Joe: I was 16, maybe 17, my old punk band was playing a show in this dude’s kitchen and the touring band let us use all of their backline, as we didn’t have any. I plugged into the Orange, I played bass and it was the loudest fuckin’ thing I had ever heard and it left a real big impression on me.

I think [it’s about] the quality mainly. I like the simplicity of it. Like I said I’m not the biggest tech guy, so I feel with most of the [Orange] amps they have really simple EQ settings and the straight forward balls-to-the-wall sound. It’s good for me and works really well for me and I’ve always felt it is a really dynamic and really ferocious sound.

Right now I’m playing the OB1-500, I was introduced to that by Sergio from Deftones when we toured with them. It was right before those amps were on the market and I was looking at his rig one day and he had six of them all stacked up. I was just asking him about them and he was schooling me on the new distortion technology and the A/B shit. I was like I guess I have to fuckin’ buy one now!

What I like about that amp is probably the sound is the most diverse out of the Orange stuff. It’s so clear, so when I do shit for our sound, like put loads of distortion over it, that signal is so clear. There is so much grit and bass underneath it, it doesn’t sound like a guitar, if you know what I mean. Not like a low tuned guitar, it sounds like distorted-ass bass! That’s what I really like about that and what compliments the Code Orange sound really well.

Go to Joe’s Ambassador page on Orangeamps.com.

Let’s dive straight into this – Orange, can you tell us about your history with the company?
Brad: Basically, I had an Ampeg deal back in the day so that’s where I started while Ken and Joby were the ones always using Orange cabs, and Joby having some sort of Orange connection. I always liked Orange, but I never had a deal, and the stuff I wanted was always a bit out of my price range, so it’s more in recent years I’ve gotten in on it as well. Joby reconnected with Orange recently and we did a bit of a revamp of our gear in the States and got some all blacked out Orange cabinets, and I got a 4 Stroke over there which I love.

Have you got the same set up for this UK and Europe tour?
Brad: On this tour I’ve got the AD200 which is a monster of an amp, it’s just such a simple set up but exactly what it needs to be. I hate when all these amps have all these annoying tweaks on them as there’s just a few things you really need. As long as there is gain I’m pretty much good to go – you set it up in like two seconds and then you’re just there like: “Well, that’s the best sound I’ve ever heard!” 

Any other Orange favourites…?
Brad: Definitely the It’s the Terror Bass which you guys don’t make anymore but should totally bring back! I still have the habit of bringing a spare amp with me on the road, but from my experiences with Orange I’ll probably never need it, but then again, you can never be too safe, right? It’s so great it could easily be your main amp as well, i
t’s just amazing that something that small can sound so good, that goes for the guitar one as well. Obviously as a bassist it’s driving mad that you’ve gotten rid of the bass one! When I got mine it was broken, and you cant really get the parts to fix it anywhere in the states. Luckily, my Orange guys in the states let me send it back here to the UK to get fixed. Everyone at Orange is so nice that it was the easiest thing to do ever.

With The Bronx we’ve also got Mariachi El Bronx, which is two bands from completely different sides of the spectrum – punk and mariachi, you must have a pretty wide musical background?
Brad: It’s interesting with me, I actually play trumpet in our other band, and that’s my main – or I guess I don’t really have a main instrument anymore, but you know, main instrument.  I started playing horn in 4th grade and did pretty well at it. It was never my intentions for that to become my life, or such a big deal, especially not that early on, I was kind of just doing my thing until it snowballed and it took me to college. Early on, I was more of a classical guy, and my mum was really into classical music as well, and I was a classical trumpet player.

Somewhere in middle school I discovered rock ‘n’ roll, started a band and went down the line of straight up old school rock like Stones, AC/DC and that sorta stuff, then that went into a punk fase. I’ve always been into a lot of stuff, and blues might be one of my favourite genres. What’s interesting to me, is that there’s actually quite a few musicians where bass and trumpet is the combo, Flea’s one of them. Obviously I can’t remember anyone else now, but oddly enough there is at least another 4-5 big musicians where that is the combo, which to me seems like the weirdest thing ever, and every time I hear about some other guy with that combo I’m just like ‘How did that even happen?’ For me it was just circumstances, I dabbled a bit between everything, guitar and drums as well – I could play them all but not well, and only ended up playing bass as the band I was in at high school needed a bassist, and here I am, years later.

