Can we get a quick introduction of The Great Machine? Omer: Myself and Aviran are brothers, and Aviran and our drummer Michael met while working together at a pizza place. They started playing together, and after 2 months I joined them and The Great Machine was born. We’re based in Tel Aviv, the scene isn’t big but we do have our following here and we do love playing shows in Israel.
Did yourself and Aviran come from a musical home growing up? Omer: We did, yeah. We grew up with our mum listening to Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, Bob Dylan, Led Zeppelin, Van Morrison, The Doors and more.They were all part of our early influences, as well as Nirvana, Offspring, Metallica and Body Count.
You guys put on some pretty crazy shows! How would you describe a Great Machine gig? Mind blowing Ground shaking Going all the way Love spreading Heart opening No borders A Trip
What’s been the highlights of the band so far? Omer: Opening for Ozzy Osbourne in Israel, playing Desertfest London & Berlin and Rock Palast in Germany and touring with All Them Witches.
What’s your history and experience with Orange Amps? Omer: I first heard of Orange when I was young, but it was too expensive for me. I’ve since played Orange on tour, and more recently in the studio where I used a Thunderverb 50 and of of the Crush amps. When we play live I play a JCM800 full stack and Thunderverb 50 half stack, the dream is 3 full stacks on stage
What do you look for in an amp? Omer: It has to be strong with a lot of output, simple / vol / treble / mid / bass / gain. Not too dark, not to bright, and reliable for touring.
https://orangeamps.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/07/The-Great-Machine-Omar-Haviv.jpg718720Ella Stormarkhttps://orangeamps.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/04/Orange-Pics-logo-307px.pngElla Stormark2020-08-05 09:00:002020-08-10 10:32:14Quick Q&A with Omer Haviv of The Great Machine
You have been an Orange player for a long time now, can you tell us a bit about your history and experience with the company?
オレンジのプレーヤーになって長いのですが、わが社との出会いと経歴を簡単に教えて貰えますか？ Wata: Boris has been active since 1992.We have been touring through USA, Europe, Asia, Oceania and various places. When we first started, we were influenced by the 1960-70 psychedelic and hard rock music. Often, we watched the artists we adored; many were using Orange gear. I was struck with the cute looks and the fat, warm sound. When I got to be interested in Orange amps, the original vintages were already expensive(as they are now). When OR120 was reissued in the early 1990s in Japan, I was able to purchase a half stack. I have been obsessed with Orange sound ever since. I keep collecting various vintage heads, cabinets, and current lineups
You’ve been playing both the OR120 and the Rockerverb 100 paired with the PPC412 – what do you look for in an amp, and what do you like about these two?
OR120とRockerverb 100をPPC412に繋いで使用していますがアンプに求めていることは何でしょうか？又、この2つのどこが気に入っていますか？ Wata: Very rich mids and lows, powerfulness, simple operation, cool looks of a full stack. It is easy for me to create non-distortion sound with OR120 or Rockerverb 100. Also these amps work well with my Les Paul and the fuss pedal that use. We have just released a new album “NO” on July 3. The world has unexpectedly changed to the extreme. We recorded this album wishing that it will comfort all the listeners. There are many fast―tempo tracks. Orange cabinets played a very important role in the recording studio. The Orange cabs were able to maintain the core tonality with different amp heads
How would you describe the Boris writing and creating process?
Borisの作曲・創作のプロセスをどう説明しますか？ Wata: Basically, a song starts when we get inspired from jamming around and improvising. We record simultaneously when we are having jam sessions. The pieces are then put together and edited to become a song. The instruments, pedals, Orange amps and cabinets all play significant roles. The expression of the song gets the member more excited and lead us to the direction it ought to be. We also strive to input our experience from the touring, the faces from audience that we saw from the stage, and the feeling we had then.
How have you as a band been dealing with the lack of live music in recent times, and what do you think about bands going digital in terms of live streams etc?
