A new month, a new subject! September 2019 is ‘Voice of Innovation’ which means we will focus on our, well, slightly more ‘innovative’ amps. In 2017, Lead Amp Designer and Technical Director Ade Emsley was presented with a ‘People of the Moment Award’ at the MIA Gala Dinner, with the judges claiming Ade’s name was “Synonymous with innovative design, and that he is known and revered worldwide.” So yeah, we’re pretty innovative over here…

Tiny Terror

The discontinued Tiny Terror was a revelation when it first came out, and still remains so this day today. Created by Ade Emsley, the Tiny Terror was the original lunchbox amp which set the bar (high…) for those who were to come after. The Tiny Terror was initially an idea at a NAMM dinner where Ade wanted to make an amp that could fit into an A4 piece of paper, and just a week later, the prototype was a reality. About the amp, Ade has the following to say:

“The concept of the Tiny Terror was an amp you can carry anywhere. You turn up to play a gig and there are three bands playing. You turn up with your Tiny Terror it’s gig bag and your guitar. Before the gig you’ve sorted out the use of a mate’s 4×12 in one of the other bands. Plug in with the volume on ten and the gain on about six and suddenly you’re into 1980’s AC/DC territory.”
Ade Emsley

Pedal Baby

With the Pedal Baby we’ve captured that original rock ’n’roll sound, and we can’t describe it better than Brant Bjork, who at this point had been using the Pedal Baby for about 2 months, had to say about it at Black Deer Festival:

“The sound I’ve always wanted is the sound Hendrix had, playing through these huge stacks of amps, that original rock ’n’ roll sound. Unfortunately for me, the venues I generally play aren’t normally big enough to bring in that amount of amps so when I was recommended the Pedal Baby I was so amazed that this tiny thing had managed to replicate such a huge and iconic sound.”
Brant Bjork

The Pedal baby, which is a 100W class A/B power amplifier is designed for the touring musician as it’s easy to lug around with it’s neat size. As it’s fairly neutral sounding, it’s also perfect for pedal boards, modellers and digital processors.

Crush Bass 100

The Crush Bass comes in three different variations; Crush Bass 25, Crush Bass 50 and the Crush bass 100. Here, we’re focusing on the Crush Bass 100. Despite it’s neat size don’t let yourself be fooled, the sound is huge and works well in small venues and for terrorising the neighbours at home (Trust me on this one, I’ve got one and the sound travels – far…) For the Crush Bass 100, we’ve taken the Blend and Gain controls from our equally popular OB1 Series with those in mind who plays around with guitar and bass amps at the same time so you get the layers, harmonics and distortion from the guitar amp, with the core bass tone from the bass amp.

Rocker 32

In the Rocker 32, we like to think we have captured what might as well be the perfect pedal amp. The Rocker 32, which is an all-valve stereo amp can either be run like a ‘normal’ combo straight in, or with mono effect loops, the latter working well if lots of delays and huge soundscapes is your thing. If not, stick to option A and go for the ‘wet/dry’ mode to separate effects to one speaker, and clean guitar to the other, which creates separation on stage.

Fresh out of last month’s Black Deer Festival and we are in full country mode! July is our ‘Voice of Country’, and below you’ll find four great country artists we are proud to be working with.

Blackberry Smoke, Richard Turner

OBC810 8×10
Terror Bass


Blackberry Smoke is probably one of the hardest working bands around as they spend the majority of their time on the road relentlessly touring. Bassist Richard turner is an avid Orange artist, who first got turned onto the amps after seeing Black Sabbath using them back in the day when the amps were pretty hard to come across in the US. Years later, Blackberry Smoke was asked to play Orange’s 40th anniversary party at NAMM, where Richard played through a full Orange backline. Needless to say, he took a liking to it, and took it home.

The Cadillac Three, Kelby Ray

Crush Bass 100
OB1-300
PPC412 4×12
AD200 MK3 Head
OBC810 8×10
AD30HTC Head

Kelby Ray of The Cadillac Three is yet another country artist who’s taken a shine on our brightly coloured amps, and uses them both for his bass and lap steel. When looking for amps, Kelby wants something that’s easy to use and not a big fuss with buttons and knobs, so when he first played Orange at a Nashville festival he was sold; “I plugged into it and it was so easy to use – not a lot of knobs and it just sounded great. I want something that’s going to work, not too much hustle and fuss and something that’s just Rock N’ Roll. Orange is all those things, so that’s why I’ve always gravitated towards them, they’re something I’ve always loved to play.”