 

 

It’s not all sunshine and roses being a young musician in this day and age, juggling work, education and music all at once…it ain’t easy. Because of this, it was important for Firestone to make funding for recording a part of the prize for last year’s Firestone Battle of the Bands winners, Fire Fences. Based in Bridgend, Wales, Fire Fences decided on Northstone Studios, beautifully located within the Court Colman Manor, and conveniently ten minutes down the road from their homes.

The studio, which is a modern-vintage residential studio, was built by Welsh musician and producer Jayce Lewis, who, funnily enough used to be managed by David Prowse, the original DARTH VADER, so let’s just leave it with that – he had us at Darth Vader.

This is a such a beautiful studio, how did you find it?
We randomly came across it while looking for places to record and couldn’t believe how close it was to home, which is about ten minutes down the road, and it just had the most incredible sound! As we had a bit of money to play around with at the time, we decided to splurge out and give it a go. The first time we recorded here we got quite close with Jayce, who’s almost become some sort of mentor for us. He’s helped us a lot, and now that he knows the band and the music he’s really stepped up as an important figure for the band. It really means a lot to get that help and input from someone like him with where he’s at in his career. He’s done it all before, and wants to support us to be the best we can be, which is great! Finding a place like this and a guy like Jayce so close to home…we’ve been incredibly lucky.


As I sit back to observe the recording and producing process, I discover the love between Jayce and the band – no sugar coatin’ anything here, in the best possible way. He pushes them to be their best selves, and it’s clear that they’ve already built up a strong relationship. Meanwhile, the band all have different approaches to recording, communicating and playing, with James taking his time to think things through, explain things and do everything to perfection, while the other three will boil the kettle, drink tea, have naps and go for long walks on the beach while James will go into detail to answer all my questions. For example, why did the back of his drumsticks look like they had been chewed to pieces?

I haven’t chewed them, I played them the other way around. Ironically these are Buddy Rich sticks, and they got like that from playing a technique I learnt from watching Buddy Rich play. As a jazz drummer he would play using a traditional jazz grip, but when watching videos of him playing I noticed that when he went onto the floor tom, he’d quickly flip his sticks around for more power and force, which is a technique I ended up picking up on myself.

“Ya could have just given her the short answer ya know? “I play ‘em backwards for more power”…”

Luckily, writers love a long answer, as short ones make making journalistic pieces pretty hard.

How long have you got here to record?
We’re here for a full week, Monday to Friday, which is the longest we’ve ever been able to be in the studio for, so it’s allowed us a lot more time to experiment with drums and all that. We recorded our last EP here as well, but had to get it all done in three days strictly due to financial reasons. Luckily Firestone’s helped out a lot this time around, so we get to take our time to actually enjoy the recording process and experience, and not just rush right through it. We’re able to take our shoes off, put our feet up, and rip into each other. We got some tinnies for the day as well, a couple of Red Stripes to keep us hydrated. We’re all firm believers that hydration is key.

What can you tell us about the upcoming release and the foreseeable future?
We’re doing four songs this time around, two are already done and we’ve got two to go, and honestly, the two we’ve got down so far are too good to be ours. We’re so unbelievably excited for the release and to see what the future brings. Firestone’s helping out with the artwork as well which is great, and we’ve got some very exciting things coming up over the next couple of months. For example, Noel Gallagher’s playing Birmingham Arena May 1st, and we get to play in the foyer before the show on the Firestone Unsigned Stage, where everyone will be passing through to get inside the main venue – that’s 20,000 people, to most of which we’ll be completely unknown, such an amazing way of getting out there and reaching a new audience. The added media presence of this and playing on the same night as an act like Noel Gallagher is an honour, and will probably make a lot of people take us more seriously. Having Firestone and also Orange on our side really helps a lot as well, and we reckon we’re gonna get to do some great things with their help and support!

My name is Mary Spender, I play the Orange Rocker 32 and most recently, the Rocker 15 head with a 212 vertical cab. I started playing guitar when I was 12 because I saw some boys at school with a Squire and I was very envious because I was doing classical music! Although i was enjoying it – being in orchestras, playing the viola and singing, playing violin – I found it restrictive in some ways because I wanted to write songs. I was listening to pop music (if I can be honest) as my mum introduced me into things like Jodie Mitchell and I just wanted to sing and accompany myself so I played guitar. I started on electric and bought a Yamaha Pacifica 112 and it’s kinda just gone from there.

