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The Saturday of Black Deer Festival was blisteringly hot and the days music was exceptional. In the afternoon Orange got the pleasure to sit down with William Crighton to talk through his musical influences growing up in Australia and how he is inspired to write songs both collectively and solo. He even strapped on his trusty resonator and played through the new TremLord 30 with its all analogue signal and valve tremolo and reverb.

How did you get into music?
I started in church, my grandmother used to take me and my brother to church in a little place called Ardlethan, a town of about 300 hundred people. It’s where we used to start singing the church hymns, i’m not really Christian any more but you can’t deny that sort of connection with that music. ‘How great thou art’ and ‘Amazing grace’, they are beautiful songs, I was a young kid you get swept up in emotion of the songs of that for sure.

Who are your biggest guitar influences?
My favourite guitar player is Neil Young just because he is so visceral, he plays what he feels and it’s cool. He would probably be my biggest influence across the board.

What inspires your song writing?
It’s always a tough question to describe your music, I’m not really a wonderful musician by a stretch. So I just do what I do and try and be honest with what I do, how I play and what I sing about and how I present it to everybody. My biggest inspiration is the world around us, just try to take it in, everything I have listened to as a kid probably flows into the music, you can’t stop that.

Do you usually write songs as a band or by yourself?
Bit of both, I wrote a lot of the songs by myself, a lot of the songs I write with my wife Jules and my brother Luke, or the rest of the band. It’s interesting touring solo, it’s a whole new thing I just did a tour in Australia and I found the same thing. You are out there by yourself so you have got no one supporting you but your also free to do whatever you like, I quite enjoy it, there is definitely room for both.

How are you finding the festival so far?
I just saw the Sheepdogs they were awesome and John Butler Trio who were great, fellow Australians, Irish Mythen, John Smith. Just walking around and hearing the buzz of everyone around is cool. It seems like a festival where everyone seems at home, everyone talks to one another, you walking past and the security guard says hello is always a good thing. I’m enjoying myself.

This year at Black Deer Festival Orange got the pleasure to sit down with Oskar and Alex from Icelandic rock band Vintage Caravan. The band had just played a set at the festival and chatted about their Orange rigs, the Rockerverb MKIII and the Terror Bass, we also found out about their influences and how Icelandic culture and weather helps to galvanise a band.


Oskar: Hi my name is Óskar Logi Ágústsson, I play guitar and I sing.

Alex: Hi i’m Alex and I play bass.

What inspired you to start playing music?

Alex: I remember starting to listen to ‘Rage Against the Machine’ and thinking that guy sounds pretty fuckin’ bad ass. That kind of propelled me into playing bass and stuff like that, really got the juices flowing!

Oskar: Ugh! I started playing guitar when I was 9, I watched School of Rock and that got me thinking, if they can do it, I can do it.

Alex: I think every kid our age got inspiration from that.

Oskar: Thank you Jack Black! When I head Led Zeppelin and Jimmy Hendrix, there was no turning back.

Tell us about the music scene you grew up with?

Alex: I mean the music scene has always kind of been very strong in Iceland, it’s kind of inspiring to grow up there but also there is not that much to do. The weather is awful all of the time or most of the time.

Oskar: It’s also dark for most for most of the day in the winter time, so you have to do something.

Alex: For nerdy kids like us that meant playing bass and guitar.

When was the first time you spotted an Orange Amp?

Alex: A guy I played in a band with, when I was like 11, he had an Orange combo. I can’t remember the exact model, it was such a noticable brand as there are no other Orange coloured amps. So immediately when you see it you can’t….

Oskar: You can’t get confused with anything else! For me it was seeing Tony Iommi, Paul Kossoff, seeing Fleetwood Mac and Peter Green. Seeing those guys using it, I was associating Orange with great tone and great playing, as they were flying the Orange flag, it was very inspiring.

Tell us about your current set-up?

Alex: I’m running an 8X10 and actually I have be running almost exclusively a new Terror Bass amp. Its cool because I can fly anywhere and it sounds amazing. I’ve tried a lot of these Class D, solid state amplifiers because there is a lot of them out now. Actually I have never tried one that has a weight to the sound, like you get from a really good solid state amp or a tube amp, that you don’t really see in a lot of those other small amps.

