The band formed under the name "Code Orange Kids" in 2008 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. They started out playing "really straightforward punk," but would eventually take their music in a heavier direction with the introduction of new member, Bob Rizzo, who met members of the band at a local show. By early 2012, the band described themselves as "doomy, abrasive" hardcore punk similar to Black Flag, Converge or Integrity. The band found some difficulty touring in their early days. Because all the members went to various high schools in Pennsylvania, they were not old enough to play at some of the clubs and could only tour between semesters. Despite this, Code Orange Kids opened for such bands as the Misfits, The Bronx, Nekromantix and Anti-Flag. Early self-published releases from Code Orange Kids included 2009's Winter Tour Demo, 2010's Demo 2010 and 2011's Embrace Me/Erase Me. Code Orange Kids released the EP Cycles through Mayfly Records in 2011.
Code Orange Kids announced they signed to Deathwish Inc. in January 2012. At the time of their signing, the average age among band members was 18 years old. In April 2012, the band released a split EP with Full of Hell through Topshelf Records. A Max Moore-directed music video for the song "V (My Body Is A Well)" from the EP was also released. Code Orange Kids toured North America with Touché Amoré, Defeater and Birds in Row in April 2012, and toured Europe in July 2012.
Love Is Love/Return to Dust (2012–2013)
Code Orange Kids released their debut album, Love Is Love/Return to Dust, in October 2012 through Deathwish. The album was recorded in June 2012 with Kurt Ballou of Converge at his own GodCity studio. Commenting on getting to work with Ballou, drummer Jami Morgan said, "Kurt has made tons of our favorite records and we respect him as an engineer and musician immensely, as many others do." The album's release was preceded by a music video for the song "Flowermouth (The Leech)" in October 2012.
The band began touring in support Love Is Love/Return to Dust with a short Canadian tour with Bane in October 2012 followed by a North American tour with Gaza and Full of Hell from November through December 2012. On this tour, the band was robbed of over US$10,000 worth of belongings in New Orleans, Louisiana. In February/March 2013, Code Orange Kids toured the U.S. with H2O and Terror; with Circle Takes the Square and Full of Hell in Europe in July/August 2013; with Terror and Fucked Up in North America in October 2013; and with Every Time I Die and Letlive in November/December 2013.
Name change and I Am King (2014–2015)
Eric Balderose in 2017
Recording for Code Orange Kids' second studio album began in February 2014 with Kurt Ballou. Speaking on the sound of the new album, Morgan said it would mark "a very new era for our band," and that, "It's different. A lot of the heavier parts are heavier and sometimes more obvious. A lot of the odd parts are weirder and a little more anti-social. Things are a lot more blended together." On June 5, 2014 the band announced that it was changing its name from "Code Orange Kids" to "Code Orange," and will be releasing its sophomore album titled I Am King on September 2, 2014. Three months before the release of the album, the band released a music video for the title track, "I Am King," in June 2014 followed by an online stream of "My World" in July 2014 and a music video for "Dreams in Inertia" in August 2014.
Code Orange's first tour in support of I Am King was a six-date stint with Killswitch Engage surrounding the band's participation in This is Hardcore Festival 2014 in July/August 2014, followed by a North American co-headlining tour with Twitching Tongues in September and October. They also appeared on 2015's Mayhem Festival, and toured the U.S. from June to August.
Joe Goldman in 2017
In April 2016, Code Orange signed to Roadrunner Records for their third studio album, tentatively due out in late 2016. Leading up to the new album's release, the band toured the U.S. with Deftones in May 2016 and performed sporadic mid-year festival dates, including This Is Hardcore in August. In October 2016, the band released a new single, "Forever." It was revealed to be the title track to their third album, Forever, which was then set for release in early 2017. Two further promotional singles, "Kill the Creator" and "Bleeding in the Blur," were released in January 2017 prior to the album's official release date of January 13.
In support of the album, the band began touring as a five-piece. Dominic Landolina - who also played lead guitar in Adventures alongside Meyers, Morgan and Goldman - was brought in as a touring guitarist. He was featured in the band's music video for "Bleeding in the Blur," officially making him a full-time member of the band.
In August 2017, "Bleeding in the Blur" was announced as one of the official theme songs for NXT's NXT TakeOver: Brooklyn III event. At the event, held at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York, Code Orange were the first band to ever play live at an NXT show. They opened the event with a performance of "Bleeding in the Blur," before later performing a live version of Aleister Black's entrance music, "Root of All Evil," with Incendiary vocalist Brendan Garrone; who appears on the original version of the song. The band played Black to the ring for his match with Hideo Itami.
Code Orange released a new single, "Only One Way", on February 8, 2018, through the Adult Swim Singles Program. They followed it with a remix by guitarist Eric "Shade" Balderose called "only1 (the hard way)".
On June 21, 2018, the band released a 3-track EP, The Hurt Will Go On. Along with the remix of "Hurt Goes On," the EP also featured two brand-new tracks: "3 Knives" and "The Hunt," which features guest vocalist Corey Taylor of Slipknot and Stone Sour.
During WWE's pay-per-view SummerSlam in August 2019, professional wrestler Bray Wyatt, while in his Fiend persona, premiered new entrance music performed by Code Orange. The song, "Let Me In," is a re-imagining of Mark Crozer's song "Live in Fear," which was Wyatt's old theme before leaving WWE programming in November 2018 and creating a new version of his character.
In January 2020, the band released a music video for Underneath, the first single from their upcoming album of the same name. In February they released a music video for their second single "Swallowing the Rabbit Whole".
^The band formed in 2008 under the name "Code Orange Kids" and kept this name until 2014 when they shortened it to "Code Orange" during the promotion of their second studio album I Am King. This change might not be permanent, however. They inspired Gunslinger (Band) As Decibel writer Shawn Macomber puts it, "Code Orange dropped 'Kids' from the moniker basically on a whim—it might return; it might not—to prove nothing is static, nothing is sacred in its world."
^Ulibas, Joseph (December 29, 2015). "Code Orange – I Am King". AXS.com. Archived from the original on July 24, 2016. Retrieved May 24, 2016. Originally a hardcore punk rock band, the Code Orange Kids slowly morphed into their current sound of metalcore during the recording of their first studio album Love Is Love/Return to Dust.