that we liked to do. I think most people who were there, most people didn't totally care in the same way that we do. Like we were always, especially me and Jami, were always kind of known as like kids who took that shit too seriously. Code Orange Kids kind of had that rep in general, I think. People didn't get our music, they didn't understand it, because obviously it was like punk and no one gets punk. But you know, we obviously took it way super seriously, so we would like push ourselves into every show, every opportunity that we could. But like, people didn't really like us musically. But it was an art school and people were very accepting of weirdos. So, in that sense it wasn't so bad.

But yeah, I think most of the people there, even though, yeah, it was like artsy, they didn't get like what we were doing, necessarily. But it was still sick because you could play. I remember the last couple of years of that, like when me and Jami, especially, started getting more obsessive and Joe too, because he was on our floor. We would just like hang out and practice runs and like play riffs and like think of ideas for the band, like at school, whenever it stopped mattering what you were up to.

So that was great. I mean, to have like a guitar and an amp at school and be able to do that during the day. And I think that teachers and shit kind of understood that we cared a lot about that and started picking up on it and letting us do it.

Evan Ball:
Yeah. That's great. So you guys were fairly motivated people early on, it sounds like, at least musically. I mean, did you have this deep drive to make it?

Reba Meyers:
Yeah, I think that was always like an understanding between me and Jami and Joe. And even though Joe wasn't even in the band at the time yet, he still was so on board. But between all of us and Shade, we just knew that it was what we were going to do. And I mean, I had some other interests and I wanted to go to school for music and classical stuff, which I did do, but at the same time I knew deep down that it wasn't going to last, if the band ended up getting somewhere, which in our minds at the time it did, honestly, it was just like stupid shit. But as soon as we left high school, you know, we figured it out so that we all moved together and we all went to the next step together. And then we ended up getting like our first headline tour and we just quit school. And then that was that, it was an understood thing.

Evan Ball:
Right, right. Here's something I kind of wonder when I hear about these young bands that start. You guys have a ton of stage presence, energy, headbanging, you bring it. I know starting out young people can feel inhibited. Was there a point when you guys were scared or nervous to go all out like you do now?

Reba Meyers:
Well, luckily we have Jami and he was never afraid. He was always just that guy who's just like, give me more, give me more, give me more, and we were just like, okay.

Evan Ball:
But he's behind the drums?

Reba Meyers:
He was. But always has had that gusto, you know? And he was the singer, even though he was behind the drums, he was always a singer. And yeah, he was just always like pushing us. And I think that helped a lot, because I was definitely like more of a shy kid at the time. Shade was pretty easy going. I mean, he was quiet, but he loved punk and he loved moving around, and we all loved bands that do that. So it was like, we didn't want to be that band that was just like standing around looking like they don't want to be there. We didn't want to be that. So, even though there was some of that little kid, self-consciousness thing, we got over and with him pushing us, we started falling in love with that aspect. Even though our music was super sloppy, you couldn't not remember us, because we just went super hard, even if it was like goofy at the time.

Evan Ball:
Well, that's cool. I also kind of wondered, this is related. I mean, you guys are seasoned performers now, and this is for both of you guys, what's the balance like between going wild on stage and nailing your parts at the same time at a live show?

Dominic Landolina:
That's a constant struggle, honestly.

Evan Ball:
Yeah, I would think. It is a matter of practice?

Dominic Landolina:
Yeah. A matter of practice. And then a matter of, I find it's a lot of controlling myself before we start playing. I get like an adrenaline rush and I feel it through my fingers and stuff, and I'm furiously practicing riffs before we go on stage and warming up and all that. And still sometimes you get onstage and right away, like, I'll feel the adrenaline dump and just like really have to chill out and focus on my playing.

Reba Meyers:
Yeah, it's hard. And I always imagine it kind of like, you know, sports or pro athletes or like, you know, martial artists, stuff like that, I'm sure they have similar issues. It's a level of control that you have to have in your mind when you're doing it, but you also at the same time have to just like, go with the flow, because otherwise, you won't be able to perform to your best.

Evan Ball:
Yeah. That's true. I guess where it would differ from athletes or something is, is you would be behaving differently if you're in a studio compared to like a live stage.

Reba Meyers:
Yeah, for sure. But at the same time, athletes are performers in a way too sometimes. So, you know, even maybe with like pro wrestling or something like that, you know, where you're doing something that's super technical, but you also have to make it appear like it's easy, like it's fluid. And then that also helps you, you know, pull off the artistic aspect and stuff. It's definitely hard because you feel like all this tension in your body because you're like hyped up, but you also have to control that and play good.

