Described as the UK’s hottest new rock n roll band Bad Day Blues have supported greats such as ‘The Killers’ and ‘Manic Street Preachers on their way to getting radio play on Radio 2. The band’s bass player Adam came into Orange Amps HQ to go through the Terror Bass and why he thinks it’s the perfect touring rig. Adam was using the Terror bass through the OBC112 which a perfect combination of power and portability.

‘Hi i’m Adam Rigg from the Bad Day Blues Band.

Amps were kind of a necessity so I would us any old battered amp, whatever I could throw in the back of the transit van or whatever they had at the venue I would use. Until that is I started using Orange amps and then I was like ‘Ah, I kind of get the whole amp thing now!’ It sounds ballsy without being thin or weak, it sounds vintage, I like the tubes on it and it has a little bit of natural growl. Which is really hard to fake with any pedals or any kind of plug ins, it’s a very real authentic sounding amp. Which is why I use them. It’s not even about the sound of the amp it’s about the aesthetics of it, the look of it and the feel of it. It’s got that aura about it which is one of the reasons I dig Orange.

I really like the valves on the Terror bass, the fact that it’s small, its portable and i think it is Class D. But the preamp is the tube element, which means you get that natural growl. Which is perfect for the blues you want that kind of authentic vibe, you don’t want anything that sounds too clinical or too fake. I don’t use any pedals, I just plug my bass straight into it. I get a little bit of growl out of it if I want, or I can back it off and get it a bit cleaner with some palm muting. So it’s literally perfect for the blues.

That’s why Orange amps are so great, they are just so easy to use, I’ve never been one for loads of EQ’s and stuff. My bass has a volume knob and that is it and that is what I like about Orange, its an instant good tone. I always think if you get amps and guitars with tons and tons of switches on you are trying to make up for something, if it doesn’t sound great pretty much straight away then why bother with it.

I was surprised by the OBC112 because they are tiny or relatively small compared to the bigger amps next to them. But they are loud and they can handle it, I think they are 400 Watts, which is loud. I usually plug my terror bass into a OBC410 or I have had it in the 810 before and it is so loud. If anyone is wondering about a Terror bass and wondering is 500 Watts loud enough, it definitely is! If you can pair it up with a smaller speaker, you have a perfect rig. If you are jumping on the tube, you could carry one of those in your hands, bass over your shoulder and Terror bass in the other hand.

They are just one of those iconic brands, you have posters up on the wall when you learn how to play guitar of Orange amps. The fact that Orange amps are nice enough to be seen with me is lovely. The gear is great as well so that’s a plus!’

  • What’s your story? How do you get where you are today?

Hi there, my name is Amir John Haddad, they also call me EL AMIR. I am a guitarist, multi instrumentalist and a ‘Musician on a Mission’ !!
I love all kinds of string instruments and I play flamenco guitar, arabic oud, turkish saz, greek bouzouki, banjo, electric guitar, bass, ukulele (yes, also ukulele) and many more.
Basically everything that you can pick and plug I get attracted to….

“I believe in the emotion and power of music as well as the passion you have to put into what you do”.

I was born in Germany (Freiburg, Black Forest) into a multiethnic family and have been surrounded by music basically since I was a baby.
My grandpa is from Hamburg, my mom from Colombia and my dad from the Middle East.
I was exposed to Latin folklore, Oriental music and Flamenco as well as Rock, Funk, Heavy Metal, Jazz, Pop, Classical music, Worldmusic and many many more.
I grew up in a very musical house. At the age of three I played a tennis racket pretending it was a guitar! Shortly after that I started imitating my dad and playing around with the guitar and the arabic oud which he both played. I was absorbed and delighted by the sound of strings, it was like magic for me! Soon my dad started teaching me how to play and when I was seven years old I started to receive private clases with flamenco guitar maestros. As a kid I already would play for hours and hours non stop. After previews live experiences at my kindergarten and elementary school I started to perform on a real stage at the age of twelve!! Since then my life changed and I knew what I wanted to do for the rest of my life. My path was set…

After finishing High School I moved to Jerez de la Frontera, a village in Andalusia in 1997. Since then I have been living in Spain and I have had many amazing musical journeys performing, collaborating, recording, working or touring worldwide with my own bands and with some of the most renowned artists such as Radio Tarifa, Chambao, Juno Reactor, Marcus Miller,
Stanley Clarke, Shankar Mahedevan, Jorge Pardo, Carles Benavent, Zoobazar, Armand Sabal-Lecco, Carlos Raya, Eduardo Cabra ‘Visitante’ (Calle 13) and many more.
For me what has been always the most important part in all this was the amount of good vibe and new things I would learn each time I had the chance to meet another great artist and share the stage or the studio with him or her. It is the attitude that makes you move towards a direction where knowledge and wisdom are combined with discipline and hard work. At the same time it is important to find joy and happiness in what you do. Not always my path has been easy, not always things made sense to me yet is has been always blissful. Every encounter taught me exactly what I needed to know for the next step I took. Take this as an encouraging message for yourself, it might help you to start looking at things from a different angle and see yourself from a different perspective too.

What is clear is that I have always given the best version of my self in any situation and this is what made me grow and be where I am now. Where am I ?? (laughs)

Among all the many projects so far there is one that definitely speaks for itself and which I am very proud of being part of it.
In fall 2017 I get a phone call from a very important artistic agency based in Vienna, who told me that Hans Zimmer was looking for a multi faceted guitarist. I recorded some guitar tracks for them, Hans gave his approval and next thing: I was in! I had always dreamt about meeting Hans and being able to perform his music. Then in spring 2018 I started working with Hans Zimmer´s new show The World Of Hans Zimmer a Symphonic Celebration as one of his new soloists sharing the stage with the amazing conductor Gavin Greenaway and singer Lisa Gerrard (Dead Can Dance) The repertoire is amazing and the music is overwhelming. Gladiator, Mission Impossible, Pirates of the Caribbean you name it… So far I have done three huge tours through Europe with this project playing at the largest Arenas such as Wembley Arena London, Wizink Center Madrid, Olympic Stadium Munich etc. What I want to tell you with this is actually that all the small steps I have taken in the past along my career, going through many different moments of my life and changes have led me to be now at this point form where I can see with an even clearer vision where to I want to move on from now. The reward is the never ending path and the joy you have while evolving as a human being, musician and artist.

