So guys, what have you been up to? Are you sick of the interviews yet?
Jason: "Ahh, we haven't been here too long, it's fine. What we up to? We thought we've finished the album, now we'll get a little bit of a break, and you know, let the dust settle and get rested up before we go on tour... But no! They had the single on the radio before we even finished the album. We had to take a couple of days off to go film the video and it's go, go, go, go, go, go."
Chris: "We're not complaining."
Jason: "Certainly not complaining, this is the good stuff."
The new single 'Ain't No Party' is out on the 15th. What's the general idea behind it and the inspiration for the song?
Jason: "Honestly, we're from California originally, still technically."
Chris: "Still technically, we're waiting for the paperwork."
Jason: "It was kind of a... sort of a... I don't want to say a joke, it was sort of a response to the fact that every year, the Oscars happen and it's creepy because it's the one night of the year when it's like a ghost town. Because everyone's at the party! We all had these crazy odd jobs that you just keep when you're in bands, but they were all in the industry. Chris worked on a television show and did some tape stuff and I was a personal assistant for some guy. You'd think we were kind of connected to the Hollywood community and maybe we'll be able to get in to one of these parties or whatever. We never got in!"
Chris: "Not once! Not once!"
Jason: "So I kinda thought, 'Man, we're going to make the best party ever!' I wrote that as a response to that whole thing, feeling jipped out. Pretending we are having the best party ever that nobody has bothered to show up to."
Has that changed since you shot to fame?
Jason: "We still don't get quite enough. We still don't get a lot."
Chris: "Not a lot of invitations."
So is the song a request for an invitation to more parties?
Jason: "Not really... We did get asked to play a girl guides' show. That was good. You've got to start somewhere."
Really? How was that?
Jason: "It was crazy..."
Jason: "There's definitely a particular frequency of about 15 thousand, 8 to 13-year-olds. When they scream - wow - that's something. That is something."
So have you not really experienced that much rock 'n' roll excess?
Jason: "Yeah, you know what, we've been around so much. We've seen it all, we've seen quite a bit, we're not really... we did do it, several, several years ago. We were all kinda heavy into that but unfortunately we didn't then have a successful act to go with it."
Chris: "A case of cart before the horse, buddy."
Jason: "With a little bit of money that would have been great... and so we've done the dumb thing and got cleaned up."
Chris: "All screwed up and nowhere to play!"
Jason: "So we watch it and go 'yeah, that's kinda cool' but we just enjoy watching and taking it in and making sure people get in their cars safely."
Chris: "Text us when you get home."
Jason: "We're kinda those guys, Orson is like the designated driver of rock 'n' roll."
Chris: "NOT US!"
... but you appear to have just made a more traditional rock 'n' roll record.
Jason: "Just a little bit louder!"
Was that a deliberate policy to avoid political issues?
Jason: "You know what, there's so many great people who do that already. It's not that we can't be bothered, it's just that's not what we do. What we're really good at is..."
Chris: "Feel good stuff, you know..."
Jason: "Lyrically there's some stuff, if you want to delve in there and peel it apart. There's stuff that comes from some hurtful places or whatever. We are so connected now. We have access to so much stuff. Whereas before in rock and roll, your media avenues were very limited. When you heard the Beatles say stuff, they really wanted to change the world."
Chris: "They could turn you on to new information."
Jason: "And we just don't have that any more. I mean we have fans coming up to us saying 'I'll see you at the secret gig next week', and I'm going 'what, what gig?' They know my schedule before I know it! It doesn't mean that it will never happen but I think Orson's about having a really good time and feeling great. Not like it's 'Oooh Weee, we're so positive, let's get on the positive tip'. Not silly in that way. Its just 'let's all have a good time ya'll'."
You guys have been relocated to the UK. You guys must love it! Why do you think you've been such a hit over here?
Jason: "It is where our jobs are."
Chris: "To commute here would be a bitch. I think a lot of it has to do with the fans over here, they are really, really faithful and they really like music out here. I mean it was so mind-boggling to me last year seeing this. We went to gigs and played gigs and there would be families there. Kids and their parents. It would be an outing. It would be an event. Music is something very special here. Whereas in Los Angeles or where we're from it's something to work out to, or it's kind of scenery. Here it's kind of vital to what's going on. In Europe as well. Which is great for us, because we love to go out and play. That's my kind of take on it anyway."
Do you miss the US at all then?
Jason: "Yeah, it's home. Of course you do. Of course you're going to miss home. But it's not that much different really, honestly. People wanna rock, people wanna have a good time.. they really do..."
Chris: "It's true."
Jason: "What you have to understand is that London is a big city. It's more like New York. And we're from Los Angeles, which is spread out, and a more suburbia kind of a feel, a really centralised feeling. I mean who can really say why certain things happen in America and some things don't? It's like hip-hop, I mean there's a little bit of hip-hop out here, but why isn't there the giant hip-hop market over here? Why isn't country and western huge over here? It's just different. If we set out to do country and western, we'd probably do well, but it's just not the music we love. And quite frankly most of our big influences are from over here. Like the Stones, Radiohead and Zeppelin..."
