The Orwells play Club Dada on Saturday, April 8.
The last time the Orwells played Dallas, their set at Trees ended with an on-stage altercation between a sound man and vocalist Mario Cuomo. After Cuomo spiked the mike a few times during their set at last year's Spillover Fest, he and the guy running the board that night got into it. Security took the stage and curtains were torn in the melee.
The quintet from suburban Chicago returns to play Dallas next weekend, with no bitterness toward the city. "I'm excited," guitarist Matt O'Keefe says, from the road between San Diego and Las Vegas. "It has nothing to do with Dallas. Just had to do with that venue. Funny enough we're playing across the street, but I'm stoked."
Their high-energy style can cause strains at venues, he acknowledges. "There's been tension between us and security or sound people at venues," O'Keefe says. "There's been stuff like that, but never to the point where fists were actually flying."
In addition to O'Keefe, the lineup at Dada on Saturday includes Dominic Corso on guitar, Grant Brinner on bass and Henry Brinner on drums.
The Orwells tour is promoting Terrible Human Beings, their first album in three years. "Coming off of the tour we did for Disgraceland, we just wanted to take some time to settle down and move out of our parents' house and do all that stuff," O'Keefe says. "Then it was writing the record and go through the recording process, playing shows to make some money. The process ended up being longer than we expected, but we were busy pretty much the whole time."
Terrible Human Beings is their second album for Atlantic Records. So far, they're enjoying the benefits of having a major label's support. "You get more help budget-wise to go make records and spend more time on the road," O'Keefe says. "They have a little bit more of a boost when it comes to promoting the record. So for us, it just meant our music reaching more people and that was kind of the bottom line. We were lucky enough to find a label that doesn't make us compromise or water something down."
The band will remain busy for the rest of the year, touring America and Europe. They also hope to enter a studio in early 2018 to record another album. As for whether a reconciliation with Trees is in the future, O'Keefe remains diplomatic. "I'm not looking to play there and I don't think we would even be allowed to," he says.
The Orwells, 8 p.m. Saturday, April 8, Club Dada, 2720 Elm St., $18, dadadallas.com.
Keep the Dallas Observer Free... Since we started the Dallas Observer, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Dallas, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Dallas with no paywalls.