What's Your Fire? is out now!
Image: Kenzie Pigman
New Zealand dream-pop four-piece Mild Orange have treated us all with their brand new single, What's Your Fire?, and the announcement of their third studio album, Looking For Space. To celebrate the release, we've got you covered with 10 things you need to know about our favourite internet cult band, Mild Orange.
Speaking of the track, frontman Josh Mehrtens shares: “For me, What's Your Fire? came from a time in my life where I was trying to figure out who I am, or who the person I want to be is. It asks oneself some intense questions, though hopefully helps oneself find light in the idea that there is always something that you can do to improve yourself or the world around you - no matter how big or small.”
Having joined forces in 2018, Mild Orange is made up childhood friends Mehrtens, lead guitarist Josh Reid, bassist Tom Kelk and drummer Jack Ferguson. With two full-length albums under their belt, the four-piece have sold-out performances across New Zealand and conquered Europe with a headline tour, having also shared the stage with legendary acts such as The Strokes in London and Underworld in Mexico City.
Looking For Space is out February 10!
FOUNDING MEMBERS JOSH & JOSH MET IN KINDERGARTEN
Josh Mehrtens & Josh Reid met when they were three years old, bonding over building blocks at play school in Wellington, NZ. Both their families moved away and they didn’t reunite until they were 20, when Josh Reid took the last room at Mehrtens and friends’ 10 person flat at University of Otago in Dunedin, NZ. The pair began writing songs together and didn’t even know they knew each other earlier in life until Reid’s mum pointed the connection out. Fate.
THE BAND HAVE THEIR OWN RECORDING STUDIO AND CREATIVE SPACE IN NEW PLYMOUTH
Smack-bang right in the middle of New Plymouth, NZ you’ll find Mild Orange headquarters. A 300m2 haven for the band to write, record, practice and hang out. Key features include art on the walls, retro furniture, one of those classic office water coolers and a cosy record player zone.
THE BAND LIKE TO TURN HOLIDAY AND BEACH HOUSES INTO RECORDING STUDIOS
They have all the gear they need to set up a recording studio, so what better place to make and live the music than a stones throw from a beach or at the foot of a mountain? So far they’ve recorded in the dreamy internet cult band holiday destination spots of Riversdale Beach, Carters Beach, Arrowtown, Oākura, and Bannockburn. These environments all feed into the music.
THEY HAVE OVER 50 MILLION VIEWS ON YOUTUBE, WHILE REMAINING INDEPENDENT
Their first viral hits Some Feeling and Mysight were shared by Ukrainian taste-maker, Alona Chemerys on YouTube back in 2018 after Mehrt reached out to her on Soundcloud just as the band was starting off. These songs alone have organically reached over 30 millions views between them now. Their Foreplay album stream has over 6 million views too. With the YouTube exposure has come a global fanbase from corners of the world that don’t have access to streaming platforms such as Spotify.
MILD ORANGE GO BY THE NAMES MEHRT, JAH, BARRY AND JECK
Having two Josh’s gets confusing. Even more confusing is that Tom Kelk is nicknamed after his dad, Barry Kelk, and no one knows why. Jack got his minor nickname after the band were in a Starbucks in Scotland. The translation of his name from Kiwi to Scottish on his coffee birthed the name ‘Jeck’. Say Jack out loud with both accents.
MEHRT PRODUCES, MIXES, ENGINEERS AND DOES THE ARTWORK FOR MILD ORANGE’S ALBUMS.
Mehrt taught himself the ways of audio production and engineering from his bedroom at university and at the library while he should have been studying. He still got his law degree, but there were much more important tasks at hand than assignments – such as mixing an MO album. His artworks reflect the nature of recorded music these days – real instruments being enhanced digitally in software – the works are often analogue image input, then digitally enhanced on his phone or laptop.
BARRY AND JAH ARE BREAD MAKING AFICIONADOS AND MASTERCHEFS
For Mild Orange, a huge part making music is eating well. Jah and Barry are self-taught masterchefs, and both often indulge the band in exquisite meals. Barry even has his own boutique bread business, Barry’s Bread, where he posts photos of loaves that get snapped up in seconds. Jack and Mehrt are pretty good at doing dishes.
JACK HAS A KEEN EYE FOR PHOTOGRAPHY
Jack always has his camera on him and comes from a photography family. Him and his dad develop photos together at home in Westport. Also, shoutout to the band’s mate and photographer, Cam Hay, who has been capturing the band since day one.
THEY’VE PLAYED AT A DIA DE MUERTOS MUSIC FESTIVAL IN MEXICO CITY AND SHARED THE SAME STAGE AS THE STROKES IN LONDON.
MO spent two weeks exploring Mexico City ahead of their appearance at Radiobosque Festival. The band recall looking out over a crowd dressed for the occasion, with skeletal face make up and wreaths of marigold flowers as perhaps being their most memorable show to date. Mexico City was also the birthplace of the track ‘Que Chido’ – one you’ll only know if you have been to an MO live show. A 6-minute epic psychedelic instrumental.
MILD ORANGE IS FOR EVERYONE
What's Your Fire? is out now!