By COREY OGLESBY
for Inland 360
The California funk and soul veterans of Orgōne — pronounced “or-gōne,” meaning “a universal life force”— are set to bring their high-energy show to the Rendezvous stage Friday night, and audience members can bet they’re going to bring it hard. Over the course of its nearly 20-year existence, Orgōne has earned a reputation as one of the freshest, most exciting live acts on the circuit, and with one of the most relentless touring schedules, to boot.
Sergio Rios, guitarist and engineer for the Los Angeles-based band, and singer/lyricist Adryon de Leónm found time on their way north to answer some questions to get readers ready for their headlining appearance.
Can you give us a quick history of Orgōne’s genesis over the years, from its beginnings to what it is today?
Sergio: Well … we originally started off as a four-piece instrumental band in the vein of all of the great soul music studio rhythm sections that were our heroes: The Meters, Booker T. & the MGs, Motown’s the Funk Brothers, the Hi Records rhythm sections, the Muscle Shoals Rhythm Section and so many great others.
We gathered steam over the years, snowballed and added horns and vocals, and expanded our shared musical vocabulary as more and more different shades of soul and funk have influenced us.
Orgōne has been around for nearly 20 years at this point — no small feat for any band, but especially for one that tours as hard as you do. What do you think has helped keep the group not only together for so many years, but also continuing to grow and evolve?
Sergio: I think that it’s the growing and evolving that’s helped keep the group together. There’s been quite a roster of amazing musicians that have been part of the group over the years, and there’s always an organic evolution that happens with each new person and new chemistry involved, all the while striving to honor an authenticity to the vision of what the band can represent. So, there’s a regeneration of freshness that we adhere to in order to, well, to keep things fresh.
It seems like Orgōne came at the making of its new album, “Reasons,” in a way that diverged from and/or refined past approaches. In what ways was this go-around different for you, and in what ways was this approach positive and/or challenging?
Adryon: The seeds for “Reasons” were sown almost five years ago when the band retreated to a Joshua Tree compound for a week. Over the next few years, the tunes evolved and were primarily produced internally, differing from the “extended family style” vibe of previous records. Challenging ourselves to cultivate the record on our own was an amazing experience.
Sergio: Yeah, absolutely — it was the collective endeavor of writing the bulk of the album with Adryon and focusing also (for most of the album) on a very late-70s, early-80s boogie vibe that we all hold in our DNA from our earliest memories.
Orgōne has been all over the world, and multiple times, at that. Is there anything about the Inland Pacific Northwest that feels unique to you compared to other parts of the country?
Adryon: We’ve definitely canvassed the country several times over almost 15 years of touring, and have had several memorable shows in Spain, Colombia, Mexico, with more of Europe scheduled for this summer.
The Inland Pacific Northwest has some of the kindest, most hospitable and eclectic music lovers in all of the country. We know we’re going to have a good time when we roll through.
Folks in Moscow are super excited for your appearance at Rendezvous in the Park — anything in particular you want to say to them to get them ready?
Adryon: Be ready to move, receive and love!