Frank Sidoris by David Phillips

Orange Amplification is delighted to welcome new Ambassador Frank Sidoris, rhythm guitarist with Slash featuring Myles Kennedy and the Conspirators.
Sidoris, who has been with Slash since 2012, has also played with Alice Cooper, the late great Lemmy Kilmister and Rush’s Alex Lifeson. More recently he has joined Wolf Van Halen’s, Eddie Van Halen’s son, new band Mammoth WVH.
He uses the Custom Shop 50 amp, known for its exquisite blues / rock tones providing an inspiring canvas for his rhythm work combining it with the cabinet main stay for touring artists, the classic PPC412.
Talking about being an Orange Ambassador Sidoris said: “It’s an honor to be associated with Orange, a company that has remained at the pinnacle of iconic tone and style for decades and continues to catch eyes and ears on stage and in the studio.”

Orange ambassadors The Re-Stoned recently did an Open Studio Session, and it’s all up on Youtube for us to enjoy. If you do have a penny or two to spare, they are gratefully accepting donations via Paypal:

If you enjoy music, please support hard-working musicians whenever you can, buy their records & merch and spread the word! More info about the band via their website which you can find here.

Those of you who’ve registered your Orange gear in recent times will have seen the section where we give our customers the chance to suggest a charitable cause we donate to.

As we’ve grown as a company we’ve also built a big social media following, and we’d like to use our platform to shine a light on important causes (don’t worry, this won’t be on expense of our excellent amp content!) that are also close to our customers’ hearts.

Having gone through thousands of entries with different causes and charity suggestions, we’ve landed on ‘Habitat for Humanity‘ as our first one. We’ll give you the lowdown of their case and work in their own words:

Photo via Habitat for Humanity’s website.

“We build strength, stability and self-reliance through shelter.  Housing poverty around the world is so widespread, that we need to engage in many ways to solve housing problems. Together with our partners and volunteers, we provide new housing solutions and opportunities for people in need of decent shelter.”
Habitat for Humanity

To help us raise money for Habitat for Humanity, Orange ambassador Marcus King kindly signed one of our ‘amp in a pedal’ Terror Stamps, which is now up HERE on eBay for auction, where 100% of the proceeds will go directly to the charity. Auction runs through the 16th, so place your bid, spread the word, and remember to register your gear here to have a say in which case we support next.

Photo by Emily Butler.

From all of us at Orange Amplification, we would like to wish all our Grammy nominated Ambassadors good luck for the up and coming awards in January 2021.

Guitar phenom, Marcus King, has been nominated in the Best Americana Album category. The critically acclaimed ‘El Dorado’ establishes King as an innovative songwriter with a soulful voice and blistering solos. Fellow blues innovator, Fantastic Negrito, has been nominated for Best Contemporary Blues Album. His timely fourth album, ‘Have You Lost Your Mind Yet?’ is far reaching with hints of many musical genres and plenty of sonic colour. Plus, one of the fastest rising guitar pickers, Billy Strings has been nominated for Best Bluegrass Album with ‘Home’, a fresh exploration of this traditional music genre.

Other Orange Ambassador nominations include producer and guitarist Andrew Watt in the Producer of the Year (Non Classical), Album of the Year, and Best Pop Vocal Album categories. He produced, played guitar on and helped write Ozzy Osbourne’s album, ‘Ordinary Man’. Last, but not least, Code Orange, known for their exhilarating, unpredictable live shows have been nominated for Best Metal Performance.

There’s no secret that 2020’s been sort of a shitshow from the get-go, so when RIFFLORD sent us their music video from their latest single ‘Tumbleweed’ that went straight into the Top 5 moments of 2020. We’re still not sure what the other 4 are, but we do like to think that there’s been at least four other alright things that have happened this year.

