Long-time Orange ambassadors Wishbone Ash are celebrating the 50th anniversary of their iconic 1972 album Argus, and are embarking on a five-week UK tour tomorrow to support it, followed by an EU jaunt and US dates early next year. A full list of shows can be found here. In celebration of the anniversary, we spoke to frontman and guitarist Andy Powell about the album that changed the band’s career forever.

What can you tell us about the recording of Argus, and the impact that the album had on the band’s career?

Recording Argus was exciting because we upgraded from 8-track to 16-track. This allowed us to double-track the arranged guitar lines and vocals, which is why they stand out so well. Back in those days there were no effects pedals — reverb effects were achieved by using a plate echo and we tuned and intonated our guitars by ear using a tuning fork! I remember the release well, as the fans and the critics embraced it. Rolling Stone described Argus as an “essentially excellent” album and Sounds crowned it “Album of the Year”. Keep in mind our competition were albums like Deep Purple’s Machine Head and Jethro Tull’s Thick as a Brick. We were all so proud of the recognition at the time…and still to this day. It completely changed the band’s career! It took us into the big league as we started to headline our own tours in the UK. Prior to that, we’d been the opening act for bands like Rory Gallagher’s Taste or Mott the Hoople. Then we went over to the States, and landed the opening slot for the Who on tour. The first show was in front of 35,000 people at the Mississippi River Festival. It blew my mind — the sound system, the sheer number of people, the outdoor stage even had its own air conditioning for the performers. We learned so much from touring at close quarters with that band. That’s also when we first started to ship our Orange backline over to the States. The Orange gear would always impress sound guys due to its power and clarity on the big stages, and much of the guitar sound came from our Orange backline. At one point I was using two 200-watt Orange heads at shows! 

How you feel about the album five decades later?

It’s the gift that keeps on giving — the jewel in the crown of our back catalogue. We’ve made some great records but this one was the perfect album at the perfect time in rock history, and that’s the difference. Albums are kind of like that. They can capture the times that a band is living through, and for us, Argus was exactly this kind of album. The riffs, intros and outros on the album have become timeless. Songs like The King Will Come, Warrior and Blowin’ Free are still received so warmly, 50 years on. I still today enjoy playing my song Leaf and Stream, as well as the anti-war song Throw Down the Sword, one of my finest moments as a soloist on the album. Sometime World is another song with a solo of mine that I’m really proud of. We had no idea that the arranged twin lead guitar harmony sound that we developed would go on to become the inspiration for so many other bands in the rock and metal fields, including Thin Lizzy, Iron Maiden and Opeth. Thin Lizzy’s Scott Gorham shared with me that when Thin Lizzy moved to London and witnessed Wishbone Ash at the Lyceum, bassist Phil Lynott said afterwards that Wishbone had the sound they needed. Iron Maiden bassist Steve Harris even remarked to Guitar World in 2011, “I think if anyone wants to understand Maiden’s early thing, in particular the harmony guitars, all they have to do is listen to Wishbone Ash’s Argus album.”

I agree, it truly is the gift that keeps on giving and it’s really stood the test of time. How does it feel being able to share it with newer generations, and seeing such a wide variety of ages at your shows?

I love it when I look into the crowd and see mothers and fathers with their kids at shows. That wouldn’t have been the case back in the day of course when a good 80% of our audience would have been young lads, but now it shows that our music can stand the test of time and be universally appealing, and of course so many girls love playing rock too these days. I love that. Seeing and hearing these crowds join in on the rousing chorus of Warrior confirms to me that our music can fire up the imaginations of new generations of fans. Recently, young wounded vets have come up to me after shows and told me how Warrior kept them focused during their fight. That’s very humbling, and reaffirms the power of the music and lyrics. “A slave I couldn’t be”, especially, rings true with the struggle in the Ukraine and I can bet, without a shadow of a doubt, having played there a few times, that there are still actual young warriors who turn to this piece of music for their strength. 

