Orion 321 are
reaching for the stars
They've only been around for a year and a half, and they're already being compared to the likes of The Smashing Pumpkins and Collective Soul. This Stratford quintet has already made a distinct impression on the college airwaves here in Canada, as well as in the United States and in Australia. Rumour has it, that the video for their single "Bottom of the Sky" has been even been spotted on Much Music and on American TV.
So who is this fabulous five? Orion 321 is their name and they’re certainly not wasting their time on the path of the rising star. The band has a fairly impressive musical background. Keyboardist Scott Sebben has a Bachelor of Music degree with Honours, while Mike Segeren has an extensive performance background. The finishing touches of the band include Tim Smythe on guitar, Barry Walls on bass and Trevor Cameron on drums. Orion 321 creates music that will "lead listeners into the music of new millennium." Their compositions flow from Mike, to Scott and then final collaborations with each other fill in the missing portions of their masterpieces.
Mike, being a somewhat soft-spoken and modest guy says "All I can say is it’s an honour really" when mentioning the comparisons to such bands as Collective Soul, Smashing Pumpkins and The Fine Young Cannibals. In Mike's CD player, artists like Lenny Kravitz, Rush, Smashing Pumpkins, Jimi Hendrix, Pink Floyd and even The Matthew Good Band help him create his emotional and passionate songs. Being from Stratford, also has its underlying influences on his music, although they may not lie on the surface of his creations.
Orion 321 has a substantial following from their hometown of Stratford, Ontario. Making one thousand copies of their three-song EP, and selling four hundred of them in Stratford alone, was more than they had hoped for. They are currently recording a nine-song LP and are excited about the response their fans will generate. But interest in the band does not only come from the fans. "We're label shopping. If we don’t get anything right away, we might release [the album] independently and just keep going, but we're looking for a label and we've gotten some calls," says Mike Segeren. With the surprising success of their EP, they're moving full steam ahead. Surprises included a number 10 spot for three weeks on Nova Scotia college radio, number 15 for two weeks in Sudbury and the top twenty at St. Claire College (where?). Their video for "Bottom of the Sky" was originally a promotional ploy for their major label hunt, but caught on amongst their fans.
Mike Segeren doesn’t deny that the music industry is a tough cookie to chew on. But he offers sound advice to those aspiring musicians around him. "She's a hard road, but stick to your guns and just when you think it's going to fall apart, you have to pick it back up and…move on." Never give up. He has been playing in different bands for years and seems to have a very good feeling about his current project, and so he should. Orion 321 is a band whose music naturally evolves to the times and the emotional states they write in. Their new LP, which is almost finished, will be a conglomeration of styles and grooves. "It's like we have a vast open book for writing songs, we evolve quite a bit without even knowing it."
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