Nowadays I am considered to be among the top five best flamenco solo guitarists of the new generation and this is a very nice moment for me which brings also a lot of responsibility with it.
The task is to reinvent yourself every day and be open for new paths and visions. It is not so much about the instrument itself rather than about the way you interact with your instrument.
How much do you care about how and what you play? Do you want to show off or really dig deeper into the emotional tissue of technique and music?
Do you want to reach out and touch peoples hearts?

To end this section here there is one important thing that really made me be where I am today:
All the information, education and support my parents, masters, teachers, mentors, friends, family, colleagues, artists, producers, band leaders etc gave me shaped me to the one I am today.
Of course I have found my own voice and personality within all this, still it is important to have an identity and to know where you come from. Another important thing was that I left my comfort zone (something I highly recommend, it’s worth doing as many times in your life as necessary) when I was young and moved to another country. Now when I look back this small step meant a huge change for my life and here I am!! Never know for sure where life (and my decisions) will take though. Nevertheless I will enjoy every second of it.

  • References and influences. What can we find in your music?

First my mom Elsa-Maria, I could already hear the Latin folklore from inside her belly. My dad who was my first mentor and teacher. Then the maestros Pepe Justicia and Enrique de Melchor, two renowned flamenco guitar figures who where essential in my approach and understanding of the flamenco guitar as a soloist. When I was very young I was exposed to south american music, oriental music, flamenco and classical music. My musical heroes (yes I had other heroes too, Gregory Peck or Charly Chaplin were some of them) at that time were (and still are) my dad Rimon Haddad, Mozart, Munir Bashir and Paco de Lucia.

Later on at the age of twelve (again twelve) the elder brother of my best friend gave us a cassette with Metallica’s ‘Ride the Lighting’ and ‘Seek & Destroy’ albums on it. This sound changed me for ever. I was in love with electric guitar. Further influences were artists like Mothers Finest (inventors of Funk Rock), Living Color, Bad Brains, Fishbone, Infectious Grooves, Jane’s Addiction, Steve Vai, Joe Satriani, Randy Rhodes, Steve Ray Vaughn, Jimi Hendrix, Robin Trower, Stanley Clarke, Marcus Miller, John McLaughlin, George Duke, Trilok Gurtu, Beethoven, Sade, Billy Holiday, Rachmaninov, Sara Vaughn, Dennis Chambers, Prince, Michael Jackson, Johnny Guitar Watson, Scott Henderson, Beasty Boys, Onyx, NWA, Public Enemy, Biohazard, Grandmaster Flash, Chris Whitley, Jeff Buckley, B.B. King, …do I really need to list them all? I would need to quit my career as a musician if I wanted to complete the list (laughs) there are so many…

I just love music! For me I would define music as a magic vehicle that is driven by heart, rhythm, passion and melody (we all know that a lot of practice and commitment is needed right?). Any type of music style that has these elements immediately catches my absolute attention. I feel like I want to become the music itself and dive into the sound and emotion of it. I have been sitting down for many hours practicing, learning songs, even whole albums and tracks of other artists. I am hungry for new music, specially the one that I create. It is a beautiful sensation to compose new music. It is the unheard audible, the unknown known. My musical radar is very wide. I have no boundaries and prejudice music-wise.

  • Mythical great, those instruments, samplers, amplifiers, mythical effects?

I always wanted to have a Jackson Guitar, I saw John Hayes from Mother’s Finest playing Jackson at one of their concerts when I was young and I was blasted by his sound.

Flamenco guitars by Jose Lopez Bellido from Granada. He is probably one of the most renowned flamenco luthiers in Spain. I have played his guitars since I was a kid.

Now I am playing my own flamenco signature model called “El Amir” built by Jose Salinas.

The First oud my father bought when he was young. I ended up learning on it and playing it live with the legendary world music band Radio Tarifa worldwide.

Gibson Flying V is for me a killer guitar. The concept, sound and the easy access to high frets makes it the perfect toy!

Hammond Organ, the sound is amazing I have a T200 with a built in Lesley, just beautiful.

I saw Luther Allison, a legendary bluesman blasting his Hughes & Kettner TriAmp live. The blue lights of the ‘see trough design’ looked like magic on stage (ok I was young at that time…)

Marshall JCM 800/900 just love’em.

Mesa Boogie Nomad 2×12 Combo (it’s because I have one…lol)

Morley Wah-Wha, Rat Distortion, Boss Distortion (the orange one), Ibanez Tube Screamer, RP14 Digitech, Blackstar HT Dual PreAmp, and many more…!!!

…There is something about pedals and their sounds that you just can’t get enough of them…isn’t it? The best thing is that they make our mind creative.

  • New versus Second hand?

I have bought new instruments, I have bought second hand instruments and what has always been the most important parameter to me besides it looking good and sounding nice was wether I felt comfortable performing the music I had in my mind with it or not. It has to feel ’right’ in my fingers. One of the most beloved electric guitars I have is an old Fenix Strat built by Young Chang former Fender Japan. It was my first electric guitar. One thing I have never done is selling one of my instruments and I probably will never (never say ‘never’ though) do so. They all have story.

  • New technologies, what is the best thing you’ve tried lately?

The best device I have tried lately has been the AcousticPre by Orange. A two channel pre amp with separate setting and EQ possibilities that suites perfectly my flamenco guitar powered by Carlos Juan Amplification and my electric-acoustic instruments.

It makes the sound rounder, warmer, more natural and more precise. definitely a pedal to must try out. Go to your closest guitar shop and ask for it!! You will be more than pleased, actually you will be blown away.

Also the Teleport designed by Danny Gomez. A new interface pedal that will make your guitar sound like whatever sound you want within seconds!

  • Equipment to take you on a trip or to work on the road?

