The Orwells
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The Orwells
The Orwells
The Orwells at Pointfest in 2014.jpg
The Orwells performing at Pointfest
Background information
Origin Elmhurst, Illinois, United States
Genres Punk rock, garage rock revival, indie rock
2009 (2009)-present
Labels Atlantic, Autumn Tone, Canvasback Music
Members Mario Cuomo
Dominic Corso
Grant Brinner
Henry Brinner
Matt O'Keefe

The Orwells are an American rock band from Elmhurst, IL, a western suburb of Chicago.[1] The members include Mario Cuomo (vocals), Dominic Corso (guitar), Matt O'Keefe (guitar), Grant Brinner (bass), and Henry Brinner (drums).[2] Their debut album Remember When was released on August 7, 2012, through Autumn Tone Records.[2] Their first EP, Other Voices, was released on June 24, 2013, on National Anthem Records. The band's second EP, Who Needs You, was released on September 10, 2013, also through National Anthem.


Remember When

The Orwells formed when all the members were in high school at York High School in Elmhurst, IL. Corso and Cuomo are cousins and the Brinners are twin brothers and all of the members of the band have been family friends for years. The band was discovered in late 2011 by Aquarium Drunkard blogger Justin Gage, who signed them to his Autumn Tone label imprint.[3] They graduated high school early in 2013 to pursue their musical career.[4]

The Orwells were named one of the most criminally overlooked artists of 2012 in MTV's annual list.[5] Their single Mallrats (La La La) has been reviewed by the popular music website, Pitchfork[6] They performed at Lollapalooza in August 2013. On November 5, 2013, The Orwells appeared on Later... with Jools Holland.[7] On November 22, 2013, Arctic Monkeys announced that The Orwells would be their support at nine American concerts in January and February 2014.[8]


On March 24, 2014, The Orwells announced their new studio album Disgraceland through social media outlets. The album was released on June 3, 2014, and includes singles such as "Who Needs You" and "Dirty Sheets".[9]

The song "Who Needs You" was featured on the August 6, 2013, episode of NPR's All Songs Considered. Co-host Bob Boilen said of the group, "You can't say The Orwells without saying 'young," and called the song his summer anthem.[9]

The Orwells performed on Late Show with David Letterman January 15, 2014.[10] Their performance was enthusiastically received, so much that Letterman and others called for an encore. The band did not respond, partly because guitarist Matt O'Keefe had broken all of his strings and physically could not play. After waiting for the Orwells, the house band reprised the Orwells' song and Paul Shaffer parodied the way that Mario Cuomo had lain on his back, thrashing.

On September 25, 2014, the band was featured on an episode of Adam Devine's House Party, performing their single Who Needs You.

On December 7, 2014, the prospering note "Who Needs You" was found in an Apple Inc. commercial for the "iPad Air 2 T.V. ad "Change is in the Air." This track was also to be later found in a Rockstar Games video game, "Grand Theft Auto V" on one of the in-game Rock N' Roll stations.

Terrible Human Beings

On October 3, 2016, the band announced a November tour with dates on the East Coast and in the UK. Accompanied with the announcement was a new 86-second track titled "Buddy"

Musical Influence

The Orwells sound like several great US garage rock bands spliced together. The metronomic four-chord attack of Who Needs You is pure early Strokes, while the single Dirty Sheets has the bluesy lilt of The Black Keys. Elsewhere on the group's songs, punk clatter, dry Midwest humor and Cuomo's sandpaper yowl combine to raise the spirit of unsung Minneapolis alternative-rock pioneers The Replacements. But The Orwells claim influences that are far more diverse than waifish punk upstarts: several band members have expressed a love for The Supremes in interviews.[11]

The lead singer, Mario Cuomo, is heavily influenced by six distinctly different performers; Iggy Pop, Jay Reatard, Julian Casablancas, Cole Alexander & Jared Swilley of The Black Lips, Pelle Almqvist of The Hives, and Tyler, the Creator. Inspired by Tyler, the Creator's talk about skipping class, disobeying parents, and going to record. Mario is quoted saying that, "It like spoke to me even more than any other music I was listening to. I think if it wasn't for him, I probably wouldn't have had the balls to drop out or even be in a band."[12]

