The year’s almost to an end and so is our 2019 ‘Voice of’ campaign. Throughout the year, we’ve taken a look at a variety of artist and genres we work with through ‘Voice of Clean’, ‘Voice of Rock’, ‘Voice of Blues’, ‘Voice of Acoustic’, ‘Voice of Bass’ – you get the idea.
As we’ve now entered December it’s time for the grand finale, ‘The Voice of the World’. Orange is, as many of you know, quintessentially British, and was back in the day hard to come across outside the UK. It wasn’t actually until the early 2000s that we broke into the US market and got picked up by a lot of metal and punk bands, something we can probably thank Slipknot for – so, thank you, Slipknot!. We’ve since seen Orange grow in Europe, as well as expanding globally to Asia. For ‘Voice of the World’, we’ve decided to shine a light on a few artists inspired by their home country or culture, starting with my very own Bergen hometown heroes, Enslaved.
Since the formation of the band in 1991, Enslaved have released 14 albums, and made a name for themselves internationally on the black metal scene. Taking inspiration from Norse mythology, vikings and their Norwegian heritage, Enslaved is the picture perfect ‘Voice of Norway’, which is in many ways the black metal capital of the world – so much so, that guitarist Ivar Bjørnson was commissioned by the Norwegian government alongside Einar Selvik of Wardruna, to create a musical piece celebration the 200 year anniversary of the Norwegian constitution back in 2014. Hell yeah Norway!
In recent years, ‘maid cafés’ have become somewhat of a thing in Japan, and the concept is simple; In these cafés, the staff, or waitresses, are dressed as maids, and asked to treat their customers as their personal master and mistresses. The idea behind BAND-MAID came from founding member Miku Kobato who’d previously worked at a maid café. BAND-MAID’s built their image around it the concept of the cafés, with each band member’s maid costume being fitted to their personality, as they refer to their fans as ‘masters’ and ‘princesses’, with a submissiveness that creates a huge contrast to their aggressive way of playing. Only in Japan..
Some of you might have read the recent interview we did with El Amir – if not, let’s recap; El Amir is a German-Spanish flamenco guitarist and multi instrumentalist, currently on the road with Hans Zimmer’s show, ‘The World of Hans Zimmer’. Hans Zimmer might be known to most as a film score composer, as he has done the music for films such as The Lion King, Inception, Pirates of the Caribbean, The Dark Knight – and the list goes on. While on the road with the Hans Zimmer show, El Amir is in charge of electric as well as acoustic guitars, ukulele and the Greek instrument bouzouki. El Amir started playing flamenco at the age of 8, and first performed publicly at the age of 12. As an adult, he played oud, bouzouki and guitar for Radio Tarifa for nearly a decade, and has played venues such as the Royal Albert Hall, Barbican Centre and Royal Festival Hall, all in London alone.
Kudos to the Irish for making Irish folk music not just acceptable to play at pubs and bars, but something people gets genuinely stoked about hearing in bars – who doesn’t love a shanty when you’re ten pints deep?! GUILTY! Now, Lankum might not be your typical drunken Irish shanty band, but they play Irish folk nevertheless, and beautifully so, if I might add. Having been described as “a younger, darker Pogues with more astonishing power”, Lankum mixes elements of classic Irish folk music with the ambience and emotion of Bon Iver and textures of Sunn O))). They initially named the band ‘Lynched’ after band members and brothers Ian and Daragh Lynch, but changed it to Lankum to avoid associations with the practice of lynching, announcing in a statement that “We will not continue to work under our current name while the systemic persecution and murder of Black people in the USA continues.”
Now, this list wouldn’t really be complete without a British artist on it, would it? Representing good ol’ England and London on this list is one of our most recent endorsed artists, Gorilla bassist Sarah Jane. Inspired by great British bands such as Black Sabbath, Jethro Tull, Motörhead and The Who, Sarah Jane picked up the bass after dabbling with the guitar for a couple of years and got sucked in as “we all know bass is obviously the most important part of a bands sound…”. She’s been playing high paced and heavy rock ‘n’ roll with Gorilla for two decades now, and is currently promoting their latest album ‘Treecreeper’ out on Heavy Psych Sounds. Sarah Jane’s got quite the collection of Orange gear, just check out the interview we did with her earlier this year.
https://orangeamps.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/11/IMG_2571.jpg9221392Ella Stormarkhttps://orangeamps.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/04/Orange-Pics-logo-307px.pngElla Stormark2019-12-01 09:00:252019-11-30 22:09:38The Voice of the World
In the light of their recent endorsement and wanting to get to know them a little bit better, we had a chat to High Reeper to find out more about this holy union of heavy riffs, what they look for in an amp, and why they love Orange so much – not honking our own horns, but they really really do, *blush*.
