The Orphan The Poet are an alternative rock band from Columbus Ohio. Their new single ‘Money’ debuted on September 14th. They are currently touring with the band The Score. GIGsoup’s Thomas Darro had the chance to interview them in their tour van before their show in Brooklyn, New York.
Alright first can you guys introduce yourself for when I listen back?
David Eselgroth: Yes hello hello hello I’m David, and I sing and I sometimes play guitar.
Jake Floyd: I’m Jake I play the bass.
Sam Gordon: I’m Sam and I’m the drummer.
So you’re 10 days into tour, How has it been so far?
DE: It is going awesome first of all, you know it’s kind of hot.
JF: It is super hot.
DE: Yeah like you think of fall tour like “oh it’s going to be us touring during the most beautiful time of the year” Nope. But actually we are super pumped about going to Canada. We’ve never been.
Okay, I read somewhere in past tours that you David are a clean eater. Is this still a thing for you guys? How do you manage to eat clean on tour?
DE: Oh man I try. Okay, so this tour is interesting. I think among all of us all there is different types of dietary restrictions. Like someone eats this, someone doesn’t eat that. You know what I mean? So its not just me being picky. Everyone has their line.
SG: We’re all cutting back.
DE: But here is the thing, the kicker on this tour we found a common ground and we somehow decided okay okay lets find that venn diagram of what are we sharing? We just said we are not eating bread.
JF: Super difficult on this tour. Sam and I are both pescatarian, so we still eat fish. But with like late nights and every venue if there is catering its normally pizza.
DE: Yeah like cheap freaking pizza, and greasy carb heavy food.
JF: And to be honest that is part of the reason that we decided to do the no bread. Almost all of the free food that we receive on tour is carb heavy and we just feel lethargic after so.
DE: Yeah and for me it’s cool. Because I’ve tried to limit my bread for a long time and now that everyone else is on it I was like “Yes I have a team now!”
JF: Yeah so we are all accountable.
SG: Its also its still really hard but I am going to go home and eat less bread because of this. I know I can do it, we know we can do it and its cool.
See, I have a goal to find the best roadside diner chicken strips in the world. So my next question is what is The Orphan The Poets food guilty pleasure while on tour?
SG: Its Sushi!
DE: A hundred percent its sushi. We are like sushi hounds now! and I think it’s because the bread.
JF: Yeah here the thing, going back to the bread thing we did say okay there is going to be limitations. We decided we can have bread if everyone decides. We had a pizza night one night. But on the subject of bread though there’s rice, tortillas and we’ve decided that the stipulations are no rice…except for sushi.
SG: So we’ve been rolling into towns finding the nicest Krogers, Wegmans, whatever it is like this place looks like it has the best sushi so we go there.
JF: The cheapest but best sushi.
SG: We’re not trying to go over board, but we’ve got to indulge a little bit.
DE: Value bin sushi, the discount sushi outlet.
I wanted to talk about Bananas. I saw in interviews from past tours a social media campaign with them.
JF: We do like bananas. But there was a thing where we tried to start when we very first started as a band. Someone somewhere taped a banana peel to something. Its like we had tape and we had a banana peel and we just taped it to the side of someones van. Then it just became a thing. It didn’t really take off quite like we wanted it to.
#BananaSantana I’m trying to bring it back.
JF: There you go. You got it!
DE: That’s the thing there’s been so many things we tried to see, like we just started literally.. can we bring it up?
JF: Yeah so the new #BananaSantana the thing we’re trying to get going this tour is Daily Voodoo.
DE: So for our readers our listeners if you’re not familiar Voodoo is one of the best butt-rock songs to ever come out from Godsmack. Look it up if you haven’t heard it.
JF: We’ve been trying to one day like I don’t even know how it came up.
DE: We just started singing it.
JF: And then we listened to it and then David decided to film a video and then I joined in and Sam joined in.
DE: And now it’s just a thing.
SG: We’re trying to one up it everyday.
JF: By the time we hit the west coast there is going to be some ridiculous ones.