Raelyn Nelson Band, Raelyn Nelson

Rocker 15

Raelyn Nelson have been singing for as long as she can remember, and was raised on a diet of gospel and country, before eventually being gifted a guitar by her granddad in her teens. Her granddad happens to be legendary country musician Willie Nelson, so needless to say, music runs in the family. With her band Raelyn Nelson Band, Raelyn pairs a Rocker 15 with her ukulele.

Bob Weir

Rocker 15

Guitarist Bob Weir (Formerly of Grateful Dead) was also mentioned in our “Voice of Clean” article, but is well worth a mention in this month’s Voice of Country too as he was in the man behind a lot of Grateful Dead’s country songs, as well as having built a solid name for himself in country with his solo career, and has this to say about his Rocker 15: “A fun, really flexible little amp for low-volume situations, like playin’ electric along with acoustic instruments….”

Orange is well known as being the go to amp for anyone who wants distortion. From British Crunch to total filth. What people don’t associate with Orange is a clean sound and let me tell you, Orange does clean pretty bloody well actually and has done since the very earliest days. Remember, “Albatross” by Fleetwood Mac? Recorded using Orange Amps.

Let’s take a hard and heavy amp such as the Rockerverb 100. Favoured by artists like Jim Root of Slipknot and Brian “Head” Welch of Korn, you may have the impression that it’s distortion only but nothing could be further from the truth. The clean channel has an extraordinary amount of headroom making it a perfect platform for FX pedals. If FX aren’t your thing and you want chimey, bell like clarity – we’ve got you covered. Orange Amps Technical Director, Ade Emsley who is an afficionado of tone has designed even our high gain amps so that they clean up beautifully on the dirty channel too.

Of course, there are all sorts of clean. Perhaps you’re more of an “Edge of Breakup” clean kind of player. Once again, there’s an amp for you in the AD30HTC. Do you need to shape your tone more? OK Check out the TH30. See where I’m going with this?

Let’s be honest, an Orange Amp is always going to sound like an Orange Amp and when it comes to crunch and distortion, may I with all due modesty say we’re pretty damned good at it but that doesn’t mean we’re a one trick pony amp company. 2019 has seen the launch of some of the most innovative products Orange has ever produced and guess what – they do clean spectacularly well! The Tremlord 30 is our take on a vintage amp of the 50’s and is so clean, you could eat your dinner off it, while the Pedalbaby 100…Well it’s a power amp. What else would it do?

There are many amps out there that do clean superbly well and are better known than Orange for doing so but the next time you’re thinking about an amp for your cleans, bear Orange in mind. You’ll probably be very pleasantly surprised.

Back when the gods of rock were bending our minds with new styles and sounds, it was clear that besides their immense talent, analogue amplifier technology played an imperative role. Even though amp design back then was still in its infancy, that classic analogue tone is still highly sought after. So much so that many manufacturers are attempting to recreate those sounds through digital modelling amps.

Arise the first digital amp

You may or may not know this but Orange Amplifiers were at the forefront digital amp design way back in the ’70s. The original OMEC amp was a digitally programmable 150-watt solid-state amp that could store preset sounds. It was so far ahead of the game that it was produced before the development of the CMOS chip!

These days digital amps has come a long way, making it possible to replicate almost any amplifier by modelling analogue circuitry. Yet still, there is still huge demand for true analogue amps, and that’s not to do with black magic, witchcraft or Don Draper-Esq marketing genius. It goes much deeper than that.

The basics of digital vs analogue amplifier design

Analogue amplifiers come in two main forms, tube and solid-state, although sometime they are configured as a hybrid, with a tube pre-amp and a solid-state power stage.

All-tube amplifiers such as our classic AD series use pre-amp tubes to sculpt the tone, and then power amp tubes to smash pure analogue gooeyness out of your speakers.

Solid-state amplifiers like the Orange 4 Stroke bass head or the Crush Pro Series use all analogue components (transistors, resistors and capacitors) in both the pre-amp and power amp circuit. That means you get the warmth people associate with analogue circuitry but reduce the overall size and weight of the amplifier by switching out the tubes for a solid-state power amp circuit.

