Orthy, also known as Ian Orth, has channeled his musical experiences into a debut EP, Sueños, (out now) that recalls Brian Eno and The Beach Boys. His celestial-pop EP was inspired by his fiancée (the multi-instrumentalist recently got engaged). His love for music has been coupled with his love for planning dance parties with co-conspirator Jeramy Neugent, under the name “Learning Secrets,” down in Austin, Texas. Working with musicians from Austin has made Orthy anticipate the time when he can tour with the plethora of Austin friends and talented bands. This solo project is a glance into an out-of-this-world haze of melodies that bring out sentiments of longing, desire and what the future has in store.
Orthy spoke to us about the inspiration of New Jersey, his dream Austin tour, and society’s current musical attention spans.
HOMETOWN: Austin, TX
ON HOW LOVE AND DREAMS MADE HIS EP: I just recently got engaged, and I think it really came from a place where… I’ve been making music for years. I haven’t really ever done anything with it. I’ve been making music, but I didn’t really want to share it with people, because I was shy or I didn’t really think it was good enough. Then I fell in love with my fiancée, and I know it’s kind of cliché or easy to say, but I just started writing all of these songs and all of it sort of started coming out. I just wanted to write these songs about life and love and the trials and tribulations of life: kind of make it more of a testament to her than of the experiences of getting older where everything is rough and hard, but at the same time it’s pretty rad.
ON CREATING THE HIPPEST OF DANCE PARTIES: I used to go to college in New Jersey at Rutgers. I graduated in 2003. I loved it. I have parties here in Austin that I’ve been doing for eight years. I actually started them there, at Rutgers, when I was working at the radio station, WRSU. When I was going to school there, I was the Promotions Director at the station and they would give me a budget every year. The last year I was there, I decided I was going to throw a music festival there with this money that I had and call it “Learning Secrets.” That’s the first time I ever did the “Learning Secrets” thing. It was 2002-3, where there were really rad bands on the east coast at that time like Q and Not U and The Rapture. It was a really fun time. When I moved down to Austin, I wanted to start a dance party. I wanted to expose rock kids to dance music and dance kids to rock music. I would deejay dance music and would be touring and would get indie-rock bands to play. I do this with my best friend Jeramy Neugent.
A CATCHY NICKNAME THAT STUCK: I was working in New York City; I used to intern at a record label called Tiger Style. When I interned there, a guy there gave me that nickname, and it kind of stuck. I think it was more a joke from then. Orthy is kind of cute. I’m a big guy. I’m a huge, 6’7” guy.
GOOGLE ORTH: Googling “Orthy,” I haven’t done. I would imagine that there isn’t a whole lot of stuff. Everything is just starting to get going now.
THE ART OF POSITIVE THINKING: The lead single is called “Sueños.” There’s a word someone had told me a long time ago as they were speaking in Spanish. They had said the word “Sueños.” I liked the way it sounds and liked the way it looks. I realized that, when I found out that it meant “dreams,” I was listening to what the song was about and the way it was going. This kind of celestial sound… it seemed like a dream. The song sings like a dream. Everyone’s dream is to live their life the best that they can and be as happy all the time as they can.
THE FUTURE OF TOURING: I’m actually putting a live band together right now. I think the tour will start in March. We will have follow-up singles coming in probably December and the first half of 2012. The live band and stuff will start in March. Right now, we’re still DJing around. DJing is how I spend most of my time.
THE EVOLUTION OF THE MUSIC COMMUNITY: Right now, I have about a half an album of material that’s already written. Roy Dank, the mastermind behind The Wurst Music Co., is knocking plans on release schedules. We’ll definitely put out another single and another EP at this point. We’re not really trying to rush it at this point. We want it to be the perfect time: the right time. My own personal feeling, full lengths are really awesome. It’s a different music community these days. Full lengths show off a complete thought on a record, but at the same time, people’s attention spans aren’t the same as they used to be. It’s not a knock on people at all. I think the music world has evolved in its current state. There’s nothing wrong with that. There’s just so much out there. There’s so much good music. Everything is at everyone’s fingertips right now. It’s pretty amazing. I just don’t see the point in rushing a full-length album right now.
THE GREAT AUSTIN TOUR: That’s a hard one. There are a lot of really good artists down here in Austin. I think a dream of mine, and some of my friends who are in bands from here has been, once everyone is ready, is to do one big Austin tour. I have a friend down here named Ramesh, who used to be in a band called Voxtrot, and he just now is doing his own solo thing. He just put a band together. He’s probably going to be touring too starting soon. He and I talked for a long time about how rad it would be to do an Austin tour. I’m really into supporting what’s going on in Austin. I would like to tour when we get to that point, with as many friends and bands [as possible] that I look up to. When you’re in a band and you play music with people, you surround yourself with the top musicians that will ultimately make you be better and play better. If we were going to end up on the road with a band like, Holy Ghost! Or, someone way bigger than that, they are a super-solid live act. They would make us be a better band as well. When you go to a show, people’s attention spans aren’t the same at concerts anymore. I think it’s important to make the best live show possible. As an artist, it’s about putting out music.
ORTHY’S DEBUT EP, SUEÑOS, IS AVAILABLE NOW. FOR MORE ON THE ARTIST, VISIT THE WURST WEBSITE.