“He had an acoustic guitar and he started playing this little melody for the bridge… It felt magical – like classic Smashing Pumpkins”: Code Orange on their spellbinding Billy Corgan collaboration and how simplification brought honesty to their playing

Code Orange's Reba Meyers and Dom Landolina perform at Coachella 2022
Code Orange's Reba Meyers and Dom Landolina perform at Coachella 2022 (Image credit: Theo Wargo/Getty Images for Coachella)

Aggressive metal and teeth-grinding tension go together like energy drinks and vodka – in more ways than one. They’re likely to ramp up the intensity and energy levels of a band, but they also can lead to emotional turmoil, instability and crippling volatility. 

The six touring members of Code Orange – guitarists Reba Meyers and Dom Landolina, vocalist Jami Morgan, bassist Joe Goldman, multi-instrumentalist Eric “Shade” Balderose and drummer Max Portnoy – don’t need caffeine and booze to feel jumpy. Theirs is an anxiety born from ambition, insecurity and a little chemical imbalance, and working together simultaneously feeds their neurosis and gives them an outlet to purge their poisons.

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Jon Wiederhorn

Jon is an author, journalist, and podcaster who recently wrote and hosted the first 12-episode season of the acclaimed Backstaged: The Devil in Metal, an exclusive from Diversion Podcasts/iHeart. He is also the primary author of the popular Louder Than Hell: The Definitive Oral History of Metal and the sole author of Raising Hell: Backstage Tales From the Lives of Metal Legends. In addition, he co-wrote I'm the Man: The Story of That Guy From Anthrax (with Scott Ian), Ministry: The Lost Gospels According to Al Jourgensen (with Al Jourgensen), and My Riot: Agnostic Front, Grit, Guts & Glory (with Roger Miret). Wiederhorn has worked on staff as an associate editor for Rolling Stone, Executive Editor of Guitar Magazine, and senior writer for MTV News. His work has also appeared in Spin, Entertainment Weekly, Yahoo.com, Revolver, Inked, Loudwire.com and other publications and websites.