ライブが出来ない現状をどのように対応していますか？又、ライブストリームのようなデジタル志向をバンドとして考えていますか？ Wata: Being able to touch the bodies of audience with huge sound is extremely important to our shows. You cannot feel the music with your body through live streams. We may consider releasing a video product after editing the live footages from the past. But I am skeptical about live streaming. From the stage we cannot make eye contacts with the audience. I can understand that the current (pandemic) situation is forcing many artists to go online and take more actions. But we are worried it will possibly end up destroying valuable culture of live music. So we are looking at it very carefully.
https://orangeamps.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/07/Wata-Boris-I.png16002560Ella Stormarkhttps://orangeamps.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/04/Orange-Pics-logo-307px.pngElla Stormark2020-07-15 09:00:462020-07-15 09:39:05Interview: Wata of Boris
We are super excited to present ‘Marcus King | Four of a Kind | Live from Nashville’. This special series of live shows will be broadcasted over at marcusking.com every Monday at 9pm EST starting the 13th of July, running through to the 3rd of August. Each night will see The Marcus King Band with different guests, such as Mastodon’s Brent Hinds and bluegrass musician Billy Strings.
Proceeds from the shows will benefit MusiCares, and Spotify COVID-19 Music Relief project will match donations, up to a collective total of $10 million. With live music at a halt for the time being and foreseeable future, we are very excited to be able to bring Marcus and friends directly to your living room, and all for a good cause! Get your tickets here.
https://orangeamps.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/07/Marcus-King-four-of-a-kind.jpg13502400Ella Stormarkhttps://orangeamps.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/04/Orange-Pics-logo-307px.pngElla Stormark2020-07-08 15:31:152020-07-08 15:31:23Marcus King | Four of a Kind | Live from Nashville
Welcome to the Orange family, ladies! You’ve been around the Manchester scene for a while now, can we get a bit of background on the band for those new to you? WITCH FEVER: We’re Witch Fever, a doom punk band from Manchester. We met during uni and have been a band for four years, with a line up change after the first year, and it’s been the four of us, Amy on vocals, Alisha on guitar, Alex on bass and Annabelle on drums ever since. When we started we knew we wanted to be heavy, and wanted to create music that empowered us and other people. We all have a very varied music taste which comes together to make the Witch Fever sound. Here’s some of the stuff we’re currently listening to:
Amy – Show Me The Body, Amyl and the Sniffers, Surfbort, Angel Olsen, Ho99o9 Alex – Boy Harsher, Slowdive, Protomartyr, Savages Alisha – Nirvana, Grimes, PJ Harvey, Warpaint, Hole Annabelle – Velvet Underground, Violent Femmes, The Plastic People of the Universe, Moses Boyd, Peaches, Sonic Youth
One of our musical highlights so far was headlining House of Vans in London for Venn Records, particularly because V Man, the bassist for Slipknot, was there! We also played Manchester International Festival on a stage in front of the town hall which felt very special. Last year Alan Mcgee of Creation Records produced our singles Bezerk(h)er and The Hallow which was brilliant and something we’ll never forget.
Obviously the whole music industry’s come to a bit of a stand still lately with gigs, touring and practicing together off the table, how have you been keeping creative and connected? WITCH FEVER: We’ve been recording demos to send over to Gomez (Orgone Studios) who we’re going into the studio with in July to record an EP, so we’ve mostly been focusing on writing new music. Outside of music we’ve been reading a lot, making art, cooking and Alex has played lots of Animal Crossing.
Exciting times with new music ahead, and that’s awesome you’re recording with Gomez! How did that all come about? WITCH FEVER: We were connected with Gomez through a label we’re working with at the moment (yet to be announced…) so we’re very excited for whats to come! We’re recording an EP for now, but there’s talks about an album afterwards.
Of course, we gotta ask some Orange! What’s your history and experience with our amps? Amy: My first memory of Orange comes from when I was a child, my Dad’s been in bands since I was young and plays bass through an Orange amp to this day. It always stuck in my head because of the colour, being the brightest thing in my parents bedroom. As a teenager I also developed a love for Cancer Bats and Slipknot, so there’s that association too!