In contrast, digital amps use digital algorithms to produce the tone at the pre-amp stage and most commonly, solid-state circuitry for the power stage. Some manufacturers offer a tube power stage, but this goes against the core benefit of a digital amp: flexibility.

Orange AD30 “Flagship” Guitar Amp

Flexibility

These days we’re expected to be everything to everyone. It’s part of the immediacy culture. Rather than learning to understand the nuances of tone, we’re now able to flip a switch and change between two completely different sounding amplifiers. One minute you’re playing country blues and the next moment, black metal. Sounds pretty fun? But nothing is clear-cut.

The cost of flexibility is impact.

We’re talking about pure unadulterated grunt that you get from an analogue amp. It’s not just that you can hear it; you can feel an all-analogue amp pushing through your very soul; whole-bodied and direct, accurately representing the true nature of your instrument across the whole frequency spectrum. When you’re hammering it out on an all-valve or solid-state amp on stage it moves you, undulating like sea waves.

Warmth

Unlike an algorithm that digitally recreates a signal, when you drive valves, they compress and produce warmth that has an almost erogenous aspect to it. Solid-state amps are cleverly designed to meet the needs of the most discerning player, creating complex and harmonically rich tones. When people speak of the warmth of analogue, they’re talking about how the sound unfolds and wraps around the music.

Live or in the studio, that full body of sound of analogue gels together the other instruments into a unified whole, sitting just right in the mix. Yet, solo instruments can still be attenuated without feeling harsh or out of place.

In all circumstances, one of the key aspects to a great sounding analogue amp is just that, you need to do very little to get just what you want from it.

Simplicity

Time is money, in the studio, it’s all about the flow and onstage even more so.

Orange Amplifiers are synonymous with simple setup, be that getting a gnarly guitar tone or Venice Beach muscle man bass.

With an analogue amp there’s no shrillness you’d expect from digital, instead they accent the natural harmonics of the top end, thickening the midrange and levelling the boom of the bottom. The devil is in the detailed response to the natural ebb and flow of your instrument.

On the flipside, modelling amps could be seen the epitome of simplicity. Jogging through banks of classic amplifier setups certainly feels like you can conquer anything you can throw at it. But still, recording studios aren’t discarding their banks of ‘go to’ analogue amplifiers in a hurry, especially when it comes to pummeling the overdrive settings or looking for a sweet clean tone.

Aggression

While valve and solid-state amps have an artful beauty to their clean tone, it’s when you get down and dirty that digital begins to lose its way. That is unless you’re looking for that specific sound you get from modelling amps; incisor sharp, transparent as Perspex.

Digital amps try to get close to modeling pre-amp circuitry but there’s nothing quite like the throaty roar of analogue. It all comes down to the imperfection of the technology that provides depth that is seemingly impossible to replicate honestly.

At a lower gain stage, the waveform becomes asymmetric, rich in even harmonics. But when you push the amp even further the bottom of the wave flattens, producing a symmetric wave with odd harmonics. It’s those odd harmonics that release the beast from within.

4 Stroke Bass Amplifier

Weight

OK, so all-valve amps aren’t all that portable. Designed for functionality above anything else and are unmatched in pure brute strength and killer tone. Their modern digital counterparts sit on the other side of the fence; form is their strength, portability a supreme asset. At a cost, many professional musicians would agree, that is outweighed by their novelty.

Somewhere in-between sits the solid-state amp, the choice for many touring musicians where portability is a big benefit but without compromising too much on the essence of your sound. Ultimately ringing out true to the nature of your composition.

Authenticity

Fundamentally, above anything else, Orange has been at the forefront of producing innovative amplification since the late sixties, creating what is now recognized as the British sound.

First heralded by legends such Fleetwood Mac and Stevie Wonder, and blown into the stratosphere by Led Zeppelin.

Re-emerging, again and again, Orange Amplifiers has always been there to define the sound of artists such as Oasis in the ’90s and again taking the world by storm along with the Arctic Monkeys in the decades to follow. Orange Amplifiers, seemingly the Swiss army knife of the music industry.

Let’s dive right in and talk about your history with Orange – do your remember your first ever encounter with the brand, whether it was playing it yourself or seeing someone else play one?

