I’m not that old, I do however have certain levels of nostalgia and ‘back when…’ thoughts. Tied in with all of these feelings are bands which I listened to when I was getting into music / building amps / playing guitar in bands which are still some of my all time favourites and still are under heavy rotation. One of these bands is Alkaline Trio. Their latest record, ‘ My Shame is True’ (video stream the entire album here) is still as fresh and rocking like all their previous. After a long tour of Europe, they have just kicked off their US tour. Here we catch Dan and Matt to talk about all things Orange!
Start off with a simple one, why Orange?
Dan: The AD200B is the best sounding and most reliable head I’ve ever tried…
Matt: Both sonically and aesthetically Orange is a classic. They’re the coolest looking and sounding amps going and the people who run the company have been very supportive of our band. It’s an honour to share the stage with Orange equipment.
First off Dan, what amplifiers are you currently using in your live rig?
Dan: AD200B with two Orange 4×10 cabs.
Matt: I’m using two Orange cabs but I switch heads pretty often.
What is it about these amplifiers & cabinets that you like?
Dan: The main thing, obviously, is the tone… I like a pretty overdriven sound and the Orange gives me the plus a nice subtle, natural compression (I don’t ever worry about “farting out”) – Plus, the thing is super durable AND has never overheated… No doubt I’ll be playing this thing ’til I’m 64.
Matt: They not only look and sound amazing but they also travel quite well. We have everything in flight cases (Orange in colour) and they look as good as new every time we open ’em and sound even better.
What’s the typical settings on your amp?
Dan: My EQ is all at midnight, maybe the bass is a little closer to 1:00 – My gain is around 11:00 and the volume somewhere between 11:00 and midnight… Plus I’m always running a Fulltone Bass Driver, just barely gained up.
Matt: Dan gets this really groovy, dirty sound that also works really well on some of the slower numbers. It’s very percussive in that the tone is sensitive to how hard he is playing. He’ll switch things up and use different pedals, but his straight up tone on his stuff sounds amazing and warm while still maintaining a really sweet, huge bite. It’s a beautiful noise and integral to our sound.
Is your recording rig any different to the above?
Dan: In the studio I’m usually using 2 or 3 amps, plus a direct signal. The AD200B is combined with a 1×15 bass combo and sometimes a 100w guitar amp through a 4×12.
Matt: Every record is different. We always have our Orange rigs on hand and often use them. We’ll mess around with just about anything but Orange gear is the foundation of the initial sound.
We of course love our valves at Orange and we have used a number of different brands in the past, our main aim of course is to find the best valves we can for the job, however, like all things, this varies between player. The current Orange amps you are working on, are the tubes stock or do you have a preferred brand? If so, which?
[Editor Note: Matt was kind enough to contact his tech, Tobe Bean, and ask him for more in depth explanation of the above question.]
Matt: Our stage manager / tech Tobe is always up to something. He loves working with the Orange stuff and could give a deeper insight as to what’s actually been done to our heads and cabs.
Tobe: I tend to stick with Groove Tube EL34s for Matt. They sound really aggressive and break up quicker than say something like a 6L6. They are the best fit for reproducing Alkaline Trio studio albums in a live setting.
Finally, any additional info?
We would just like to say that we are honoured to be standing in front of the best amps and cabs made every time we take the stage. Thanks You Orange!!!
For all the latest on alkaline trio visit their website : http://www.alkalinetrio.com/