Dig the Now Sound (Thursdays at 10:00 pm eastern on Turn Me On, Dead Man Radio) plays standout recent garage/psych. The featured track this week is “Electric Sitar Beat” by the Orange Drop. You can view a couple of different mixes of “Electric Sitar Beat” on YouTube. The Orange Drop has been on hiatus but Marc-Andre Basile says they’re back now and more focused than ever.
Turn Me On, Dead Man: I see one of your tags is Phladelphia. Where are you are located? Play often?
Marc-Andre Basile: Yes we are located in Philadelphia. We practice and record in our own Cat Vomit Studio – named after our cat that likes to vomit in the studio. Most of the members of the band live in the area, with the exception of our drummer Mike who comes from Delaware. We have just gotten the band back together with most of the original lineup after a long 2 year hiatus. I was busy playing bass for House of Fire during our break and had a great time playing with those guys. We are about ready to start gigging again (our last show I think was in 2011 with the Sky Drops in Philadelphia).
Turn Me On, Dead Man: I wanted to ask about your hiatus. I was looking at your Facebook page and noticed that many months have passed since your latest event. Glad to hear that the original lineup is back together. What caused the hiatus (if I may ask)?
Marc-Andre Basile: Sure, I don’t mind talking about it since there isn’t much to it. I started focusing on another project (House of Fire) and some of the other band members were busy with their own things. About two months ago, we all decided it was time to focus on The Orange Drop again because we realized it was pretty much the most fun any of us have had playing music. We are super happy to be back in action, with way more focus than we ever had before.
Turn Me On, Dead Man: I love the trippy visual images you use, not to mention the music. Who are your biggest influences?
Marc-Andre Basile: Well, I would say Pink Floyd is probably the biggest influence for us. I am personally obsessed with Live at Pompeii, I think it’s pretty much the greatest thing ever recorded. Also, being from France originally, I am big into Serge Gainsbourg and Jacques Dutronc. Our new song Electric Sitar Beat is a sort of tribute to Serge Gainsbourg’s sitar freakbeat era. The Brian Jonestown Massacre, Spacemen 3, and the Dead Skeletons are other long time favorites.
As far as newer bands go, I would like to give a nod to: The Red Plastic Buddha from Chicago, Francois Sky from Berlin, Chatham Rise from Minneapolis, and the Spiral Electric from San Francisco… if you haven’t listened to these bands yet, do it now, these guys all have the potential to be the next “it” psych rock band.
Turn Me On, Dead Man: I also wanted to ask about your French connection (to coin a phrase). What path led you from France to Philadelphia?
Marc-Andre Basile: I moved from France to New Jersey when I was 12. I went to high school and then college in Jersey (the band met at Rutgers in New Brunswick). Our lead guitar player, Blaze, was the first one to make the move to Philadelphia about 3 years ago and a year later I also made the move. Our bass player, Matt, is the latest to have made the move – he just got here very recently.
Turn Me On, Dead Man: Some time ago I put together a mix of tracks that use an electric sitar (“Ain’t Talkin’ ‘Bout Love” by Van Halen was the biggest surprise) and I wanted to ask if you use a traditional sitar or an electric sitar for “Electric Sitar Beat”?
Marc-Andre Basile: That is top-secret information that we cannot reveal. It may or may not be a Jerry Jones Electric Sitar.
Turn Me On, Dead Man: What are your plans for the future?
Marc-Andre Basile: We are currently recording an album that we hope to have ready in the next 2 months. We have always been into DIY so we are recording, mixing and mastering everything ourselves – we love working this way because it allows us to spend as much time as we please with each song. I like to play tricks on people’s ears, so you can expect some very trippy production for the album. After this we plan to have a record release party in Philadelphia and spend the next year playing shows on the East Coast. I’d like to do SXSW again next year if possible (we came and played in 2009).
Turn Me On, Dead Man: Glad to hear it. I hope you come to DC soon.
Marc-Andre Basile: You can definitely expect us to come to DC at some point soon, we plan on playing the major East Coast cities regularly.