How did you guys all meet and get together playing, had any of you played in bands together prior to High Reeper? Shane: Andrew and Pat grew up together and they have been friends with Zach (our singer) since they were in their early teens. I have known Justin (our drummer) forever. I met Pat through a mutual friend, and Andrew and Zach through work, and we’ve been playing together in various projects for more than ten years.
You were originally only meant to recording band and not really play shows – what changed? Shane: Our original idea was to make a “sabbath” sounding record for fun, and maybe do a couple of local gigs just for kicks. When the record was done and we started passing it around, the response was really positive so we decided to take gigging seriously. Now, 1.5 years later we’ve played over 80 shows in Europe, including Desertfest London, Berlin and Belgium as well as a bunch of other cool stuff. we’re due to play around 100 shows in 2020 alone across the US and Europe.
Besides the Sabbath worship, did you all have mutual musical influences? Shane: We’re all inspired by all of the classic stuff, early Deep Purple, Zeppelin, James Gang, Blue Oyster Cult and all that kinda stuff. Andrew and Zach were in a really cool riff rock band about 10 years ago, and Pat sometimes played with them. Justin’s been a touring death metal drummer for the last 15-20 years, and I was a guitar player in a metal band in the 90s.
So, let’s get down to business – what’s your history and experience with Orange, and what do you look for in an amp? Pat: The first time I saw an Orange amp was around 2002 when I saw a band from Massachusetts called ‘Orange Island’. The guitar player had a 70’s OR120 half stack and it sounded massive. Soon after that I found myself an Orange 4×12, and I bought my first vintage OR120 when I was 16. When I turned 18, I bought a 1974 “pics only” OR120 that I used with a Gibson Les Paul Custom. That pair used to shake paintings off the walls. Brutal! When buying an amp, I look for something that is loud and powerful, and with enough gain on tap to get dirty but without sounding thin and buzzy. The Rockerverb has everything I need in one amp. The clean channel has the loud, beautiful cleans of the old OR120’s and the dirty channel screams with gain and midrange. It sounds three dimensional and makes my guitar sound alive.
Andrew: My first encounter with Orange was also with Orange Island in 2002, and they were the loudest and coolest looking amp I’d ever seen! I then saved up to buy the AD140TC while I was in high school, plugged it in and have not looked back since. It’s the only amp I ever use! What I need the most in an amp is the ability for it to be able to break up and get dirty, but for it to retain its definition and have clarity in the top end. My AD140 does that perfectly.
Shane: I walked into Black Market music in San Francisco in 1993 and it was filled with vintage, impossible to find at the time, British amps and I snagged an Orange 4×12 on the spot. About three months later at a guitar show in DC I got an Orange/Matamp OR50 (serial number 199!) and cab. Following that, I snagged a graphic full stack in Ohio and an 80w overdrive in Virginia. The Ormat full stack was my rig for the 90s. I was using a complicated multi amp bass set up that was really annoying to gig with, and one night we played w a band who was using an OB1-500. I used their bass rig and loved it and ditched my complicated rig and ordered an OB1-500 the next day. My fascination with Orange of course began with the Beat Club videos! The OB1-500 covers everything I look for in an amp, high power and the ability to get dirty. The OB1-500 really is like two amps in one and it’s made my life a lot better.
You’ve had a busy year this year, and you mention tons of touring in 2020 – what else is next? Shane: 2019 has been insane for us. We released our second record and toured Europe twice and securing an Orange endorsement was the perfect ending to our year. We are beyond stoked! Our 2020 is gonna be even busier than 2019. We’ll be touring the US in March and Europe in June and that’s just for starters. We are super grateful to have Orange with us the whole way!
For those of you who follow us on Instagram, you may have seen that we had a little…. what should we call it, ‘episode’…? Yeah, let’s go with that – ‘episode’ in our comment section towards the end of last week.