DE: And my absolute hope is that I want someone to make one and send it back to us. I want to receive Daily Voodoo.
There has got to be fans out there that are dying to do it.
DE: Ah we could cut the video in like each frame brings in like another face like The Brady Bunch.
JF: Then the ultimate is if we get Voodoo trending again. So you know how ‘Africa’ by Toto kind of had this resurgence? If we could start ‘Voodoo’ by Godsmack to get back on the charts.
SG: Godsmacks like “Why are we making all this money?” It’s us. We’re the reason.
That leads in perfect, I wanted to talk about social media. You guys are probably one of the most fun bands I’ve seen on social media to follow. Is that something you have always had a focus on?
DE: That’s kind of Jake, he’s kind of the mastermind on the social media.
JF: On the social media front like awhile ago and when we first started, I don’t know you try to be this like cool everyone’s trying to be hip on Instagram and seem like they’re rock stars but the more and more like we travel the more and more we don’t care about that. That’s also like not like our personality we’re not like super serious not that we’re like super jokey but… we kind of just don’t care.
SG: If it’s weird it’s weird man and people respond to that.
JF: Yeah exactly and we like weird things. We’re weird guys and when you’re stuck in a van with three people for a month like it’s gonna get weirder. So if you just try to be this serious rock star guy on social media you just lose out on sharing with everyone all the funny things that happen.
So your social media has a strong following and I love how that shows with the hive. So how did that start? Was it from the ‘Still Buzzin’ video or where exactly did the Hive start?
JF: That’s an interesting one. We had a group of people ask us if they could start a street team for us. Which is super cool because I feel like every band has a street team and they started like this community and it’s been insane to watch it grow. There’s two people Jay and Katie who reached out to us and they started like this group chat online. On this tour they set up this thing where if you’re going to the New York show or the Chicago show you can meet up with other people who like our band that are also going to the show.
DE: It’s like always the dream where like it is this fan base and it is connected to us or a band but also it’s kind of independent.
JF: But whats happened is their like creating these things on their own like when we were in Atlanta on this tour all of the fans there unbeknownst to us like we had a new song come out called ‘Money’ and when we were playing that song and mind you the song had been out for three days this was the literal second time we’ve played it live. When in the middle of the song we just see this like confetti cannon
DE: Everyone just threw up these fistfulls of fake money.
JF: That they printed themselves with our logo on it.
SG: It was yellow money with our bee on it.
DE: Our logo our name and literally they threw it up and it was amazing.
JF: We couldn’t finish the song.
DE: I almost fell over. I almost fell over.
This is three days into tour and ‘Money’ just came out…
DE: Yeah! To like know the song is one thing like “oh my gosh you know the song great,” But like you’re already creating props to bring to a show and have it coordinated.
Were there any tweets did you know any of it was coming?
SG: No not all. If there is video out there you can pretty much tell the look on our faces was just like “Wow.”
DE: Yeah, definitely definitely cool. So like the hive we could not be more thankful.
JF: We had to add a spot on our website where you can join the hive if you go to theorphanthepoet.com
My next question was about your new single ‘Money’ you’ve had fans make props, they know all the words. What’s that been like for this song that’s only been out two weeks? A whole audience singing your song back to you?
JF: Its insane. It is a feeling I’ll never get over.
DE: It’s awesome. Especially for this song in particular. It was different for us we wrote it in a very quick way. Literally, so we had the studio booked with this producer that we were very excited to be working with and uh we had been emailing back and forth demos saying “These are some song ideas I have.” i’ll text him this is an idea, that is an idea. A few weeks out he says “Cool cool, keep them coming. When you get her next month We’ll sit down and listen to them and find out what we are going to do with them.” So we get in there and his names Matt, we sit down with Matt and go through all these ideas like “yeah that is good this is good that is cool this is cool.” But nothing was like killing us. Then Matt said “I really like this one line, this one line thats the best thing you got. Lets just write a new song right now.” And like for us we’re like you’re crazy man you’re crazy! Musicians typically labor over songs forever they’re tweaking, and rewriting, throwing this part away, digging it back up out of the garbage and trying again. You know what I mean? It’s just a process that is so strung out. But with this song money with Matt he’s like “Lets just write it.”