Danko: Yeah I totally remember, and the reason is why I play Orange. We went on tour with The Supersuckers, and the only way we could do that was if we could use their gear, and I used Ron’s Orange head, and I remember thinking “Holy fuck, this is just the best head I’ve ever played!”. That’s how I started with Orange, before that I’d seen other use it and I’d always liked it, but I was playing a variety of amps so it wasn’t until playing through Ron’s that Orange was really put on the map for me. When I then got the opportunity to work with Orange myself that just made sense.

You guys are known for touring relentle-
Danko: I mean – yes, yes we do, or at least have done that, and I guess we’ve been on the road a fair bit this year as well even though for me it feels like an off year. We opened up for Skindred in the UK at the start of the year, came back for festivals, made an album, and now we’re here again. The off years are always the year we make the albums, although looking back at it now it doesn’t really take us much off the road at all.

When constantly on the road, how does a day in the life of Danko Jones normally look like?
Danko:
You know, not that exciting to be honest. On a day like today, I pretty much just hang around near the venue. I need sleep for my voice, so that’s about it, lots of down time. The best thing is to not think about it too much, and especially when it comes to playing the show; the moment I start thinking about things, I fuck it up on stage. There’s also this banter between the band and the audience that you just can’t plan, I’ve seen bands do that, script their set – and whenever someone shouts something at them from the crowd, they have no reply and there’s just no way of bouncing back form it. Have the songs rehearsed and that’s it, whatever happens happens. The best thing to do most days is to just go at it with a blank head and brain. So many bands these days have backing tracks and vocals and everything just seems so pre-programmed that there’s little room for spontaneity, and I think the audience picks up on that. I don’t mind if the show goes off the track, cause at least it shows the audience that they’re getting whatever we can serve them on the night, and there is something to be said for that. We go out there pretty low key, play the songs, and see where they take us.

You mentioned off years are album years, do you still write when you’re on the road or do you save that for when you’re back at home?
Danko: No, we allow enough time at home to do the writing then. We spent some time this time last year as well as before and after summer digging deep into writing, and with those sort of writing sessions we were able to figure out what we wanted, and pick 11 or 12 favourites to go on the album. Ever since Rich Knox (drums) joined the band, I haven’t felt nervous before any of the releases, more than anything I’ve been excited and impatient for people to hear what we have been working on, which means I’m confident about the songs. This album we’re due to release is another one of those. I’ll admit there’s been some albums previously where I’ve been slightly nervous whether people would like it or not, and whenever I’ve had those sorts of doubts, those are always the albums that have had mixed reviews. I’ve always liked it, but it might not appeal to everyone else. The last two albums we put out, Fire Music (2015) and Wild Cat (2017) I wasn’t even nervous, and the reviews were really good, and our new album is just as good as both of them, if not better.

To dive back into Orange for this last question, what’s your setup for tonight?
Danko: I’ve got a Rockerverb 50 head, and you know what, I’m not a gear head, I’m a creature of habit – whatever I find and like, that’s what I stick with. I can’t give you any specks of what it is I like about the head, it just have to sound like this (makes riff noise), which is a sound I’ve been making since I was seven. If it sounds like that, great. I don’t go searching for new products, and usually if I switch to something else or try something new, that will have to be presented and put in front of me. To me, amps aren’t precious possessions or collectables, they are the tools of my trade, the tools I need to do my job, and I gotta be honest, Orange is the best tools I’ve ever used.

Giannis: Hello, I am Giannis and I’m the guitar player from 1000 Mods.

Giorgos: I am Giorgos, I play for 1000 Mods and the reason I started playing guitar is because of Black Sabbath.

Giannis: The reason why I started playing guitar is because some of the first bands I ever listened to were MC5 and Motorhead.

Giorgos: We knew each other from a very young age. With Lampros, the drummer, we knew each other since we were three years old. After meeting Giannis later on, we started a few bands and we had a few music groups. Under the name 1000 Mods in 2006 we started recording albums.

After a few shows in the Corinthia region and a few festivals, we moved into the Athens music scene, as we wanted to play there and meet different bands. There was a really good music scene there which we became a part of, which as you know there is now a lot of recognition about this scene in Europe. I think all bands either from Greece or coming to play in Greece have only good things to say about it.