Why? Because we posted a photo of a beer we liked, cause as most of you should know by now, our Instagram is 65% amplification followed by 35% beer recommendations. This time around, the beer can happened to have some feminist artwork on it; ’Sufferin’ till Suffrage’, it said, and jesus christ, if ya think female suffrage is sufferable, imagine having to be a male in 2019 viewing a feminist slogan for a brief second while scrolling on Instagram while, most likely, procrastinating while at work, (where, let’s be honest, you’re probably getting paid more than your female colleagues) now THAT is sufferable! Needless to say, it didn’t take long before the comments started rolling in;
‘Lol I was gonna buy an amp your loss’
‘Feminists hate women. Also, why would you post this when you know the majority of your customer base is primarily young men age 18-30… That’s a stupid move orange.’
‘ “Feminism” is supposed to be about being feminine… that’s what it implies. Modern day feminism is about making women more masculine. Words have meaning.’
‘Whoops, I was ready to buy an Orange amplifier, good thing I saw this before I did #getwokegobroke’
Above is a selection of some of the outstanding opinions that was shared with us, however, some of you took it so far that we eventually had to delete them due to such hateful and sexist language. We are of course all for freedom of speech, but we no do not tolerate verbal or written abuse, whether it’s based on gender, colour, sexual orientation, beliefs or whatever else people have got going on, as that’s their business and and nobody else’s.
In the midst of this verbal war (which is something I normally rise above, but god damn internet, you got the best of me), I started thinking, and I’m not quite sure what’s worst – that people are so backwards that they:
A: Can’t wrap their head around the word ‘feminism’ and it’s meaning, which is ‘the advocacy of women’s rights on the ground of the equality of the sexes.’ – you want your mother, daughter, sister or wife to have the same opportunities as yourself? Consider yourself a feminist.
B: Actually understand the meaning of the word, but for some reason doesn’t agree with it.
C: Can get that upset about a beer can on an apolitical amplifier company’s Instagram, when the world is literally on fire as we’re diving head first into a climate crisis that could potentially (will…) end humanity.
Regardless of which one it was that triggered those fiery fingers, it says a lot about humanity and, I’m gonna say it, how god damn dumb we are – I mean, think about our children’s children, is this what we want to pass on to the next generation, these opinions and views? We spend our lives sheltered behind our phones, talking shit to strangers on the internet for absolutely no reason – we’re literally watching absolutely everything go to shit, all while staring mindlessly into our phones and raising hell on the world wide web, spitting spiteful poison at whoever we don’t agree with. I mean, damn, it’s time we took some action and did something meaningful with our short, precious time here – be kind to others, be good to the planet, enjoy your life, play some music, and put.your.god.damn.phone.down – this can’t be our heritage.
https://orangeamps.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/04/Orange-Pics-logo-307px.png00Ella Stormarkhttps://orangeamps.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/04/Orange-Pics-logo-307px.pngElla Stormark2019-11-23 14:31:262019-12-04 13:01:12Ramble On: Beer Can Blues
Hi Folks, my name is Amir John Haddad – El Amir, flamenco guitarist and multi-instrumentalist currently touring with Hans Zimmer’s new show “The World of Hans Zimmer”.
This show requires many different sounds and instruments for each song. We are performing Hans´s most famous film scores such as Pirates of the Caribbean, Gladiator, Pearl Harbour, Mission Impossible, Rush and many more. Therefore I am in charge of all electric guitars, Flamenco and nylon guitars, Greek Bouzouki and the Ukulele!!
In the first place it is a huge honor and joy to be featured as one of the soloists for this new show and with it comes the responsibility of having a good and solid sound. The important thing is to achieve that the sound of your instrument fits into the mix, the musical concept and even cuts through in big arenas. For this tour, I need various instruments.
The electric side is covered with my two electric guitars. One is an old Fenix Strat by Young Chang. Actually it is the first guitar I bought when I was 14 years old. I upgraded and customized it with new Seymour Duncan pickups, Schaller Vintage bridge, new jumbo frets, new wiring, electronics, knobs, etc. The other one is a special edition by Samick with Avalon inlays and amazing woods, it is more like a PRS Style guitar with double humbuckers.
For the acoustic set I have chosen to bring my El Amir signature flamenco guitar built by Jose Salinas. It is a guitar made with very old cypres and an amazing sounding cedar top which gives me the warm and yet punchy attack I love. It is powered by the amazing Carlos Amplification custom VIP DM with a piezo and condenser mic inside. I use the flamenco guitar in songs like “Mission Impossible”, “Pearl Harbour” or “Gladiator”.
For some of the other songs such as “The Holiday” or “Spirit” besides the electric guitars I am using a new electric nylon guitar called the Nylocaster. These guitars are actually Stratocasters with nylon strings modified by Ben Woods and have a special (and secret) passive piezo. No volume nor tone knob, just pure piezo sound!! I am endorsing his guitars and so far the result is very very good. My greek bouzouki has a great Schaller acoustic pickup. It delivers a very round acoustic sound.