Especially in the music industry, a list of every employee’s favorite album can tell you a lot about a company. Will you think we’re all a bunch of lame-o’s? Will you read this list and think to yourself “wow, those Orange folks are pretty dang cool?” I have a feeling you’re going to be fairly surprised by some of these picks. I encourage you to try this with your own company. There’s a lot to be learned about your co-workers and it’s a great tool for being overly judgmental and critically discriminatory! – Alex (AR Manager)
Alex Auxier (Artist Relations Manager) – Archers of Loaf “Icky Mettle”
Jane Whiteford (Financial Controller) – The Beatles “1967-1970 (The Blue Album)”
James Garza (National Sales Manager, USA) – The Church “Starfish”
Danny Gomez (Consultant/OMEC Product Manager) – Queen “A Night At The Opera”
Charlie Cooper (Marketing Director) – Radiohead “The Bends”
Derron Nuhfer (Operations Manager, USA) – The Who “Live at Leeds”
Madelin Pupillo (Accounting Manager, USA) – Sade “Lovers Live”
Toshi Matsumura (Asian Business Development Manager) – The Beatles “White Album”
Mick Dines (Old 70’s Git/Long time Employee) – Yes “Close to the Edge”
Tres Morgan (Warehouse Team Lead, USA) – NOFX “The Decline”
Nicholas Taft (Logistics Specialist, USA) – Elliot Smith “Figure 8”
Gary (Asian Sales Manager) – Iron Maiden “Number of the Beast”
https://orangeamps.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/05/DS_Brothers_in_Arms.jpg300300alexhttps://orangeamps.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/04/Orange-Pics-logo-307px.pngalex2020-06-05 09:00:442020-06-05 11:01:00Favorite Albums of All Time: Orange Employee List
Michele! Lovely to chat to you, and even more so to welcome you to the Orange family. Can we get a bit of an introduction for our readers? Michele: I was born in Trinidad – Port of Spain. We were very close as a family, living together with our uncles, aunts, cousins and grandparents. We later we moved to New York and lived in an apartment in Queens, Astoria for six years. After changing schools numerous times as a kid growing up and our parents working a number of jobs to survive, my dad left to make a life for us in London where we have been settled ever since. This was also the birthplace of our band ‘The Magic Numbers’. Music was always a big part of our upbringing, country music was very popular in Trinidad and our family would listen to old Patsy Cline, Hank Williams, J.Cash, Guy Clark records, and my brother Romeo (The Magic Numbers’ singer) and I were struck by the power these songs had over our family. Many a night was spent listening, singing and crying along to those songs.
Are there any bands or artists that stick out to you as an early influence? Michele: As a songwriter I’m influenced by a lot of singer-songwriters Joni Mitchell, Emmylou Harris, Neil Young, John Prine, Ferron, Conor Oberst, etc… I also love bands like Fleetwood Mac, Radiohead and Beach Boys. As a bass player and musician I’m obsessed with the groove and melody, it has to move and it has to sing! I’m inspired by the lines of Carol Kaye, Colin Greenwood, and all those James Jamerson Motown and Ron Carter Jazz records, as well as a lot of AfroBeat jamming to Tony Allen, Fela Kuti grooves and Reggae too… I listen to and inspired by a lot of music, learning is favourite thing about being a musician.
Can you tell us a bit about The Magic Numbers? Michele: The band was formed after moving to London and meeting the Gannons, Sean (drummer) & Angela (singer/keyboardist). Romeo & Sean started a band called ‘Guess’ and together with other musicians and singers worked the London circuit playing gigs, sending out demos and rehearsing in our mum and dad’s front room, which was turned into a studio with egg boxes and mattresses on the walls, all covered with ply board. Eventually the asked Angela and myself to join the band, and we started writing different songs and that’s when we became The Magic Numbers. We built up a core following before the days of the internet by playing so much, people started talking about us. Before we knew it, word of mouth had led us to selling out The Forum with only a 7inch single being released.
We’ve been fortunate to tour and share the stage with so many bands we admire. We supported Brain Wilson and got to sing ‘Love & Mercy’ with him on stage. Toured around the States with Flaming Lips & Sonic Youth, Bright Eyes, Rufus Wainwright, U2, The Who and many more. One of our ‘dream come true moments’ was getting to open up for Neil Young & Crazy Horse around Germany, watching them at the side of the stage every night hanging out and shaking hands with Uncle Neil. Ha! I’d say we were pinching ourselves a few times. We released ‘Outsiders’ our fifth studio album in 2018 and continue to tour that record… This year is our 15th year anniversary of our debut record, and there’s always plans for making new music together. Romeo is doing a lot of production work and collaborations writing for and with artists too.