I have been always very basic in terms of technology. I have used a lot GarageBand on my iPhone to lay down ideas. I also record a voice messages on my phone with musical ideas.
I have a very good memory and I store loads of GB lot musical ideas in my head…

My basic pedal board has at least always a nice Distortion, Chorus, Wha-Wha, Delay, EQ, Line Selector, Phaser and Tuner. This makes a guitarist just happy!! I have plugged these pedals to so many different amps in different situations and have always been able to create a great and solid sound. Again, the sound is in your head and then you start to tweak and twist the knobs searching for the right frequencies and parameters until you get what you want. You gotta play around with it and find your sound. The smallest changes can sometimes achieve the hugest differences.

Also take enough string sets and picks with you! Also bring your own black gaffer tape, why? Once I made a guitar-strap out of gaffer tape!!
These last two might sound primitive to you, still they are very important points. Can’t be too careful (laughs). Best equipment though is your positive, humble, professional and honest energy! That will help you anywhere…believe me! Ah, don’t forget to smile!

  • What do you use, Backup in case everything fails?

I always make sure to have an easy and direct access to the amp by skipping the pedal circuit and plugging my lead straight into the amp. In a live situation it is important that you can do it by yourself very quickly unless you have your roady standing next to you at the side of the stage.

With my fingers and technique I still can emulate the sound that I want to come out of my guitar without using the pedal chain. I have always a PreAmp (e.g. Blackstar HT Dual) with Clean, Crunch and High Gain channels to plug straight into a DiBox through the speaker simulator output.

You won’t believe how huge, powerful and clean I have sounded in certain venues with no need of an amp. Just through the wedges and/or side fills. Remember that the sound is first in your head, then in your fingers and then the pedals help to enhance that. A good sound engineer is key to your success on stage!! He is the fourth musician in a power trio so to say.

  • The studio is burning down … instrument / equipment that you would save?

If I had the time I would definitely hire a transportation company to get everything ‘outta there’ before the fire fighters come (laughs).

Since this is pretty unlikely I would take my father´s oud and my first flamenco guitar built by Jose Lopez Bellido. A beautiful cypress body with a german spruce top guitar from 1984 (does this have to do something with George Orwell?). The hard discs and my MacBook!!!! There is not only music on’em! What about everything else in your life? Then if I really had the time before the smoke would get too heavy I would grab everything else (laughs again) and don’t wait for the transportation company nor the fire fighters. Hey, I have a van, I could fit all of it in there right…?

  • What is your experience with Orange Amplifiers?

Though I have never owned one I know of there amazing sound, quality and versatility for almost any kind of music style. One of my bass player friends who comes from the punk and rock scene has been playing on his Orange bass head for ages and the sound is so deep and strong! (I love Glenn Hughes set up, sounds killer and blasts you away!)

So far I have played in some occasions through the TH100. It has a wide and strong sound for rock, hard rock and metal riffs. Very juicy distortion too. The riffs smack you in your face. Also the Rocker 15 Terror (Lunchbox Amp style) which has a very high definition, specially for soloing and shredding on high gain range with a great sustain. Amazing feel! Orange Rocker 30 is a great head!! I remember playing once through a Rockerverb 50MKIII and the wide range of the gain knob combined with the mid range scoop achieves that heavy, dark and juicy sound you need to rock out BIG TIME!

  • First impressions about the new Acoustic PRE?

After meeting at the Orange Booth at NAMM 2019 in Anaheim, I recently visited Danny Gomez from Orange Amps at his studio and we had a nice session where he showed me the AcousticPre and its possibilities. First of all I must say the pedal looks gorgeous and very classy. In white, not over-designed and very easy to handle. The two channel device has a unique way to use the channels separately and/or simultaneously while being able to combine both EQ settings and enhance any acoustic sounding instrument tremendously. It will give your instrument a warm and natural character with that extra attack which will make you want to keep playing more and more.

I have one of my flamenco guitars powered with a Carlos Juan pick up system, the VIP Double (the same model that Vicente Amigo uses). It is a stereo output system where I can choose from the piezo under the saddle or the sensor beneath the top or preferably both. Therefore the AcousticPre is perfect for me and makes me able to blend my two channels and EQ them separately. Even only with the piezo it already sounded huge and crystal clear capturing all the subtle nuances of my fingers and nails too. It is a great device for any live or studio situation. The sound is immaculate and you will make not only make the sound engineer happier but also the whole crowd!! Isn’t that what you want? (laughs)

  • What are your plans for the future?

Right now I am preparing and recording my new flamenco guitar album called ‘Andalucía’. An album with a nice concept where I make a tribute to every province of Andalusia, Malaga, Sevilla, Cadiz, Cordoba, etc. I have composed a song for each province and each title has a direct meaning regarding each province. CD Release will be on the 28th of February 2020 if all plans go well. 28th is the ‘Day of Andalusia’ and there couldn’t be a better day to release the album. On that day I will be in Moscow and St.Petersburg with Hans Zimmer though…not that I am complaining (laughs).

This year I will perform with my bands in new countries that I had never been before and I am thrilled to travel to new places and open new markets. I will also give many solo guitar recitals, masterclasses and workshops. Then again a huge Europe Tour in November/December with Hans Zimmer and the World of Hans Zimmer. So looking forward to this to meet again my bandmates who are like soul brothers and soul sisters to me! Such a great bunch of musicians and artists.

Actually I am very happy and honored to be part of the Orange Family and be and Ambassador to Orange Amps. I am looking forward to establish a solid and fruitful relationship and I am already enjoying the ride. I will definitely use the Acoustic Pre for the next World of Hans Zimmer Tour. Carsten, our sound engineer will love it, I already know!

  • Tips for readers?

Be yourself no matter what!

In the case you want to become a musician/artist or even both remember that the person behind the instrument is the one that will deliver the music. Therefore take care of that precious human being!!

Best three tips ever given to me by three wise men were:

“You can’t be too careful boy, you can’t be too careful…!”
“Whenever you see the crowd turn left, you turn right boy!”
“Whenever you feel artistically in a dead end, get out of your comfort zone and move on!”

