Packing out legendary venues along LA's Sunset Boulevard like The Roxy and The Whisky Go Go spelled massive things for Melbourne lads Dusted Orange a few years ago… Big shows, big crowds, a successful EP in Concordia and LA-based management, the band were looking pretty unstoppable until their return to Australia and their decision to tone things down. Why? According to rhythm guitarist Karl Unterlechner, when it comes to music, honesty should always come before pretentiousness.
"This band have been around for about six years now and in the past it's had some really good success," says Unterlechner. "I joined more recently but I've heard all about it. With the launch of their first record Concordia they went to LA and played shows at The 'Whisky and The Roxy which is pretty huge. Then two members walked away, the keyboardist Damian [Marshall] stepped up to the vocals and I joined the band.
"At that time the band decided to also change their sound and step back from the older influences and to move towards a more hard rock category. The influences go as far back as old AC/DC stuff to Guns N' Roses and Queen, and to more modern bands like Muse. Damian also loves Alter Bridge, so maybe that can be seen a bit too."
It's taken the last couple of years for the transition to manifest in the form of Dusted Orange's second and upcoming self-titled EP. Yes, it's a reintroduction for Unterlechner and the band, but more importantly, it sees the four-piece happier than ever as both individuals and musicians.
"We came up with 20-odd songs at first that really reflected where we were at right now," explains Unterlechner, "but we picked out the best five and that's taken about six months to get done. This is definitely the next step forward for us. It's been so important for us to strip this thing back to its bare bones of rock, rather than spend weeks multi-tracking and messing around with over-production… We actually already made an EP before this one and, because it was too over-produced and sounded too polished, we decided it would never see the light of day. The sound we got this time was just fantastic and a hell of a lot better - and as raw and live as possible."
Apparently, the decision to change the band's sound was a very smart one, indeed - and thanks to the exposure lead single My Kind Of Woman recently received through the Australian Open campaign, it looks like Dusted Orange may be making a return to the 'States sooner than expected.
"That's also probably the heaviest track on the whole EP," adds the guitarist. "It's old-school rock and something to stomp your feet to, rather than sit there and listen to more introverted pretentiousness. We've had the single get featured live on the Australian Open feed on their website which got exposure internationally. It actually doubled our fan-base online in the space of just two weeks, so that was definitely a good move for us to make. Our management is actually in LA and they're also really pushing for us to get back there as soon as possible. They're talking to some of the labels over in LA as well. Before we even did this EP, we were toying around with the idea of heading over there and putting ourselves completely away from all the distractions back here at home, but it didn't happen in the end."
With My Kind Of Woman still on high rotation across online sites, local radio stations and through iPhone applications, 2011 marks the next phase for Dusted Orange. Hoping to make a more dedicated return to the Melbourne live circuit as well, Unterlechner says the band is first kicking things off with the local launch of the self-titled EP.
"You know, ideally, we would like to be able to play a show every single weekend," states the guitarist. "This year we'll definitely try to move around a lot more, not just around Melbourne but also interstate and we're hoping to give regional areas a go as well. It would be nice to do a full tour at some point this year, especially because we're hoping to record a full album by the end of 2011. It makes sense because we are always writing anyway, that never really stops, and we've always got new songs in the bag.
"Getting out there live is pretty important to us right now, but after the launch of the EP, the plan is to try and record an album by the end of the year. Hopefully it will do well because we really feel like we've found and focused on our sound now. We're writing really great choruses and clean melodies and catchy tunes that people would definitely remember long after the song is finished."
DUSTED ORANGE launch their brand new self-titled EP with a huge show at The Hi-Fi this Saturday March 5 - tickets from thehifi.com.au and on the door. Check out their reverb nation page at reverbnation.com/dustedorange for more info.