Juan Francisco Ayala, also known as Paco Ayala, is a Mexican musician known for being the bassist and vocalist of the Mexican rock band Molotov.

In this interview with Danny Gómez and Ed Navarro from Legato Sales, our distributor in Latin America, Paco tells us about his career, the pandemic years, and his plans for the band. He also tells us how he found his sound with Orange Amps and details his rig.

Stay tuned for a rig rundown video very soon with Paco!

Holy Death Trio by Rene Dominguez / @renphotogs

Hey John! What can you tell us about your band Holy Death Trio?
Holy Death Trio is a high-energy heavy rock creative force formed in Austin Texas in 2019. We are a fusion of everything that rocks and feels good to the soul. We pride ourselves in doing research and development on the current music industry and knowing our music history, from Liszt and Mozart to Motown and The Beatles, to the 60s,70s, 80s and why hair metal was destined to fail and Seattle would spark a no-shits-given revolution. We love to talk music history, so, if you’re reading this, debate with us!

You released your debut album Introducing during the pandemic, can you tell us a bit about it?
They say you have your entire life to record your first album and only a year to record your second, and this album felt like it had an entire lifetime of music on it, with songs I wrote back in 2013. That, mixed with things in life we were going through, like battling the ego and dealing with naysayers. This album was a labour of love and madness. We were determined to be different yet true to ourselves—we didn’t want to be another Sleep cover band.

That being said, we met a truly awesome and authentic dude named Charles Godfrey (Scary American) who worked at the legendary Sonic Ranch Studios for 10 years and recorded some amazing albums, plus he had a number-one Billboard-charting album that he engineered and produced himself! How many bands can say that they recorded with someone who’s made a number one album?  

We had the recipe for success: a talented band, a talented producer, and the drive to make a great album. We were determined to release it ourselves by funding our own press campaigns, and by doing that, we attracted Blasko (Ozzy Osbourne, Rob Zombie, Danzig etc.) to the party. He helped get us a record deal with Ripple Music. and that’s how Introducing came to be.

Holy Death Trio by Levi Guzman / @dreamthorp.

How did you end up signing with Ripple music, and how has it been working with them?
We were discovered by a good friend of ours named Bucky Brown. He saw a video of us playing a live version of our heavy blues hit The Killer and sent it over to Todd Severin from Ripple Music, but we were reluctant to sign with a label. No one will own our music! That’s what I’ve always said, but luckily Ripple is not in the business of screwing musicians over.

We played phone tag for a month or longer, and we knew that Ripple would be a great fit, so eventually the universe allowed the perfect phone call with Todd and the band on new year’s eve 2020, right after we finished recording the entire album. He insisted that we at least talk to Blasko, and if we still didn’t feel comfortable signing, then he said no worries and he would always be there to support us. 

But Blasko gave us an incredible deal and assured us that we would own 100% of our music and that he’d go above and beyond to make sure the presentation of the album (artwork, cover design, formats) was all taken care of.

Now that the world is opening up again, how does it feel like to finally be back out on the road?
It’s a curse and a blessing. Being a band in the underground stoner rock world doesn’t always have its big paydays. We try to play anywhere we can but with gas prices through the roof, it’s not a viable business decision to be on the road. Even the $1000 gigs can eat up more than $500 in gas.

We pick and choose our battles, of course, and have decided to go all in on Austin, Texas—there’s no need to go anywhere else unless it’s for festival dates. Let’s face it, people are just not going out to local shows anymore, so you might as well meet them in the middle, at a place where they are already at, like… Desertfest NYC.

We still have some more big ones to announce, and if you want us to play yours, hit us up at [email protected]

You’re playing Desertfest NYC in May. What are your thoughts and expectations for that? Were you familiar with the UK edition of the festival?
I’ve been a big fan of Desertfest for a while. My goal has always been to tour Europe, and get on Desertfest but playing the Desertfest here in America is an honour.  It will have the same amount of hype as the first Psycho Las Vegas except it’s held in the former rock’n’roll capital of the world, New York-Effin’-City! It’s going to be one for the record books!