Now, feast your eyes on one of the strongest Orange backlines we’ve ever seen. With the exception of Matt Pike, we’re not actually sure who could possibly top this… ‘Tumbleweed’, everyone!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Note: I originally wrote this article in 2014. Over the years the response has been extremely positive. I appreciate everyone, from newbie AR reps to guitarists on the hunt for sponsorships, who have told me that it helped them better understand instrument endorsements. This update is minor but necessary. Online platforms like Instagram and TikTok now hold more relevance than Facebook and Twitter (though Facebook is still #1 for the older demographic). Additionally, I’ve made changes to the cumulative number of fans I’d want to see across an artist’s social media, increasing the numbers to reflect the fact Orange now has a higher threshold for approving endorsements. As a brand grows, so does it’s endorsed artist roster and the budget necessary to effectively service and maintain said roster. New additions to the roster must be of the highest quality. Cheers! – Alex

I manage Orange’s Artist Relations (AR) team. Every day someone asks me how to get an endorsement, which we call an “Ambassadorship” (because, except for me, we’re British). I usually give a canned response with ridiculously high standards so that I can finish the conversation faster. The reason is that while we do have some minimal criteria in mind when selecting artists for our Ambassador program, what we desire the most is a stable, long-term relationship that is beneficial to all parties. And how one goes about meeting that criteria can’t always be explained on paper.

But I’ll try anyways…

This is a quick guide I’ve created for you to decide if you need an endorsement, think you qualify for an endorsement, and are willing to work to maintain your endorsement. While it’s written from the perspective of someone running AR for an amp company, I believe it does apply to most musical instrument manufacturers.  Again, there’s not going to be a straight-up answer to “how do you get endorsed?” contained in this article. At any given point in time we all have different approaches, different philosophies, and, more importantly, different needs relating to our endorsed artists. This is really more of a sneak-peak into the decisions AR people make and why we make them.

I’ve also included an overview of what benefits Orange Ambassadors receive and what I expect in return from them. Just in case you were curious…

How I choose to endorse someone

Receiving an endorsement doesn’t mean free gear. I should say that first. Back in the 80’s and early 90’s, during the heyday of guitar-centric music, amp companies had more money and therefore were giving away more gear. These days, every dollar is hard-earned due to competition between amp companies and price wars occurring at the retail register. That means there’s less money in the marketing coffers for Artist Relations teams.

Some of the biggest names in guitar don’t get their amps for free. Occasionally they may receive a few pieces to get them hooked on a brand. But long-term, anything else they need or want will be billed to them at a reduced cost. If you do receive something for free, it usually means that a committee made up of executives decided to give it to you. You should feel very special. You’re obviously playing in front of thousands of people on a regular basis, internationally, and whatever content you release to the internet must be getting a lot of impressions.

Even if you aren’t one of the lucky few who gets free gear, an endorsement can still help build your band’s presence, make touring easier, and save you money. Orange endorsements are based on special artist pricing, backline (loan) support, priority tech support, and content-sharing/cross-promotion. I’ll expand on each of these below. But before I do, I wanted to shed some light on what I look for in a band when deciding whether or not to endorse them.

The Music

I get to introduce my personal taste into endorsement decisions about 10% of the time. The other 90% of it based on factors I’ll talk about shortly. Nobody told me to do this. It’s a decision I had to make so that our approach to Artist Relations could remain objective. The choice to endorse a band needs to be based on more stable measures of success than whether or not it sounds good to my ear. And while I consider myself a person who loves good music regardless of the genre, this isn’t necessarily a trait my successor will possess.

When I first started in Artist Relations for Orange (around 2008) I went hard after endorsing pop-punk, hardcore, and any kind of metal bands. If you fit into one of these categories then you went straight to the top of my list. This wasn’t because I particularly loved these genres. It was because they were popular at the time. Some of the music I appreciated, some of it less-so. The idea was to “come up” with these bands and to follow the trend.

It worked but I soon realized Orange needed a more balance endorsement roster. When bands from the genres I had so highly sought out began breaking up or took breaks, I wouldn’t immediately replace them with another band from the same genre. I began to seek out more rock, classic rock, punk, R&B, and country artists. Again, I was allowing a bit more leeway in whether or not they met my minimal criteria for endorsement. And my personal taste was very rarely a mitigating factor.

International Touring

Leaving your home country and touring overseas is a big deal. For 90% of the bands I work with it means they’re taking a huge risk. Touring is expensive no matter where are you, but costs increase the moment you take a step outside of your home country. Phone and internet, gas prices, van repairs, merch shipments, backline, lodging…these must all be taken into account and the costs fluctuate greatly depending on the country and continent. If your promoter sucks at his job and can’t get anyone to come to your shows, then you deal with all of the above, without income while band morale is low.