And NOW ladies and gentlemen!!! I have to tell you the ultimate secret I am using on this tour to make my acoustic setup sound the way it sounds now!! It was important for me to achieve a huge and clear sound that would still have all the intimate aspects of an acoustic instrument. The emotion of sound has to be just right to express yourself properly. Not too long ago, actually, at Winter NAMM 2019 I was approached by Danny Gomez from Orange to try the new pedal called the Orange Acoustic Pre. As you all know it is a twin channel device with separate EQ settings, individual inputs and outputs, frequency shapers and many more features.
The interesting thing that captured my attention was the “Heat button” with adjusts the amount of valve sound you want to add to your line. This was one of the key element (if not the one!) for me to have a powerful line signal and yet being able to enhance the sound with a warm and natural touch. I have always been playing my flamenco guitar in front of a mic, which I still do in Mission Impossible, so I needed a great preamp that would help me to enhance the line in order not to lose that acoustic vibe of the instrument and make it fit and blend perfectly into the orchestral arrangements and symphonic sound of the show. I am running all three instruments, the flamenco guitar, the nylocaster and the bouzouki through the Acoustic Pre.
On my pedalboard, I also have a tuner (obvious …laughs) a chorus, delay, line selector (to set the output signals of each instrument equally) and an additional EQ for when using the Bouzouki (you need a little extra kick there for the mid & treble). I am very happy with the result of this sound combination and the Acoustic Pre is an authentic and reliable “working horse” for these live situations. The feedback and reactions on social media about my playing and sound on this tour have been overwhelming and very positive so far. That should be a good sign, I guess!
I am happy to share this experience and knowledge with you! Music, sound and creativity have no limits and we all have to learn from each other in order to grow!! All the best Folks and hope to see you soon live!!
https://orangeamps.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/11/El-Amir-Acoustic-PRE-20.jpg13332000Danny Gomezhttps://orangeamps.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/04/Orange-Pics-logo-307px.pngDanny Gomez2019-11-20 14:30:142019-11-21 09:06:02El Amir and the Orange Acoustic PRE on tour ...
Orange Amps is proud to partner with the Queen Sofia Foundation and Hard Rock Heals to customize an Orange O Bass for auction. The Queen Sofia Foundation helps to raise awareness in society about Alzheimer’s disease, disseminating the activities developed by the Alzheimer Project of the Queen Sofia Foundation and raising funds for the Alzheimer’s Center of the Foundation. Hard Rock Heals, the foundation that oversees and activates the philanthropic initiatives of Hard Rock International, aims to improve the lives of people through music. Throughout its career it has supported multiple social causes, promoting collaborations with artists from around the world
PROJECT: HARD ROCK MEMORY SERIES
Hard Rock Cafe will get renowned musicians to customize a guitar, in which they will also have to write a memory they do not want to forget. Guitars will be exhibited and auctioned in November coinciding with the 25th Anniversary of Hard Rock Cafe Madrid. Proceeds will be donated entirely to the Alzheimer Center Queen Sofía Foundation.
Proceeds will be donated to the Alzheimer Center QUEEN SOFIA FOUNDATION
The Queen Sofia Foundation’s objectives, included in its Statutes, are the promotion, help and development of the needs, physical as well as spiritual, of all types of men and women, and their fullest integration within the social community, encouraging and defending the citizens’ lawful rights and aspirations, the works of literature, the arts and sciences, the regional and local traditions, Spain’s artistic and cultural heritage, the acquisition of human, technical and professional abilities, the environment and, generally, everything related to the ideas of progress, welfare and justice.
Established to champion Hard Rock’s founding mottos, the Hard Rock Heals Foundation
exists to improve lives and the resiliency of communities through the power of music.
Hard Rock Heals Foundation seeks to build and invest in programs and partnerships that
contribute positively to people, communities, and the natural environment. Since 1971,
Hard Rock International has continued to bring people together through the unifying
effects music. Relationships with artists ranging from emerging to iconic in support of
charitable efforts around the world.