Giannis: The first band that I ever saw in a music video playing Orange, were MC5 and then in more modern times, Slipknot. The first Orange amp I ever played with, was an OR-120 and sometime in the middle of 2005, I bought a second one, an Orange 50 Watt Rockerverb.

Giorgos: The first experiences I had, was the Black Sabbath music videos, Paranoid and Iron Man. I remember a very good story when I bought Holy Mountain by Sleep they had written οn the back cover, if I am not mistaken that they were looking for Orange amps and wanted to buy them etc and this made a great impression on me.

I remember a funny story was when we went to Athens to various guitar stores and music stores and we went to a shop that was selling Orange at the time to try a Rockerverb 50 or 100. I remember when we put it on, we turned up the amp
too much inside the store causing some strings from an acoustic guitar to break!

Anyway, when we listened to Orange we realised that this is where the sound is. As the store employee told us, it has a very good “honest” mids and a great headroom and that’s how we started being involved with Orange and buying Orange. I remember buying a Rockerverb 50 then Giannis got an old Orange OR-120 which we used live and from then on we continued experimenting with our sound and with Orange in general, because we loved it. Soon after, Orange started to become more popular, where we were playing, there were Orange and generally we all started playing on stage with Orange and many other music bands, were using Orange amps.

Giannis: From Orange, that is a very fundamental part of my sound I am using an Orange OR-120 1970 and an Orange Rockerverb 100 which are the very base of my sound and I consider them as a part that I can’t replace.

Generally I do a blend of sounds from the two Oranges, where the low and mid frequencies are coming from the old one and from the modern I get the high frequencies that I desperately need.

Giorgos: As we moved forward, we tried different sounds with other amps as well and blended them and about a year ago, it was a great honour for us, to have Charlie coming to Desertfest in London and suggesting us to collaborate and be a part of the Orange roster and become Orange ambassadors.

This period we are on our second round of promotion of our album “Repeated Exposure to…” and in the future we hope to start working on some new material hopefully in the middle of 2019.

Jonathan Higgs (Vocals and Guitar):

Hi, I’m Jonathan Higgs and i’m the singer and the guitar player in Everything Everything. My current setup is the Rocker 32 combo, it’s a pretty versatile amp. You can use it in the studio and we have done, but it really comes alive on the road, it’s very resilient and it sounds great on stage.

The best thing about the amp if the simplicity, its just basically a big volume knob, it’s just simple; you turn it up and there you are. You can sometimes get bogged down in all sort of settings with amps but this is nice and simple.

Alex Robertshaw (Guitar)

Hi, i’m Alex and I play guitar in the band Everything Everything. So at the moment i’m using the Orange Rockerverb MKIII, I decided to go for the Rockerverb MKIII because it has a very high Wattage and I wanted an amp that was really clean. It’s got loads of headroom, I want an amp with loads of headroom, so I can keep bumping it up and I am not hitting any compressed ceiling.

Jeremy Pritchard (Bass)

So i’m running the AD200 head and the 8×10 cab and the pedal board goes straight into that and it just covers everything you need in terms of frequency response on stage. I’ve always favoured any amplifier with just very high quality but simple components. I’ve always liked the heritage of the brand as well.

The actual look of the cabinet design and the head design is so distinctive, so you always knew if you were watching someone playing Orange. I used to go see bands like SUNN O))) and Sleep, really heavy stoner doom bands and they would always have these very distinctive cabinets and heads on stage. And a lot of those bands that i was really into and still am used Orange.

Plus our mates Foals, who have such a ferious live sound, Walter was always using the 8X10’s and Jimmy’s entire guitar rig is Orange. Even when I was a teenager and seeing Noel Gallagher with that classic Orange look was really memorable.

There were a lot of whispers within the company about Marcus King before his London Islington Assembly show, a gig where Orange founder and CEO Cliff Cooper embarked on a two hour journey to introduce himself and say hello before the show, and where I had countless phone calls, messages and emails from various colleagues around the globe pre interview, making me aware of how.god.damn.important. this 22 year old guitar prodigy was for the future of music and how they’d send me home on the first flight to Norway (not really…) if I didn’t make a good impression – so no pressure there.. During the interview I found out more about his love for the charismatic frontman, and that he started playing guitar at the age of 3, an age where I personally was still trying to grow a full head of hair. To get back into it, ladies and gentlemen, the ever so clever, Marcus King.