I need to explain, what they meant was: BE YOURSELF NO MATTER WHAT!!

Thank you for stopping by and reading my interview. I had lots of fun answering these great questions and share my personal vision on things. Hope you enjoyed your time reading them too.
See you soon at one of my next concerts, masterclasses, orange events, etc. Follow me on Instagram, Facebook, Youtube, Twitter and don’t forget to visit me at:

www.elamir.es or www.zoomusicmanagement.com

All the best of luck and keep the good music alive!! Remember, you are great!!

Peace & Love

Hi, my name’s Ben Parker and I’m here today looking at the wonderful Orange Acoustic Pre Twin Channel.

So, first of all what I was really impressed with is the overall sound – there’s definitely a higher fidelity thing going on when the sound comes through from both the DI and the mic feeds. In dialling up the heat knob on the DI there’s definitely a kind of nice vintage vive to how the DI sounds.

I think when I’m looking for an acoustic signal (I’m looking for) something that’s definitely very pure and the pick ups I use are really true to the woody nature of the sound of the acoustic and what the Acoustic Pre has done is just maximise that sound. It’s not drawn it further into the electronic, it’s just warmed it up, made it sound more natural and enhanced the sound that’s already there. I think because it’s got that warmth to it, I guess because of the tube in it, it really lends itself. I like acoustics that sound like they’ve come from old records and that’s what the tube element does to the sound.

Initially, I didn’t think it was the sort of thing I would use in the studio but actually, with us playing with it today and the way we’ve set it up with the DI straight in and the mic straight in but then both into the computer and the interface. It’s funny how the manipulation of the DI separate from the mic and being able to flick between the two – it’s almost like whenever I record an acoustic guitar I would use this to have a great DI signal – which I always want anyway – because you might want to distort that or treat it slightly differently. Then you can blend in the real mic and decide what you want to do with the two signals. On the road, another set up I have in one of my other acoustics is a split system that takes a mic output and a piezo pickup output from the pickup of the acoustic guitar. So this is great because I can plug the mic into the mic input, the piezo into the DI and then send front of house my particular choice blend of those two sounds with the ability to EQ both channels separately and add reverb if necessary.

The reverb is really nice. Again, I felt it was quite vintage like a lot of the old stuff Jimmy Page used to use on his acoustic picking stuff on those early Led Zep records. It had that flavour to it rather than being a synthetic digital sounding reverb, it felt like it was responding more to what it was being given, like those old fashioned reverbs.

I do a lot of writing with people but I also do a lot of basic tracking here and I work a lot on my own stuff. I compose for film and TV, so it’s interesting, the acoustic guitar sound is always very important in a lot of the things I do, so I’m always interested in seeing different ways of capturing that rather than it being in that environment of mouse click sliders. It’s great to go to the real knobs and turn them and hear the difference. Always. I love that, so it’s nice to have this unit there to manipulate the signal in that way.

Hi. I’m here at NAMM and we’re launching the Orange Valve Preamp. Very, very excited about this, I’ve been involved in this preamp for a number of years when I first met Dennis Marshall, who was doing some pioneering work really, on preamps (that is) valve preamps for acoustic guitars. We got together, and he showed me one of his preamps and I started to road test it. Every time I came back I’d say, “Yeah. This is fantastic.” Everywhere I went, sound engineers whether I was doing live concerts or in the studio would say, “Wow. What is that? Just sounds absolutely great.”

I then suggested a couple of things to Dennis about having a dual preamp so that we could have a valve and solid state channels. The valve to plug the guitar into and solid state for the microphone as well. That then moved onto the involvement with Orange and then it just went into another – it was already fantastic – it just went into another level again.

I started then road testing the Orange pre amp. I’ve been all over the world, touring in America, Far East, Europe the UK. It’s great, it means that wherever I go I’ve got this sound that’s been in my head for so many years. So it doesn’t matter where I am or what I’m plugging into, I’ve got this sound. The sound of my dreams really. It’s absolutely fantastic.

I’ve been playing the guitar since 1960/1961, I’ve toured all over the world. For 11 years I worked with Stephane Grappelli, the legendary jazz violinist, who along with Django Reinhardt formed The Hot Club of France, so for 11 years I sat in Django’s chair and working with Stephane. Then I started to pursue a solo career, I’ve got a Grammy nomination, I’ve got many music industry awards, guitar awards. I’ve been given two honorary doctorates and I was made an MBE by The Queen in 2002 for services to music. These were all nice little bonuses that have come along the way. All I’ve ever wanted to do is just play the guitar, but it means I have some things I can put on the shelf in my studio which is really, really nice too.

I cannot begin to tell you just how excited I am about this preamp, it’s a dream come true. I’m so pleased for Dennis Marshall who’s really the man who had this brainchild of doing this and we’ve managed to work with the best people in the business here at Orange.

Session guitarists are the uber-talented pros who get booked to make the albums of the best musicians in the world sound even better. And though they’re a dime a dozen in Nashville, Buddy Woodward stills stands out among his peers.

We caught up with Buddy so he could check out the Orange Acoustic Pre, the world’s first stereo valve acoustic pre amp/active DI. Watch as Buddy demos the Pre using both a guitar and banjo.


Visit Buddy’s website HERE: http://www.buddywoodward.com/

Tell us about the name?

Robert: It’s a Swedish word, it’s pronounced Skraeckoedlan!

It’s actually spelt with the Swedish A and the two dots and the O but we spelled it more international and it hasn’t been to our advantage! Because no one can spell it or pronounce it! It’s a Swedish word and it translates to like the Horror Lizard, it’s like a Godzilla Reference.

Henrik: I think we had a name before the band was actually started, I think you came up with the name and sent me text. Do you want to play heavy doom rock fast rock and sing in Swedish and we will be called ‘Skraeckoedlan’.

Robert: That was the concept before we even rehearsed and its like a reference to the old 50’s horror movies and that sort of things Sci-Fi. Also the Blue Oyster Cult song ‘Godzilla’ of course!

