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

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

Visit Buddy’s website HERE:

Tell us about the name?

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

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

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

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

Tell us about your new album?

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

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

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

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

Star Trek or Star Wars

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

What made you choose Orange?

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

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

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

What gear are you using right now?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

On my amps…

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

On my music…

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

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

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

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

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

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

-Ken Rose, Chicago, IL.


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

As we’ve mentioned before, we’re more than just heavy sounds and slow riffs – it’s May, the month of acoustic! Below we’ve shared some incredible artists we work with, all using Orange for their acoustic needs.

Tim Bertsch, Soulresonance & Jaded Mary

Orange Acoustic Pre
Rockerverb 50 MKIII Combo
CRPRO412 Speaker Cab

Guitarist Tim Bertsch have been playing since an early age and is as proficient and known for his work with electric and acoustic guitar and is often in demand as a session musician. With his acoustic works and Soulresonance album Tim is a big fan of the Orange Acoustic Pre, and has this to say about it: “The Orange Acoustic Pre is an invaluable element to my sound,from the smallest clubs to the largest theaters I can depend on it to deliver a flawless performance every night. The vast tonal possibilities, transparent signal boosting and superior dynamics of the Acoustic Pre are unparalleled in allowing the slightest nuances of my acoustic performances to be captured effortlessly both live and in the studio.” 

Jon Terrey, Listener 

Listener is a spoken word rock band from Arkansas, formed initially as a hip hop project by vocalist Dan Smith. After Listener’s second release, Dan got a band together, and they swiftly moved away from the former hip hop sound to their current alternative rock, which could be compared to the likes of Modest Mouse. The current line up consists of Dan on bass, vocals and trumpet, guitarist Jon Terrey and drummer Kris Rochelle.Their latest album “Being Empty : Being Filled” was first released in 2017, and features heavier songs as well as some Listener trademark acoustics.

Thao Nguyen, Thao & the Get Down Stay Down

Thao & the Get Down Stay Down is fronted by guitar and banjo player Thao Nguyen, a Virginia based songwriter based in San Francisco. She initially started out playing acoustic shows as part of a country-pop duo, and her voice has been compared to the likes of Cat Power and Fiona Apple. Read more about Thao in our International Women’s Day article where we shun a light on some of our amazing female acts.

John Nicholas 

Dual Terror
Bass Terror

The winner of last year’s Firestone Road to the Main Stage was Welsh singer songwriter John Nicholas who were lucky enough to be gifted amps as part of the prize. Starting up as a musician isn’t easy, especially not financially, so a little something to take the financial edge off is always helpful. Having used his Orange amps for a while now, John has this to say about them; “After winning the competition last year I was given two Dual Terrors and a Bass Terror, and the sound of the Dual Terror is pretty much perfect for the sound I’m going for, same goes for the Bass terror when playing with the whole band!” 

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

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

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

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

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

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

Sarah Jane, take us back to the beginning – what triggered your interest in music?
Sarah Jane: I come from a musical household where my dad would experiment with home made hi-fi speakers and play bands such as The Beatles, Beach Boys, Johnny Cash and Dylan, as well as church and choral music. My mum, brother and sisters were also into music and would dabble in guitar, piano and singing. When high school came around, my older brother introduced me to Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd and The Doors, and it was around this time I bought one of my first records which was Hendrix live. After that I just wanted to play guitar like him, he was a huge inspiration! Strawberry Fields was also a mind blowing experience when I first heard it.

When I was around 18 I started playing my brother’s Les Paul and I stuck with guitar for about three years on and off, before switching to bass, mostly just because I found it more fun to play, and as we all know, bass is obviously the most important part of a bands sound… After about a year of practice, I joined my first band ‘The Morticians’. I never had any formal lessons as I A. couldn’t afford them and B. I preferred to develop my own style mainly playing by ear, using some tabs and watching videos of The Who, Black Sabbath and jamming with my own band. My advise to beginners would be to play what you want – the whole beauty of rock ’n’ roll is that there is no rules, so ignore the idiots trying to tell you otherwise. Do whatever you need to do to develop the style and sound that suits your own music, whether that is playing with others in a band or having lessons and learning covers, whatever you feel the most beneficial.