What can the festival attendees expect from a HDT show?
You will get the Heavy Rock Experience. High-energy, full-throttle amplifier worship! Straight-up in-your-face rock’n’roll. You can expect to see three bad-ass dudes on stage giving it their all, playing like the world will end the next day! Blood, sweat, tears and fire!

If you’ve ever wondered what a Holy Death Trio show looks like, just watch our White Betty video:

What’s your current Orange set ups?
I currently use the Rockerverb 100 MKIII and a Dual Dark 50 with two PPC 4×12 all in Black. Go big or go home. 

How would your dream Orange rig look like?
I have my dream orange rig with the Rockerverb 100.  It’s everything I need in an amp, but if I could have a full stack wrapped in Purple on both sides of the stage, I might just cry a little bit.

The colourful history of Orange Amplification is celebrated in three new videos featuring legendary front of house sound engineer Colin Norfield, renowned sound engineer John ‘JJ’ James and respected cabinet designer Mick Dines.

In the 70’s Orange Amplification created Orange Hire to provide the PA and backline for the big outdoor festivals such as Reading and the Isle of White. Bass player Colin Norfield was the perfect man to manage this enterprise. From this he went on to become one of the iconic pro-audio specialists of our time. The list of prestigious tours he has worked on include Diana Ross, Toto, Iron Maiden, Pink Floyd, Zucchero and his relationship with David Gilmour has lasted more than five decades.

A mainly self-taught tinkerer and rule breaker, John ‘JJ’ James was responsible for designing most of the company’s products through to 1979 including the innovative ‘Pics Only’ amp synonymous with the brand. When the Bexley Heath factory closed in 1979, James began working with Brain Hatt, chief engineer at Orange Studios before going on to spend more than forty years ‘stage left’ for world class gigs including Eric Clapton, Queen + Adam Lambert, Joe Satriani, Robbie Williams and many more.

Mick Dines, worked with Orange Amplification from 1968 to the present day and was the General Manager of Orange Amplification during the 70’s. He used his experience as a touring bass player to make the company’s cabinets solid and robust. He also introduced the characteristic ‘Basketweave’ front, the material which helped define the distinctive ‘Orange ‘ tone. Dines’ knowledge of the bass guitar was instrumental in the company’s move into the bass amp market with the introduction of the fabled 2×15” Reflector Cabinet using the most up to date parabola design featuring two massive 15” back to back speakers to maximise volume.

The entertaining and informative videos explore a time when these experts in their field were ‘just doing stuff’ that ‘nobody had thought of’ and ‘we made it kinda work’ .To view the Colin Norfield video please go to https://youtu.be/Srvoi9hfp8g, the John ‘JJ’ James video https://youtu.be/Fmp6ctbBy9o and the Mick Dines video https://youtu.be/ahlJ9Teedbw. To find out more about Orange Amplification history please go to https://orangeamps.com/history/

Kryptograf by Olav Vikingstad.

In honour of their latest album ‘The Eldorardo Spell’, we spoke to Kryptograf guitarist Vegard Bachmann Strand about recording and working with Iver Sandøy (Enslaved) & Gaahl (Gaahls Wyrd, formerly of Gorgoroth), his early influences as a guitarist as well as, of course, his choice of Orange.

Kryptograf, can we get some background on the band?
We have been playing together in different bands since 2016. We all met when we went to the same school in Trondheim. I guess it all started when Odd and I became roommates in 2015 and started making music together. We decided to start Kryptograf in 2019 because we wanted a fresh start after playing for years in a different band with the same lineup plus a singer. We wanted a band with a clear direction where we could really dig into the proto-doom stuff.