JF: And we did that day.
SG: It was the catalyst we needed. Between the three of us we were just like “Boom this is cool, this is not cool, this is cool, this is not cool.” And it was nice because between the three of us if we had been tasked with that it would have been different. By the end of the first day we were just like “This is it we gotta do this.”
DE: And so when you have a process like that is so fast paced and flying by the seat of your pant like “oh I guess this is the song we’re going to write.” Then tomorrow you record it, two weeks later you put it out. So that sort of boom boom boom it leaves you with a sense of like a whirlwind of oh okay. And then when people are singing it the next week you start just saying “This is nuts.” It is surreal that is the only way to put it surreal.
So it is still new for all of you?
JF: So new! It is like two months ago we wrote and recorded that song.
DE: Everyday at sound check feels like alright…
JF: We gotta remember how to play this song.
DE: Usually we are like rehearsing for tour and like
SG: We’d have like a month at least to play the song like twice a week and we just did not have that.
DE: It is still just super fresh, and super fun and it’s just kind of electric.
Okay, so you guys are getting ready to play at Rough Trade in an hour or so. Do you guys have any sort of pre concert rituals?
SG: We have a little bit.
DE: I think we do, like I’m pretty particular like I have a very specific warm up I do. I like get in my space and I’m always in this chair (Passenger seat of the tour van) and I always listen to the same music and do the same warm ups. I always drink the same amount of tequila and I don’t know that’s kind of it for me.
JF: And then when we are on stage and about to hit our first note we have like this little thing that we call the low two and…
SG: It’s important.
DE: Yeah think like high five but low two.
SG: That’s a story in itself but its just like a piece sign but you tap your two fingers down low.
DE: Kind of like bikers do.
(Demonstration of the low two)
You guys are performing every night but I wanted to talk to you about a different type of performing. I am a big karaoke guy what are your go to karaoke songs?
DE: I fucking love karaoke. Ooh mine is ‘All or nothing’ by O-town.
JF: Sam whats yours?
SG: So I have only ever performed karaoke one time. I’ve fantasized about it, I’ve practiced… a lot. But the only time I have ever actually done karaoke it was to a song called ‘I’m your daddy’ by Weezer. It’s a really good song and I thought I could do it. But there is a key change and I wasn’t ready for it… you know it wasn’t great but I still felt confident coming off the stage.
DE: Wait what’s your karaoke song?
I don’t have a voice, so I’m almost strictly a Destiny’s Child cover band. It gets the crowd going.
SG: That’s amazing.
JF: If you’re not confident in your singing it is all about song choice. David and I did ‘Break Stuff’ by Limp Bizkit one time I’m going to say that’s my go to.
DE: Oh that was wild. So we are from Columbus Ohio and there is this very specific dive of a dive and I think there is karaoke five days a week. It’s cash only, the floor is sticky always I feel like they put the stick there. But we brought the house down. Break stuff.
JF: It was like a Tuesday.
SG: It doesn’t matter what day it is it’s always a good day for that song.
I have two more questions, First I want to know what I would have to do to get in today’s daily voodoo?
JF: Oh, do you want to be a part of it today?
DE: Can we do it now? We’ll do it now.
SG: We can make a weird video for sure.
(Recording of the Daily VooDoo video)
JF: But the other thing about the daily voodoo is that we only do one take. What we got is what we got.
Last question, is there anything else you want your fans to know?
JF: Oh just to listen to our…
SG: Our fans? No, just we love them. We love them all. They’re amazing.
JF: What we want to let them know just listen to ‘Voodoo’ by Godsmack.
Find out more about The Orphan The Poet and their tour on their website and check them out on social media. One of the best band social media follows you can find, and the best place to find The Daily Voodoo each day. Follow them on twitter and Instagram.