Stage Performance

The Orwells always had a reputation as being troublemakers, especially in concert. A set at Spillover Fest in Dallas,Texas turned into a chaotic scene after frontman Mario Cuomo got into an onstage scrap with the venue's sound technician. According to the Dallas Observer, Cuomo had been "spiking his microphone after each song as if he were a football player making a touchdown". The antics annoyed Trees' sound guy, leading him to cut off the band, put on music, and draw the curtains. This didn't fly with the notoriously rambunctious rockers, escalating into an onstage fist fight between the technician and Cuomo. Cuomo was tackled to the ground while his band mates came to his aid. Eventually venue security intervened, but not before several punches were thrown, and one member of the band ripped down the curtain.[13] The Orwells consider themselves the male version of The Runaways, noting that if you put wigs on him and his band mates, no one would even know the difference. "I'm like the f--ing blonde, Cherie Currie, I'm trying to like shake my a- for the people." That being said, Cuomo has stopped his habit of taking his pants off onstage, something he used to do, but now says it makes him feel dirty. "Even as a dude, I don't know I felt like I was kind of being used after a while. It was taking away from what I was doing, people weren't taking me seriously anymore. So I tried not to do it, but occasionally people will start grabbing at my junk," he said. "Which is flattering and everything, but you know, after the show would be better." Cuomo is looking to create the kind of concert-going experience, he says, "where at the end, you're like, I might s-t my pants, but now I just want more." This is different than hardcore or punk shows where people are just beating each other up. "There's a certain amount of danger you have to find," Cuomo explained. "I think the Black Lips do it right. Odd Future does it right."[12]

Band members

  • Mario Cuomo - vocals (2009-present)
  • Dominic Corso - guitar, backing vocals (2009-present)
  • Matt O'Keefe - guitar, backing vocals (2009-present)
  • Grant Brinner - bass guitar (2009-present)
  • Henry Brinner - drums (2009-present)


Studio albums

Title Album details
Remember When
  • Released: August 7, 2012[14]
  • Label: Autumn Tone Records
  • Formats: 12" vinyl, Compact Disc, digital download
  • Released: June 3, 2014
  • Label: Canvasback/Atlantic[15]
  • Formats: 12" vinyl, Compact Disc, digital download
Terrible Human Beings
  • Released: February 17, 2017
  • Label: Canvasback/Atlantic
  • Formats: 12" vinyl, Compact Disc, digital download

Extended plays

Title Album details
Other Voices
  • Released: June 30, 2013
  • Label: National Anthem (ANTHEM0011)[16]
  • Formats: 10" vinyl, digital download
Who Needs You
  • Released: September 10, 2013
  • Label: National Anthem (ANTHEM0013)[17]
  • Formats: 10" vinyl, digital download

Other releases

  • Head Ep (2010) [unofficial]
  • Head Lp (2010) [unofficial]
  • Oh! Well (2011) [unofficial]


  1. ^ Pavlik, Carol. "Elmhurst Punk Band Headed for the Spotlight at Austin's South by Southwest". Elmhurst Patch. Retrieved 2013. 
  2. ^ a b "Orwells". Autumn Tone. Retrieved 2012. 
  3. ^ Aquarium Drunkard
  4. ^ Timony, Mariana. "Interview: The Orwells". Lo-Pie. Retrieved 2013. 
  5. ^ MTV. "The Most Criminally Overlooked Artists of 2012". MTV. Retrieved 2013. 
  6. ^ Minsker, Evan. "The Orwells: Mallrats (La La La)". Pitchfork Media. Retrieved 2013. 
  7. ^
  8. ^ "2014 US Tour Support". November 22, 2013. Retrieved 2013. 
  9. ^ a b "New Music: Elf Power, Bill Callahan, FKA Twigs, More". NPR. August 6, 2013. Retrieved 2013. 
  10. ^ Late Show with David Letterman. January 15, 2014. CBS. 
  11. ^ "The Orwells - New Music". Retrieved . 
  12. ^ a b "6 Frontmen Who Inspired The Orwells' Mario Cuomo". Retrieved . 
  13. ^ "The Orwells' Dallas concert ends with onstage fight". Consequence of Sound. 2016-04-10. Retrieved . 
  14. ^ "Remember When by The Orwells". iTunes. Retrieved 2013. 
  15. ^ "The Orwells Announce New Album Disgraceland, Share "Let It Burn" Video". Pitchfork. Retrieved 2014. 
  16. ^ "The Orwells - Other Voices EP (ANTHEM0011)". National Anthem. Retrieved 2013. 
  17. ^ "THE ORWELLS - WHO NEEDS YOU (ANTHEM0013)". National Anthem. Retrieved 2013. 

External links

  This article uses material from the Wikipedia page available here. It is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.



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