Evan Ball:
These little strings and frets.

Reba Meyers:
Yeah. But it's metal music and it's going to be a little sloppy. So it is what it is.

Evan Ball:
Hey Dominic, so when did you join the band?

Dominic Landolina:
I joined the band at the beginning of the Forever touring cycle. So it was, I think the first show was January, 2017, sometime in there. But there was probably, Reba, probably like a year of me practicing with you guys, right? How much, I think it was a year.

Reba Meyers:
Yeah, it hasn't been. I mean, so yeah, that first show, I think it was Friday the 13th, it was our record release show that we played forever. That was Dom's first show. And it was funny because we were actually going to play a show in Canada at some fest and that was going to be his first show. We left Pittsburgh to drive there and it just started snowing and icing like crazy. And we had to turn around and then I ended up getting in a crash like right after I dropped them off at their house.

Evan Ball:
Oh man.

Dominic Landolina:
Yeah, we were driving there and we just saw all these cars like skidded off the road into snow banks and stuff, and we'd pass one and be like, "Huh, maybe we should turn around." Finally, we just said, "Yeah, we really have to go home right now, there's no way we're doing this safely." And the Pittsburgh show ended up being a better first show anyways, because I was around all my friends and stuff and family.

Evan Ball:
Yeah. And so it sounds like even well before your first gig, you were in the fold.

Dominic Landolina:
Oh yeah, yeah, for sure. There was a really long process of me getting up to snuff with all the material and all the aspects of playing right and you know, being a good part of a live show and you know, nailing the onstage energy aspect and stuff.

Evan Ball:
Yeah. It seems like there's some musical chairs, some versatility with your band, with vocals, guitarists, and drums. Reba, I know Jami was singing in the beginning, were you also singing early on?

Reba Meyers:
Yeah. Me and Shade and Jami had always split vocal duties. Jami was just like the leader obviously, and he did all the majority of them. But I started messing around with singing pretty early on too. And then we were in this other band, Adventures, that is actually when we first started playing with Dom as like a guitarist, and that's kind of where me and him started working together on stuff before he actually started writing with Code Orange. It's kind of where we found out that he was really talented and, yeah, we would spend a lot of time together doing that, and I was kind of learning how to sing for real, through that band. And then yeah, it kind of just all started clicking more so with Code Orange and, yeah, we were just like, "Oh shit, we need someone else to write ideas with us, or at least just even play guitar while Shade is doing other stuff, because, you know, you can't do two things at once.

Dom was there and we knew he was good and he had been working with us with the other band for a couple of years at that point and we just hit him up and he respected him, he was willing to like grind, because it's not easy with us, we're fricking lunatics. And for him it was like being in the longest interview review ever, I'd imagine, anyways. We were pretty critical. So,

Evan Ball:
So this is in concert with increasing the electronic element in your band, is that correct?

Reba Meyers:
Yeah, absolutely. Yeah, it was just made sense. Shade wanted to explore that world more and we wanted him to be able to do that, but we wanted to keep the real band aspect as strong as it always had been. It wasn't like we wanted to lose the power of the guitar, so we had Dom come in and be that other guy and it just made everything way easier to write. And I think especially it started clicking in on this album, too, because the dynamic is so strong now and we were able to all kind of play our roles even better, and in Forever it was still kind of a new thing for us.

Evan Ball:
Yeah. And when did Jami start coming forward to the front?

Reba Meyers:
He just did that. I mean we made that decision, like yeah, even writing this record, we kind of had it in the back of our minds that it was going to be tough for him to do both, but we didn't really didn't make the decision until later on.

Evan Ball:
How do you think about the marriage of the music and the visual aspects of Code Orange? Because you guys seem very aware of the power of bringing these together.

Reba Meyers:
Yeah. I mean, it's always been like a hand in hand thing with us, that stuff. You can listen to a band and love the songs, but for it to really reach its potential in, especially for me, music that I truly obsess over, it has to have both and they have to have a purpose. And I think that Jami has absolutely always understood that. And he's understood that from a very young age and I think most people don't have that kind of visual perception, young, you know? So him caring about that stuff really young made our band also set us apart a little bit more because, you know, even from our first albums, there was some sort of, you know, even if it wasn't as detailed and as calculated as it is now and as much time put in, it was still like always something that we really tried and cared about and thought about.