Kryptograf just released their second album, “The Eldorado Spell”, what can you tell us about it?
When we started writing our new album we didn’t want to make the same album twice. While our first album was quite focused on the more primitive era of hard and psychedelic rock of the late 60’s, «The Eldorado Spell» kicks things up a notch. This album has more of a mid 70’s heavy metal feel to it as well as it contains more progressive elements and melodic twists. There’s also some inspiration from 60’s folk rock groups like Pentangle and Fairport Convention. The album was recorded live, mixed and mastered in Solslottet studio by our producer Iver Sandøy in 2021. He did our first album as well and we really like working with him. There is also some guest appearances on this album. Some vocals done by Kristian Eivind Espedal (Gaahl) and some trumpet by Ørjan Hammer Volvik.

How did you get Gaahl involved on the record, and how was it working with him? Obviously he’s quite a prominent musician not just in the Norwegian music scene, but in the black metal community on a global scale.
Gaahl’s participation on the record was actually a spontaneous idea we got when we were in the studio recording vocals. We needed a scary dark voice for some spoken words on the title track. Our producer Iver Sandøy has worked a lot with Gaahl and knows him well. Suddenly Iver sent us the finished master of The Eldorado Spell and there he was! I remember I got chills down my spine when I first heard it! Unfortunately I did not get the opportunity to be there when it happened, but I am very grateful that he wanted to join!

You’ve released both album’s on Bergen based Apollon Records, how did you end up with them?
We started working with Apollon when we released our first album. They just seemed like very honest and cool people. They did a great job with our first album and we wanted to continue working together on this one.

Opening track “Asphodel” is quite a progressive surprise compared to your previous work, was that an intentional shift in direction or just a result of your jamming and writing?
I think this is just a result of us jamming together in our rehearsal room. We don’t like to think things through so much when we are writing our songs, things just happen. We really liked the folky vibe of the last part and decided to work a bit on that by adding some acoustic guitars and stuff.

Your self-titled debut album was released just at the start of the pandemic, and you haven’t really had much of a chance to play those songs live. For this one, you’ve been playing full capacity, no-restriction shows. How has it been to be able to return to that?
It has been awesome! We just finished a Norwegian tour which included two sold out shows in Oslo and Kristiansand and we will also be playing at the Sonic Whip festival in Netherlands in May which will be very cool!

Which artists would you say played major roles as inspiration when you were young? Were there any musicians or guitarists in particular that inspired you to pick up the guitar, or perhaps a certain song?
I think I must say Black Sabbath was the biggest inspiration for me! I remember my mum took me to see them live in Bergen as a kid in 2005. I was completely mindblown! I loved all kinds of 70s rock music growing up, but my favourite guitar players must have been Tony Iommi, Angus Young and Ritchie Blackmore.

You’re an Orange guy, do you remember your first ever encounter with our amps, whether it was seeing them played live on stage or in a video, or playing them yourself?
I think the first time I discovered Orange amps was when I saw Black Sabbath using them in a TV show from 1970. I guess that’s a bit ironic since Tony was normally a Laney player, but those orange amps looked and sounded so cool! I also remember seeing Matt Pike using his gigantic walls of orange amps and I really liked the sound of them.

What’s your current rig, and how did you end up with that?
My current rig is a Orange OR50 and a PPC212 cabinet. Absolutely love that rig!

If you could add any Orange amps to your rig, which ones would they be, and why?
I would love to own some vintage Orange amps. For example, one of those old pictures only amps or a OR80. I also love the sound of a Rockerverb. Really versatile and great amps.

Check out Kryptograf’s 2021 Orange Jams session below:

日向秀和(ひなっち)モデルのアンプヘッドが遂に2021年7月1日から一般発売!!ひなっちがステージで使用している事で目を引いた方も多いはず!本人が使用しているオレンジカラーに極ロゴが入ったあのモデルが新登場!!Orange 4 Stroke 500 LTD was finally released on July 1. Yes, many of you might have seen Hinatch playing it on stage. This new signature amp head is in orange color with his logo “Extreme!”