Finding someone like yourself playing this sort of music and playing it as well as you do at 22, really makes me believe there’s hope for future generations. I assume you must have been young when you started playing, may I ask how young?
Marcus King:
I first started playing when I was about 3 or 4, and I’ve been playing professionally since I was about 11.

I’m guessing music’s been a natural part of your upbringing as you come from a strong blues background with your dad being fellow blues man Marvin King. Apart from that, there are such strong elements of soul, funk, and even some latin grooves in your playing, what other types of music did you listen to when growing up and learning to play?
Marcus King:
I was really inspired by guitar players such as Clapton, Hendrix and Stevie Ray Vaughn from a young age, another early discovery was The Allman Brothers Band, as well as The Marshall Tucker Band and a bunch of other great Southern bands. Later on, I got really intrigued by “the frontman”, and artists such as James Brown, Otis Redding  and Aretha Franklin – anyone who had that certain attitude would really speak to me. What really changed the game for me was when I started studying jazz theory, and discovering Miles Davis and John Coltrane was really life changing to me, a clear game changer.

You got your band with you, The Marcus King Band, here tonight – how do you work when you make music, do you write the most of it on your own and bring it to the band, or is it done as a unit?
Marcus King: Most of the songs I write and bring to the band for them to add in their flavour, and that’s what creates a Marcus King Band song, a collaborative effort. To those of you who don’t know, The Marcus King band is:

Drums: Jack Ryan – 6 years in the band
Trumpet: Justin Johnson – 5 years in the band
Bass: Stephen Campbell – 4 years in the band – Uses an AD200
Saxophone: Dean Mitchell – 4 years in the band
Keys: Deshawn “D-Vibes” Alexander – 1 year in the band

Now to put you on the spot in front of founder Cliff Cooper, how have you been finding using Orange on this past tour?
Marcus King: I’ve loved every second of it – I’ve never had a mishap using an Orange, which is one of the things I love the most about them, how dependable they are. Plus, you can play ‘em straight outta the box! Tonight I’ve got a Rockerverb 50, which is my favourite Orange head, and a 4×12 cab. I’ve also always been a reverb guy so when Orange’s Pat Foley in Nashville introduced me to the Rockerverb, I was sold on it. Pat’s great, and he’s become close friends with my dad as well.

Hi I’m Dan from Boston Manor and I play Orange.

Well I have always been a big fan of music and bands, I really loved Blink 182 and my favourite member was Mark Hoppus. He was my main influence I think because he sung and played bass and he jumped around a lot and I was really into all that. Picking up the bass as well, I was like this is different from guitar and not that many people I know play bass, so I thought it was a really cool instrument to play.

With the Terror bass what I look for is reliability and tone, it’s just flawless in every way.  I love playing it and being small it fits in the van, under my seat, that’s why I love it so much. The reason I got the new one is it has features of the older Orange AD200 which I used to play quite a lot but they were really heavy and big. I still really enjoyed the tone and sound of them, it kind of has those features all built into this one tiny terror bass head.

My setup on stage is, I have the Orange bass terror, the new one. I have the Orange 4X10 cab and then underneath it is a 1X15 cab and they are paired together. I put it on the clean switch and I also mess around with my pedals to kind of get a grittier tone and it works really well with a couple of pedals on the clean sound. I’m still figuring it out at the moment, I do like to try different things as much as possible. I feel like it sounds better live using the Orange stuff than using it in the studio because I always try to crank more for live, to give it a bit more gain. Once you really crank the gain on those things it really proper drives it and helps the song.

I just think Orange are cool, they have always been that cool, i’ve seen many punk bands using Orange as well. I’ve always just thought they looked awesome as well. We recorded our EP’s and our first record with them and like I said I used it at uni, I always thought Orange were the go to amp head and cabs as well. I’ve always just loved Orange and thought why not have one for myself.

It feels amazing, I never thought growing up, even five years ago when we first started the band I never thought we would one get to this point and two, have Orange who I have always looked up to, support our band and support me individually.  I feel blessed in a way because I never thought it would happen.