Tell us about your new album?

Robert: I think it sounds the most of what we want to sound like now because you to rehearse at writing songs, you get better at writing songs. You have to write a lot of songs to know what you want to write. Also when you are younger, it was ten years ago when we started out and we were young kids and we wanted to play like your idols. Wanting to play metal and stuff we like. Now it has progressed into something more original now and I think we know that and i think when we write songs we want to write it for ourselves and not “cover” songs.

Henrik: That has become quite a natural progression, it’s not something we think conscientious about, it’s fun not to do the same songs and do something different.

Robert: This album ‘Earth’, our third album it is a concept album and we got the story behind the concept album written to us by a Sci-Fi author. We based the whole album on his story, so it was more of another take on songwriting, as we had to tell the story of this. The first needs to be more of an intro song and then we need to take it this way. It was a whole another way to write songs.

Henrik: It was a whole different approach that kind of shows up in the result as well.

Star Trek or Star Wars

Robert: Star Trek, Star Wars is not Sci-Fi, Star Wars is just a saga it is a fantasy! Just to clear it up.

What made you choose Orange?

Robert: It’s so connected to this genre and a lot of bands play Orange. When we started out that’s the thing you want, you want to play what your gods play. Then you try it out, it was so good for you and translated directly to you, we play a lot of pedals and the Orange amps really go well all the pedals. I think you had the TH100 first, that was the first one we had,

Henrik: Yes, then we wrote to Orange asking if we can have an Orange amps sponsorship and we would like these amps could you help us out!

Robert: I think it was 2014 we ordered Orange backline and we never looked back. I’m not so conscious about my sound, I think if it feels good and sounds good I’m satisfied and I don’t really know what I play. As long as it sounds great. I found that in the CR120 they are so convenient to have, they sound so great with pedals and don’t weigh anything and they don’t break down on tour. They are the best solid state amps they are the best I have played.

What gear are you using right now?

Robert: I have one of the CR120 Combos, the 1X12 and a 2X12 cabinet with a CR120 Head. I split the signal into two, so I play two amps, that’s my setup.

Henrik: I recently had the same head, the CR120 with a 412 stereo cabinet, I just recently bought the Rocker 32 stereo combo. So I haven’t really got a chance to try it out yet but i’m going to be experimenting with that in some form of Wet/Dry signal, so that’s going to be fun.

Robert: We like playing stereo so I think i’m going to buy that combo as well, it’s so convenient to have a stereo combo and not have to carry two big rigs. Tonight i’m not quite sure actually, our drummer is the one that is the most interested in those things. He wrote what we should have!

Henrik: He is the best at organising all of that sort of admin.

Robert: So we are just happy, we don’t know so much!

Corey: After being a band for a few years, when James, Andrew and I sat down to start writing music the stuff we were coming up with was just more of a punk influence. All of us have been huge punk fans since we were all younger so it was kind of a natural progression and kind of just go back to that. But we still also kept a lot of the heavy end stuff in.

Scary: I just joined the band after this record came out because they did a lot of second guitar stuff and they wanted to do it live. I’ve been friends with the band since they started, I did pre production for a lot of the older records, ‘taste of sin’, ‘set the dial.’ I would go to their space and record it and then send it off to their engineer that were actually going to produce the record. So i’ve known the band for a long time and they asked me to play after the record was done and i’ve been playing in cover bands with Andrew and James since i moved to Savannah so it’s been fun, i’ve known the guys for a long time.

Corey: So we we’ve been working with the company maybe two years but prior to that i’ve used a lot of Orange stuff when we would come to Europe and we would rent a backline. The bass stuff was generally an Orange and that’s what started my interest in using the amps.

Scary: I started using the Orange back in 2009 or 2010, I got the Rockerverb MKI and i bought it because I had seen so many great bands using it. I bought it on a whim and its been my tone ever since, in history!! I’ve had the Rockerverb MKI, MKII, MKIII and they just keep getting better, the MKIII is just awesome, I love it!
Corey: NERD!
Scary: I know! The stepped attenuators are fantastic!!

Corey: I like with bass something that has some kind of drive section and that is not just a clean, I definitely like tube and bit of a lower wattage than the big SVT type things, 200 is quite a good match. You can push the amp a bit more and retain a lot of that good EQ sound without turning it to one of five.

Scarey: Overdrive and the preamp section is really big for me because its like there are a lot of amps that have really good overdrive but then they sound a little fizzy. The gain on the Rockerverb has always been really nice in my ear and the reverb on the new MKIII’s are amazing, totally usable and then the clean is amazing for pushing pedals. The overdrive though has been something that has won me over for years, haven’t been able to find something like that, for something that fits my ear in years.

Corey: I have the AD200 and also the Two Stroke pedal and the OB1 as my backup amplifier. I’m using the Two Stroke as more of an overdrive pedal, not throughout the entire set or song. I always like a more treble sound like the old Jesus Lizard stuff, that kind of stuff has to have the midrange boost to kind of overdrive the amp nicely.

On my amps…

I appreciate the story of how I became an Orange user because it embodies my “put up or shut up” philosophy of rock music.  Before I moved to America to join our band, Hero Jr., I lived in London, where I worked mostly as a songwriter, producer and studio musician.  My main amps were vintage Marshall JMP 50 watt 2×12 combos from the late 60s and early 70s.  Being a Jimmy Page and 70s rock fanatic I was religiously partial to the Les Paul / Marshall sound.  There was something about the raunch, honk, and presence through that rig that inspired my playing.  I am not really a “technical musician” and I’m extremely sensitive to what instrument and amp I’m playing through.  I’m not the dude that can pick up anyone’s guitar, plug into any amp, and just start shredding.  If it doesn’t feel right it’s not happening for me.  I’ve always been that way!  For the majority of my work I’ve played the same 1972 Les Paul for over 20 years. 

