DFW Music News

The Orange Peels Back To Reveal The Life Fantastica

Fans of bombastic area power pop/psychedelic rock act The Orange might have some trouble spotting the band on any area venue's upcoming show calendars.

Mostly because, um, The Orange has been peeled. Which is to say that it's done with.

Well, partially.

"As far as The Orange goes," frontman Scott Tucker wrote in response to our email inquiry, "yes, I am changing the name to The Life Fantastica... Artistically speaking, I just don't feel the name gives proper reference to the project anymore."

We last caught up with The Orange about a year ago, as the band prepared for the release of its disc, A Sonic Collection of Short Stories From La La Land. (Download a copy of the song "Nip/Tuck" from the EP here.) Pretty catchy, upbeat stuff--and certainly interesting in that the band found itself a home at the Curtain Club, a venue usually not conducive to the type of sound The Orange brought.

So why the change? Just a desire for a new direction?

"The sound of The Orange was more of a collaboration," Tucker explains. "The lead guitarist, Aaron Berkes, [and I] had been playing together for 13 years. He recently had to leave the band for a full time career as a structural engineer. We had known it was coming for a year now, but Aaron held on as long as he could. With our tour schedule in 2008 being intense at times, Aaron had to make that decision.

"Aaron and I wrote all the music and now that he is no longer with the band I am taking complete artistic responsibility for the project."

And where'd The Life Fantastica come from?

"The Life Fantastica was originally a solo project I started with a guitarist named Kirk Livesay about the same time as The Orange got together," Tucker says. "Kirk and I have been playing together for 12 years. Now that Aaron is no longer with the band, The Orange will undergo a complete transformation to The Life Fantastica. I am really excited about this project... I finally feel free to express music in the clearest possible way now without any distractions."

In some ways, Tucker says, the change is something of a weight lifted off of the band's shoulders; the band is excited about the freedom lying before it.

"Aaron and I wrote great music together," Tucker writes. "And I'm really going to miss sharing the stage with him. But now all the music in my head that keeps me awake at night will be free to launch."

Too bad. I was a big fan of The Orange, if only for a very stupid reason: It's name was the same as my college's sports team nickname. (I told you the reasoning was stupid.)

Anyway, Tucker says the band's first gig will be in Austin at a showcase during SXSW. Keep an eye on The Life Fantastica's Myspace page for info on upcoming local show dates.

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Pete Freedman
Contact: Pete Freedman