Chris: "And Queen."
Jason: "And we just mix it with our own.... Motown."
Chris: "Haha... but yes I miss home."
Jason: "Who said that?"
It was on your MySpace.
Chris: "The last record was rock too..."
Jason: "I think we deliberately set out to make an album first time round as the anti-indie album. Partly in response to the fact that - and this was in 2004, 2005 - we were so over indie turning into what it was turning into. And I still have a problem with it. Indie was turning into this [culture] in America. Indie is a haircut. For the amount of money that people spend on this whole indie culture and to still call it indie, it's the biggest crock I've ever heard! There's so much money dumped into this word indie."
Chris: "Which means it's not indie."
Jason: "And it actually turned into this sound which was just a rip-off, of a rip-off, of a rip-off of something. And we love jangly rock. We love all that stuff, but it was so cluttered. We needed to find our own way into it. And we worked hard on trying to find our own sound. When we were actually recording our album we had all the time in the world, because we were recording it ourselves for nothing. So we experimented with lots of things... I was listening to Steely Dan, and Fleetwood Mac, and The Eagles, and The Doobie Brothers, and Hall and Oates, and Earth Wind and Fire."
Chris: "All the good stuff."
Jason: "And Bobby Womack. We set out to make these kinds of sounds."
Chris: "We just tried to figure out what out favourite bands were listening to when they made their records and just look at the lineage there, and that's where you tap into something. And we made that stylistic record. And it's a rock 'n' roll record too.
Jason: "When we played these songs live though, I think people genuinely were quite taken aback by how loud we are. And sweaty."
Chris: "Yeah we're a rock and roll band, there was no denying that from the beginning."
Jason: "So with this album we decided to make more of an album. Plus we did it really quick. This time round, we still got the same guy to come around and do it. Reasonable budget, we still did it all on our computers, we didn't want to mess around too much, just go in there and turn everything up really loud."
Chris: "We were such a unit all last year on the road, playing different gigs, [being] on the road and playing, playing, playing. You become a fine tuned athlete by the end of that and we're still on that wave now. We just rolled into the studio that way and we captured that. Orson has a nice swimmer's body now."
Are you guys looking forward to getting back on the road then?
Jason: "Oh yeah absolutely! Also with this next album we wanted people to get excited about the live show. I think before it was like, 'Woah yeah, I like a few of these songs, they could sound kinda cool live'. But this time, you turn all the guitars up on the album and you'll go, 'Man, oh I can't wait to see this live'."
Jason: "I think it's sort of...it's about trying to please the gatekeepers of all things cool - all the time. It gets to be hard work. Even at school it was like, 'Wrong shoes pal. Back of the line'. It's hard, hard f****** work being super hip all the time. Even artists, people who put you at this super hip level. People are ready to shoot you down. And you know what's funny is that it's so predictable. We are so far away from trying to be cool. We worked really hard in Los Angeles and found this niche audience and we were getting so much of, 'Woah this is the underground thing'. There was this whole underground buzz around and everyone was like, 'Why aren't these guys signed? The record industry better wake up'. But then, the second you get a record label behind you and they plaster you everywhere, people go, 'Oh no way man!'."
Jason: "It's territorial, people want to feel part of something. It's like why is one football team better than another team. It's very rarely because one team outscores another team. It's usually more to do with hometown pride and so 'Cool Cops' is just kinda being funny, because you're never going to win, so just get on with it."
You guys have achieved so much in such a short space of time. What ambitions have you got left?
Chris: "If we're afforded to do this again on our next album - that's pretty good. If we're able to promote [the band] and still go out and play, that's a win-win situation. I mean we played all the football arenas, all last year with Robbie Williams. We played the biggest gigs. Granted, they weren't our gigs but there were still massive amounts of people. And getting to play our music in front of people, as cliché as that sounds, is great."
Jason: "And we're doing some soundtracks."
Really? What for?
Jason: "I can't really say right now. Also a possible West End premiere."
Orson: The Musical, perhaps?
Jason: "Actually who knows what we're all about? We like our hands in a lot of different buckets. We like working with lots of different people, we like supporting live music wherever we can and who knows where that's going to lead. But you know Chris is right. The days of selling Michael Jackson numbers, 30-50 million albums, it just wont happen. It just doesn't happen any more. So you know, you've got to reign in the lifestyle a little bit. You've got to put music out faster, you've got to get out on the road. You gotta connect to your fans. If you can just continue to do that, and stay alive."
Chris: "... you're in good shape."
Jason: "And that's what we strive to do."
Orson's new single 'Ain't No Party' is out on October 15. Their new album Culture Vultures follows a week later on October 22.