We believe the music improves lives, 100% of revenue raised by our Hard Rock Heals
Foundation and its programs is donated back to the communities in which our Hard
Rockers live and work! Check back often to learn more about our ongoing philanthropy
and how you can get involved.
https://orangeamps.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/11/157230-HR-MEMORY-SERIES-25-ANNIVERSARY-ARTWORK-VIZERGY-FLEX-SLIDER-1250-x-550-RL-6.jpg5501250Danny Gomezhttps://orangeamps.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/04/Orange-Pics-logo-307px.pngDanny Gomez2019-11-19 10:03:152019-11-21 23:46:29Hard Rock Cafe: Memory Series
The Orange Forum is finally closing its doors. It had a great run, more than 15 years actually. We’re locking the forum and will leave it online indefinitely as a knowledge source/brain dump. Here’s a message from forum moderator, Billy Claire:
“This is the last topic on the Orange forum.
For the last few months there has been a real drop-off of interest in the forum. With the rise of Orange-specific Facebook groups, most of the questions that are being asked there would have been asked here previously. Times change. Add to that a rise in the number of spammers who join incessantly, and it has become difficult to separate fake members from real.
I started coming to the forum in 2002 when I was a fledgling Orange fanatic looking for information anywhere I could find it. I had all the amp books that had a fleeting reference to Orange, like Aspen Pittman’s “The Tube Amp Book” and Ritchie Fliegler’s book, “Amps!: The Other Half of Rock ‘N’ Roll.” Ritchie’s book had a black and white photo from Nite Bob’s archives of the back page of the 1973 catalog with the enticing spread of Orange gear across a field. I hoped to find information on the forum, but I found myself answering a lot of people’s questions instead. After a few months, I emailed Jason Green and asked why Orange wasn’t answering the questions on the forum, and his reply was “By the time we’ve read them, you’ve already answered them – would you want to moderate the forum?” So I did, starting in 2004, and it’s been a fun fifteen years of doing so.
Over the years I’ve come to know so many new people around the world that I regularly keep in touch with. In my travels I’ve met up with a few in London, Wales, here in the USA, and typically raise a pint or two with them! Some people that I’ve met have left the Orange camp, but I still keep in touch with them to this day. It was fun lending my amps to Orange for the 50th celebration display at NAMM a couple of years ago, and I really enjoyed meeting Cliff Cooper both at Orange HQ UK when I went over to visit and in Anaheim at NAMM. Everyone at Orange has been extremely helpful and friendly over the years and I would be remiss not to mention Alex Auxier, Mick Dines, Charlie Cooper, Neil Mitchell, Will Loftin, Ade Emsley, and many others who I have met or spoken to over the years. Add to that that I’m mentioned in the Orange coffee table book and I can die a happy man!
We will lock the forum but leave it in place as a resource for people looking for information.
So remember: • check your fuse • use a known working cable/guitar/speaker cable • it’s probably tubes/valves • don’t touch anything inside • plug one 16 ohm cab into the 16 ohm out; two 16 ohm cabs go into the two 8 ohm outs • don’t mix ohms • don’t try to run two heads into a stereo cab • call Orange
https://orangeamps.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/11/unnamed.png1334750alexhttps://orangeamps.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/04/Orange-Pics-logo-307px.pngalex2019-11-18 15:20:102019-11-18 15:23:43The Orange Amps Forum (is coming to an end)
Throughout 2019 Music for All has continued to promote the positive effects of making music through national campaigns such as Learn to Play Day and Make Music Day as well as its grant giving programme, available to those individuals and communities for whom music making would not be possible without our support.
Our aim is to raise £25,000 before the end of December, a figure which, if achieved, will enable us to fulfill the musical aspirations of 100 disadvantaged young people at the beginning of 2020. What a start to the New Year it would be for each of them to discover that their dream of music making will become a reality. The 100 beneficiaries will include those who are challenged socially, financially and/or physically.
Any support you are able to give will help us change lives. Lives of young people such as Millie and Luke:
Millie, 12, is autistic and struggles with anxiety and focusing. It was her dream to learn to play the piano. Music for All helped with the provision of a keyboard and lessons with a professional teacher who specialises in supporting those living with neurological and developmental conditions. Her teacher has been very impressed with Millie’s musical aptitude and reports that she ‘has the ears of a Grade 5 student already, as she can distinguish rhythm, timing and complex chord structures just from listening.’ In addition, Millie’s parents believe music has had a positive impact on her well-being as her anxiety levels have decreased dramatically, she’s calmer and happier. We have also just heard that she passed her Grade 1 Exam with a Merit!
