In June 2016, Orlando music promoters Ugly Orange hosted their first event, a tour kick off for Lakeland’s Swept with support from The Knick Knacks (R.I.P.), Dumberbunnies, and The Zigs. Even before its start, each of UO’s three heads were already seasoned veterans in the Orlando music scene. Nicole Dvorak cut her booking teeth playing in numerous local bands, most notably Transcendental Telecom. Hannah Fregger had been a key member of monthly dance night Body Talk since its inception. And Kaley Honeycutt was performing with/booked shows for her synth pop trio Island Science and crafting amazing artwork for local bands and shows.
Together, Ugly Orange quickly became a brand boosting local and touring music, booking an average of two shows a month and collaborating with the likes of Always Nothing and yes, The Vinyl Warhol. They've also expanded beyond events, releasing a series of live session videos. I kicked it with two of The Ugly Oranges—Kaley has since relocated to Boston to be a rockstar in BABY—to see why they’re so damn cool. Enjoy.
matthew warhol: I wanted to start with asking my good friends in the Orange community, how did you get together?
Nicole Dvorak: Tell him about, “Where is this bitch?”
Hannah Fregger: I was booking shows and helping manage Body Talk at the time. I booked Island Science for a Body Talk and Kaley and I kept in touch after that. After I was asked to leave Body Talk, I was feeling really sad, and saw that they posted a Facebook Status saying that they wanted to start doing shows that were powered by girls. They asked me to come over to Nicole’s house, and I’m perpetually late.
matthew warhol: You were late to this interview. And it was at your house.
Hannah Fregger: I was like seven minutes late, and I’m walking up to the door and hear Nicole go, “Alright, where is this bitch?!” And I knock on the door and everyone gets quiet. I’m like, “I’m right here.” We sat down and talked about music we liked and what we thought we wanted to do; we had our dreams in one little basket and they seemed to align. Here we are.
matthew warhol: What do you think the importance of it being female-powered is?
Nicole Dvorak: Oh, that’s a Hannah question. I didn’t even think about it being female. I’ve never even had that in the back of mind.
matthew warhol: But you’ve been in bands and stuff where you’re the only girl.
Hannah Fregger: At the same time, you’ve literally said that you’ve been asked to be in bands because your profile picture is you with a bass. This is an entirely sexist industry.
Nicole Dvorak: I should be promoting that fact.
matthew warhol: And you are, by default, just doing what you do.
Hannah Fregger: And at that time, the only people who were booking shows, besides Tierney, were a bunch of dudes. And they were putting on other dudes, which is fine, but there aren’t a lot of women. It’s a very male-dominated industry. People come up to us and say that’s one of the things they like most about our shows. And for me at least, I think girls are more visual. We want everything to look cool.
matthew warhol: And that’s something that sets your shows apart. I think all good shows create a night, an atmosphere, something people are going to remember. How do you do that?
Hannah Fregger: We try to make things different each time.
Nicole Dvorak: I never want to put on a show of just locals. I want to have some fresh faces, and we’ve never booked a show without an out-of-town band as our starting point. We start with “Oh, we’re really excited about this band that hit us up,” and we go from there.
Hannah Fregger: Also, there aren’t a lot of venues to work with, and when that happens everything gets stale really fast. So you’re going to the Henao Center or Spacebar or Will’s, but I don’t want it to ever feel like you’re in those places. I want you to feel like you’re at an Ugly Orange show. We’ve never done the same thing twice. We reuse local talent but try to make sure everything is different on the inside, a little gimmick going on. We had macaroni n cheese one time.
matthew warhol: I’d say immersion hit its highest peak so far at the last show at the Henao.
Nicole Dvorak: Yeah, well that one was all Hannah Glogower.
matthew warhol: She did an excellent job. With a space like that, it’s so big. I feel like to create an environment, you have to go all out.
Nicole Dvorak: But it’s also such a low-key, low pressure place, I don’t feel like I need to fill the space to make it a successful night. Will’s Pub, I feel like I need to bring in people.
Hannah Fregger: You can definitely feel it at Will’s if there aren’t a lot of people. And at the gallery, they have the big room where all the art is, so I think that takes the pressure because there is already some focal point. And the back room is bare bone, it’s guts like The Space used to be. Even if there’s only five people in there, you can still create really cool environments. That’s what Hannah did. She had one little idea as a jumping point, and she created the outdoor installation that was gorgeous.
matthew warhol: What’s been the most flattering moment so far?
Hannah Fregger: Freakin’ Cassie Ramone, dude. Oh my God, TONSTARTSBANDHT that’s crazy! I think, recently, a lot of people have been reaching out to us, which is crazy.
matthew warhol: What show have you been most proud of?
Hannah Fregger: I think that the coolest thing we’ve done so far is the one at the gallery.
Nicole Dvorak: The most recent one?
Hannah Fregger: Yeah. The Ace Metric show was super fun too, but I felt really stressed that night.
Nicole Dvorak: I feel completely the opposite. I was so stressed during the show at the gallery.
matthew warhol: Why?
Hannah Fregger: We’ve never worked with people with guarantees before. We never make a profit.
Nicole Dvorak: Also, Henao is still in its beginning stages. They don’t have a sound guy. We’re still figuring it out there.
Hannah Fregger: And that’s one of those things where I have no idea. I let Nicole do that.
matthew warhol: Nicole, I remember we were talking at the Ace Metric show that that was one of your favorite moments, getting to do something at a bike shop.