Enter Orange.  To make a long story short, seven years ago I had finished co-writing and producing an album with my friends in the Indianapolis, Indiana rock band Hero Jr.  The band’s singer, Evan Haughey, and I wrote the songs for that album via SKYPE.  We had such a good connection that the hook-up between my studio in London and the studio in Indiana felt like one living room.  We ended up recording the record back and forth between the two studios.  In June 2012 I was invited to the Hero Jr. album release event in Indianapolis.  The plan was to rehearse for a couple days and play the new songs that we had all recorded together.  I came over to America to do that show and the vibes were so cool I never went back to London and joined the band.  When the music feels that right there is no need to think about it!

From that day the never-ending Hero Jr. tour started.  All my gear, except a couple guitars and pedals, was in London and the vintage amp I was borrowing on tour was melting down by the end of each set so I needed a rig.  A friend, and Orange user in London, suggested I talk to her artist representative about potential touring rigs.  She said that the new Orange gear was killing it and that the artist support system at the company was amazing.  She was right.  The dudes at Orange were very cool and really wanted me to find the right amp for my style.  They said I would not be disappointed by Orange and that I would probably not want to go back to my Marshalls.  They were right.  A week later I became an Orange Ambassador and was touring with my first Orange rig, an OR50 and PPC-212 closed back cabinet.  From the get go I was floored.  Not only did I feel that “connection” that I needed to be inspired, but the fans and technical staff at the venues we played all mentioned the clarity and balls of my sound and were impressed.  I was really in love with my amp and spent the next 6 years and over 700 shows playing that OR50. 

I got my Rockerverb 50 Mk. III last year to take on a short spring tour supporting John 5 And The Creatures.  My relationship with the RV had an auspicious start as it arrived just a few days before the tour started, and being such a picky creature of habit with my gear, and having limited gear space on tour, I wussed out and left the RV 50 at home.  My initial opinion was…great amp but not as vibey as my OR50.  As soon as I got back from the tour I realized I was very wrong!  A couple things happened.  First, my OR50 went down and wouldn’t be repaired in time for a short string of shows.  I rehearsed for a few days with it and still felt that homesick (ampsickness!!) longing for my OR50. 

Once we started playing I began to get used to the RV and noticed that it was ballsy, yet clean, and cut really well.  It fit. I usually use one setting and control the tone with my volume on the guitar.  With the RV I could crank the gain but when I rolled off my volume I got the vintage cleanish sound I am used to.  That amp killed it.  Like I said I’m not a technician, but the RV felt like it had headroom for days.  Most importantly I felt it the RV catered to my style of playing and to the band.  Evan and I have a cool dual guitar style together.  We groove so intuitively that it almost sounds like one big guitar.  The RV fit right into that.

The second bonding experience I had with the RV was in the studio playing guitar on a few outside non-rock recording projects.  The versatility of the RV was amazing.  On one session, which was ambient alternative, like Sigur Rós, I used the clean channel as my basic setup and ran a lot of effects.  The RV takes effects really well.  The front end is very tight and balanced and the amp was as true to my vintage effects as it was to the modern gear.  I didn’t have to change settings once on that gig.  In addition to a killer gain channel the amp sounds great using a combination of the clean volume and attenuator to get a bluesier, natural overdrive sound. The RV rocked in the studio on all styles of music.  Whether it was vintage soul/funk with a Strat or Tele, Blues, or Hip Hop, all my sessions were great and I have used the RV50 as my number one studio amp ever since.  Even through a PPC112 the RV has amazing range and depth.

The third bonding session with my RV happened during the shooting of the three videos Orange will be releasing, where I played a Strat, Telecaster, and Les Paul, through it in order to show how the RV played true to the characteristics of each guitar and the effects I used.  Prior to the shooting I used the amp for a short road trip and on some studio sessions and although I was sold on the amp I didn’t really use a lot of different settings.  When it came time to shoot the videos I was kind of winging the settings to show the versatility of the amp with each of the three guitars.  I’m sure that Derik, my videographer, caught me saying, “Fuck, this amp is really the shit” more than a few times. 

During the shooting of this video is when I realized the RV is one of the best new amps on the market.  It can do everything I need in any situation I have been in, live and studio.  I am so impressed that, besides being a monster rock amp, there is so much versatility in the RV.  Both channels have different clean and overdriven possibilities, the EQ is musical and the attenuator really does its job if you need to play soft.  Set up with the gain just right I can even get my Page on!!  After getting to know my RV50 in so many ways I have decided to get and ABY and see what it’s like in my touring rig with the OR50.  I’ve been using Orange amps and pedals for a while now and one thing is for sure.  From the Mini crush all the way up to the RV and OR, Orange has a sound and personality that is perfect for the music I make.  The build quality and harmonic/tonal consistency is awesome.  I don’t use reverb, as I prefer room ambience, but the built in reverb is an added bones for anyone that needs on board verb.  I never use the effects loop so I cant comment on that.  Orange has been my only amp since 2012 and I’ve never thought to change or try others.  Great dudes.  Great gear.  “Put up or shut up!!”

On my music…

I love all kinds of music but I have always had a special thing for 60s and 70s guitar rock.  Maybe it’s because the genre evolved from Soul, R&B, Blues, and improvisational Jazz and has few boundaries.  Bring on the 60s and 70s, add volume and fuzz to the mix and it’s just right.  I favor pre-80s music because, in my opinion, talent, craft and vibe were as important aspects of the business as the need to sell records and many of the “corporate” record people had their roots in music.  They hung out with the artists and bands and released records that, for the most part, touched them, and in turn resonated with the public. 

I grew up as a songwriter and always wrote my own tunes.  My favorite artists have always been Zeppelin, Hendrix, Sly and the Family Stone, Neil Young, The 3 Kings, Miles, and too many more to mention.  The mixture of raw rock power and good songwriting is important to me.  When Evan and I sit down to write a Hero Jr. album we usually start on acoustic guitars.  A typical session starts with a lyrical concept or a lick.  Evan and I are very in tune with each other and we share our ideas freely, trusting that we will always get where we are going.  So far it’s worked like a charm.  We always have an abundance of ideas and work well as a selfless team with one goal, getting the best out of each other during the initial creative phase of developing ideas.  We generally write from our social observations and from the obstacles we encounter in our lives and how we grow.  Our songs always come out having multiple meanings to our listeners. 