You mention your first band The Morticias, how did your current band Gorilla come to life?
Sarah Jane: When The Morticians split around 1999 guitarist Johnny and I decided to get another drummer and keep going as Gorilla, and we’ve been going ever since with different drummers. We’re currently on number 15 – they get worn out! Our latest victim Ryan is great, and has given us a new lease of life and inspiration, we’ve always just wanted to play music inspired by the bands we love ourselves, such as The Who, Black Sabbath, Grand Funk Railroad, Budgie, Blue Cheer, The Beatles, Jethro Tull, Mountain – you know, basically heavy 60s and 70s rock, which still remains our main influences. In the beginning we just scored as many gigs as we could until we got lucky and spotted by the bassist from Melvins who pitched us to a Swedish punk rock label who ended up releasing our first LP. We’ve released three full length LPs, one split LP and a single, with another album in the works.

Gorilla at London’s Dublin Castle in 2002 – Vintage Orange 1974 OR120 Amp with old Orange 4×12

Wow, drummer number 15! In true Spinal Tap spirit. What can you tell us about the upcoming album?
Sarah Jane: We’re heading to a new studio called North Down Sound in Folkestone which has lots of analogue equipment and is run and engineered by a friend called Mole, he loves the old vintage valve sounds and equipment. Musically you can expect maximum riffage, high energy rock ’n’ roll, basic ‘full on f*ck the safety net’ hell ride, in other words, business as usual Gorilla style! It will be released in June on Heavy Psych Sounds so keep an eye at our social media for updates and announcements.

Do you remember your first ever encounter with Orange?
Sarah Jane:
I first saw Orange gear when watching Beatclub Videos where the Orange amps just looked and sounded awesome, all the bands I loved seemed to use them too, so I just knew nothing else would do!

What’s your own history and experience with Orange?
Sarah Jane:
My first piece of Orange equipment I owned was a hard wired (no kettle lead) Early OR120 I purchased in 2001 from a friend for £250. I didn’t know how to date this amp so phoned the Orange Factory and spoke to a very nice bloke called Jeff, who had apparently worked there from the early days of Orange. After I got the amp I needed a cab to go with it, and luckily my guitarist from GORILLA,  Johnny, had a ‘spare’ 4 x12 which sounded amazing paired with it. The cab had it’s original Celestion speakers and was actually 15 ohms! The cab was previously owned by NWOBHM band, May West, and the logo was sprayed on the bottom. I had a standby switch fitted onto the back of the amp to preserve the valves as it didn’t have one.

The second Orange amp I acquired was sold to me from a friend for £100 in the same year, a late 70’s graphic model. This amp didn’t sound as good as my early OR120. Jeff told me that this could be because they had ‘drop mounted transformers’, which apparently were not as good as the early amps.

Sarah Jane with her 70s Hustler.

In 2003 I was walking past my local music shop and spotted in the window a flash of orange colour underneath a Peavey Flag. I went in to see what it was and spoke to the owner, who underneath the Flag dug out a brand new Bass Hustler Combo. He explained to me that this had been in the shop when his dad ran it in the 70s. The Combo wasn’t for sale it was being used to display tambourines and the Peavey Flag, but of course I asked how much he’d want for me to take it off his hands. I was delighted but tried not to look too happy when he asked just £50 for it! I call that a bargain!

I now own a new Orange Bass Terror which is 300 watts, an excellent amp to gig with, very Loud, and i can can actually lift it! I also used a Crush Bass 100 for a gig last summer, and I want one! I was surprised how great this combo actually was, I’ve used a hell of a lot of different combos before and I can honestly say this was the best modern bass combo I’ve tried. I was expecting to be totally drowned out by the drummer and the guitar amp but the Crush totally held it’s own. For something that is pretty small I was totally shocked how loud it was, and the quality of bass tone. I would totally recommend this amp for small gigs and practicing.