を教えて下さい。What was the initial impact on you when you came across Orange Amps, either amp head or cabinet? 日向:まず、凄いナチュラルだなと思いましたね。ナチュラルだし、凄く芯のあるローが出るっていうのが最初の印象でした。オレンジに出会う前は結構アンプに迷ってて、試行錯誤した結果、ロー感とか一度自分の中で完成したなって思ってたんですよ。でも、オレンジに出会ってその完成したと思っていたものを覆されたと言うか。よりベースの音を届けやすくなった感覚っていうのが凄くありまして。余計なローが全く無いって言うか。そこらへんがすごくびっくりしました。My impression was that it was an extremely natural and thick low sound. I was going through many amps in those days and trying to find my low frequency sound. Just when I thought I found it, I came to play an Orange Amp. Then there was no going back. I immediately felt that the low frequency could easily travel across. I call it pure bass sound. I was just astonished.

トレードマークになっている「極」の由来を教えてください。How did your motto “Extreme” come about?日向:英語で言うと「極める」ってどういうことを言うんでしょうね。物事を「マw スター」とかそういう感じなのかな。その道をマスターするっていう意味合いを一文字で表すことが出来る漢字かなと思って。「極める」っていうのはベーシストとしてもそうだし、すべてそうです。ずっと追いかけていくって大事なことだし、そういうのを志してるっていうところでの漢字一文字ですかね。I don’t know the exact English word for it. This Japanese character “extreme” also means reaching the top or mastering completely. It applies to everything including bass guitar. It is important to pursue it with ambition. This character says it all.

4 Stroke 500 LTD HINATCH“極”はいつもどのようなセッティングで使用しているのしょうか?Could you tell us your setting of 4 Stroke 500 LTD?
日向:アンプのセッティングなんですけど、大体いつも12時にするんですよ。12時にして、オールフラットの状態でまず鳴らしてみて、そこから耳につくところの音域を減らしていきます。例えばちょっとローが出過ぎてるんで、これを減らしていく。こうすると自然なボトム感と言うか、出てきますよね。で、ちょっとミドルも痛いんで、コンコンいっちゃう。このコンコン言うところをはしょる。そうするとナチュラルになってますよね。基本的にもう、減らしていくだけですね。(EQがフラットの状態でも)ハイもしっかり出てるんで。まずは12時にして、オールフラットにしてから、いらない音域をどんどん削っていくみたいなセッティングをしています。I usually start off setting everything at 12 o’clock, all flat,  and hear it. Then I tweak to reduce whatever remains in my ears. For instance I turn down  whenever I hear too much bass or knocking mids. It becomes a natural bass sound. My approach is always to reduce unnecessary ranges from 12 o’clock. You can still obtain solid high frequency.

コンプはどのように使用しているのでしょうか?How do you use a built-in  compressor on 4 Stroke 500 LTD?
日向:コンプが付いてるんですけど、薄ーく掛けてるんですよね。結構ガッツリ掛けるとサンプリングされてるベースの音みたいな(笑)、音まで出せるんで面白いんですけど、これだと掛かり過ぎてダイナミクスがあんまり出ないんで、薄くかけといてから、エフェクターを踏んだときのコンプの掛かり方がすごいこれ気持ちいいんですよ。歪ませたりとか。だから、エフェクターを割とハイゲインのボンって踏んだときにモチっと着いてきてくれるようなコンプの感じが良いんで薄く掛けてます。すごい効くと思いますこのコンプ。素晴らしいです。This amplifier is equipped with a compressor. And I put it on just slightly. If I turn up, it can produce a very thick sound that is almost like sampling bass tone. But it would reduce the dynamics. I like to put on just enough compression so that other effect pedals such as distortion are switched on, it will nicely compliment the sound. I think it is a superb compressor.