Evan and I are different people so each song means something different to him than it does to me.  Even before people hear a song it usually has two meanings coming from two different places.  Before we bring a song into the band we have a finished melody, lyric, and song outline with the main licks and an arrangement in place.  From that basis we start rehearsing and after pushing, pulling and trying many variations of dynamics and parts the song comes out Hero Jr.  This process is so important and is a big part of who we are as a band.  We know when we are finished with a song that we have tried every possible combination of ideas and that we all agree it is “airtight”.  We are very lucky to have our four man family and a creative check and balance system that actually works. 

Both on and off stage we are a band.  I do not think I could have given up my writing and producing career if I didn’t feel this bond and team energy.  My one music biz dream has always been to be in a band that could carry on the tradition of my heroes and stand the test of time.  I think we all feel that way and that’s one reason Hero Jr. has been able to slug it out for seven years of ups and downs on the path to wherever it is we are headed.  We love what we create and I believe rock fans, besides loving the music, react to the “brotherhood” and vibe of a band that is not only talented but scrappy.  Before we go into the studio to record, we take the songs on the road to see how they work in front of people.  We are a live band first and we want to get that feel in the studio.  We have recorded our last three albums and EPs live, with no overdubs. 

To get the songs right it’s important to play the new tunes out live in front of an audience.  Classic rock fans are relentless and you know when they are not into a tune.  It’s what we love about the genre!  We usually record all our rehearsals and shows to hear what works, as the feeling on stage is totally different when you listen back to a show a week later.  When we all agree we are ready, we set up in a studio facing each other in a semi-circle and start recording.  We separate the amps a little but are not afraid of amp bleed as it acts like glue.  Letting the bass bleed into the drum overheads allows for a “surrounding” bottom end that anchors the whole song.  We play each song a few times and usually have a good take in three tries.  If we don’t we move on to another song. 

Keeping it fresh and “unrehearsed” is important in the studio.  We are never stressed out and we really do trust each other on such a level that we all end up being one when the take is right.  I’d say 80% of our last three recordings are from the first three takes.  For me there is no better musical feeling than being in a well-oiled touring rock band.  It’s what got me into this when I was 13.  The vibration of “real” rock music touches every part of me.  I’m grateful for music, creativity, my bandmates, and for Orange.  Seriously. I use all the products I endorse and there are no better rock tools for me than my Orange gear.  “Put up or shut up!”

-Ken Rose, Chicago, IL.

5/5/19

*This interview was conducted by Danny Gomez from Orange Amps. A spanish translation is available at the end of this post.

What’s your story? How do you get where you are today?
I was born in a small town in Extremadura (Plasencia) and I grew up in the next town (Malpartida de Plasencia). Since I was very young I felt always very attracted to music and painting and as I was growing up I was more inclined towards the first. But growing up in the eighties in a village did not help me much … I did not have the same things available to me if I had grown up in Madrid, for example. So when I finished high school I started working to save some money and go to Madrid to learn music.

In my town I already played in a self-taught way but I wanted to understand music in a more intellectual or mathematical way (I was convinced that it could not be an inspiration only). And before we did not have the luck to have all kinds of information within reach of a click sitting in your room. So, I came to Madrid and my teacher (Pedro Noda) taught me theory and composition and I worked on the guitar on my own, listening to everything I liked and analyzing scores (things that I will always do). Over time you will meet people who give you an opportunity to play in a group, band, artist and do it with respect and love for the music you have to play (whatever it is, everything is learned). And in that I am, in continuing studying and learning to play as the music deserves.


References and influences. What can we find in your music?
Each age or age has some influences, there are always. When I was a teenager it was heavy metal and over time my taste has softened (although if I listen to my bands or guitarists back then I remember it with love, I do not deny it at all). Discovering jazz was magnificent and what most identifies my way of playing (I think) is usually what I play. My biggest influence for a long time was the pianist, Keith Jarrett. But what my heart marries is classical music. There is nothing that I like more and my compositions are much more classic than anything else.


Mythical great, those instruments, samplers, amplifiers, mythical effects.
Although I have old guitars and old amps, I’m not thinking that everything that happened was better. The new thing is great too, although an 82 Taurus pedal would not be bad to have.


New versus Second hand.
It is clear that the new has its advantages and as I said before the new cool, but it is true that in the world of music, the vast majority take good care of your equipment and find cool second-hand things in very good condition.

New technologies, what is the best thing you’ve tried lately?
The OMEC Teleport.It is amazing what you can do with that little bit and a computer (or tablet or smartphone).

Equipment to take you on a trip or to work on the road?
The OMEC Teleport.

What do you use Backup in case everything fails?
For now nothing … cross fingers … hehehe

The studio is burning down … instrument / equipment that you would save?
My PRS Hollowbody II. My favorite guitar by far. Along with the PRS DGT was love as soon as you put your hands on the fretboard, I couldn’t believe it.

What is your experience with Orange Amplifiers?
I have tried the Acoustic PRE recently.

First impressions about the new Acoustic PRE
Well it has been a pleasant surprise. I plugged the acoustic guitar and I was blown away. The two channels make the guitar have a different life. I loved the sound it brings and the possible combinations. A channel with a tube !! The best I’ve heard for acoustics. Let’s see if we can arrange to take it with me on tour this year.

What are your plans for the future?
I’ve been playing with Melendi for many years and I start this year’s tour in May in America. Starting in June we will be touring Spain until the end of the year.
In June I will record an album with the best singer in the world (for me), Verónica Ferreiro (https://youtu.be/YlEV-K3uAfs). We have a project both with original themes and we are looking forward to recording it and showing it to the world.
We will also record another album this year with MENIL (https://youtu.be/uDHc2WYLO2U), a group of manouche (gypsy jazz) that I have with some good friends, and maybe some other surprises.

Tips for readers?
Take advantage of time, love the music and your instrument. Thanks, Danny, for the interview and the readers for taking a moment to read it.