Nicole Dvorak: Oh God, yeah.
matthew warhol: As someone who loves Orlando, seeing a local business, local music, and a local booker coming together…
Nicole Dvorak: That’s what really did it for me. I’m trying to bring everybody up with me—and she feels the same way. Michael at the bike shop has become a really dear friend of mine. And when we bring Hannah Glogower on board and seeing them profit off a show, that’s the rewarding part for me.
Hannah Fregger: There’s so much mutual respect within the community. Especially with The Vinyl Warhol, if there’s ever someone that reaches out to me that I think is more up your alley, I’m going to send it to you, same thing with Harryson and SR50. They have a grasp on different genres.
Nicole Dvorak: Also, shout out Hannah Spector, one of my favorite artists in town. She has had work at like three shows and has been a huge help.
Hannah Fregger: Always reliable, everything always looks so good.
matthew warhol: To what you said about everyone coming together, something I’ve said many times is that, because we’re so much smaller than a city like New York, to have the impact of a big city everyone needs to work together. That wasn’t really a question, but you want to agree or rebuke it, go ahead.
Nicole Dvorak: Yes and no, I go to New York and they have their own little cliques and get caught up going to the same shows. I think it’s cool that you do stuff that brings different communities together, and I want to definitely do that too.
Hannah Fregger: I think what sets Orlando a part, even from cities like St. Petersburg or Tallahassee, is that the city itself doesn’t support its alternative community. That’s why all the good stuff dies, The Peacock Room, The Space. If the city were backing us, if we had more support, we could have a really strong community. It’s a big small town. Sometimes I step outside of my bubble, and am amazed. Like, the ska scene is alive in Orlando!
Nicole Dvorak: That’s why the death of Spacebar and The Space is so detrimental.
matthew warhol: It needs to grow, more and more venues. Not just replacing the one that dies.
Nicole Dvorak: It can’t be like that.
Hannah Fregger: We had A Place Gallery around for a year. The city didn’t support them as an art gallery so they had to stop. If there was more support and funding from bigger community members, it would be able to actually create a culture that could stay. That’s why everyone leaves because nothing good can stay here. You reach your ceiling and you have to bolt.
matthew warhol: What else would you improve?
Nicole Dvorak: The whole point of why we do this is to get artists that we like to come down here and see how cool it is. Hannah and I take care of them every time. She makes the breakfast in the morning. We already have artists coming back that are from Colorado and Iowa.
Hannah Fregger: Karen Meat is coming back. Hypoluxo is coming back.
Nicole Dvorak: Hopefully, they’re spreading the word for people to come down.
Hannah Fregger: We just want to create a place where people feel comfortable and safe. We don’t mind if only 15 people come out to a show as long as you had the best night, ya know?
matthew warhol: But that doesn’t really happen anymore for you guys.
Hannah Fregger: Not for a while, but now it’s going to happen. You’re jinxing us.
matthew warhol: So it won’t, what’s next on the horizon?
Hannah Fregger: I think especially because this was our first year, we weren’t saying no to much. I think we’ve figured our shit out now.
Nicole Dvorak: Personally, I like the video aspect. And she’s really good at interviews.
Hannah Fregger: I want it to be more of an homage to different music publications… and collectives too. Like Hardly Art and Panache Booking, they all work together and make sure that not only that they’re doing well, but that everyone else is supported. We want to be that for Orlando. Hopefully, we can keep being a jumping off point for local talent and touring talent, making lasting connections.
Nicole Dvorak: And establish more of an online aspect, that’s important to me.
matthew warhol: What shows are coming up?
Hannah Fregger: On June 1, we have Crumb, Lance Bangs, Room Thirteen—who I’m super excited to have back from New Orleans—and, our friends, The Welzeins. It’s going to be a very cool show for The Welzeins because they are no longer a two-piece.
matthew warhol: I heard about that. They’ve spent like the last five years as a two-piece.
Hannah Fregger: It’s going to give them a really big sound. Their sound is big to begin with; RJ’s amps are bigger than him.
Jon Bartee [who’s been sitting quietly watching us talk]: They’ve practicing as a three piece for like two or three months now.
matthew warhol: That’s so good… am I interviewing you?
matthew warhol: I’m just kidding.
Nicole Dvorak: That was so [clap] fucking [clap] good [clap] Matt.
matthew warhol: Any other solid dates booked?
Hannah Fregger: We have Tall Juan coming on July 5. He just played both weekends at Coachella and is on BUFU Records.
matthew warhol: Where’s that?
Hannah Fregger: It’s going to be at Deadly Sins Brewery. And then we have No Thank You on June 23rd with Brave Face.
Nicole Dvorak: And Frank Ocean is coming in July…
Hannah Fregger: …July 37th. He’s only going to play “Chanel” in different languages…
Nicole Dvorak: …to us two. Nobody else is invited. I’m so sorry.
Hannah Fregger: You know what I think we should do? I’m serious about this. Petition for Jack Black to come and play a show as Mr. Schneebly,.
matthew warhol: Ew.
Nicole Dvorak: For some reason I thought you meant Jack White.
matthew warhol: Petition Jack White to come play as Jack Black as Mr. Schnebly.
Nicole Dvorak: Next question.
matthew warhol: Which School of Rock character are you most like?
Hannah Fregger: I’m Summer.
Nicole Dvorak: Dude, I’m Ned Schneebly, dude. Well, I’m Dewey Finn pretending to be Ned Schneebly,.
matthew warhol: Who am I?
Hannah Fregger: um… Billy.
matthew warhol: Is that the guitar player?
Hannah Fregger: No, that’s the fashion designer.
matthew warhol: Come on?!
Nicole Dvorak: “You’re tacky and I hate you.”
matthew warhol: You are tacky and I do hate you, Nicole.