You’ve also released a couple of solo albums, the latest one being in 2016 – are you working on anything new for yourself? Michele: I am indeed! I’m currently at the end stages of recording my third solo album set for release either at the end of this year 2020 or the beginning of next… It’s a record I’m really proud of and can’t wait to share with everyone. I write all the time and have a few other solo records under my belt. It’s just grabbing the moments to get into the studio to record them all. I also do many collaborations with artists and co-write too. You can find my bass playing on a few records out there Rowan Rheingans ‘The Lines we Draw Together’ / David Kitt ‘Yous’ / guitars, bass and vocals for O’Hooley & Tidow ‘Shadows’ & a recent co-write and musical collaboration with Charlie Dore on new album ‘Like Animals’ set for release this year. In 2019 I got the opportunity to perform in the Danny Boyle, Richard Curtis movie ‘Yesterday’ and play bass and sing on the Abbey Road Studio recorded soundtrack – reinterpreting those classic Beatles’ songs.
Wow, that’s so awesome! I’d love to hear more about how the ‘Yesterday’ opportunity came about? Michele: I was asked by an amazing producer/musician friend of mine, Adem. He was helping to MD the project and put together ‘Jack’s (Himesh Patel’s) band. Composer Daniel Pemberton, director Danny Boyle and writer Richard Curtis (all these insanely talented people I admire and am inspired by) were looking for something special/badass on stage for the movie. It was all a bit a dream… Not only that I couldn’t imagine up something like this in a million years, but it seemed to happened so quickly and intensely I couldn’t quite believe it. I was on tour with my band The Magic Numbers, and then off to shoot these iconic movie scenes. One of them at midnight, playing bass on stage at Wembley ‘fucking’ Stadium!! Before shooting begun we spent some pretty amazing days recording the soundtrack at Abbey Road Studios where I got to play different versions of all those McCartney/ Lennon ‘Beatles’ classics. So yeah… a total once in a lifetime moment, I sometimes lie in bed thinking did this really happen. I also requested an Orange backline for the movie when I played.
That must have been pretty surreal, what an opportunity! So cool you used Orange as well, which leads me to my next question! What is your history and experience with Orange? Michele: It’s been a long time since my love affair with Orange began, I remember rocking out onstage – think it was in America, maybe even SXSW in Austin. There was an Orange backline for the gig, I plugged in and never looked back… It looks so fucking cool too. My amp is a cherry red version AD200 MKIII head with an OBC410 & OBC115 cabs. As far as experiences go, I’ve only had great experiences with Orange and the team of people. They all love what they do and they do it with care and genuinely get it, from the musicians side of things. I’ve been using Orange almost since the beginning of the band now. Whenever we’re on tour and I’m unable to bring my own gear I always request Orange.
What do you look for in an amp? Michele: Particularly in a bass amp, I’m looking for clarity, punch, depth and warmth. I have to feel the vibrations through my body and still be able to make out the melody lines I’m playing, it’s really integral to our band’s sound and the hook lines in our songs. Some amps lack the depth and warmth, it’s either too harsh and has a short attack… I hate that. I move around a lot on stage with the band and I want to be able to feel the sound is moving, grooving with me. Orange amps are the only amp for me.
What would be your advice to people aspiring to play? Michele: Take your time, don’t force it… Work out what you like and when you do. Fall in love with your instrument, form an unhealthy relationship and become obsessed with it. Wake up next to it, fall asleep playing it, tell your friends you can’t go out and instead enjoy the calluses forming on your fingertips. I remember playing my bass over and over at all hours of the night learning to sing and play at the same time… I wanted to be able to do both things because I love singing too. I wanted to do them both at the same level of badass!! I was addicted… You’ve gotta love it, enjoy, get frustrated, push yourself and take the time to lose yourself with it. Music and your instrument will always be there for you… Once everyone’s asleep it’s waiting to be played and written on. It’s the perfect little secret.
Nighthawk: My history with music goes as far back as I can remember. My parents had a pretty diverse record collection and they encouraged me to play early on. I started on piano and eventually moved to cello as a classically trained musician, though admittedly I hated practicing. I was a music major for a year and then realized I just wasn’t cut out for it. I dropped out, bought my first bass and discovered that playing it came much more naturally to me. I was at my friend’s house getting stoned and he put on Black Sabbath’s first album (for those who are wondering, yes, I didn’t hear that record until I was 20). That’s when I knew what I wanted to do. I also make flyers for our shows, and had made a bunch for our tour that just got postponed. I just really enjoy doing anything creative when it comes to music, be it writing, playing, making flyers, just experiencing it in any way possible. You can check out my flyers here.
