Orca Team was one of Portland's best bands until a couple years ago, when they became one of Seattle's best bands. But the suave surf-pop trio seems to play Portland frequently enough to qualify for some sort of honorary continuation of PDX citizenship.
Even if Orca Team wasn't intent on keeping a toe in this city, I play its glorious "And She Knows" often enough to keep my small corner of Portland an eminently Orca-friendly realm. It is a tender, timeless prom-pop gem that I heartily recommend playing on infinite repeat the next time you find someone who wants to make out with you.
Listen and fall in love.
Orca Team recently released Restraint, a gentle reminder that the increasingly popular surf-punk form need not be scuzzed and scuffed to set hearts to racing. The band's Summer of Restraint tour winds down at Valentine's on July 31, and to mark Orca Team's impending return to the best coast, I cornered the road tripping Team's frontman, Leif Anders, for a quick email exchange about Clif Bars, the suckiness of New York and radness of Kansas.
Listen to Restraint here.
Why did Orca Team move to Seattle?
I think Jessica and I moved to Seattle to change our perspectives, both personal and musical. Aside from Dwayne living up in Seattle, I believe we were all ready to start working a little harder with Orca Team. Relocating to Seattle made perfect sense for a new place to construct.
How do you guys get so much time off work to tour?
Easy, if by getting time off work you mean quitting your job. There may be a chance that we can get our jobs back when we return home but it reached a point where wandering around the US seemed more appropriate and important than holding down a consistent job. I think we all love our jobs and would love to return to them upon returning from tour but if that isn't the case, I'm sure we can find other lovely occupations.
Is it my imagination or does Orca Team play like every other show happening in Seattle on any given night?
And are you afraid people will start taking you for granted? There is definitely a large part of us that loves playing out. Not only for the thrill but for the practice. We can get rusty pretty easily so we try to play as much as we can. Also, I don't think we try to play every show that comes up--there have just been a lot of great shows we have been invited to play. It's a big difference from Portland, where if your band isn't playing twice a week you are pretty much not doing anything. I think we have plans to play less in Seattle. Good thing we are having fun in Tacoma, Olympia, Portland, Bellingham, and Vancouver.
What is the best surf-punk band in the Northwest right now?
I don't really know. I usually hate the typical version of "surf-punk" that consists of a basic punk band playing punk songs with reverb on the guitar. That being said, I think there are some very good bands in the Northwest that have surf and garage overtones. My personal favorites are The Shivas, Pony Time, Unnatural Helpers, Night Beats, Detective Agency and up-and-comers Johnny and the Sobs.
What is your favorite thing to eat while on tour?
Anything vegan is good for me. I have a love for white chocolate macadamia nut Clif Bars. Lots of Indian food. French fries are safe usually. Food from co-ops. Can't trust Thai food from state to state sadly. :(
What's the best show you've played on this tour so far?
Shows in Fargo, Chicago, Spokane, Brighton, Liverpool, and Kansas City have all been super radical.
If we set up the show on our own, always New York City. Such a let-down city.
SEE IT: Orca Team plays Valentine's on Tuesday, July 31 with Still Caves and Surf Drugs. 9pm. Cover. 21+.