Man, Who DOESN’T Love Old Lady Porn?: An Interview with the Orphans By Todd Taylor

An Orphans show is probably not a good place to bring a date, unless your date doesn’t mind a berserko bassist knocking her (or him, whatever) in the head and throwing up on her, or watching a very drunk lead singer completely disrobing and then yelling, “Where are my pants? Who stole my pants? Was it you?” But if you like your punk rock dirty and nasty but still fun, you’d be wise to check them out. Maybe they sound like the Motards if the Motards had a girl yelling the lyrics instead of a guy gurgling them. Maybe they don’t. Who cares? Their album Everybody Loves You When You’re Dead is pretty fucking rad no matter who you think they sound like.

Interview by Todd Taylor
Photos by the same person that took the photos for their album since they are the same pictures

Brandon: Drums
Dan: Guitar
Jenny: Vocals
Wade: Bass, vocals

Todd: Wade, is it true that you had eaten barbecue, were throwing up over people, had a broken arm, and it was gushing blood, while you were playing?
Wade: Actually, it was a broken elbow, but everything else was pretty true. I put every ounce of energy into playing. Basically, that’s why we have such a short set ’cause all of us put so much into what we do. We had eaten. We’d just got there. I went to a place right next door that served barbecue food.
Jenny: We all love barbecue.
Wade: I just ate really fast and we had to play. There were a lot of crusty kids in there, so it already stunk. Between that and me just jumping around and cutting my hand open and shit like that, it all kind of hit me at once. Throwing up, it’s not very hard. Any idiot can throw up on stage. The fact that I threw up on people might be a little better. We actually pulled off a rad show with all that stuff. We still played super good. Everyone was into it. We actually got a good response in San Francisco. That’s always a good place for people to like you. They have so many good bands coming out of San Francisco – to be somewhat cool out there is okay and hard. We played up there earlier. Nothing happened. We just played a straight set with the Deadly Weapons and we got the best response just from that. We didn’t even have to go to breaking stuff and throwing up to be good. Our songs spoke for themselves.
Jenny: We don’t do any of that stuff to spice up the set. It just happens. It’s not like it’s planned.
Wade: Trust me, if I could have kept the barbecue down, I’d be way more happy. I paid fifteen bucks for a dinner.
Jenny: We’re eating pizza for a dollar.
Wade: I was stoked. I would have way rather puked up pizza.
Jenny: It’s not like we’re breaking stuff, puking, and bleeding to get people to come to our show. It just happens to us for some reason.
Todd: Jenny, how did you get your last name, Quitter?
Jenny: I used to be a DJ at KXLU. When I first started working there, I had a show for about a month and then I quit and they started this rumor that I quit because I was going to dental assisting school. One of the DJs named me DJ Quitter. When I came back, I kept it.
Todd: Where’d the name of The Orphans come from?
Wade: We’re all into The Warriors. Everyone wants to be the cool gang in The Warriors, but if you look at the Orphans, they were the dirtiest ones.
Jenny: Wade was convinced that Ross from Friends was in it.
Wade: I showed you. Ross from Friends is the leader. No one knows that.
Jenny: David Schwimmer is not in that movie.
Wade: It is Ross. I’m positive.
Jenny: He was a fetus when they filmed that movie.
Wade: It is him. He has a lazier eye. We just got the name from that. I’ve always liked names that are “The” something.
Todd: Have you ran into any other Orphan bands?
Wade: I know there’s a bluegrass cover band in Wisconsin. When you go to www.orphans.com, you’ll run into that. But there’s a hot girl in the band.
Jenny: No, there’s not.
Wade: I love really old people. Really old girls.
Jenny: In case you’re an old lady reading the magazine.
Todd: Are you guys going to try to play a show with the Baseball Furies and do a Warriors re-enactment?
Wade: I would be kind of stoked, but there’s not really too many – The Baseball Furies. I like The Riffs from Portland.
Todd: I’ve always wondered if the Turbo AC’s are just that dumb.
Wade: And not knowing it’s Turnbull ACs. I’m thinking it is. I’ve seen a poster of them.
Jenny: They were too busy posing and practicing their rock face in the mirror.
Wade: I’m sure there’s tons of Orphans out there. We’re not going to change our name. We don’t have anything to sue. We’re not going to copyright it, either. We don’t care.
Todd: What keeps the band from falling to shit?
Jenny: Brandon is the heart of the Orphans.