What can you tell us about your band Heavy Temple? Nighthawk: I found myself without a band in 2012 and was rather depressed. I went through the “I’m gonna sell all my gear and quit music forever” phase. Then one day I just sat in the basement and started recording a few riffs that had been kicking around in my head. Fast forward to 2 records, 6 lineups and 8 years later. I feel like we’re really starting to hit our stride as far as live performance and collective writing. We all have different desert island records but also have a strong foundation in heavy rock. Our personal influences span everything from punk and black metal to psych and doom. The Sabbathian overtures on the first two records are obvious but not directly intentional. With this third record, you’ll hear more vibes like Black Angels, Queens of the Stone Age, Acid King, if I had to put a finger on it. We were set to release that this year on a label, but since the world is ending we might just put it out ourselves.
Is there any artists that stands out as an influence to you? Nighthawk: I always find myself struggling to answer this question succinctly. If I’m naming bass heroes, I’d say Nick Oliveri (as bassist for Queens of the Stone Age), Bootsy Collins, and Lemmy. The bass playing I enjoy the most is groove based and more complex than you think, like Captain Beyond, early Scorpions, Grand Funk. Overall I’m influenced by a lot of things. Basically whatever sounds good to me. Could be High on Fire, could be Interpol. Could be Tchaikovsky.
You recently got the OB1-500, how are you getting on with it? Have the neighbours complained yet?Nighthawk: Oh. My. God. I can’t believe I haven’t played through this before. The tone that I’m able to get straight out of the head is insane. Honestly it’s a real game changer for me. The fact that it splits the signal so you can dial in the clean sound before sprinkling that distortion on top is great. And if we’re being honest I like the easy to discern images on the face plate for people like me who sometimes have one too many shots of tequila before playing. As for our neighbors, they’re actually pretty cool. One keeps asking when we’re putting out a new record, so we got that going for us.
You also just released a solo album, what can you tell us about it and the influences behind it? Nighthawk: Well, I love Italian horror movies and film scores. I also really enjoy the process of composing, so the album I just released, “The Dimensionaut” (listen here), is really an homage to all of that. It’s nearly a decade of music that I’ve wanted to put out for the longest time, so I figured I’d just go for it. I dig what you can accomplish with synths. There’s so much atmosphere you can achieve. My favorite tracks have a sort of ethereal synth sound with a massively wet reverb guitar track over top. We’re also releasing a split Funkadelic EP on Riff Merchant Records with our friends from Wolf People in a couple of days on the 31st of May which we’re excited about.
https://orangeamps.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/05/Nighthawk-of-Heavy-Temple-live-at-Psycho-Las-Vegas-2017-by-Dante-Torrieri.jpg9601200Ella Stormarkhttps://orangeamps.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/04/Orange-Pics-logo-307px.pngElla Stormark2020-05-27 09:00:002020-05-27 15:29:22Interview: Heavy Temple’s High Priestess Nighthawk
The Saturday of Black Deer Festival was blisteringly hot and the days music was exceptional. In the afternoon Orange got the pleasure to sit down with William Crighton to talk through his musical influences growing up in Australia and how he is inspired to write songs both collectively and solo. He even strapped on his trusty resonator and played through the new TremLord 30 with its all analogue signal and valve tremolo and reverb.
How did you get into music? I started in church, my grandmother used to take me and my brother to church in a little place called Ardlethan, a town of about 300 hundred people. It’s where we used to start singing the church hymns, i’m not really Christian any more but you can’t deny that sort of connection with that music. ‘How great thou art’ and ‘Amazing grace’, they are beautiful songs, I was a young kid you get swept up in emotion of the songs of that for sure.
Who are your biggest guitar influences? My favourite guitar player is Neil Young just because he is so visceral, he plays what he feels and it’s cool. He would probably be my biggest influence across the board.
What inspires your song writing? It’s always a tough question to describe your music, I’m not really a wonderful musician by a stretch. So I just do what I do and try and be honest with what I do, how I play and what I sing about and how I present it to everybody. My biggest inspiration is the world around us, just try to take it in, everything I have listened to as a kid probably flows into the music, you can’t stop that.
Do you usually write songs as a band or by yourself? Bit of both, I wrote a lot of the songs by myself, a lot of the songs I write with my wife Jules and my brother Luke, or the rest of the band. It’s interesting touring solo, it’s a whole new thing I just did a tour in Australia and I found the same thing. You are out there by yourself so you have got no one supporting you but your also free to do whatever you like, I quite enjoy it, there is definitely room for both.