Touring overseas can make or break your band. If you’ve done it a couple of times, I’ll be far more likely to consider your band for endorsement.

Social Media Interest

Are you a US-based guitarist with a million Facebook fans and 100K Instagram followers? Do you have 50,000 people following you on TikTok or YouTube? Are you just super popular on LinkedIn for some reason? Congratulations! I’ll probably endorse you regardless of what your music sounds like. Why? Because I’d be dumb if I didn’t. If an A-list artist is willing to stand in front of an Orange stack and smile for the camera then my job is to make sure they’re happy.

Most of the bands I endorse have between 50K-1,000,000 social media followers across all of their sites. If you have more than a million there’s a good chance you fit into the A-list category. If you have less than 50K, my attention begins to turn more towards your tour schedule, industry partners (management, booking agent, sponsoring companies).

However, even if your band has 10K Facebook fans and 100 Instagram followers, there’s still a chance you could get endorsed. In that case what I’m looking for is the engagement fans have with your content, the quality of the content, and how quickly your fan base is growing. I’ve seen bands with 1000 Instagram followers post about a tour and receive 300 likes and 100 comments. If you have 30+% of your social audience engaging with your content then you are doing something right. Even if you aren’t getting a super high engagement rate, if your content is high quality then I see potential in sharing it with Orange’s audience.

Management/PR/Brand Partners

The people your band knows are often as important as the band itself. I acknowledge that a lot of bands today are making their own waves and doing so without the help of outside management. I think that’s a great thing. However, very few bands don’t have at least some people or companies working on their behalf. Whether it’s for distribution, booking, merchandising, licensing, advertising, or getting out of jail after an all-night bender, bands that have friends in high places tend to fair better in the long-term.

When your band truly “makes it” there’s almost no way to avoid these relationships. They become more necessary as your band grows in popularity. So while I view these relationships as nonessential for some bands, for others the lack of connections can be worrisome.

Lastly, while my position entails mainly artist relations, part of what I do is business development. The connections I make are often a direct result of the bands I’ve endorsed. It might seem overtly “suit”-like, but if you’re a garage-rock band with no management or booking agent and you’ve managed to get a sponsorship with promotional-guarantees from Levi’s Jeans, then you have my attention.

Appreciation for Orange

When an artist is borderline for meeting our endorsement criteria, I start to look at whether or not they currently play Orange and, if so, how enthusiastically they promote it. Do you need Orange tone because if you don’t have Orange tone you will literally die? That’s a damn good reason to cite when completing the endorsement request form. (You’ll need a doctor’s note to prove that to me though.)

Other things you might consider doing to prove your love of Orange:

– Include a picture of yourself that actually features Orange when you submit for endorsement.

– Record a video demo with your Orange amp and put it on YouTube. Send me the link.

– Offer an explanation of why you’ve developed this crush on Orange, which of our amps you love and why, and which amps you hope to own in the future. It doesn’t have to be specific.

– Get an Orange tattoo

OR50 faceplate tattoo...this man is a HERO
OR50 faceplate tattoo…this man is a HERO

And finally, don’t use form letters. And definitely don’t use form letters if you aren’t smart enough to remove the name of the other amp company you just emailed before you sent it to me.

What I offer endorsed artists

When you become an Orange Ambassador you not only get to tell your mom you’re endorsed (as well as all your mom’s neighborhood friends), you also genuinely benefit from the relationship. The relationship works best for all parties when bands are open with us and just keep asking us for help. Even if we can’t help them in every situation, there are plenty of times when something we do either makes the show happen or saves the Ambassador serious cash.  As the relationships grow and blossom, our AR team and the Ambassadors develop a pattern for supporting one another.

To reiterate, the four main support-systems of our Ambassador program are: special artist pricing, backline support, priority tech support, and content-sharing/cross-promotion. I’m going to expand on each of these below.

Special Artist Pricing

This is the crux of our endorsement and the name says it all: you get discounts on anything we sell.  This is a touchy topic because everyone assumes there are varying levels of pricing and that some artists are getting gear cheaper than others. There are simply some things you have to keep a secret in AR. This is one of them. It’s too bad I learned my lesson after 5+ years of sending out artist pricing lists.

