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July 31, 2013
Intergalactic Rock: An Interview with Orion Simprini

Looking for a different kind of summer getaway? Throughout the month of August, New Yorkers have the chance to embark on an incredible new adventure - "The Orion Experience", live at the XL Nightclub, Cabaret & Lounge (click here to win tickets). The show has been described as "an intergalactic space journey meets theatrical live rock concert." We talked to lead singer, Orion Simprini, as the band rehearsed at a breakneck pace in preparation for the show's premiere:

Listening to your music, I'm reminded both of the 70's and the early aughts garage rock revival. What do you think are the main influences on the band's sound?

You're on the nose with that, we try to capture the 70's disco era, but what sets us apart is we try to get the raw power of electric guitars. Electric pop rock stuff, it's not too prevalent. Our goal is to make people smile and get them dancing, get them off the ground. That's been our mantra from the inception of the band. Adding Bee Gees, and rock revival like The Hives and blending them, that's what we try to do.

How did the show at the XL come about?

It's the next incarnation of a show we started last October at Dixon Place. We did a trial run there and developed this idea to make a rock concert that brought fantasy back to live music. If you see a show at the Mercury Lounge or Cake Shop you don't get the spectacle you'd get at Kiss concert. We wanted to take it a step further, something that was more like "The Rocky Horror Picture Show." It's more about the fans' experience than me getting on a stage and expecting my friends to clap. We did a Kickstarter campaign, raised money for three nights, and all three nights sold out. You could see it in people's eyes that they were so hungry for this. When we finished that run we realized we needed to take it to the next level.

How do you get your music out to new audiences other than performing as much as possible?

I've been in bands for a long time. I started playing music before the Internet. Back in the day you needed a record label to get your music to people… now the power is in our hands. There are kids from all over the world who make videos to our music. It's been an inspiring and amazing experience. People don't care if you're a rock star, or waiting tables, if you can reach them with your music that's all that matters. We grew up in the MTV era, we love videos. We've had our music on Laguna Beach, The Hills - for the most part it's an organic word of mouth thing. Our song, "Obsessed With You," has taken on a life of its own about fans of One Direction. Let people craft the music to whatever they want. We want to provide an environment where you can scream out and dress up and dance the night away - that's whats important to us.

What can people who come to the musical expect?

I can't say it enough, we are so thrilled to be able to create a movement that is really starting to come together. The show is different from a rock opera... there's not a lot of plot or dialogue, we want to do an open source theater project. You can come here and have a totally different experience from someone else. We want to provide the maximum amount of joy per square inch.

In your music, you create catchy pop tunes that reflect modern society, was it difficult to change the scope of your writing to interstellar adventure?

I am a huge Sci-Fi geek, my dad was an astronomer, that's how I got my name. The first movie I saw was "Star Wars" - I've always been fascinated by this kind of thing. We named the band at its inception, but once the show came together it made sense. It wasn't hard for me to write outside of the box. I was a musical theater major, it was very pleasurable for me to write in the context of the story.

As a NYC band, what's your dream venue to play?

I gotta give mad props to XL, if we had the opportunity to design a place for us to play it would look like XL. It's so cool to be right off of Times Square, it feels like home here, it wouldn't feel like home in LES with the indie rock clubs. We're trying to redefine what it is to be a band, and create a suspension of disbelief as we perform. XL reinforces the fact that something different is about to happen, something spectacular.

For the show's full listing, go here: To win tickets to the show, enter our contest here. Tweet us @Stagebuddy and let us know what you think about "The Orion Experience", interactive theater, and interstellar travel.

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Written by: Doran Saul
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