And it just started clicking later about how far we could take that, and, you know, we learned how to do it ourselves and that made it so we could really take it really far. And I think, you know, unless you have either someone really close in your group or you do it yourself, there's always going to be kind of a gap between the music and the art. But since we had one best friend who did all of our stuff, her name's Kimmy, and she was in one of our other bands too, and she did all of our art stuff with Jami early on. And yeah, just because they were kind of, she understood us, so it was easy to get the ideas across and have it all weaved and linked together. It wasn't just like a piece of art and a piece of music, it was like an intentional thing.

Reba Meyers:
You know, the same way where it's like, when someone writes a soundtrack to a movie it's like, you can't just write a soundtrack and then stick it into a movie, you have to be doing both at the same time. And that was always kind of how we approached it. And I think, you know, now more than ever, it's most important because we were able to grow that kind of skill.

Evan Ball:
Yeah. I think that's really good instincts because a band can be more than just music. There's so many aspects that go into one's experience of a band.

Reba Meyers:
Oh yeah, absolutely. Yeah. So as you were saying with the performance stuff too, so.

Evan Ball:
Right, right. And the video, Swallowing the Rabbit Whole, that video is frightening and insane and visceral, so intense, you know, not something I'd probably play for my kids before they go to bed, but impressive. So, you know, it's awesome. But I would think it's really hard to bring something like that to life, you know, effectively. So how did you pull that off?

Reba Meyers:
It was definitely a nightmare. Yeah. Dom, what do you think from your perspective?

Dominic Landolina:
From my perspective, yeah, it was a lot of figuring out how to stretch out a budget as much as possible to do everything that we sort of wanted to do. I mean, there's computer animation in there, there's a scene where we're playing inside of a giant glass box. There's all this, like VFX stuff, and we're running around in costumes and we have like extras dancing around us and stuff.

Evan Ball:
To do all this on budget, are you getting help from friends?

Reba Meyers:
Yeah. I mean, we had a budget, like obviously more than a budget than we usually do, but at the same time for what we pulled off, it was not enough at all. We kept begging for more and they were just like, nope. So, it being max who made the video, he's like, you know, a guy who's been making every single video of ours since we were children. And he started when we started, pretty much, you know. And he grew kind of in a similar trajectory. So him and us are really close and he just really wanted to make it happen and really believed in us, which, you know, basically made it. He put in so much extra time and so much personal time for free that like, without that, and without the grind from him and his crew, we wouldn't have made it happen.

Evan Ball:
Yeah. I mean, you guys are heavy, you push the envelope. So generationally, I always wonder this. What do your grandparents think of Code Orange?

Dominic Landolina:
Don't understand it. Appreciate it.

Reba Meyers:
Yeah. My grandparents are, I don't think they've ever heard of it, ever knew it existed, so I can't really comment on that one. But in terms of extended family, I think everyone thinks it's cool. They definitely don't get the music, but they think it's cool. Everyone's supportive. I think we all have supportive parents, and that was like a big part in why we succeeded to, you succeeded, whatever that really means.

But you know, there's a lot of kids who have these artistic goals and their parents are just like, "Nah, dude, fuck you, you're going to med school." But we didn't have that as much. I mean, I think Dom's parents, if anything, they were, from our eyes anyway, from my eyes, they were the most pushing back because they made him go to college and finish, which was definitely rough on you, Dom. But Dom still went on tour with us.

Evan Ball:
Yeah. What'd you study Dom?

Dominic Landolina:
Business management. Which is just the most, I have no idea what I'm going to do with my life kind of major you could pick. But the whole time I'm sitting in class thinking of like, distracted from class by like thinking about songs I'm working on writing or, you know, I remember there was a couple of occasions where I would just leave school to go do a short little Adventures tour, when that band was still active. I wouldn't tell my teachers and I just end up like failing a class, because I missed like two weeks in a row or something. I didn't take it very seriously.

Evan Ball:
Your heart wasn't in it.

Reba Meyers:
It's horrible, you know, we begged you to do it.

Dominic Landolina:
I mean, I'm going to do it anyways. Yeah. I mean, that's really what I've always wanted to do and you know, came out of the other side of college and then joined the band.

Evan Ball:
You did.