At the end of the day, if you want to play Orange, and you want to help us keep making amps, then special artist pricing is the absolute awesomeness and a massive blessing. Who we offer it to is usually well thought-out.

Backline (Loan) Support

Ok, now that we’re past that, let’s talk about backline, which is more commonly known as loaner gear. On average, I receive 50 backline requests a week.  Most of them look like this:

“Hey, I need some amps for Euro tour in December. Should have info by end of November. Need everything in blue. May need them to shoot fireworks. Can u help?!?!”

Our team then goes to work to extrapolate all of the details from the band.

First, we make sure we’re talking to the person who actually has the details (we’ve lost many a man-hour to this mistake).

Next up, we determine, based on the tour routing, whether or not the loan needs to come from one (preferred) or many (not preferred) backline providers. These backline providers are 3rd party companies that maintain a supply of amps and speaker cabs that Orange has usually placed there at no cost. It’s technically on loan to the backline provider. They, in turn, maintain it and loan it back out to bands for a nominal fee. If the band’s tour is routed with a bunch of fly-in dates – or breaks between shows – we have to organize shorter loans from a greater number of backline providers.

Thirdly, the chain of introduction emails begin. After we’ve determined where we have backline providers, which ones are best suited to loan out the product, and how we can do it for the cheapest possible amount of money, we write separate introductions between the band’s representatives, the backline providers, and occasionally Orange distributors.

And finally, we offer follow-up support in situations where things go sour between the band and backline provider, or when our equipment has technical issues on the road.

It’s a lot of work. It’s so much work in fact that it requires three of us. It also eats up a huge portion of our worldwide marketing budget.  But we don’t blink at the cost because having our gear on stage is worth every penny.

The common misconception about backline support is that it means all loans are free of charge. 99% of the time the band is going to incur costs. The backline providers always charge a prep fee (flat-rate, per item), case rental fees (between $5-$7 per day, per item), and delivery (if necessary). In the USA, there are some providers who also charge a “long-term loan fee.” This fee kicks in if the loan is longer than 14 days, and is equal to 50% off the normal rental rate until the loan has been completed. The band is on the hook for all of these fees. But you know what? It still usually cuts the cost in half.

Priority Tech Support

If a band becomes part of the Ambassador program I make sure they know to send me an email as soon as their amp experiences technical issues. Don’t take it to a service center. Don’t ship it somewhere. Wait for me to respond with the best solutions. Sometimes that means a loan until we repair the amp in-house. Other times it means a straight-up replacement. But most often it means customized support to walk the artist through repairing the amp themselves. Explaining how to replace a pre-amp tube and then expediting one to meet the artist on the road is a hell of a lot cheaper than an emergency repair at a local service center.


In the past, amp companies spent a lot of money promoting artists in print advertisements.  They plastered them all over the big guitar magazines. They also sent the artists out to appear at events. For these things the artists were compensated very well. Since then, the landscape has changed drastically.

In 2014 the buzz-term is “content-sharing.” And it’s done almost exclusively online.

If receiving special artist pricing is what’s most important for our Ambassadors, then having a solid content-sharing relationship with Ambassadors is what’s most important to Orange. I’m always describing Orange as a “blank palette for content.” Ambassadors send me their content (photos, videos, and pre-packaged promotions such as giveaways and tour announcements), and I sort through it and choose what I feel will be most enjoyable for an entirely Orange-centric audience. The content is shared in one of six places: our Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, website, blog, or monthly email newsletter. The combined audience of these online platforms is over 1.5 million.

The content most likely to get shared features Orange products. The content most likely to get shared across ALL of our platforms not only features Orange, but also conveys a sense of UNBRIDLED LOVE for the product. Obviously it helps if the content is super high quality and well executed, but don’t undervalue sheer enthusiasm. The core 30% of our social media and online followers positively love excitement and creativity, especially when it comes to Orange amps.