Luke, 19, has a serious
medical condition with only limited upper body movement. He loves music making,
but his ability to do this was obviously terribly restricted. Luke asked Music
for All to help with the specialist technology and software to enable him to create
his own music. The charity worked with Luke and his family to provide a sound
beam and appropriate music-making software. Luke is now making music and plays
https://orangeamps.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/11/Luke-Callaghan-1200900-1.jpg9001200alexhttps://orangeamps.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/04/Orange-Pics-logo-307px.pngalex2019-11-18 09:00:242019-11-18 11:14:00INDUSTRY CHARITY CHRISTMAS APPEAL IN AID OF MUSIC FOR ALL
Michael Ciro knows a thing or two about tone, about session work and music life in general…
We first met four years ago during top-selling artist Alejandro Sanz´s Sirope tour in Málaga, Spain. After some promising emails about technology, my work as a product designer, and his session work, we immediately felt a kinship, like old friends that just hadn’t met yet.
Mike was (and still is) the Musical Director and Guitar player for Alejandro Sanz. Aside from that he has recorded with Mariah Carey, Luther Vandross, Notorious, B.I.G., Alicia Keys, Janet Jackson. He’s also performed with Stevie Wonder, Sting, Shakira, Mary J. Blige, Beyonce, Missy Elliot, Corey Glover, Chaka Khan, Alicia Keys, and many more.
With such a background it is my real pleasure to bring him on board to the Orange Artists family, where we can support him on tour and in the studio, as well as learn from his input while testing our amps and pedals worldwide.
Ladies and gents, our friend Mike…
“Hello my name is Mike Ciro and I’m the musical director and guitarist for Alejandro Sanz on the tour “La Gira”.
I’m a new member of the Orange family I’m very happy and using this this gear is perfect for this tour that I’m doing now because the Pedal Baby is perfect for the way I’m using the Fractal and the cabinet is projecting the sound that I need so I’m very happy with this situation right now and I’m happy to be in the family.
My favourite setup to use the Celestions and the 412 cabinet. We have a mic on this and I also use another situation direct to the PA if you want to… come over we’ll take a look at this here !!
I’m using the brand new Pedal Baby 100 this is a straight power amp just with volume and tone, that’s very simple but it’s perfect because I use it I paired up with the Axe FX too so all my modelling and everything comes through here into the power amp out to the cabinet we also come out direct to the PA from here along with mic in the cabinet so I have a lot of variations and sound and this thing has been great so far it’s really stable and and I love it
I’m really happy with orange and the support they’ve given me. Danny Gomez is the best and the whole team there and I´m excited about this tonight we have 60,000 people sold out in Madrid so we’re gonna have some fun so stay tuned… we’ll talk again !!”
https://orangeamps.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/09/Youtube-Thumbnails-Mike-Ciro.jpg17242584Danny Gomezhttps://orangeamps.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/04/Orange-Pics-logo-307px.pngDanny Gomez2019-11-12 15:36:372019-11-12 15:50:45Michael Ciro, Tone Meister On Tour
[Editor’s Note: This interview was conducted by Orange Artist Relations Nashville Rep, Pat Foley]
Marvin King and I have gotten to know each other pretty well over the last few years. I wanted to know how he’s enjoying his son’s phenomenal success and as a touring guitarist himself for many years, just how proud he is of his son. We were chatting away on the phone when I realized that I had better turn on the recorder and get to it.
[Marvin] This world we live in now is so different, you know. I think if this were the 70s or 80s he’d already be all over the radio.
[Pat] Well, because we had consolidated radio, we all listened to the same music. Now it’s so widespread. But anyway, I gotta go meet a tour manager at the showroom and swap some cabinets out at 2 o’clock. So, I’m gonna get on with this. All right?
[Marv] Yes sir, rock n roll.
[Pat] Marvin, you brought an amplifier to the Marcus King Band Family Reunion Festival in Asheville, North Carolina a few weeks ago, which was fabulous. And it was an old AD15. So, is that an amp that you’ve used a long time? And is it, perhaps the first Orange amp that Marcus played through?
[Marv] Ok. The amp that I showed to you and Jon actually belonged to a friend of mine and Marcus’, Charles Hedgepath, who plays with the Shady Recruits. I sat in at an after party one time here in Greenville. The stage was loaded with big amps and they tell me to play through this little Orange. I said ‘OK, what the heck’ as it was mic’d up and all. So, I jumped on it and I said ‘holy crap!!’ I played it and absolutely fell in love with that amp!
You know in about 1970, I bought a Marshall stack. At that point I never had heard of Orange except maybe from Wishbone Ash.