Sarah Jane playing a Bass Crush 100 as Gorilla plays a The Jonesing Jams gig at Blondies.

If you strip your record collection from the obvious rock ’n’ roll and artists mentioned above, what would remain?
Sarah Jane: My taste is actually quite varied and stretches from everything from 1940s blues and classical music to sixties garage and old school hip hop, particularly gangster! Lots of psych such as The Pretty Things, Zombies and Quicksilver Messenger Service to most of the 60’s San Francisco bands, Beach Boys and folk.

Despite ladies like yourself rock ’n’ roll is still very much a man’s world, what’s your experiences as a woman in such a male dominated genre?
Sarah Jane: Sadly some males in the industry, in record and music shops are still very intimidated by female musicians, and I’ve heard all the usual stupid and sexist remarks such as ‘You can actually play!’, ‘You play like a man!’, or ‘You’re really good for a girl!’, as well as having to deal with people’s surprised faces when I show my knowledge of guitars, amps or bands I like. I’ve also been ignored by male staff in music stores while they talk to my male partner – I just think it’s a bit sad that those old prejudices and attitudes are still around, maybe they’re scared of being shown up by a girl? Luckily it doesn’t bother me that much, and when it does I’m also lucky to say I’ve been blessed with a good aim and swift right hook, don’t let the bastards grind ya down! That said, most of the time people I meet are very positive about me and the music I play.

Follow Gorilla on Facebook // Instagram // Bandcamp

My name is Johnny and I play bass in the ‘Twilight Sad’

I’d been searching for a bass amp, that I’ve really loved for years and years and when I first got hold of the AD200 which was probably about eight years ago or so, that was the first time I had heard an amp and thought “That’s the amp!”

So my bass rig just now is a 2X15 bass cab, with two celestions in it and then the AD200. But I have the OB1-500 just as a backup just now, in America I use two OB1-500’s one’s the main and ones the back up. But I’m thinking of experimenting slightly in using one for my main tone and using the other to switch on for my boost sections.

When I saw Orange were starting to do pedals, I absolutely love pedals! I was like I need to get these and try these immediately because I know they are going to be built like tanks and they are going to be pure. There is like no messing about they are going to do what they are supposed to do. So when I had the Two Stroke it immediately made the Rusty Box redundant. The Orange Two Stroke which I keep on all the time, it just gets the whole tone and crisps everything up and makes everything a lot brighter, everything comes through a lot better.

The first thing I would do to say to any bass player was, if you are looking for a bass amp, go Orange immediately! If you are using anything else right now, probably get rid of it and go Orange because it sounds amazing. It’s just the classic bass tone, I won’t go anywhere else now, that’s what I need thats what I want, its solid, it’s never let me down.

A lot of people ask me what kind of work goes into acquiring new sponsorships from guitarists. They assume that I have to be very proactive in order to nail down endorsements. That couldn’t be further from the truth. Most of the time I have the pleasure of being reactive to endorsement requests. I rely on a network of managers, touring crew members, and even guitarists who introduce me to other guitarists. Sometimes it’s just a complete coincidence.

Here are four examples of how Artist Relations is all about who you know and timing.

Glenn Hughes

Glenn Hughes is one of the last true rock stars left on the planet. He oozes confidence and screams, “look at me!” It was at NAMM about 6 years ago when I first met him. Our Managing Director at the time saw Glenn walking the aisle and begged him to come into our demo room to test out some amps. Glenn came in to the room, plugged into the AD200B, started playing, stopped, put the bass back on the wall, and then looked at all of us and said “that’s the tone I’ve been trying to find for 40 years.” His mouth was literally agape.

Ever since then Glenn has been one of Orange’s biggest cheerleaders. If you’ve ever seen him live you understand why. His current rig consists of the AD200B, OBC810 and OBC115 cabs.

