"You’re not entitled to magazine covers or record sales when you choose to make this music." Code Orange explain why there's no room for entitlement in metal and punk rock

Code Orange posing in 2023
(Image credit: Tim Saccenti)

Today (Friday September 29), Pittsburgh metallic hardcore ragers Code Orange unleash their fifth studio album The Above, three years on from its critically acclaimed predecessor Underneath. Much like Underneath, The Above is receiving rave reviews, with Metal Hammer writing Dave Everley describing it as a "bold album and then some" in a glowing 9/10 write-up.

In the latest issue of Hammer, Code Orange frontman Jami Morgan and guitarist/vocalist Reba Meyers discuss the difficulties of releasing Underneath just as the pandemic was killing off the momentum of countless metal bands, as well as the myriad ingredients that went into making its incredible follow-up. Morgan notes that while he has full faith in his band's music's ability to reach and touch people, he's not counting any chickens when it comes to Code Orange's success.

“I feel like we have this special recipe, and if people just taste it they would love it,” he explains. “But it isn’t coming from a place where we think we’re owed anything or we’re special. I don’t feel like I am more special than, say, my dad, who gets up first thing in the morning every day and goes to work. We put in the work in this band. You’re not entitled to magazine covers or record sales when you choose to make this music – you have to do the best work you can. I learned that from growing up, I learned it from hardcore too.”

“The new album has all the things that I think people seem to like." he adds of The Above itself. "It’s got a bit more of that alt rock vibe, so I feel like that should maybe make it click. I just know that, in life, you have to keep rolling the dice.”

When it comes to any lost momentum owing to a certain virus that swept the globe three years ago, the band are in no mood to feel sorry for themselves. “That time left me with no regrets,” says Reba.  “When everything shuts down, some people shut themselves down. We kept finding ways to fill that time, and I think you’re about to hear the growth we made on this new album.”

Read more from the band in the latest issue of Metal Hammer. The Above is out now.

Merlin Alderslade
Executive Editor, Louder

Merlin moved into his role as Executive Editor of Louder in early 2022, following over ten years working at Metal Hammer. While there, he served as Online Editor and Deputy Editor, before being promoted to Editor in 2016. Before joining Metal Hammer, Merlin worked as Associate Editor at Terrorizer Magazine and has previously written for the likes of Classic Rock, Rock Sound, eFestivals and others. Across his career he has interviewed legends including Ozzy Osbourne, Lemmy, Metallica, Iron Maiden (including getting a trip on Ed Force One courtesy of Bruce Dickinson), Guns N' Roses, KISS, Slipknot, System Of A Down and Meat Loaf. He has also presented and produced the Metal Hammer Podcast, presented the Metal Hammer Radio Show and is probably responsible for 90% of all nu metal-related content making it onto the site.