Cuál es tu historia? Cómo llegas hasta dónde estás hoy?

Nací en una pequeña ciudad extremeña (Plasencia) y me crié en el pueblo de al lado (Malpartida de Plasencia). Desde pequeño siempre me atrajo mucho la música y la pintura y según fui creciendo me decantaba más por lo primero.
Pero crecer en los ochenta en un pueblo no me ayudaba mucho… no tenía las mismas cosas al alcance que si hubiese crecido en Madrid, por ejemplo. Así que cuando terminé el bachillerato me puse a trabajar para ahorrar algo de dinero e irme a Madrid a aprender música.
En mi pueblo ya tocaba de una forma autodidacta pero quería entender la música de una forma más intelectual o matemática (estaba convencido de que no podía ser inspiración solamente). Y antes no teníamos la suerte de tener todo tipo de información al alcance de un click sentado en tu habitación.
Total, me vine a Madrid y mi profesor (Pedro Noda) me enseñó teoría y composición y yo trabaje en la guitarra por mi cuenta, sacando de oído todo lo que me gustaba y analizando partituras (cosas que seguiré haciendo siempre).
Con el tiempo vas conociendo gente que te da una oportunidad para tocar en un grupo, orquesta, artista y lo haces con respeto y cariño por la música que tienes que tocar (la que sea, de todo se aprende). Y en eso estoy, en seguir estudiando y aprendiendo a tocar como se merece la música.
Referencias e influencias. Qué podemos encontrar en tu música?
Cada época o edad tiene unas influencias, siempre las hay.
Cuando era adolescente era el heavy metal y con el tiempo se me ha ido suavizando el gusto (aunque si vuelvo a escuchar a mis grupos o guitarristas de entonces lo recuerdo con cariño, no reniego en absoluto de ello).
Descubrir el jazz fue magnífico y con lo que más se identifica mi forma de tocar (creo), habitualmente es lo que toco. Mi mayor influencia durante mucho tiempo fue el pianista, Keith Jarrett. Pero con lo que casa mi corazón es con la música clásica. No hay nada que más me guste y mis composiciones tienen mucho más de clásico que de otra cosa.
Equipo mítico. Esos instrumentos, samplers, amplificadores, efectos míticos.
Aunque tengo guitarras antiguas y amplis antiguos no soy de pensar que todo lo pasado fue mejor. Lo nuevo está genial también, aunque un Taurus pedal del 82 no estaría mal tener.
Nuevo versus Segunda mano.
Está claro que lo nuevo tiene sus ventajas y como he dicho antes lo nuevo mola, pero bien es cierto que en el mundo de la música, la inmensa mayoría cuida bien su equipo y encuentras cosas geniales de segunda mano en muy buen estado.
Las nuevas tecnologías, qué es lo mejor que has probado últimamente.
El OMEC Teleport.Es alucinante lo que puedes hacer con ese pedalito y un ordenador (o tablet o smartphone).
Equipo para llevarte de viaje o para trabajar en la carretera?
El OMEC Teleport.
Que usas de Backup por si todo falla?
Por ahora nada… crucemos los dedos… jejejeArde el estudio… instrumento/equipo que salvarías?
Mi PRS Hollowbody II. Mi guitarra preferida con diferencia. Junto con la PRS DGT fue amor nada más poner las manos en el diapasón, no lo podía creer.
Cuál es tu experiencia con Orange Amplifiers?
Haber probado el Acoustic PRE hace poco.
Primeras impresiones acerca del nuevo Acoustic PRE
Pues ha sido toda una grata sorpresa. Enchufé la guitarra acústica y flipé en colores. Los dos canales que tiene hace que la guitarra tenga una vida diferente. Me encantó el sonido que aporta y las combinaciones posibles. Un canal con una válvula! Lo mejor que he escuchado para acústicas. A ver si se viene conmigo de gira este año.
Cuales son tus planes de futuro?
Llevo tocando muchos años con Melendi y empiezo la gira de este año el próximo mes de mayo en América. A partir de junio estaremos recorriendo España hasta final de año.
En junio grabaré un disco con la mejor cantante del mundo (para mí), Verónica Ferreiro (https://youtu.be/YlEV-K3uAfs). Tenemos un proyecto los dos con temas originales y estamos deseando grabarlo y enseñarlo al mundo.
También grabaremos este año otro disco con MENIL (https://youtu.be/uDHc2WYLO2U), un grupo de manouche (gypsy jazz) que tengo con unos buenos amigos, y puede que alguna otra sorpresa más.
Consejos para los lectores
Aprovechad el tiempo, amad la música y vuestro instrumento.Gracias, Danny, por la entrevista y a los lectores por dedicar un ratito a leerla.


Hello everybody, I’m Simone Vignola bassist and songwriter from Italy. Today, I’m here with my best travelling partner – This Orange Amplifier that I use both in live and studio sessions. You just listened to “Naufrago” It is my last album’s title track.

I’m playing these songs live just with bass and vocals as an evolution of my solo project which gives me the opportunity to play by myself with bass and vocals along with a complete background sound, the sound I can build thanks to this amplifier. Actually, the head I’m using is the new Terror Bass, a very new model which kind of looks like the Terror Bass 1000s little sister that I used during the last period.

A simple amplifier is what I need, I can control bass, mids and high in an easy and vintage way simply with a little knob. Just volume and gain and I can reach without any other additional gear a sound that seems already compressed and controllable even when I play with my loop station.

Obviously, my followers know that my style is funky oriented and Orange is often considered a rock amplifier but now we’ll try to change this point of view like transforming a cap into a hat and so the transformation of a rock amplifier into a funky one. I’m very very happy to talk about this.

Moreover here we have the isobaric 2×12 cabinet. There are two 12″ front facing speakers in an isobaric way. An excellent product that gives us a full low range covering but also a nice presence for slapping and for those techniques I like to use, so it gives me a great sound support. And today, this amplifier supports the Bellavista’s horse too. It was part of this video.

Goodbye everybody with another song called “Love Song.” A kiss.