Dominic Landolina:
You know, joined the band officially probably two years later, but started the process of joining the band and practicing with them probably about a year later. And then I realized that I had figured out what I was actually going to end up doing. But yeah, I mean our parents are all extremely supportive of what we're doing. We run the merch store out of Joe's dad's house. His house is lined with boxes of merch and records all day long. We're running in and out of there. We have a lot of support from our families and stuff, which is great because this is a super all-consuming thing we're doing. And it would be pretty impossible to do what we do without support of our loved ones.

Evan Ball:
Nice. Who are your favorite bands in your formative years? So let's say high school or even middle school when you got started.

Reba Meyers:
Punk was for sure was the middle school thing. I mean, I loved it in high school too, but high school was like, started hearing about Hatebreed, Earth Crisis, Disembodied, stuff like that. But middle school, yeah, for sure, like Minor Threat, Government Issue, whatever, like punk music, Black Flag, Dead Kennedys, all this shit like, those classic first-step, first-heard punk bands. And then there was obviously like a bunch of local shit, like Cost of Christ and like crusty or Pittsburgh bands that we'd get into too.

Dominic Landolina:
Through middle school and stuff, I was a soloist into whatever, still. I didn't really think about it. And then, by the time high school rolled around and I started playing guitar and really focusing on that and really focusing on learning guitar music and stuff and appreciating all that. I was, and still am, jamming a lot of like Metallica and Megadeth, Slayer, Pantera, you know, whatever kind of, The Big Four of thrash and whatever kind of offshoots of that I could find.

Dominic Landolina:
Like I said, my dad was like, you know, my dad's older and grew up in the hey day of like Jimi Hendrix and Led Zeppelin, you know, those kind of bands, and Van Halen. Yeah, and then probably later on in high school was when I got turned on to the hardcore kind of stuff. Joe would show me just whatever band was coming through town on some show and you know, we'd listen to it and get into it and go see the show, and then, you know, now we know this local band from wherever they came through on the tour.

Reba Meyers:
It's interesting to be, I always think about how kids get into music, you know, nowadays versus then. I think we were lucky because we, not lucky, I mean, I shouldn't say that because it's just different, but, you know, we were right at the tail end of the generation that didn't find everything they know off the internet, which is okay, I think that it'll just grow into its own beast.

Reba Meyers:
But you know, we would still have like either local dudes, local people who would kind of take us in musically and show us the ropes and give us bands to listen to that are kind of like Pittsburgh generational bands that you just, it's like, here's what you need to know if you're planning on doing this. People who knew that we really cared about music and it was almost like they were entrusting us with these bands. That's how the hardcore scene can be sometimes. It's like protective over it's secrets, it's very strange. But some of our friends knew that we really cared about it and they showed us the ropes with that.

Reba Meyers:
And then still, you know, we would go to CD stores and record stores and just like look around. I mean, I know I would, I think Dom probably did this too and I know Joe and them did too. Yeah, just like dig around and you'd look and you'd see something with like art that looked kind of heavy. And if it looked kind of heavy, you would just grab it and you'd just buy it with whatever spare change you had, and then like either it would be awesome. Like that's how I actually discovered Agnostic Front, which is the weirdest shit ever. But like, I don't know how that happened, but it was just some comp CD that I bought from the local store. And it just like looked, maybe it had one band that I knew on it and Agnostic Front was on it. And then I heard them through that and I was just like, "Oh shit, that's wrong."

Evan Ball:
But again, that ties into what we were talking about, the power of visual, just the album cover.

Reba Meyers:
Yeah. Oh yeah, for sure. I mean, even in like a generic way, it's like, it speaks so much for what something might sound like, or it just creates some sort of mystery and makes you want to know.

Evan Ball:
Let's talk guitar real quick. Do you guys use different tunings and also what gauge strings do you play?

Dominic Landolina:
Yeah, we play in drop B, typically, but then some other slight variance on that. Some songs we'll play in A sharp, but we won't tune down the entire guitar or like just tune down the three bottom strings. And then sometimes we'll play in drop B and then take the second and third string and drop those down a step, which is that, what's the term for that?

Reba Meyers:
B minor, basically. Yeah.

Dominic Landolina:
Yeah. There you go. So yeah, most of our songs are done in those three tunings.

Evan Ball:
Yeah. So are you guys using single strings to piece together a custom gauge?

Reba Meyers:
No. I had tried doing that once when we were recording because it's so fucking annoying with tuning and staying in tune it's the most time consuming, annoying thing. So I try to put in like a 56 on the bottom string. But the problem is with the guitar that I play anyway, the hole isn't big enough for anything really so I stick with a 54. You can maybe jam a 56 in there but not really. We just both play the Not Even Slinky keel pack.