Glenn Hughes – bassist extraordinaire and singer from a different dimension, a musician who played a vital part in British heavy rock and introduced Deep Purple to funk, briefly fronted Black Sabbath in the 80s, released an album with Pat Thrall, and played with musicians such as Joe Bonamassa, Joey Castillo and Jason Bonham, to mention a few. Most recent, is his “Glenn Hughes plays Deep Purple” adventure, where he’s re-living what he did with MK III and MK IV over two extensive world tours. 

First of all, let me just say I think it is so wonderful that you’re doing this tour, not just for myself, but for a lot of people who maybe got to know Deep Purple through their parents, and also just for long time Purple fans from way back when – it’s a tremendous pleasure and even privilege to be able to hear these songs being brought back to life decades after being written – how has it been playing these shows, and bringing this music to a new generation?

Glenn: In 2017, I was asked by promoters around the world if I would be interested in doing these legacy shows with what I did with MK III and MK IV. If you know me, you know I have played some songs in my shows previously, as well as other songs from my past bands such as Trapeze. I’ve never done a complete two hour show of this music, which meant I had to go back and dig deep to figure out which songs, arrangements, how I’d play them and if I’d be able to do so with the same angst and energy as I did when I was 23.

When this tour became a reality, I had to get in shape, which I did, and you know, Ella, and you can tell me later after the show, I would not do this, if I could not deliver. This isn’t about some guy walking on, grabbing a guitar and just standing still, this is a man who’s gone into character. When I’m up there, I don’t want to be 23, but I feel effervescent, I feel young, and when I sing those songs, you can’t really tell the difference. I’ve grown my hair, and I’ve got the outfits. Not the original ones, as a lot of them were lost along the way, and some even displayed in the Rock ’n’ Roll Hall of Fame. Luckily, I’m friends with some incredible designers, and fashion is something I’ve also always had a keen interest in, which I got from my father. But of course, it’s music that is the centre of my universe, what I live for.

In recent years you’ve also been pretty busy releasing new music, latest being last year’s Black Country Communion’s fourth album BCCIV, have you got anything else lined up either by yourself or with others?
Glenn: The plan for now is to do this for two years, go around the world twice. I’ll be back again here in the  UK next May for more of this, and I’m doing three American tours, one of which I just completed two weeks ago. When the time’s right, I’ll figure out what’s next, but something will come up for me because I’ve sat around for too long – I mean, I have a great home in L.A and a great lifestyle, but I was becoming restless, and people who know me, knows that I am very much a live singer, I’m not someone who can settle for spending all their time in the studio, I need to be performing, live on stage.

Now, let’s get slightly more technical and talk amps, Orange Amps. Obviously, when you’re at this place in your career where you are now, you can pick and choose among all amplification manufacturers around the world, how did you end up using Orange?
Glenn: Let’s just say, before I started using Orange five years ago, I was with other companies. Big ones. As I was walking through NAMM in L.A I was approached by Orange who asked if I wanted to come try out some of their amps, which I had always wanted to do, genuinely. When I got to the stall, there was a P bass in front of me, and and Orange amp with four knobs. “That’s easy for me”, I thought. When I started playing, I was getting this sound that was very, very similar to what I had with Purple in the 70s, and it was something that I wanted to be a part of. That day, I forgot about everything else that wasn’t Orange. I want you to hear the sound I’ve got tonight, it’s such a dynamic sound, a dynamic, and really wild sound, that says Orange, and it says Glenn Hughes. Cliff Cooper, he believes in me as an artist, and he believes that I love his company, which I do.

I can’t speak for Cliff, but I feel like I can safely say on behalf of the company, it is very exciting to have you as one of our artists, someone that has played such a big part in British music history and heavy rock, and I dare say even bringing funk to British hard rock.
Glenn: The funk for me, will come from my love of Motown which I’ve had since I was a youngster. Growing up living in America, and knowing a lot of great black musicians. Then all of a sudden, I find myself being in Deep Purple, as a rock star, and icon, but also remembering that my background is from Detroit. Not only did I change when I joined the band, but the band changed. I came in, and they felt the movement of what I was playing and writing. I didn’t hold them and gunpoint, they went with me, and those pieces of work we did together, are very important to me.

Just before I let you go, back to the technicalities – what’s the set up for this Deep Purple tour?
Glenn: I’ve got a few set ups, maybe two or three, but the ones I’m using right now is two 8×10’s and the AD200. That’s primarily what I use, this is perfect for what I’m doing now, and the 8×10’s been working really well for me.