I chose the Rocker 32 because of the stereo features but I’m totally guilty of not having stereo pedals right now! I also chose it because of the 3-band EQ on the dirty channel. Aside from the set-clean tone, it’s useful to change between the two channels for my style of playing. Orange was a strange choice for my style of music but then it’s very complimentary in the same way… it’s just cool having my Rocker 32 on stage. It was on stage for my UK tour most recently and everyone just said how good the tone sounded so I’ll take that as a compliment!

My Vigier GV Rock in revolution green is my favourite guitar. It’s short-scale, I love it, it has a very slim neck and it’s just beautiful. I’m a singer/songwriter and I’d describe my musical style as intricate, slow guitar playing with a little chicken-picking… but not quite… there’s a mixture of influences such as Mark Knopfler… so that sort of style… but sort of failing at it… so I just came up with my own thing!

The Rocker 15 Terror was released in January,  so seeing the Rocker as a head (rather than a combo) was great… and to be honest, It’s all down to the bedroom/headroom switch. Being at home, you don’t want to annoy the neighbours… too much! Although I love the Rocker 32, especially those 2 stereo speakers, I just loved the idea of having a vertical cabinet and a head!

I first saw the PPC212V at NAMM and Charlie (from Orange) actually told me it was lightweight. I tested it, and obviously carrying amps is bad for your back if they are too heavy. That’s why I chose the Rocker 32 rather than a cab and head before hand… but picking up the 15mm ply-wood vertical cab was better… it was so light. Now I just need to buy a bigger car!

Truls Hi my name is Truls Mörck and i’m the bass player of Graveyard.

It’s really hard to pinpoint when it is but when i try something out in the store and it may sound good, but when I take it to the rehearsal space and really like rehearse with it, with the guys in the band. That kind of glue that I can find in the AD200, that makes the whole sound, and gives it that bottom end. It’s not just about how the amp sounds, in itself but its like how it glues together the guitars and the drums and how it mediates, between those two worlds of melody and rhythm.

Without the bass, the drums can’t really speak with the guitarist that well. So i’m like the translator between the two languages, it makes them communicate, makes them sound better hopefully.

I play other instruments as well, I feel like when I grew up I discovered the Grateful Dead very early, the band as a whole and how they seem to have worked together as a collective force, a very democratic and wild freeform group. I guess they call themselves, “good time pirates”, seemed appealing to me and inspired me to make music and write music.

I’m using a pretty classic setup of a Rickenbacker bass, the 4001, then an Orange AD200 and OBC810 cabinet. Then I have an additional bass, 1963 hollow body Epiphone and a Fender Jazz Bass as well, to compliment but it all revolves around the Rickenbacker.

I used to play guitar in this band way back, at that point the bass player Rikard used this AD200 and he used that a lot in the band and it became an important piece of the bands sound. So when I came back into this band as a bass player, we tried out some other stuff but the AD200 always seemed to work best for me.

I must say the former bass player, Rikard,he is like the guy who inspired me most, when we played back in the day together, I was always amazed by his style and good kind of simplicity. Also Phil Lesh from the Grateful Dead is a cool guy, based in improvising, not really a steady form of bass playing but a free form style, which i also enjoy.

So have a new album coming out May 25, its the first album in three years, its been a long time coming but it feels really good. The album in general is a little heavier, harder than the last album, its very dynamic I would say. Like most of our records it has slow parts, like i’ve said before, the heavier parts are a little bit heavier and the slower parts are a little slower, and the mellower parts are mellower. Its a little bit more extreme in that way, in the dynamics. That is how I would describe it, then you just have to listen for yourself and see!

Grutle  I am Grutle Kjellson, singer and bass player of Norwegian heavy metal band Enslaved.

I spent some time finding the right amplification, I tried several brands but I was never satisfied with the way the sound of the bass just didn’t blend in the way I wanted it to blend in. It might sound good individually but it’s supposed to fit in with two guitarists, keyboards, drums and vocals.

When you have five members in a band all playing, it’s of course difficult to separate all of the instruments for a sound man, live and in the studio. It’s crucial to have the right amps, that blends well with one another. Orange is probably the easiest amps to blend with other things, the attack is still intact, the tone is intact, the thickness is intact. Even with loads of other sonic violence surrounding it , like the attack of two heavy metal guitars, or some massive organs and the pounding of heavy metal drums.