How are you finding the festival so far? I just saw the Sheepdogs they were awesome and John Butler Trio who were great, fellow Australians, Irish Mythen, John Smith. Just walking around and hearing the buzz of everyone around is cool. It seems like a festival where everyone seems at home, everyone talks to one another, you walking past and the security guard says hello is always a good thing. I’m enjoying myself.
https://orangeamps.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/11/William-Crighton-at-Black-Deer-Fest-2019-by-Ella-Stormark-scaled.jpg14432560Orange Ampshttps://orangeamps.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/04/Orange-Pics-logo-307px.pngOrange Amps2020-05-20 09:00:522020-04-28 14:44:48Interview with William Crighton at Black Deer Festival 2019
Adam: I’m Adam Kenny, mandolin, bouzouki and banjo player for the Rumjacks. We play fast Celtic punk rock. I grew up in western Sydney with Irish parents, where I was exposed to a lot of Irish music like the Pogues, The Cheiftans, The furyeys, Christy Moore and more at our family barbecues. At the time I laughed at them thinking I was too cool, and it wasn’t until years later when I was listening to Joe Strummer playing with The Pogues, I found heard a beautiful mix of punk and folk, something that inspires us as a band to this day.
Music was clearly a part of your childhood being played at the house, when did you get into playing yourself? Adam: My Dad gave me a Stratocaster copy when I was 13 or 14, He taught me ‘House of the rising sun’, and I was hooked. I did a year of classical guitar before I discovered Nirvana which became all I wanted to play for years. I played in a few different punk and hardcore bands and joined The Rumjacks as guitarist in 2008. After a few line up changes I ended up teaching myself mandolin, which in turn led me to tenor banjo and Irish bouzouki. Since then, I’ve had the pleasure of touring and recording with other folk/rock acts like Handsome Young Strangers, The Go Set, The Clan, and Irish singer/songwriter, Damien Dempsey.
Can you tell us a bit about The Rumjacks? Adam: We’re a celtic punk band formed in 2008, in the Blue Mountains, Sydney, Australia. We were all involved in different projects at the time, but as we found such a great sound together we started playing shows in Sydney, followed by the rest of Australia. In 2015 we did our first of many European tours, and in 2017 we did our first USA tour, before hitting south east Asia and Japan in 2019. When we tour, early starts and long hours in the van is normal for us, we keep it simple with a very small crew, so we are still involved in the fun load-ins and outs.
What are you up to during these strange locked down days? Adam: I’ve been writing a bit, taking care of the garden and hanging out with the family cat. I’m lucky enough to be stuck in my hometown in the blue mountains right now, I just hope I can leave again for the upcoming summer festivals in Europe!
What’s your history and experience with Orange? Adam: I first started noticing Orange at live shows around the 2000s when I was watching a lot of punk and hardcore bands in Sydney, the sound they gave really blew me away, especially when driven for the harder styles. Naturally, the bright colours and cool symbols for the controls stood out to me. I was so used to seeing just big black Marshall and Peavey stacks, Orange always intrigued me. Over the years, I saw more and more of them popping up onstage (and in studios), and I thought these amps must be the real deal. After shifting to acoustic instruments live and in the studio, I was always on the lookout for good acoustic amps an DI preamps, it’s always a battle playing acoustic instruments live with with full volume band, so the notch / feedback controls were a must for dealing with different live stages. I also hated having a pile of single DI boxes in front of me, so the dual channels on the Orange Acoustic Pre really stood out to me.
I use passive flat piezo style pickups in some of my instruments, and I can still get a steady and ballsy signal to the sound desk. Outperforms itself every night, a great piece of kit! I’m currently running an Orange Acoustic Pre for mandolin, Irish bouzouki, Tenor banjo and acoustic guitar, and the Crush Acoustic 30 for onstage foldback and in the studio. K&K banjo twin pick ups in the banjo and Irish bouzouki, Crafter mandolin with CnR-4 pickup. Godin acoustic guitar with Lr-baggs M80 pickup.
https://orangeamps.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/04/image-18-04-20-04-48.jpeg12521875Ella Stormarkhttps://orangeamps.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/04/Orange-Pics-logo-307px.pngElla Stormark2020-05-13 09:00:002020-05-11 13:15:15Interview: Adam Kenny of The Rumjacks
Art always had a huge place in my life. As a kid and teenager, I was an anxious and introverted person and my social life was quite inexistent. I will always remember this feeling of peace I would experience when I was closing the door of my room to go to my little desk and start drawing. I could spend hours creating stories and my own comic books. Everything was possible and this idea always triggered something special in me! When I discovered music, especially metal, with Metallica, Iron Maiden and Testament being the bands I was the most into, it has been a pure revelation for me! I was incredibly empowered while listening to what felt like a type of music crafted for people like me. It was the first time for me to feel so alive! Music had a way to put everything else into another perspective. Suddenly, all the school bullying and anxiety that came with it was gone, only the uplifting spirit of the music mattered for whatever brief of a moment it was.