When I saw the Allman Brothers. I saw them in about 72 here in Clemson, they opened for the Brothers and they had all Orange amps. And I said, ‘oh man,’ cause we were already doing Wishbone Ash songs before we saw them. I believe ‘Jailbait’ was a song we were doing then. But I thought they were a great band. I thought they sounded awesome. And the Orange amps just blew me away. I just loved the way they looked and sounded.
From 1970, I think it was, not to bring up the friendly competition, but I bought that Marshall. I used it for several years and then it got to where I had gotten married. I had to play to eat and feed a family.
I had to play stuff that I couldn’t use the Marshall for anymore, you know. It’s just too rock and roll. Like top 40 club crap. So, I just got a [Fender] Twin and used pedals. But my whole career, Pat, and I’m not kidding, I’ve always tried so many pedals and amps and stuff that would work, and I know in my head I’ve always been wanting to get that sound that, you know, I cut my teeth on. When I played through that Orange, I went, ‘that’s it, that’s the sound I’ve been looking for,’ you know. Celestion speaker, British tube design, and its orange, too. How cool is that? So, I loved it. I loved that amp.
I said, ‘Charles, I want to buy that amp,’ and Charles, of course, said ‘man, if anybody, I’d sell it to you but I ain’t selling it. It’s my amp, sorry. Maybe I can find you one.’ You know, then I told Marcus, I’ve gotta find an amp like that of my own. But as far as Marv goes, that was my first experience with that.
And you asked about Marcus. I think Marcus played down in a little place here called Chicora Alley in Greenville where Charles was playing. And he sat in there and Charles let him use that amp. If I’m not mistaken, that was Marcus’ first experience with an Orange amp. And he dug it, too. He really liked it. You know, he was only about 13. He had Xs on both hands. He wasn’t supposed to be in there, that’s for sure. In South Carolina you have to be 21 to be around alcohol in a bar.
[Pat] Well when I first met Marcus that was the first thing that he said to me is that his dad had always loved Orange, so that was the connection for him. He was very receptive to trying some Orange amps. We got talking and we just hit it off. And that was a good few years now.
[Marv] So, when Marcus and you guys were so nice to get me that AD30 Combo, I mean it just was a beautiful moment in my life when he gave me that. I was just tickled to death. And then, you know, just for me. I’m 66 years old. I’m back at the same level I was when I got out of high school, but I’m 66. Until I sit in with Marcus, then I’m up there. You know what I’m saying.
[Pat] You played with Marcus and Doyle Bramhall II at the Family Reunion Festival. Have you have you gotten up on stage with Marcus before? And how does that feel to be on the big stage with your son?
[Marv] Oh, it’s phenomenal. I mean, it’s the planets lining up. I leave my body when I when I do that. And no, that was by no means the first time, you know, since he’s gotten to that level. I’ve sat in with him many times down in the (Allman Brothers) Big House and Theater there in Macon. Just a lot of really cool venues. He brings me up and lets me play and there’s a magic to it. Yeah, I’ve played with MY dad and people just, I don’t know how to explain it, but there is a magic to see a father and son play together.
[Pat] Yeah. Agreed. And Doyle Bramhall, he’s a bad ass guitar player.
[Marv] I mean, he sure is. He’s one of my heroes man.
[Pat] Yeah, he even played with Clapton for a couple of years.
[Marv] I told him afterwards, Doyle, I can’t believe I just played with you.
[Pat] I know that for Marcus, family is really important, obviously. And, you know, he told me the first day I met him that he plays his granddad’s ES345 and he told me a little bit about that story and all. So, your father was also a musician?
[Marv] Well, you know, my dad was in the Air Force but he was in the Army initially and that’s where he met my mom in Munich, Germany, and they got married. Then in 1952 or 53 they moved back to the United States. But dad didn’t play for a long time. We were stationed in Montana and he had bleeding ulcers. And the doctor said, ‘Sergeant, you’re going to die if you don’t get a hobby, do you golf or anything?’ And he said, ‘no, I don’t do any of that stuff. I love to play music, but I haven’t been able to play music in probably 10, 15 years.’ ‘Well, you better start playing again or are you going to die, you need a hobby.’ So, he went out and bought the Holy Grail. He bought that Gibson 345 and a black face Fender.
And then from there forward, he played every weekend. He had a country band, so he taught me Buck Owens and Haggard. I really enjoyed The Ventures and he played Chuck Berry a lot so I learned some of that. My dad played fiddle, too, you know. That was his first instrument.
[Pat] So it took three generations to produce Marcus King the guitar player?