I think Orange is perfect for, not necessarily for blasting black metal or death metal but if you add a little dynamic and groove into the mix, then Orange is definitely the real deal. Everything from pop/rock and all the way up to extreme metal, as long as you are using the dynamics of the music and don’t just go full throttle, if you go full throttle then it doesn’t matter what you play.

My live set up at the moment is an AD200 B amp head and an OBC410 cabinet, which is more than enough. On this tour the hire company only had an 810, and i’m standing right infront of that! It’s pretty massive, it really works! I would prefer on the smaller stages a 410.

I’m really happy with the gear, I have done a few tours with Orange and they are real workhouses. There is never any problems with amps or cabinets, we always have two amp heads, one spare and never have I had to use the spare one. It’s really reliable and they sound the same and great every night.

It feels great to be on the Orange roster, I could never picture being on the same roster as Geddy Lee 15 years ago or any of the other great musicians. It is full of really great and cool musicians and it’s an honour to be onboard.

 

Hey guys, what’s up I’m Scott Middleton and I play in Cancer Bats. So we just dropped an album called The Spark That Moves. It’s our 6th studio album. We kinda did a surprise thing – right now we’re celebrating our 10 year anniversary of our 2nd album Hail Destroyer which has been really cool and everyone’s been really excited. While the focus has been on that, we’ve been secretly making a new record and we just dropped that the day of our first show for the 10th anniversary as just kinda like, to give back to all our fans that have supported us through the years. It’s like, “hey it’s for you guys” it’s not about hype, we worked really hard on these songs and we hope everyone really enjoys this just as much as our past stuff – the reception has been amazing and all the reviews that have been coming in have been way better than what we could have hoped for.

It’s exciting to celebrate the old Cancer Bats and user in the new era of the band. I think our band, when we first stared out was was a bit, um, a bit more simplistic in terms of arrangements and idea’s I think. Things were a little bit faster, a little bit knarlier – we were pushing different styles for the bands and trying to be creative. It’s like how do you make a heavy interesting for 2018? Because so much of it has been done before. Yeah, we’ll always have classic elements of rock, punk and metal in our band but we’re always going to try and thing forward and see where we can push boundaries forward too.

The Bag Bangeetar is a pedal that I got a couple months before we actually went into to record and I mean, that pedal blew me away the second I tried it. I threw it in front of my little crapp practise amp that I’ve had since I was 15 – this terrible thing, but it’s something that I’ve used to write riffs on when I was home. I just plugged it in and it just sounded like a monster stack – it was crazy. Just the flexibility of the EQ – the Baxandall EQ… it just has a crazy amount of range and it’s all about sounding good. Because there’s a parametric mid-range band, i’m able to take out of any nasty frequencies that a certain guitar pickup might push through too much and I can take that out or I can add stuff that’s missing. The other thing that I notice is that the pots on it are the highest quality – it’s all de-tended to it’s easily recallable so if there’s a setting you just take a photo or write it down and it’s easy to go back and find that place again. As I experimented and wrote a bunch of song idea’s with the pedal, I had to bring it with me to write the new album. The Orange sound is becoming an important part of Cancer Bats in the new direction that we’ve been going in. I bought that pedal with me and I was able to just plug it into the effects return of a loud amp and there it was. There was the sound. When we track the guitars, we do yto9u know passive left and right, and we stereo pan them and entirely one side is the Bax Bangeetar and into an amp  that is cranked up and it sounded amazing. It was like ‘holy shit, this is just what we’ve been looking for’!

The other thing that I’ve been doing lately – I don’t know if everyone knows about it – but I’ve been producing a lot of records at my studio at home. What I found was super great with that pedal is that I can use it as a way to have guitarists track live in a room with a drummer. So when we’re tracking drums, I don’t have to have an amp that’s cranked up that bleeding into the drum microphones. It was a Cab Sim out which sounds awesome and gives the guitarists the a comfortable and accurate tone that’s inspiring. One of the drawbacks to headphones is how do you give the guitarist enough gain and tone so when he’s playing alongside a drummer, he’s giving it his all, and that in turn inspires the drummer to hit even harder. That’s been an indispensable studio tool. I had a band come in with the OR120 and you know, it was crazy how close I was able to dial in the Bax Bangeetar pedal to sound like a real Orange Amp – that’s the real difference with so many other distortion pedals out there… we’ve all used them and tried them! This pedal, really feels and sounds like a real amp.