The next step was for me to embody that empowering spirit by learning to play an instrument myself. In a way, my introduction to guitar probably had the same roots as so many others, but for me, it became the only reason I had to live. School didn’t change, bullies kept on bullying, my broken home kept on getting crazier, but music truly changed everything for me. To the eyes of others, I was still the nerdy guy looking like everybody’s bad joke (When your father says you look great with those glasses, one of those old accountant shirts and a pair of jeans which doesn’t even have a brand, well you’re not going in the good direction, trust me on that one!). Picture that “kid” holding a huge acoustic guitar plugged into a BOSS Metal Zone and a transistor Fender amp… Now you would say that I look trendy and cool… Well, there was a much more darker world before Mumford & Sons, Vampire Weekend, Mac DeMarco and Weezer! So let’s say I didn’t receive much invitations to join bands in high school. Nobody wanted to have Kenny Rogers (RIP) in a Metallica cover band.
I didn’t care that much, because I was suddenly free in a way.
You’re currently playing with Alex Henry Foster, how did that come about? Sef: Before Alex Henry Foster started his solo project, I was involved with him in a rock band called ‘Your Favorite Enemies’ for about 10 years! YFE has been an incredible creative outlet for me. We toured all over the world, had radio top 10 hits and won all sorts of awards but Alex, who was the band’s driving force, wasn’t really happy… and when his father passed away, he left for Tangier, Morocco to take some time to meditate and write, for 2 years. After a while, he invited us to North Africa for us to spend some time together. That reconnection opened the door for the other members of YFE and myself to be part of his new personal music ventures. It was great news for everyone, but we all had to unlearn the way we used to play our instruments and to let go of all our deeply rooted conceptions of how to write, perform and especially improvise.
Alex’s only rule was this: “Forget everything you ever learned with YFE; from the way you played your instruments to what you ever decided music was about. If you can do that, you’re in. If you can’t, it’s better to not even try to.” So it was really simple, right? Well, if you’re ready to unlearn and redefine yourself, it’s easy. To Alex’s credit, his vision of art has always been freedom. No wonder why he is the one who introduced me, many years ago, to Sonic Youth, Branca, Nick Cave and so many other artists I felt so remote from as a metalhead. Post-rock, what? Shoegaze, noise rock, avant-garde, experimental… it was all nonsense for me. No guitar solos, no sweep picking… what??? For me, Sonic Youth was a total aberration, especially after all the years I had spent emulating Yngwie Malmsteen’s style! But once Alex’s idea started to sink in, I became obsessed with guitar effects and noise experimentations. It was pretty much the same sensation as when I started to play guitar… freedom and emancipation… a new creative language in a way. And that new realm of possibilities had no boundaries! Sorry Thurston and Lee… I may have been a little judgmental at times. Are we still friends?!?
Have you got any other ongoing musical projects? I have my own instrumental thing going on as well. I released an album called Deconstruction a little more than a year ago. I got into Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross’ music a while back and wanted to sonically explore away from a collaborative environment… and since Your Favorite Enemies have an absolutely amazing recording studio, I started to experiment with synth, loops and odd guitar tunings in order to create a different way to craft sounds and landscapes. It was the personal extension of the musical exploration Alex had invited me to dwell into. That experience generated a new emancipating dimension.
As a guitarist, who would you say are your biggest influences? That’s a very difficult question to answer because I might hurt some of my friends’ feelings if I don’t mention their names or if they ever believed they were an inspiration for me. But, I think that if there was only one name to mention it would be Nels Cline, and for so many different reasons. First, he’s singular and unique, he doesn’t brag, he doesn’t try to be someone else… he is who he is… and I’ve learned to know how incredible of a thing it is. Secondly, his free musical approach towards creation. He’s playing jazz, experimental noise, punk rock, alternative, shoegaze, psychedelic and whatever moves him! I discovered him when I went to see Wilco with Alex during the Yankee Hotel Foxtrot period thinking: “Ah, yes, Alternative Americana… boring.” But how wrong was I again as I not only discovered a brilliant creative universe but couldn’t believe how into it Nels was… intense, always on the edge… and just how insane and intriguing it was to see him giving life to all sorts of sounds with his pedals. And most importantly, all of that was to serve the emotions of the songs. Brilliant and real.