As an example, here are some of my favorite Ambassador-created videos. I simply told them to “use me as a blank palette” and this is what they delivered:

Sef from Your Favorite Enemies demos the OR50

Bass Legend Mark Walker demos the Terror Bass 500

A Tribute to the TH30 Guitar Head

Simone Vignola – 5 Slap Riffs through Terror Bass 1000

The idea behind content-sharing is simple: it’s beneficial for both Orange and our Ambassadors while remaining extremely cost-effective. It reaches an audience for which we can view feedback in real time. If someone has a question about the promotion we can answer it immediately. It’s the most effective way to engage our audience. When both Orange and the Ambassador’s online presence promotes at the same time, everyone benefits and we can literally SEE the benefits on our web browsers.

What about print media? Orange has stopped buying print except for in a couple of territories. Who wants to look at an amp when they can hear it in a sound clip or video? If do you happen to get your face on an amp company’s print ad, you should go ahead and retire, because you’ve basically reached the pinnacle of endorsement worthiness.

The “Anything” Rule

I will always make my best attempt to help out an Ambassador with any needs they have, even if their request has little to do with their endorsement.  In the past this has ranged from letting them crash on my floor, driving them to a Guitar Center, or finding them the best hotdog in Atlanta, right on up to discarding their pee-bottle and keeping them out of jail. These are extremes. Normally it’s more mundane, endorsement-related requests I get, like help sponsoring a tour or finding an Ambassador backstage access to another Ambassador’s tour. The point is that I want Orange facilitating these kinds of interactions with our Ambassadors because they serve to boost our goodwill and expand our business relationships.

At the end of the day, “it’s always worth asking.”

And finally, I will leave you with a list of things that specifically don’t help you get, and keep, an endorsement. These are real situations that I’ve actually experienced. I hope you can learn from them:

Don’t start off by asking me to loan you something. Literally start any other way than that.

Don’t send me examples of your music that are “just demos with scratch guitar tracks, sorry, but the end result will be way better.” I’m not an A&R guy for a music label. I’m an AR guy for an amp company. All I care about is the guitar.

Don’t try to friend me on Facebook, you stalker.

Don’t copy every industry contact you’ve ever met on a mass email asking which one of them is prepared to give you things for free. The answer will be “none of us.”

Don’t walk into a music store, announce you are an Orange Ambassador, and brag about the special pricing you’re receiving. You should especially avoid doing this if you haven’t signed the contracts yet (because the offer will be off the table).

Don’t give out my email to your brother’s girlfriend’s neo-rap electronic jam band without asking first.

Don’t use scrims. Or, at least, try not to use scrims. They cover our gear and we hate that. Scrims are a sign of weakness. #NoScrims.

EDIT! This competition has now closed and a winner has been contacted. Keep up to date on future competitions by following us on Facebook, Instagram & Twitter.

Celebrating the reissue of Boris’ iconic ‘Absolutego’ & ‘Amplifier Worship’ albums, we have teamed up with Third Man Records to give away a blood moon red copy of ‘Absolutego’, a tree frog green copy of ‘Amplifier Worship’ and a set of our wireless Crest Edition Headphones.

Enter our social competition here.

Alternatively, if you don’t have Instagram you can enter once by emailing us here with “Orange x Third Man Records Boris Competition” in the subject.

Photo by: Pedro Hernandéz / @picfromthepit

Our followers and fans will already be familiar with you through your previous work in Deep Purple, Trapeze, California Breed (the list goes on and on…) and solo career, but they might not all know The Dead Daisies, can we get a bit of an introduction of the band?
Glenn: The Dead Daisies are a musical collective, a family if you will. I’ve been aware of the band for a long time, we had been on a similar circuit around Europe. I was contacted by their management in 2019 in regard to getting together with the guys in NYC to have a little “jam session”. We clicked right away. Of course, I had toured with Doug Aldrich (guitarist in The Dead Daisies) previously as he was a member of my touring band in 2016 – so that was already set it stone. David Lowy is a solid guitarist and Deen Castronovo is a fantastic drummer with lots of flare. It was a natural progression to write together and go into the studio to record.

You just released your single “Bustle and Flow”, what can you tell us about it?
We were recording at La Fabrique studios in the south of France, Dec 2019. The studio is an old Chateau set in a beautiful part of the countryside. We had recorded the music and I had most of the lyrics written. The setting of the studio was very inspiring, I could not fail to be influenced whilst living and working there. Find it here.