As a pre-amp pedal, it’s inspiring to play, so when I’m trying to convince other guitar players to try something they’re like “you want me to plug into a pedal? Shouldn’t I be using a guitar amp or something?” and they’re like “oh, no, that’s good!”.

For me it’s been a revolutionary tool for studio work. I can plug in and go direct, that’s one thing, but I can plug into any amplifier and get that Orange sound that I’m looking for which is really cool.

If you think about the Bax Bangeetar in terms of a traditional pre-amp… what I would normally do is, run any other pedal I’m using before it. So I’d put my wahs, compression, any boost or fuzz – I’d run that into the Bax Bangeetar and I’d run any modulation or delay effects, post that pedal so it all kinda ties and again, because it has such an amp-like feel, I don’t need to think too much. It just compliments it really well. That pedal itself is a game machine. It’s not meant for clean tones really, you’re either putting it into a lcean amp or the effects return and turning it into a monster sound – and that’s what I love about it and what I’m always looking for. There’s so many amps out there with a million differnt knobs and six different channels and everyones trying to add extra features and such, but this is just everything you need, it is the high-gain channel that you want. That’s the difference for me. The simplicity with the pots, being easy to recall in a live setting, it’s flexible in it’s EQ – it can work with so many different amps, guitars and pedals… that’s why it’s kind of become the secret weapon for me.


To learn about the Bax Bangeetar click here

 

As far as current music goes, not many bands, most likely none, can compare to Earthless. Their musical craftsmanship is out of this world, and they’ve created an explosion of emerging psych bands coming out of San Diego and the surrounding areas. But then again, when Isaiah Mitchell used to be the local Encinitas guitar teacher, what else can you expect? Having obsessed over Earthless since I first came across them years ago in my bedroom back at my mum’s in Norway, they’ve always seemed like these unattainable gods from sunny California, so when I recently was told Isaiah would be playing Orange during their next UK and European tour… Ahh, yes, I was so stoked. About freakin’ time, he’s only the Hendrix of our generation.

You’ve been pretty busy touring lately as well as just releasing your latest record ‘Black Heaven’ on Nuclear Blast Records, which is an amazing record, but also pretty different from your earlier stuff.
Isaiah: It’s super different, we didn’t expect it to be exactly the way it was when it came out, but we’re all happy with the end result. We knew we were gonna do at least one song with vocals, but we didn’t expect it to be four songs, that kind of just happened. Those were the strongest songs, so by natural selection they ended up on the album.

You’ve obviously been singing in Golden Void for years, and I also heard rumours about a band from way back called ‘Juan Peso’ where you also used to sing?
Isaiah: Oh wow, yeah that’s from when I was about 19, and you have to do a lot of digging to find any of that online. You might get lucky on youtube but that’ll be it. I’ve always sung in bands, but for Earthless we just didn’t want to do it, it wasn’t our thing. It’s been fun not doing it, but it’s also been fun throwing it in there, do something different.

Last time I saw you guys in California you were using an old Orange cab, and tonight you’ve got a full Orange backline! Care to run us through the two?
Isaiah: I got that 4×12 cab when I was 17 or 18 from a music shop in Encinitas called ‘Moonlight Music’, I used to work at this shop and my boss Russell had two brand new Orange 4×12, I think both early 90s, maybe even late 80s cabs in the garage of his house. We didn’t have any other 4×12’s in the shop, so he told me I should get one of them, and I was just shocked when I saw them, they were so – Orange! At that point in my life I’d never seen an Orange in the flesh before, I was just a kid and they weren’t very common in the US at the time, my only ever encounter at that point was this old Black Sabbath video with Paul Shaffer in the background, and Sabbath playing ‘Iron Man’. Sabbath were using Orange amps there instead of their usual Laney amps, and they just stuck right out due to the bright colour!