What are you currently listening to? Sef: The album Ummagumma by Pink Floyd, which is odd because I don’t consider myself a fan of Pink Floyd in the first place. It’s Jeff (Alex Henry Foster’s bassist and former YFE guitar player) who introduced me to that album. I was a bit skeptical at first. I’ve never been a fan of the song “MONNNNNEYYYYYYY” that kept on playing 25 times every night when I was working in a factory. So when I first listened to it, it was again the perfect and pure expression of what artistic freedom is about, with many bewitching musical landscapes in which you easily lose yourself!
What’s your history and experience with Orange, and what’s your current set up? Sef: It started back in 2012 during the writing process of Your Favorite Enemies’ album “Between Illness and Migration”. I was looking for a richer tone, something with personality but that wouldn’t take over the different guitar singularity I had. It took me a while to find it actually. I tried every possible brands available, from the usual ones up to the underground boutique ones. I bought some of them but still wasn’t totally satisfied. I tried different alternatives… pedals, amps modelling and other kinds of things, until a friend working at my favorite music store in Montreal told me, kept on telling me and bugging me “You want an Orange amp” up to, “Dude, you NEED an Orange amp!” So one afternoon, I finally decided to give it a try, but with my rig. You should have seen me going in the store with all my stuff, it was laughable. Some people are probably still talking about it! It was indeed insane, but I did try different Orange amps. And when I heard the sound of it, nothing else existed around me. When I cranked the preamp, the overdriven sound was tight, rich, powerful, focused and reproducing faithfully the different harmonics of my guitar. I stayed there 3 hours passed the store’s closing hours. No joke.
My choice, beside the fact that I wanted them all, stopped at the Thunderverb 200 with the cab PPC412HP8 (with four 100 watts Celestion G12K-100 speakers). It immediately became my faithful “partner” in the studio and was the corner stone of my live gear set up with Your Favorite Enemies, especially since the Channel B was a perfect place for me to plug all my different pedals. I was also using the 4 method cables to connect some of my effects, like delays and reverbs, after the preamp section of the amp (Yes, even if there are no laws regarding that, a reverb before distortion can sound a bit messy!). So I was able to get the best of my time-based effects with the big distortion from my Thunderverb 200! A game changer in every possible way for me! As for now, since Alex asked us to change our whole rig for his project, I’m using the same cab (don’t tell him!) but I mostly use the Custom Shop 50! The clean sound is outstanding and it’s the perfect template for my big spaceship (the name my bandmates gave to my pedalboard). Oh, funny enough, it’s Alex who’s now using the Thunderverb 200 for all his guitar noises and textural sounds. But since he doesn’t use guitars the way they were created for, it’s clearly far from YFE’s sound, trust me! And since Jeff is now playing bass in Alex’s project, he is using the AD200B MK3 Orange bass head. We do have a crazy lot more of different brands and all sorts of equipments available at the YFE studio, but we always end up going back to Orange to express ourselves.
Best quarantine activity? Sef: I got back from a tour across Europe on March 12 with the rest of the band and was ordered to stay in quarantine until further notice. Even Alex, who now lives in the US, wasn’t able to go back home. So now that we’re all living together, in our studio (which is a massive Catholic church we converted into a recording and rehearsal space), we are doing live stream performances to introduce Alex’s new album “Windows in the Sky” to be released on May 1, 2020.
Here’s our latest performance of a 30-minute version of the song “The Hunter (By the Seaside Window)” off Alex Henry Foster’s solo project, live from our church-studio. The performance starts at 43:30.
https://orangeamps.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/04/Sef-Lemelin-back-with-Alex-Henry-Foster-Custom-Shop-50.jpg9601200Ella Stormarkhttps://orangeamps.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/04/Orange-Pics-logo-307px.pngElla Stormark2020-05-06 09:00:002020-04-28 14:46:54Interview: Sef Lemelin (Alex Henry Foster’ & The Long Shadows, Your Favorite Enemies, solo)