This year has been quite a bumpy road for most people, how have you adjusted to the ‘new normal’, and how do you stay creative and inspired during tough times?
I have tried to maintain my own daily routines and rituals as much as possible. I meditate when I wake up, I like to walk, drink lots of water and read a lot. So personally, I have been able to stay creative within my own inner sanctuary.

Of course, in an Orange interview we gotta do some gear talk! You’ve been using Orange for quite some time, what’s your history and experience with our amps?
I was using the AD200 heads live and, in the studio, but for the last 18 months I’ve been using the Terror Bass heads. They really sound amazing. I run 2 at the same time via the Orange ‘Amp Detonator’ pedal. I don’t use any distortion pedals, I use the gain structure of the amps, this allows me to get a far more natural crunch..

You’ve been in the game for a long time, and you’ve influenced a lot of people and musicians along the way. Was there anyone in specific who’s style of playing, way of writing or performing that inspired, of keeps inspiring you as an artist?
I think like many people of my generation, The Beatles were a big influence in my youth. Their song writing is still hard to beat all these years later. As for bass playing, my roots are very much set in the early Motown recordings, James Jameson really was the benchmark for groove playing. Of course, more local to home we had guys like Andy Fraser who was an incredibly soulful bassist, he knew when to leave a space or two. I also read a lot of books and one of my favourite authors at the moment is Eckhart Tolle. I always have 1 or 2 of his books with me when travelling.

What would your advice be to aspiring musicians who’s just getting into playing?
My advice would be to love what you’re doing, enjoy every moment and don’t take anything for granted. You need to dedicate your time to learning your craft and being the best, you can be. Walk through the fear.

In 2009, during “The Great Recession,” I found myself at a crossroads. I’d been at Orange for two years and was, for the first time, worried about my job. We were experiencing the worst downturn in the economy my generation had ever witnessed. Job safety was a huge concern. Orange had been absolutely crushing it until that point yet I found myself unsure about the future.

In response, I created Orange’s Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. It was my way of saying “I won’t go silently into the night.” In fact, I essentially created a new position for myself: Social Media Manager. More than a decade later and we have an entire team serving this role. I’m incredibly proud of what we have accomplished.

Enter 2020: the worst year ever. If this year was a fart it would be the kind that only happens on a blind date and you’re sitting on a white chair and it seeps through your pants and you can’t decide if you should get up and go to the bathroom because if you do you won’t be able to come back because the chair will be shit-stained and your date will post about it to their TikTok and no one will ever love you again.

2020 is garbage. So how do we make the best of it? Some of us have taken up a new hobby. Others have focused on making their big “pivot” to another line of work. But a small number of people, certainly the ones who are rife with self-absorption, have gone the way of livestreaming interviews. I count myself among this group.

Here’s a sampling of my favorite “Artist Relations Corner” interviews thus far. Yes, that’s the name I chose. It was a mistake but now the SEO has gone too far for me to change it. Now I get to live this shame forever. Enjoy, and for all of the Artist Relations Corners click here!

Episode #1: An introduction to who I am, what an AR Manager does, and commentary about the original “funny” Orange video, which featured Troy Sanders of Mastodon starring opposite a dog.

Episode #5: An interview with VMAN of Slipknot featuring his tech, Darren Sanders (yep, the brother of Troy from Mastodon and Kyle from HELL YEAH)

Episode #6: Thomas Jager of Monolord. There’s nothing better than talking stoner doom with a sarcastic Swede!

Episode #7: Rekti Yoewono of THE SIGIT and Mooner. This episode helped me discover a whole world of psychedelic rock from Indonesia that I never knew existed. Also, it features live jams!

Episode #9: Kellindo Parker is the guitarist for Janelle Monae and an accomplished solo artist. That’s not all though. He also has rad stories about Prince.

Episode #15: I interviewed legendary producer and engineer, the man who is considered “the 5th Ramone,” Mr. Eddie Stasium. His stories are incredible.

Episode #16: Brian Diaz is a mildly famous guitar tech…and one of my favorite people in the industry. He’s worked with Fall Out Boy, Primus, and Guns N Roses (to name a few). This episode is dear to me mainly because of how much we make each other laugh while being total buttholes to each other.