Interview: Mock Orange

In September of 1998, Mock Orange released their album, Nines and Sixes. The album was a critical success; it is still All Music’s “album pick” for the band. Though the band’s sound has evolved, Mock Orange is celebrating the anniversary by playing the album in its entirety on tour. We caught up with Ryan Grisham to ask him about his memories of recording the album, the tour, and what’s next for the band.

You are celebrating the 20th anniversary of Nines and Sixes with a tour. The album is considered by many to be your masterwork. Do you feel it is your best album?

Nines and Sixes was an important step in our evolution. A step that wasn’t really appreciated by people of the time. Everyone seemed very confused when we started touring for that record! I suppose if you let things simmer for 20 years, it gives folks time to catch up. As far as masterwork, absolutely not. But it was a great jumping off point!

What do you remember about recording the album?

Well, after sorting everything out with lobster records, we jumped in the van, and drove to Carpinteria. We stayed in a condo on the beach, woke up, drove to Orange Whip studios, and started setting up. We were 21 years old, and had no idea what we were doing! But we’d practiced so much, that we blew through the songs in around one take per song. No clicktrack! Then ended up in the Capitol Records building in a mastering room. It was wild.

I assume you re-listened to the album for the tour, is there anything new you have noticed about the album?

It’s really freakin fast.

You have famously evolved with every album, never making two albums that sound the same. Does the type of songwriting on Nines and Sixes still connect with you?

Yes and no. I find, we often use a specific chord scheme that makes its way onto every record, somehow, but our brains have changed very much, over all. We don’t really think in those rhythms and jugga jugga riffs anymore.

Do you have a favorite song on the album?

Probably “Does It Show” and “All You Have.”

Part of the tour will see you playing The Fest in Gainesville. Have you ever attended the Fest before? If not, what are you most looking forward to about it?

We haven’t attended Fest, but we are looking forward to seeing some bands from back in the day. I hope we get to say what’s up to J. Robbins, and catch their show. Also, our friends that opened for us in Tokyo, The Firewood Project are playing.

Finally, after this tour, what’s next for Mock Orange? Any plans for a new album?

It depends on the day! If we’re feeling saucy, we might.

TOUR DATES

OCT 28 Gainesville, FL FEST 17 @ The Wooley

NOV 14 Brooklyn, NY @ Knitting Factory

NOV 15 Cambridge, MA @ Middle East – Upstairs

NOV 16 Philadelphia, PA @ Ortlieb’s

NOV 17 Richmond, VA @ Capital Ale House Downtown

DEC 01 San Diego, CA @ Soda Bar

DEC 02 Los Angeles, CA @ The Echo

DEC 04 Anaheim, CA @ Chain Reaction

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