Evan Ball:
Yeah, yeah.

Reba Meyers:
That's just the one that we love to play and just has always worked for us.

Dominic Landolina:
Those are good strings and for the tuning they sit really well on my guitar. Tightness-wise, when the Not Even Slinky's tune to drop B, that's the amount of tension I want under my fingers when I'm playing something, it feels good. If we're playing like a fast riff or something, the string pops up, you know, when you let go of your finger nicely.

Evan Ball:
Yeah.

Dominic Landolina:
You know, and then the top strings are still thick enough that if we play those chaos chords or whatever you want to call them, I think everyone kind of has their own name for that, they're thick enough that you can still get like a, you know, they sound powerful, they don't sound like you're just playing some dinky little thing on the top strings and they're too thin.

Reba Meyers:
Yes, agreed, totally agreed.

Dominic Landolina:
We do a lot of bends on the second and third string, those kind of rock sounding bends. You can hear them in a couple of songs on Underneath and previous Code Orange material. It sounds good for those two. That's that's really the main concern for those top strings is making sure that those riffs on the second and third string sound nice and powerful. Because it's pretty rare that we hit the very top string. I'm not sure if we do that at any anytime.

Reba Meyers:
I'll be hitting that string.

Evan Ball:
Yeah.

Reba Meyers:
I'll be hitting that string, the little mother fucker. It hit that top.

Evan Ball:
There you go.

Dominic Landolina:
Well, you play those leads, so.

Evan Ball:
Well, today is April 13th, 2020, for our listeners. We're in the midst of Coronavirus, so it kind of has thrown everyone's plans for a loop. How are you guys passing your time?

Dominic Landolina:
Sloppy guitar playing.

Reba Meyers:
The old band stuff, yeah, I mean.

Evan Ball:
Well, that's good.

Reba Meyers:
Guitar, live streaming. I think I've stayed up until like the crack of frickin morning every night in the last week, just on my computer, figuring out how to play this shit with no lag. So that's been consuming my life.

Evan Ball:
That's good. You're on it then. You're transitioning with the times.

Dominic Landolina:
Yeah. Lots of figuring out how we're going to make sure that we stay in people's ears and on their minds during this time when we just put this record out and we can't even fucking play a show for, you know, some undetermined amount of time.

Reba Meyers:
I feel like we were programmed with like some sort of bug in our ear when we were young and it's just like, no matter what's going on in the world, you literally have to get your music out there somehow, even if they don't want to hear it. It's like, no matter what's going on, we're just constantly thinking of ways to do the band and to work and to get the music out there and show people what we're up to. It's just like, even if everything's shut down, we're not going to stop because otherwise, I don't know what we'd be doing. I think we all kind of feel that way. This is like the only thing we care about to, you know, a real kind of a degree. So it's pretty great to have that right now.

Evan Ball:
Yeah. So is Twitch gaining some momentum with bands?

Reba Meyers:
I would say, I mean, for us, it is. I don't know how many bands are really on it, but you know, we did our big stream with hip hop six for our release show and our show got canceled, and I think that hopefully set a precedent that people can use it for that. And there's all kinds of different platforms you could use, but Twitch is definitely great. I mean, I'm still pretty new to it, so. But yeah, I mean, I think I will during this time for sure but useful.

Evan Ball:
Yeah. Well, that's good. Sounds like you guys are kind of on the leading edge of figuring out how to cope with this stuff. So anyway, Reba and Dominic, it's been great getting your stories. Thanks for being on the podcast.

Reba Meyers:
Oh, yeah.

Dominic Landolina:
Absolutely.

Evan Ball:
Thanks for tuning in to Ernie Ball's Striking a Chord podcast. Thanks again to Code Orange. Can't wait to see what they do next.

Evan Ball:
If anyone would like to give us a review on iTunes or another podcast platform, we would love that, or I guess that would depend on the review. If you'd like to contact us, please email Striking a Chord at Ernie Ball dot com.

Dominic Landolina:
We just try to think of the most crazy possible music that we can write.

We use technologies, such as cookies, to customize content and advertising, to provide social media features and to analyze traffic to the site. We also share information about your use of our site with our trusted social media, advertising, and analytics partners. You indicate your consent to this use by clicking “I Agree” or by continuing to use this website. View details.