Todd: Why do you say that?
Jenny: He’s a great drummer.
Wade: Dan’s only been playing guitar a little while.
Jenny: But Dan’s a good guitar player.
Wade: No, no. He is. I’m not saying he’s shitty. I get so fucked up some shows, I don’t even know what’s going on and without a good drummer, you’re shit. It sounds like crap. We’ve been able to pull off bad shows. His drumming saves it. Her Mariah Carey vocals don’t always work.
Jenny: When you come from a metal background, you’re usually a good musician.
Todd: Are you more of a danger to yourself or to other people?
Brandon: When we’re playing, I’m not a danger to anybody. When we’re not playing, I’m more of a danger to other people than myself. I don’t do anything to myself but I don’t take shit from anybody. Touch me and I’ll touch you three times as hard.
Jenny: That’s a fact.
Wade: Jenny paid the price of that one. Jenny’s drunk, walks up, and hits him in the back. He wound up and whacked her. She’s never touched him since.
Brandon: Great. Now I’m known as the guy who punches girls. I’m more of a threat to girls.
Wade: He’s done it to me.
Brandon: Okay.
Jenny: In this band, I’m not even considered a girl anymore, so it’s cool. Don’t worry about it.
Dan: I guess I’m more of a threat to myself. I don’t pick fights. I’m pretty quiet around most people.
Todd: Brandon and Dan, do you think you two are the control group when the band plays?
Wade: We don’t have that in the band. That’s what we like it so much.
Dan: We all just put our heads down.
Brandon: And do our thing.
Jenny: We don’t plan anything out. Everyone does what they feel they need to do when the music starts playing.
Wade: We played with bands where they’re not letting their guitar player drink or do drugs before a show. Everyone here – we go out there and have fun. If I started telling him he couldn’t drink before a show, or they told me that, I’d quit the band. As long as we’re doing our thing, that’s what’s rad. There’s no control people in this band at all.
Brandon: We’re all there to play. We do what we’ve got to do beforehand, but we all know that what’s going on is the show.
Wade: Once we plug in, we know that the next fifteen minutes is our own whatever we want. I’ll have a bad show and break basses or whatever. After the show, they’re not going to be, “You fucked up. You did this, you did that.” Basically, we got into this to have fun, not to make any money out of it, not even to be popular. We kinda just got into it because we had nothing else to do. We were bored and had the instruments to play.
Todd: So, Wade, are you more of a threat to yourself or other people?
Wade: I’d say both.
Jenny: Wade is the exception to every rule.
Wade: I get such a bad rap. I’m a totally cool dude. If I like you, you will have so much fun. If I don’t like you, then you’re bummed.
Jenny: But that’s rare. Someone’s really got to make you mad.
Wade: There’s not that many people that I go, “Fuck him, I’m going to kick his ass.” The live show is just me having fun. If I run out there and accidentally hit you, you complain to me, you’re going to get hit. If you have fun, you can come up and hit me. It doesn’t matter.
Jenny: I guess I’m more of a threat to myself. I’m a sweet girl from Nebraska. I’m as sweet as pie. If we’re talking about real danger, the most fucked up I’ve ever gotten is stuff I’ve done to myself. Not hurting myself, but on stage. Just the way the music affects me. Thrashing around. I don’t have to do what I do but that’s the only way I know how to sing and the only way I know how to react when the music happens and if I fuck myself up, that’s the way it is.
Todd: Wade, what aesthetic considerations do you put into your bass cabinet’s art?
Jenny: (to Wade) He’s talking about the porn.
Wade: He’s using those big words. I didn’t know what he was saying. Basically, I did it to start off so people would help me bring my shit in, ’cause I don’t have wheels. So, you get some big meathead that’s there to drink, looks at some chick’s tits. “Yeah, I’ll take it in.” I’m all, “Go set it over there.” Now, it’s kinda something to look at. It hasn’t fallen off. It gives Brandon something to look at in between songs.
Jenny: It’s been the same porn for three years.
Brandon: I’ve got a good relationship with most of those pictures.
Wade: It used to be animal porn and ladies over fifty.
Jenny: When was it ever animal porn?
Wade: Way before your time. Nobody ever helped me bring that shit in, plus we were practicing at his mom’s house and his mom would come in. His mom was super cool about it, too. So, now it’s huge cocks in girls’ mouths.
Jenny: The most shit we’ve gotten for it was Tribe 8. They weren’t too happy about it.
