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Orange Spotlight: WARPSTORMER

Orange Spotlight: WARPSTORMER


WARPSTORMER is Adam Davies (guitar), Simon Doggett (bass + backing vocals), James Loh (drums) and Richard Morgan (vocals). We’re scattered fairly loosely across London but the band’s nominally headquartered in New Cross. 

The name’s a nod to the science-fantasy universe of the Warhammer 40,000 tabletop wargame, in which spacefarers unfortunate enough to be beset by “warp-storms” are sucked into a hellish, messed-up realm of chaos where humanity’s worst impulses are given form as demonic creatures that prey on their souls. Very metal, eh? 

The band started out as a studio project that Richard put together with a couple of pals – original drummer Matt Folley and Green Lung finger-wizard Scott Black on guitar – lending a hand in a temporary capacity. This resulted in the Here Comes Hell EP, which was self-released in 2022 with the intention of using it to recruit a full band line-up. Upon hearing about the new project, Simon (an old pal of R’s)  said he might be interested “if the record doesn’t suck”. Luckily, it didn’t, saving anyone the trouble of singing and playing bass at the same time. 

The EP continued to serve its intended purpose as a recruiting tool – by early 2023 Adam and James had come on board – and since then, we’ve been playing in and around London wherever and whenever anyone will let us, and working on new material as a full band.

While we definitely have one foot in the Sabbath-influenced doomy/stony camp, all the members share a love of punk, hardcore and thrash, and it seems we’re chronically incapable of playing slow enough to stick to the template. Tom Templar from Green Lung once referred to us as “Stoner Thrash”, but maybe we’re Speed Doom – take your pick

What inspires WARPSTORMER?

We all have a ton of influences and quite diverse favourites which, while we might not agree on some things, definitely keeps things interesting and varied when we’re putting music together. Some of the stuff we’ve been enjoying and drawing on recently includes High on Fire, mid-era Mastodon, early Baroness, and Jeff Wayne’s Musical Version of War of The Worlds.

As you might expect given the name, we draw pretty heavily, lyrically, on sci-fi and fantasy themes, but in such a way that they serve as a sort of creative vessel for exploring the more psychologically-harrowing aspects of 21st century life. Just the very act of getting in a room and making a dirty great noise through a dirty great amp can be, in itself, an immensely cathartic experience and we’re aiming to harness that in such a way that the form and content of our music complement one another. 

The other great aspect of getting out and playing music with your friends is that it’s nice to get away from a screen for a protracted period of time, and do something fulfilling out in the analogue realm. 

The London Doom/Stoner Scene is in a really cool place right now, and has been incredibly welcoming to us and supportive of what we’re doing. There are a load of sick bands kicking around and that sense of community and creativity is a really inspiring thing to have swirling around.

What Orange gear is important to WARPSTORMER?

We have a pretty eclectic mix of gear we’ve accumulated over the years. The key Orange components of our current arsenal are Richard’s old Bass Terror, a Bass Butler, and a big old PPC412. The Bass Terror might be the MVP of our backline rig – it’s currently serving as one half of our bi-amped guitar setup and, along with the Butler, was the key element of the bass sound on the Here Comes Hell record, which is something we’ve had a lot of compliments about – almost all the dirt and nastiness in the sound of that record came from the bass; for Scott’s guitars we just went with a pretty straightforward overdriven sound. 

When we were tracking bass for our new record, we spent ages fiddling around with all sorts of amp setups, but in the end we ended up going back to the Butler/Terror combo; it just really nailed the clangy, growly attack we wanted. And then just to kick it up a notch even further we chucked a Fuzzrocious Secret C (the limited edition Cave In signature model) in front of that – the results are pretty gnarly.

Future Orange amps?

Since coming into Orange HQ and playing with all those wonderful toys, everyone’s gear shopping list has expanded exponentially. Particular favourites were the OR-30, which really played up to our shared love of classic 80s thrash (which to be honest wasn’t something we associated with Orange amps before then!) and the swirly, psych-y clean sounds we conjured up running the retro Phaser Pedal into a Pedal Baby. Adam also really loved the MK-Ultra – an unforgiving, but very responsive and rewarding amp to play through. 

Our theoretical ultimate Orange amp would be a high-gain monster with a foot switchable second channel – something we currently rely on live to make Adam’s lead parts really pop out with a volume and saturation boost – but that was somehow magically small and light enough to cart around as easily as our Bass Terror – or even fit on a pedalboard!

What does Orange mean to you?

Orange has been synonymous with a lot of the bands we grew up watching and listening to – it’s instantly recognisable onstage even from the back of a big room. 

We never really set out with a gear shopping list, or an intent to use a particular amp or brand, but in the course of cobbling together our shared pool of gear and carving out the WARPSTORMER sound, we’ve found the bits of Orange gear that have made it into that pool to be a significant contributing factor to that sound. 

We don’t get to use our big cab as much as we’d like outside the rehearsal room, as most shows we play has bands sharing backline, and it’s a bugger to move the thing around, but it’s always cool and reassuring to pitch up somewhere and see you’re going to be plugging into an Orange cab as we know it’s going to be able to handle whatever we’re blasting through it.

What’s the most memorable WARPSTORMER moment?

Following some initial line-up setbacks towards the end of 2022 – just as we thought we had everything in place TWO members of the band ended up moving overseas – we brought Adam and James in at pretty short notice. Our first show with them was in April 2023 and they really hit the ground running after only a couple of rehearsals. The show went great and there was a tremendous sense of relief and excitement at landing on our feet with these two guys, which created a wave of momentum that we’re still currently riding.

What’s on the horizon for WARPSTORMER?

We’re currently in the middle of recording our next release with producer Wayne Adams, the busiest man in UK underground music. It’s the first with the full lineup, and we’re pretty excited with the results so far!

Our other current exciting upcoming thing is that the organisers of Desertfest London have been kind enough to include us on the line up this May – you can catch us at The Dev on the Friday night! Building around that and getting the new record out, we’re aiming to get ourselves out of London as much as possible in the coming year, and make as many new pals as we can in the process. See you in the pit!

Gear Currently Used