I ended up taking the cab of his hands, and putting it up against any other cabs like old Marshalls or whatever, my Orange would just always sound better. Maybe it’s because the walls on the Orange are so thick compared to others, especially Marshalls’ who’s really thin, I don’t know, but there’s just no competition in any other amps, the Orange would just always do it better. For this UK and European tour, I’ve also got two Orange heads, a Rockerverb MK II and a Rockerverb MK II and they’ve been treating me well. Our sound guy’s really into Orange as well so he’s happy – we’re all happy!

There’s a lot of emerging psych bands coming out of San Diego at the moment with you guys being one of the first ones on the scene more than a decade ago, and Radio Moscow and Sacri Monti bassist Anthony Meier even described you as ‘the godfathers of San Diego’ last time I spoke to him, singing your praises, as most people do – it must be crazy though to have had that sort of effect on your hometown and the place you’re from, leading the way for all these other bands and artists. Obviously, they’ve all had Earthless to look up to, who was it that stood out to you when you guys first got together and formed Earthless?
Isaiah: First of all, I love Dukke (Anthony), he’s just great! We’ve toured with Radio Moscow and it’s always a good time with those guys. To answer your question; Definitely Jimi Hendrix, Cream and all the other great British blues guys who played loud amps. Blue Cheer, a bunch of German kraut bands as well as Japanese bands. When I was a kid growing up I didn’t know of any current bands that were doing that whole Cream style of playing where you’ve got half stacks or full stacks, I had never seen that before in my time. Then I met Mike and we started playing together in Lions of Judah which kinda made my dream come true as he was into all of those things as well. Then one day, someone sat me down and made me check out Nebula’s ‘To the Center’ album and I saw the picture on the back where they were just using all this old, rad gear, and I just had no idea that kinda stuff still existed. All that stuff was influential to me, and still is. I’m also really stoked about the whole emerging San Diego psych thing, it’s a really cool thing to be a part of, especially when you have all these rad bands citing us as influences, it’s an honour.


As I finish typing, I schedule this post for posting 19th of April at 2pm, knowing very well that mere two hours later I’ll be attending the first of three Earthless shows at this years Roadburn festival, and my endorphin level is through the roof just thinking about it.

To recap and remind those of you who might not be completely in the loop with all the different pies we stick our fingers in – last year we were proud sponsors of Firestone’s Battle of the Bands, a competition that encourages artists of all genres, ages and genders to be heard – haven’t played outside your own basement before? No problem, if you’ve got what it takes – drive, talent, charisma and that little extra, you’re good to go! With hundreds of bands and artists applying last year, judges and a public vote managed to get the acts down to a top three consisting of Welsh band Fire Fences, London-based rapper EL-Emcee and Malvern’s Nuns of the Tundra. The final, which was held at BIMM Birmingham, was live streamed on Firestone’s Facebook for anyone to watch, and saw four piece Fire Fences snatch the prize which included fame, glory, Orange gear and precious studio time to record their upcoming EP thanks to Firestone’s backing of the event. Recap done and dusted, bringing us back to where we are today. Three months have passed since Fire Fences’ victory and they recently made their way to London for two very different shows; one late night gig at Hard Rock Café showcasing young music, followed by a stripped back set at Sofar Sounds the next day.

With Hard Rock Café being just a tube journey away, I made my way there and met up with the guys post-sound check, where I found them looking pretty pleased and content, having just indulged in some £7 pizza. Stomachs were full and spirits were high before a sudden abrupt announcement from the band;

“They wouldn’t let us use our Orange amps, they’ve had noise complaints before and the council won’t allow it.”

Bittersweet, bitter as the amps had been brought all the way to London from Wales for their chance to shine, sweet because the Orange amps might just be ‘too loud’ – is there even such a thing? Surely not, just ask Matt Pike.

How have you spent your time since you won the competition?
“We’re heading into the studio next week, which we’re able to do with Firestone’s support, so we’ve been working on material and getting ready for that. We’ve also been practicing for these two very different London shows – the one tonight is prime time at 10pm with a full band, kind of doing our regular thing and what we’re used to. As soon as we finish our set our bassist Dylan has to shoot off and get a midnight bus back to Wales as he’s got an exam tomorrow, leaving us one man down at the Sofar Sounds show. Luckily, we’re stripping it quite far back doing an acoustic show, so if we ever were to play a show as a three piece, this is a good one to do so.”