[Marv] Actually, my dad’s father and my grandfather’s father were all fiddlers and my grandmother played acoustic guitar. My grandpa played fiddle you know, so dad had it in his blood. Now I have it in my blood and Marcus in his blood. We can’t even help it. We just, we come out of the womb looking for something to play, you know. Yeah, and it goes all the way back.
[Pat] I know I’ve told you the first thing that impressed me about Marcus, just meeting him, before I even heard him play was his awareness of great music. He was talking about organ players. He was talking about Jimmy Smith. Then he was talking about Curtis Mayfield and the Stax stuff. He invited me to come see the show here in Nashville. And I could hear all these influences like Motown and Curtis Mayfield and Stax-Volt and all this. I was amazed that somebody that young had not only an unawareness of that stuff but seemed to have a real knowledge of it and had absorbed it into his playing.
[Pat] Yeah, he’s very knowledgeable, and he’s an old soul. I mean, you would think that I turned him on to all this stuff. Well, a lot of that stuff. He turned me on to, you know, like being in the Air Force and on a base all my life. I knew Hendrix and Cream and Zeppelin and all that. I just knew they were blues rich bands, but I didn’t know anything about the blues, you know. So Marcus, he just gravitated to that. I didn’t push it on him. He’s just an old soul and he just liked that stuff.
[Pat] Well, he told me once that that he at one point growing up didn’t want to listen to Hendrix and Clapton and all those guys because he didn’t want to be influenced too much by that. He said he started listening to horn players and keyboard players.
[Marv] Absolutely, he did.
[Pat] And he told me that they had taught him to kind of take a breath, you know, like when you’re soloing, don’t play a lot of notes all the time but to kind of take a breath. That’s the way he relayed it to me, like a horn player you blow a line and then take a breath and then play the next phrase, you know. And I think that’s really informed his playing.
[Marv] Yeah. And he just plays what the song needs and no more. He never overplays. It’s great. Have you listened to “Huge in Europe”? You’d really enjoy that especially coinciding with this interview. And it’s an album my band did called “Marvin King, Huge in Europe” Featuring 11 year-old Guitar Slinger Marcus Lee King. You’ll see little Marcus with his cool hat on and his old Stratocaster. You know, you should get that record. I put an asterisk by his solos so his friends would know, because I’m serious. You listen to it, his solo playing at eleven. Okay. I’m forty some years old at that time. Been doing this all my life. His playing at eleven in the studio for his first time, just listen to it. How reserved and how in the pocket he plays, it blew me away. So, I put asterisks so you would know when he’s playing, cause you can’t really tell whose playing him or me.
[Pat] Thank you very much for everything Marvin.
[Marv] Absolutely. I really appreciate you, man.
[Pat] And Marcus has been incredibly loyal and supportive to us at Orange. I just see great things continuing to happen for him. I always have since the day I met him.
[Marv] Oh, yeah. All right, my brother. I’ll talk to you soon. All right. Thanks so much.
https://orangeamps.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/10/Marcus-King-Marvin-King-Father-Son-Family-Reunion-Fest-2019.png13672047alexhttps://orangeamps.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/04/Orange-Pics-logo-307px.pngalex2019-11-06 16:00:322019-11-06 16:00:34A Casual Discussion with Guitarist Marvin King, Father of Marcus King
Those of you who read last week’s ‘Voice of Heritage‘ article (A little bit of shameless self promotion’s never killed anyone, has it…?) might recall Wishbone Ash and Andy Powell’s significance to Orange as they were one of the first major British bands to take Orange to the States (alongside Fleetwood Mac), with Wishbone Ash’s relationship to Orange dating all the way back to our humble days in Soho. So, needless to say, I was over the moon with excitement and filled to the brim with joy when I was asked to interview guitarist Andy Powell, an inspiration to so many musicians to follow, with the likes of Thin Lizzy and iron Maiden both citing Andy and the band’s twin guitar sound as a major influence to their own music.
They say you should never meet your heroes, but if your hero’s Andy I beg to differ, as he’s humble, kind, extremely charismatic and of course, incredibly talented. The interview turned into an hour long or so chat (for which I must apologise for to my fellow viking Marthe who had the tough job of editing it all together), and I reckon I could sit and listen to Andy’s stories for another three days without getting sick of them. However, I’m sure Andy’s got better things to do than self-indulging for my listening pleasure for days on end. In our hour or so of chatting, Andy shared some amazing stories from his life on the road, and I hope you enjoyed them as much as I did.