このモデルの魅力や遊び方について教えて下さい。What do you think is the most attractive feature of 4 Stroke 500 LTD? And how would you like to play it?
日向:極端な話、EQもすごい効くんで。こんな音まで(笑)出ちゃうっていう。ハイとかも、例えばめっちゃ絞ったりするとちょっとヴィンテージっぽい音から、ハイだけでも全然違う。これだけEQが効くって言う。シンプルだけにすごく効くって言うか。そういうのすごく大事だなと思います。いっぱい目盛りが付いてて何していいか分かんないってアンプも中にはあったりして。それよりもすごいシンプルで効くって言うのはサウンドメイクしやすい。だからいろんな音域を出して試してみるっていうのもすごく面白いと思います。後はさっきやったみたいにコンプをめっちゃガッツリ、鬼のようにコンプ出してサンプリングしたみたいなベースの音を出すのもすごく楽しいんじゃないかな。このままレコーディングしても、レコーディングとかだったらすごく面白いんじゃないですかね。スラップがすごく楽しいかも。サンプリングしたみたいな音も出るし、EQもすごく効くので、自分の好きな音を探ってみるのもいいんじゃないかなと思います。For me it has to be the effectiveness of the equalizer. You can create all kinds of sound by setting the different equalizer level. I found that you can obtain vintage bass sound by cutting the high frequency. Unlike some amps out there with many knobs and notches, this model is very simple to operate. And you can always make the sound you want after you tweak different  frequencies.  Again do not forget how clean and powerful the compressor is on this model. You can maximize the effect for your recording sessions. So the sampling sound comes in handy when you are playing slapping bass. It works great!

Hinatch Kurosawa / Orange artist profile.

You recently released your latest album ‘Defy’, what can you tell us about it?
This album is all about the live energy. After we’d released two singles, we embarked on a multinational tour where we really reconnected with the fans and the energy that our past material brought to the live show. We recorded with Howard Benson at his studio in Woodland Hills, CA. In the studio, I used my PRS basses, and a variety of different pedals and amps.

Was there anyone in particular that got you into music at a young age?
Growing up in Vacaville, seeing Papa Roach play and rise to international stardom definitely inspired me to pursue music as a vehicle to see the world beyond my hometown. From there, I was listening to anything fast, loud, heavy, or emotive. Any combination of those was perfect for my taste.

What’s your history and experience with Orange? Do you remember the first time you ever laid eyes on one of our amps?
I remember seeing so many bands using Orange guitar amps in the early 2000’s. Such a unique look and sound when compared to the JCM’s, Mesa’s and 5150’s of the time. Then my guitarist in my local band at the time used an Orange when we were in the studio cutting a demo and it just sounded amazing! I wish I could remember the model, I cant say for sure but I want to say it was a Rockerverb…

What’s your current set up? You mention having a Bass Crush 50 practice amp, how’s your experience with that, and is there any other amps you’d like to give a go?
I’m currently using a small TC Electronic RH750, but would love to use either the Bass Terror, or the Four Stroke live. I have the Crush Bass 50 for practice and it sounds incredible which peaked my interest into further trying out Orange. I’d love to give the OB1 series a whirl too, but the Bass Terror and Four Stroke have come highly recommended.

Every Christmas we have a competition called ‘Wish Granted’, where we give away thousands of pounds worth of gear to Orange fans all over the world – if you were to enter, what would you wish for?
Oh man! Definitely a bass terror & a small cab, and a four stroke head! I’d be golden!

Hi, my name is Will, i’m the bassist of Puppy, I’m here at Desertfest 2018.

When I started playing bass, I was a guitarist, probably like most bassists! I was a guitarist and then nobody wanted pick up the bass, so I was like I will do it. It’s been a journey trying to find the right combination of a good rukus, kind of rumbling low end but something you can pick out the melody. I don’t just want sub, something that really bites through, that’s what I look for.

I always looked up to bassists who really stood out, I love Cliff Burton, I loved the way he played the bass like a guitar. That approach not just being the rhythm section and a lot of three pieces were always my favourite bassists because they had a third of the job to carry. You couldn’t be a wallflower bassist in a three piece. Al from Sleep, for me a massive influence, I play a Rickenbacker as well pretty much, Cliff and Al pretty much my two favourite bassists of all time.

