Interview: Orphan

Author: Denman


Photo by Aubrey Mayer |

Orphan is one of those bands I never tire of seeing. They aren’t breaking the mold, but they are coming out of it with a little more color, (or a lot less depending on how you look at it). The chord-soured brainchild of drum and guitar duo Speck Brown and Brendan Majewski, Orphan float in the ether between metal, garage rock, doom, and half a dozen other genres dripped across labels from Profound Lore to Nuclear War Now!

Fortunately for the district, they are pounding the pavement with another ill-bred group, Child Abuse, for a mini-tour this weekend that lands at the Black Cat in DC on Sunday Dec. 6th.

The two had agreed to conduct a video interview over the internet on Tuesday night, but, due to unfortunate circumstances, had to pull out at the last minute.

I was, however, able to get a quick written Q&A session in with Speck, to explain the absence, and talk a bit about the band and the tour:

AON: First, thanks for agreeing to do this.

Speck: Totally. Thanks for wanting to interview us.

Always, always. So, we had planned to do a video interview tonight, over the internet, in advance of Orphan playing at the Black Cat in DC on Sunday. But this morning, I received an unfortunate note saying you would have to cancel. Would you care to elaborate a bit on those circumstances?

Yea, sure. It’s a little embarrassing, but I got totally obsessed with b-boys recently after having watched some documentaries on netflix bout breakdancing. So I shared my obsession with one of my girlfriends. Turns out she shares the obsession and had taken breakdancing classes in NYC, and invited me to go with her. So I went to a beginners breakdancing class last night, learned some floor moves, and did some baby-freeze attempts which involves putting a bit of pressure on your head/neck as you freeze the position on the floor. So I woke up with morning a cripple. Apparently 32-year old women need to be careful when learning how to breakdance.

Wow, on the first class, eh?

Well, it might have been the class, or it might have been sleeping with my window open. Either way, I wasn’t a happy camper today.

I suppose, either way, there will be no MC SpeckTacular solo project?

Well, ya never know. I’m not much of a quitter. I’m just focusing on getting back in shape as quickly as possible because we leave for this wicked mini tour with Child Abuse on friday.

Exactly. As I understand it, your first concern was that you might not even be able to do the mini-tour. This might not make sense to the average person, seeing as you’re the drummer, but heshers live under a different performance code.

Ha Ha! Yeah, I’m still worried, but we’ll just have to deal with it as it comes. I am usually pretty physical behind that drumkit, so I might have to alter my style a bit. Which is a bummer. We’ll see. Our show in DC is on Sunday, so maybe I’ll have recovered by then.

Pointer and pinky fingers crossed. The mini-tour is Asheville, North Carolina on Dec. 5th, DC on the 6th, and Baltimore on the 7th, correct?

Yeah, and we start on Dec. 4th in Chapel Hill, NC. We’ve played all these cities before and we’re super stoked to return to them all. DC is my hometown, and Brendan and I met in DC, so I’m always glad to get back there.

It’s good to see you always make it a point to come here. DC is, in general, a tough crowd, especially for “harder” music. The Asheville show is with Static Age Records. How did that come about, and what all do you know about the rest of that evening?

Joel from Static Age Records booked our show in Asheville last year. Brendan & I loved that town the last time we went thru. So I made a point to reach out to him this time…as an excuse to check out the city again, too. Child Abuse is playing with us, and a local Asheville band, which I am unfamiliar with. But I trust Joel’s judgment and I’m sure they’ll be fun. Yeah, D.C. is always a rough crowd, but even when I lived there and played in a not-so-hard-band it was still tough.

Ha, no doubt. Speaking of Child Abuse, a band which I think is fantastic, how did you go from touring with a roots rock band like Obits, to hitting the road with a group that sounds like the aborted fetus of Arab on Radar and GISM?

Well, Rick Froberg of Obits is one of my best friends, like a big brother. And so we’ve played quite a bit out-of-town with them as they were starting up. Child Abuse is a great band from Brooklyn with whom we’ve played several local NYC shows. I also know Luke from when he lived in D.C. many years ago. I like the whole Child Abuse/Orphan bill aesthetically, too. Looks pretty fucked up if you just look at the two names placed together at a glance.

Haha! Yes indeed. How do you expect the crowds to be different? Do you think Orphan will get a different reaction on this tour?

Who knows how folks will react. I’m always just stoked if one or two people come up to us after the show. I think people have a hard time defining our band, so I guess it doesn’t matter as much who we play with. We’ve played with black metal bands, noise bands, “roots rock” (as you said it) bands, punk bands, folk bands. So I guess our hope, or at least my hope, is that there might be a little something that appeals to different people for different reasons.

I think that’s one of the great things about Orphan, can’t exactly be pigeon holed. In that way you are not only accessible to many different types of people, but also eclectic in the types of bands you can play with. Well, I know you need your rest for the wrath, so I’ll let you go for now. Anything else you’d like to add?

Oh wow, thanks. I think that’s it for now, too. I really appreciate you taking the time to ask me all these questions, too. Looking forward to seeing you again at the D.C. show.

Orphan and Child Abuse will be performing this Sunday, December 6th, at the Black Cat in DC.
$10, 9:00PM
All Ages


  1. melfy

    Speck is fucking rad.

  2. Pingback: this aggression will not stand » Blog Archive » :: 6.13.10 ∙•∙ 6.14.10 at death by audio ::

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