Wade: I had to cover it with a see-though leopard print blanket when we played that all-ages place in Phoenix. It made it even more exotic.
Jenny: Tribe 8 and the Mason Jar have disapproved of his porn, but everyone else just loved it.
Todd: Look to the band member to your right and say what their biggest quirk is.
Jenny: Wade is obsessed with body hair.
Wade: Great. Goddamit.
Jenny: Don’t you want it to be something good?
Wade: I didn’t want it to be something shitty.
Jenny: That’s not shitty. Do you want me to say, “Wade has a huge package?”
Wade: Yes. Okay. I shave, I nair, I wax. Fuck it. I don’t care. That works. I guess Brandon’s is he has an obsession with Rocket From the Crypt. He’ll miss anything, like a night of drinking, to go to a Rocket From the Crypt show. I’m not too into them, so I don’t understand it.
Brandon: Dan does everything methodically. He has a routine for everything he does and he does everything every time. The way he eats, he eats all of his french fries, then he goes to his burgers.
Dan: I will say that Jenny is almost too sweet, like a Twinkie with a strawberry in the middle.
Jenny: Wade, what do you want me to say? My mom loves Wade to death, but that’s not tough.
Todd: Do any of you skate?
Wade: A lot. Me and Dan go out to the Bellflower pool a lot. That’s how I broke my elbow and my shoulder skating a pool. Just got hung up at the top. Don’t wear pads. Dislocated my shoulder at Brea skatepark. Got way too drunk and started doing the rails. We go out skating pretty much whenever we can. It’s hard right now because if you break a wrist or something, you’re not going to play for awhile. It’ll ruin tour.
Dan: It’s mellower now. I’ve been lucky. I haven’t gotten hurt really bad. It’s fun just cruising around, skating pools and stuff.
Wade: That’s, basically, how all of us got into skating was through Thrasher. I remember looking at the ads. You could buy the Germs shirts, the GBH shirts. It used to be way more punk rock than it is now. The whole hip-hop thing took over skating. I wish that would come back ’cause all these new skaters who think they’re punk rock are a fucking joke. A lot of them were Tom Penny lookalikes. Now they’ve got a Ramones album, they wear a leather jacket. They go skating. They shoot up heroin so they now say they’re going to come off of it. Pretty pathetic. That’s what dropped me out of the scene. We still skate but I really used to really be involved in contests and tradeshows. Fuckin’ idiots that were wearing the visors and the warm-up pants, now they’re rocking tight jeans and trying to look like Johnny Thunders. There’s so much more to the music than wanting to look like Keith Richards. You’ve got to actually listen to ’em.
I was in a couple Thrasher videos, just breaking bottles on my head. I got sponsored from that shit. Breathing fire. Skating a lot. My brother skates. He’s pro. I always hung out with skateboarders. I’d get free stuff. I wasn’t that great a skater. I’m okay. Compared to skaters now, I’m nothing. But if I’m breaking bottles and putting people on fire, Thrasher‘s – besides Anti-Hero and Consolidated – one of the last real punk rock things in skateboarding. Hopefully it will stay like that.
Jenny: I don’t skateboard but I roller skate like a motherfucker.
Dan: Oh, we were talking about skateboarding.
Todd: Tell the most fun you’ve ever had in this band.
Wade: The last time we were in Vegas, we got a hotel room at this piece of shit hotel. Right when we got there, I flipped through the window and broke it. We hadn’t stayed there for a second yet.
Dan: Five minutes.
Wade: My hand got cut. We didn’t know what to do. We ended up staying there with a shattered window.
Jenny: They all left me in the room, asleep, alone with an open window and there’s pimps and ho’s outside.
Brandon: I had to yell through the broken window to wake her up.
Wade: It was rad. Chairs are knocked down, the mattresses are all fucked up, and we ended up not having to pay for anything. We just kinda left really early.
Dan: I think the funnest show was Seattle, Washington. It was an average, regular bar. There were older bikers and cholos, people not really there for the band playing there that night. Everyone was super cool. I got super loaded. I was telling everyone that it was my birthday. I was celebrating early.
Wade: Then Brandon wrecked my van. He reversed with the trailer on. Jackknifed it… and I didn’t go home with that girl.
Jenny: She was a man, Wade. She had a penis. She had a package.
Wade: She was not a guy. You guys didn’t want me to go home with her.
Jenny: Brandon and I cock blocked him, but we did it for his own good.
Wade: I’m sure she had drugs at that house.

http://www.theorphans.net/