My interest in Orange came really young actually, before I was in any bands, I used to love Oasis when I was a kid. I remember seeing them playing and they had an all Orange backline, obviously they were huge. Black Sabbath as well on some German performance I remember seeing they had an all Orange backline and I thought this is the coolest thing I had ever seen.  Then I learned a bit more about the history of the company and I got the Orange book, I was reading about the shop they used to have on Carnaby Street. I just thought the whole thing was so cool. The old logo, the tree growing off the world, the voice of the world! I thought it would make a great tattoo, so I got it there. That’s it man, i’m somewhat of a loyalist to the brand and i was super stoked to be asked to use their equipment. I would be using it anyway, they have got a fan for life in me!

First stack was an Orange, AD200, two 4×10’s and I was super proud to have that on stage. We would play the tiniest venues and I would never go anywhere without a full stack! Even if it meant piling it into a cab and pissing off a cab driver. It feels amazing to be asked to use their equipment, as I spent so long drooling over their equipment and looking at pictures of musicians I adored. Prince and Al from Sleep, all these people I thought were super cool, using their gear. I obviously I just wanted to be like them, that’s why I was using the gear in the first place. So it feels great to be actually an ambassador for the brand, it feels awesome.

 

Hi I’m Theo from Wolf Alice and I’m sat at Orange HQ, playing through my favourite bass head the AD200 and trying out some cool pedals.

The first time i properly got to know an Orange head or really understood what it was, was our tour manager the infamous Dave Danger, took us away. It was like our first tour round the UK and I needed to borrow an amp and his friend Skipper lent me this head and the two cubes, with the sub and tweeters and stuff. I had been used to just showing up at the venues and playing whatever stuff, with knobs falling off. I just fell in love with it and I really liked playing it. I remember having it in my flat at the time and pissing everyone off because I had this huge stack and I would just noodle away which isn’t a very social way of playing the bass.

So my rig as it stands at the moment is pretty basic, its very low end heavy, all the low 200 stuff that hits you in the chest, is the stuff we are trying to achieve. So its this, with bass rolled up to about three quarters up, the mids scooped to a little bit below half way and the treble is tweaked a bit.

Its quite hard to put a finger on why I have always used this head and Orange as a brand. I think a lot of the sounds I am trying to get are quite like fuzzy and driven and stuff like that. What this gives you is a great base to build your effects on top of that. It always cuts through, its chunky, its got that really smooth base to layer you effects on.

Its a big music players honour to see Jimmy Page up there, it goes from Jimmy Page through to Laurie from Slaves, so I have my two biggest inspirations in the world! Its a very British thing as well which I think i’m proud of, its like a staple brand, people recognise that symbol everywhere. Growing up and looking at other peoples gear and stuff, to sharing a roster and be recognised by the company is a real honour for me.

Grandma’s Ashes, can we get a bit of background on the band?
Myriam:
I first met with Eva on the internet and joined her punk-rock/noise band and we played with different drummers before we eventually decided we wanted to play heavier music. We started over and found Edith online. We jammed, and her math-rock influences took us in a more progressive direction. That’s how we ended up mixing heavy riffs, progressive parts and powerful melodies. We’ve been playing together for three years now.

Are most of your songs a result of jamming, or do you work from structured ideas?
Myriam:
One of us will usually come up with with a riff or melody that suits a particular emotion, then we’ll jam it around and end up with different parts that we’ll put together.
Eva: I write a lot of voice melodies when I’m at home, and often come to rehearsal with voice lines and simple bass lines, then Myriam will find something to do with it, bring heavy riffs before Edith comes with her complex rhythmics.