As Fire Fences take the stage at 10pm it’s busier than they expected, ‘Especially for a Wednesday night!’, and they get a great response from the crowd with people dancing and really getting into it. They finish their set and send Dylan off on his way back to Wales before they prepare themselves for another night in London and the big smoke. However, I also caught up with Aaron, Will and James the next morning – more on that coming soon – and reflecting on the night before, Aaron added:

“The Hard Rock Café show was epic and we really had a lot of fun. It’s a completely different vibe in London than what we’re used to from back home in Wales, almost like a different way of listening to music and more appreciation for it than there is in a lot of other places. People were getting really into it which is great. The show tonight will be pretty different though, the setting will be the kind where if you drop a pin the entire room can hear it. It’s fun for us though as the two shows are so diverse and it’s good practice for us playing our songs in such different ways and styles.”

After the two London shows, Fire Fences head back to Wales where they’re due in the studio the following week, leaving them with three more days to prepare before they record at the Northstone Studios within the Court Colman Manor – which is a pretty sweet place to record an album. We’ll be stopping by to get some insight on how they work in the studio, so watch this space to see what’s going on behind closed doors.

Can you tell us a bit about yourself and your band Fizzy Blood? Have you been a member since day one?
I’m Ciaran Scanlon and I’m the bass player in a rock band called Fizzy Blood. I joined Fizzy Blood back in 2015 a few months after they had come out of the studio recording ‘Feast’. Our drummer Jake and I had been playing in bands together for years, and at the time we were both living together in Leeds, studying at the Leeds College of Music. When Fizzy needed a bassist, I joined them for a few rehearsals and we’ve been playing together ever since. As well as ‘Feast’, we’ve also released ‘Summer of Luv’, plus we’ve just come out of the studio recording our 3rd EP, which we did with the wonderful Alex Newport. This will be released in the next few months so keep an eye out!

You’ve got some impressive shows behind you with your three years in the band, what would you say has been the highlight for you?
For me, it has to be playing overseas. We performed over in South Korea for ‘Zandari Fest’ and Austin Texas for ‘SXSW’, which were both pretty surreal experiences. In the UK, this headline tour we’ve just done is definitely a highlight as well. The gigs we played in Leeds, London and Birmingham were really exceptional and the crowds were so energetic and responsive. It was a really unique moment for the band.

How old were you when you got into playing, and what led you towards playing the bass?
I have been playing bass since I was about fourteen years old, so for about eight years now. I first started when I was in secondary school when a few friends of mine were learning instruments. I used to turn up to the practice room, hang out, and try to get involved any way I could, and with bass being the one instrument none of my friends played I thought ‘why not give that a go?!’. Later I got a bass for Christmas, and the rest is, as you say, history. My dad was really into the bass as well, just as much as I was, so he got me lessons to help develop my learning of the instrument. A few years later I decided to pursue it further and study music at university, which is where I eventually ended up joining the band.

 

What kind of music did you listen to yourself growing up?
Growing up in an Irish household in Birmingham, I was exposed to lots of talented Irish music and musicians. My parents were very much into the Manchester music scene, so bands like The Smith, Oasis, Joy Division and The Stone Roses were always played on repeat.

Can you give us a lowdown on your history and experience with Orange?
When I first started playing I had an Orange combo practice amp, which was one of the first pieces of equipment I ever owned. The Orange amps I have used over the years range from everything from practice combo amps to a Terror Bass and an AD200. I’ve always been a fan of Orange, especially with Fleetwood Mac’s John McVie being a part of the Orange family and roster. From the moment I first played Orange I’ve been sticking to them due to their top quality sound and pristine production, and I’ve been really lucky to use Orange amps across a wide range of tours in the UK with Fizzy Blood.

So you’ve played the Terror bass and you’ve given the AD200 a go, what’s your current set up for this most recent UK tour?
For this as well as the last few Fizzy Blood tours I’ve been using the Orange 4 Stroke 500, it’s got everything I want and I’ve had such a great time playing it. I dont rely on too many pedals either, and my small pedal board consists of a tuner running to a Sansamp into a pedal called a ‘Steel Leather’, which is essentially a treble boost that emulates a pick sound as I play with my fingers. It’s been nice using the 4 Stroke as I normally use my Sansamp to control my tone, as the 4 Stroke has allowed me so much more creative freedom.

If you could go back in time and give your ten-year-old self some words of wisdom, what would it be?
Save up all your pocket money and get yourself an orange amp. You won’t regret it.