Interview with Dominic Corso from The Orwells

Since the dawn of time, being a teenager in a band has been a staple of life. The vast majority of these high school bands are Battle of the Bands contest losers, with the occasional winner re-living the glory dates in boring conversations for the next 30 years. Occasionally, a talented teenage band breaks beyond this ceiling and makes waves on the music scene. Members of Arctic Monkeys weren’t 20 when their debut album broke. The latest rock band to buck the trend are Chicago indie rock band The Orwells, who we have featured countless times (okay, you can probably count the number of times we’ve posted about them).

The-Orwells (credit - Jory-Lee-Cordy)

I hope someone lets us out of this cage. The Orwells (credit – Jory-Lee-Cordy)

Made up of cousins Mario Cuomo (vocals) and Dominic Corso (guitar), twins Grant (bass) and Henry Brinner (drums), and Matt O’Keefe (guitar), the band started up in 2009 and have been on an upward path since then. After some EP success, the band have launched some tour dates, and had appearances on Later Live with Jools Holland, and the institution that is the Late Show with David Letterman. PeteHatesMusic had a chance to catch up with Dominic Corso to chat about their well-received spot on Letterman, the sound of the new album, and being too young to drink at the shows they play.


PeteHatesMusic (PHM): I’m excited to hear your new album this summer. What can music lovers expect to hear?

Dominic Corso (DC): A graduation of sound from the previous record but still very Orwells.

PHM: Like many American bands before you, you seemed to hit it off with UK music fans and media. How do you think the music scene differs to that of North America?

DC: UK media seems to be centered around London so it’s easier to get to the right people whereas in the US, each section of the country is it’s own personality.

PHM: What was it like working with (producer) Dave Sitek, and what fresh perspective did he bring to the studio?

DC: Dave was insane. He told us “why mess around when you can fuck around”.
(note: this seems like good advice for all parts of life)

PHM: What is it like playing in venues in which you can’t even buy a beer after a show because you’re underage?

DC: That’s why we like the UK, because we can drink beer. It’s obviously frustrating when we can perform but not drink but we’ll live through it.

PHM: Tell me about your riotous performance on Late Show with David Letterman? Was the Paul Schaffer jam planned or did he just wing it?

DC: He just winged it. It was a complete surprise to us but flattering. They are a helluva band.

The Orwells – Who Needs You (live on the Late Show with David Letterman)

PHM: What is the worst Orwells / 1984 / Animal Farm related pun that you’ve come across in the media with regards to the band?

DC: 19 Eighty Gore.

PHM: You guys just played the Weezer cruise. How was the experience?

DC: We just finished the cruise and it was a good time. 4 days on a boat playing rock and hanging out with bands.

PHM: Congratulations – you’re the guest editor of PeteHatesMusic for a day. What songs and bands would you make sure our readers hear when you’re in charge?

DC: Criminal Hygiene. Cherry Glazerz.

19 Eighty Gore indeed. The band are touring the US and will follow up their recent EP with a new album this summer. Be sure to check it out, and start learning their songs for when you become a late night show band leader.

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