Are there any artists in particular that have inspired you two as players, or someone that encouraged you to pick up your instruments to begin with?
Myriam:
My dad plays guitar and taught me the basics of blues with Muddy Waters and Buddy Guy when I was 9. However, it wasn’t until discovered Led Zeppelin at the age of 13 I became obsessed with the guitar. I’d say Jimmy Page, Eddie Van Halen and Matt Bellamy were my early inspirations as a teenager. I later discovered QOTSA and Frank Zappa, which inspired the tones I use with the band and the modal scales I sometimes use when I improvise.
Eva: My father was my first inspiration, he’s a multi-instrumentalist and was playing in different bands within different genres when I was growing up up, jazz, rock, punk and blues. I was surrounded by instruments as a child and he’d teach me. When I was 11, I discovered The Stranglers and was instantly very interested by the incredible J.J Burnel’s heavy, slamming but fat bass sound! I started playing bass right after that. After that I discovered Flea, and Chris Squier from Yes, both with more complicated bass lines. That paired with my growing love for funk, I started to work on my sound because I wanted to achieve a mix between two iconic styles, the incisive and punk one, and the groovy, melodic tone of my prog rock idols.

You’re releasing your first EP ‘The Fates’ in January, what can you tell us about it?Myriam: We recorded ‘The Fates’ a year ago at “Ferber”, a famous French recording studio where Zappa and Black Sabbath used to come in the 70s. We decided to record everything live with no overdubs in order to try and catch the energy of our live performances. We worked with producer Mario Caladato Jr. (The Mars Volta, Beastie Boys etc) who helped us find a balance between the aerial atmospheres of the vocals and the heavier parts.
Eva: By recording it live we managed to capture the synergy we feel between the three of us while jamming. We wanted it to be as fluid as possible, and highlight the emotional involvement in each song when played live. We named it “The Fates” after the three Moirai in Greek mythology, known as the sisters who determine the origin of the world and human beings. One is giving life, by spinning the wool, one unwinding the thread and the last one cutting it, bringing death. We loved that very symbolical allegory of our roles in the band.

What’s your history and experience with Orange?
Myriam: My first ever encounter was whenI was looking for a tube amp that could be aggressive and round at the same time, and a friend of mine let me try their TH30, the sound was both crispy and round. I’m also really into the desert rock scene, and when I saw Sleep live with Matt Pike’s wall of Rockerverbs I thought that it was the deepest guitar sound ever!
Eva: I noticed Orange Amps at festivals and I very intrigued by the colourful design, and when Myriam bought one I immediately loved its power!

Myriam, I know you play the Dual Terror, why did you go for that one and what’s your thoughts on it?
Myriam:
It’s the first amp I ever bought with my very first paycheck : I needed a two channel amp because we have some ethereal parts in our music where a nice clean sound is necessary. The tiny channel of the DT has that slamming clean tone. I mainly use the fat channel with the typical Orange crunch sound and add fuzz or overdrive to it. I also went for the Dual Terror because of its practicality. It doesn’t weigh that much and is also switchable from 30w to 15w, which is really useful in the studio or in rehearsal to push the tubes without sounding too loud.

How does your dream Orange riggs / stacks look like?
Myriam:
I like to play with a dry/wet setup, so my dream Orange stack would be the Orange Rockerverb 50 MKIII paired with a PPC 412. Because it has an FX loop and two separate channels, it would allow me to have cleaner modulation effects such as phaser, delays etc. than I have currently on the DT. The other amp would be a Tiny terror on a PPC 212. I like it with a crunchy sound and a really light slap delay. It also works well with fuzzs and overdrives because of its narrow frequency response.
Eva: I’d like to split my sound on two cabs, and looking for the best one to fit with my Sunn O))) Concert Bass, so I would say an OBC410, or OBC212 and OBC115 paired with a Terror Bass. I secretly dream of a AD200B, but unfortunately it’s a little heavy to bring home after rehearsal on the Parisian subway…

If you could tour with any band or artist, who would it be, and why?
Monolord! We discovered them with their last album, No Comfort. Their riffs are so heavy, it’s truly a slap in the face listening to them play live. We’d like to tour with them because we are comfortable in the stoner rock scene generally, and people look really psyched at their gigs.