Orgy Seduces Modern Rock Radio With Candyass

Quintet takes hold with heavy nationwide airplay for cover of New Order's 'Blue Monday.'

It was the kind of scene you might expect from a band called Orgy -- a

hard-edged, theatrical lovefest.

Five extremely tall, handsome men stood onstage at New York's Irving

Plaza and thrashed out a set of industrial-rock music to waves of

acclaim from the crowd.

Lead singer Jay Gordon wore eye makeup and a red sweatshirt; two

strands of hair were molded into devil's horns on his head. As he

shouted his lyrics, he gazed intently into the eyes of audience

members. Guitarist Ryan Shuck rocked back and forth with abandon and

blasted through riff after riff, but his spiky blond hair didn't move

one inch.

The occasion was local radio station WXRK's annual Lodo Show, produced

this year on Feb. 23. Orgy -- with heavy national airplay for their

cover of New Order's

"Blue Monday"

(RealAudio excerpt) -- were stealing the Show.

"It's definitely getting out of hand," Shuck said of the single's

success. "People are freaking out on the streets when we walk by."

By the end of their brief seven-song set, the band members -- all in

their 20s -- had thrown two sweaty towels and a guitar pick to the

fans, who seemed to outnumber the followers of the show's nominal

headliners, glam-punk band D Generation. In fact, Orgy's fans chanted

the band's name incessantly -- "Orgy! Orgy! Orgy!" -- during the sets

of opening acts Dovetail Joint and Boiler Room.

Orgy's debut album, Candyass, has risen to #59 on the

Billboard 200 albums chart.

Much of the recording snarls. Its abrasive rock sound displays a

kinship with the music of David Bowie, Korn, and Love and Rockets. So

it's remarkable that Orgy's route to commercial success is being paved

by, of all things, a cover of "Blue Monday" -- a classic '80s dance-rock track.

Since modern rock radio embraced the punked-up version of the New

Order song over Orgy's own choice for a single, the spare and moody

"Stitches"

(RealAudio excerpt), Shuck said the band has become smothered with

attention. And that's just what they prefer, he said.

Southern California-based Orgy is the first act signed to metal-funk

band Korn's Elementree Records, a subsidiary of Reprise. Shuck and

Korn vocalist Jonathan Davis grew up together in Bakersfield, Calif.,

and are close friends and former bandmates from pre-Korn days.

Despite their success, Shuck said the bandmembers still sign

autographs for anyone who asks, even if their following is becoming

massive. Krayge Tyler, Orgy's sound technician, said he believes the

gesture shows the band's good nature.

"They're not pretending to be nice," Tyler explained. "They really are

that nice."

"Blue Monday" now is at #11 on the Billboard modern rock chart.

The track, said Shuck, was the result of Orgy's desire to include a

new-wave cover on the album as an ode to their pubescent days. The

choice, he said, was a spontaneous one, and the track took only two

hours to record and mix.

"We just kind of translated it," Shuck said. "You can't f--- up a song

like that."

Along with the contingent of pierced, tattooed and glammed-out

teenagers that comprised most of the band's audience at Irving Plaza,

"Blue Monday" is attracting a new radio-friendly following for the

band. Daisy Barbaresco, a photographer and New Order fan, attended the

concert with her two young daughters, Tracy and Sophia. Orgy's version

of the song is what drew her to the event.

Barbaresco said the two versions of "Blue Monday" compare favorably.

"I like the basic elements of the song, its authenticity," Barbaresco

said.

Shuck said he and the others members of Orgy -- Amir Derakh on guitar-synthesizer, Paige Haley on bass and Bobby Hewitt on drums -- are proud

of Candyass.

They recorded it over several alcohol-soaked weeks early last year in

a rented ski chalet in Truckee, Calif., off of Lake Tahoe on the

Nevada border, according to Shuck. The guitarist joked that the five

musicians "increased our alcohol problem by 10 times" as they

completed the work.

They are especially proud, they say, of the absence of conventional

keyboards from the album and their stage show.

The band doesn't use pre-recorded decks of keyboard noise in its live

shows, either. Hewitt plays electric drums, but most of Orgy's

industrial noise comes from a combination of Shuck's feedback and

Derakh's guitar-synthesizer.

"We try to push it," Shuck said. "We play completely live. There's no

sequencers."

Regardless of whatever musical innovations they may stumble upon, a

hit song is what brought Orgy to this promotional gig for nearly 1,100

people.

Still, Stacey DeLorenzo, who described herself as an avid fan of the

group, said she believes the band has enough appeal to escape "one-hit

wonder" status.

"Their other stuff is a lot different," she said. "That song can be

surpassed."