Geddy Lee

You’d think getting Geddy Lee on board would be a huge undertaking. He is, after all, arguably the most important bass player of an entire generation. When he gives his endorsement of a product you’re basically guaranteed an increase in sales. This was true for us as well. Within a year of putting out the infamous “Geddy sitting on his amp” picture we saw a nearly 75% uptick in bass profits.

However, it wasn’t hard to get Geddy to endorse the AD200B and OBC410 cab. In fact, believe it or not, Slipknot ended up doing all of the work. When Rush was in the studio writing 2012’s ‘Clockwork Angels’ they happened to be recording next to Slipknot. Geddy heard Paul Gray through the wall and sent his tech over to find out which amp he was using. Paul didn’t even endorse our products at the time. I had simply sent some extra gear up to Nashville for the band to try out. Within the hour I was on the phone with Geddy’s tech, Skully, coordinating the logistics of getting Geddy his new bass gear.

Even though Orange made up about 1/3 of Geddy’s stage tone (we were the overdriven, high gain portion) it was an endorsement that put us on the radar of a completely new demographic, and one that solidified our presence in the bass market. 

Steve Harris

Iron Maiden ‘Beyond Flight 666’ by John McMurtrie

Orange’s Technical Director, Ade Emsley, is an Iron Maiden super-fan. I’m not sure exactly how, but through some connection he maintained with the band’s management he was able to secure the opportunity to remaster Iron Maiden’s entire discography for release on iTunes. Yep, he’s not just an amp wizard; he can also master the shit out of a record.

Knowing that Steve Harris was looking to change things up with regards to his stage gear, Ade set out to design an amp based on Steve’s needs. The result was the (now discontinued) 4 Stroke 300, our first ever rackmountable bass amp featuring a 4 band parametric EQ. Steve loved it and has used it ever since for both Maiden and British Lion touring.

I’ll never forget when I was in London visiting our HQ and Cliff Cooper, Orange’s Founder and CEO, took me aside to let me know that Steve’s tech would be coming to the office shortly. Cliff had just returned from one of his many warehouses with four vintage Orange speaker cabinets that he had been hoarding away since the 70’s. They were brand new, in the box, never opened front-loaded 412 cabs with the original Eminence speakers in them. If I had to blindly assign a value to them I’d guess somewhere in the range of $8000. These were the only cabinets that Steve wanted and Cliff didn’t give it a second thought.

John McVie

Some of the best endorsements I’ve ever secured have been through tour managers, production crew, and guitar techs. John McVie is no exception. A few years ago Drew Foppe, one of the best techs on the road today, sent me an email explaining that John was interested in learning more about Orange. See, back in the 70’s, John was actually friends with Orange’s owner, Cliff Cooper. Over the years, they’d grown apart though. Now was my chance to rekindle their relationship.

I flew out to Los Angeles because Fleetwood Mac was playing The Forum in Inglewood. I’d get only about 20 minutes with John during soundcheck, so I went ahead and sent out multiple bass amps and speaker cabs to ensure no stone was left unturned. When I arrived, I was ushered into the venue and told to wait by a small tent that had been erected side stage. John came out and introduced himself, then took me into the tent, which I soon realized was set up purely for John to smoke cigarettes before and during the band’s set. There were two little chairs, some art on the walls (marine aesthetic), and a vintage floor ashtray. In that tent we discussed Orange and how he was trying to move back to LA from Hawaii “because general contractors on the islands never do a good job the first time.” Considering any building in LA is strictly no smoking, I thought it was an extremely “rock star move” that he was allowed to do so without any restrictions.

Afterwards we went up on stage and John tested out the AD200B. It wasn’t for him though, so we moved on to the Terror Bass. When he plugged that amp in the tone hit him like a lightning bolt. He immediately requested four of them to pair with multiple OBC410 and OBC115 cabs and the rest is history.

I do want to mention something I found interesting though: Mick Fleetwood has heaters blowing air at him while he’s playing live. Yes, you read that correctly. Mick Fleetwood, despite playing a nearly three hour set, was so cold on stage that he needed hot air blowing on him. It’s something I just can’t get over.