Oskar: For me I’m getting the Rockerverb 100 MKIII.

Tell us about why you choose this particular gear?

Alex: In terms of sound I always try to go for something that can stay full and rich but is immensely punchy. Because I have to have a lot of punch all the time, I don’t know maybe i’m compensating for something. Not every amp can do that, I really like how you can turn up the gain on an Orange amp, it seems to do something funny that makes it really fat and powerful, which i don’t see in many modern amps.

Oskar: The Rockerverb just gives me the wings to fly! A cliche yes! I almost teared up myself. It makes my guitars really sing and its super tight, I don’t know really how to explain it but it has that huge body to it and it sings. There is no part of it that is floppy, it is just there and great for the mix.

How does it feel to be part of the Orange family?

Oskar: Being an ambassador of Orange is a dream come true, it’s mind blowing just being part of the huge roster.

Alex: It’s a big honour for us, for sure, we are very happy to working with you guys,

Oskar: Super happy, it’s quite surreal seeing our names on the website. I know that man!

Brant Bjork is a legend of the stoner rock scene of the 90’s, he was the drummer in Kyuss, he played in Fu Manchu and he has released a string of solo albums to name just a few achievements. He came into the Orange cabin at Black Deer Festival to talk inspiration and the Pedal Baby 100 which he had just started using.

What inspired you to start playing music?

I grew up in the Desert in southern California, in a very small boring town, my folks would play stuff like Little Richard, Bo Diddley in the house, Ray Charles. Then the kids in neighbourhood were listening to Kiss and Queen but it wasn’t until I discovered The Ramones that I thought I might be able to participate and play music. I bought Ramones records and I pieced a drum set together and I taught myself to play to Ramones records and when I was done I picked up a guitar and taught myself how to play Ramones records. Then I never stopped.

How did the desert scene come about?

I think we epitomised the DIY movement in the earlier 80’s we took that to heart, cuz’ there was nothing and we were super bored, frustrated and some of us were super creative and we just went to work. Part of it was entertainment but I think it was needing to do something, the energy, skateboarding and punk rock were synonyms back then and we just created a scene. I mean we didn’t know it would become this, that is just an ironic twist that we so motivated to do something for ourselves because we realised no-one or nothing was going to happen for us.

Do you prefer playing solo or in a band?

I currently have a band that I have been playing with for years and we are very much a band, even though it’s under my name. I recorded my first solo record in 1999 called ‘Jalamanta’ and I did everything myself but that was mostly because of the urgency and financial reality of that moment. I didn’t have the time or the means to put a band together and being a guitar player and other things, I just did it myself. I am mostly more excited to play with my band as music is about interacting and communicating with other musicians.

Tell us about your latest record ‘Jacoozzi’?

Well ‘Jacoozzi’ is a record I recorded back in 2010 and then I shelved it for many years, then it just happened that Gabrielle who owns and operates Heavy Sycs Sounds records out of Rome, we decided to work together and it’s a perfect platform for what I do and the catalogue that I have. These things didn’t really exist when I first started in 99′ and even in 2010, they’re wasn’t the platform and infrastructure, so I feel really lucky that I have been around long enough to be able to inject my past into the present.

How did you start using the Orange Pedal Baby 100?

I have been touring for quite some time and I have gone through a number of amplifiers and being in the rock world, I think I speak for most rock musicians, we want that classic rock sound. It’s not easy to obtain and when you do have it, it’s not that easy to maintain and lug around. I have to credit my guitar player Bubba Dupree who is way more of a technical wizard than I am, I just follow his lead! He discovered the Orange Pedal Baby and he was like ‘I think i have found it!’ We now carry the sound on our backs and we now go where we need to and do what we need to do, the way we need to do it and it’s pretty much because of that thing.

How does it work in with your set up?

We have spent many years located the pedals that will get us exactly what we want and it’s deep! We obsess and we are fascinated by these classic tones that will never really be gotten but we have fun trying to get as close to it as we can in the modern context. I mean Hendrix was playing out of three stacks but he was also playing in front of 5000 people, we are all not lucky enough to be doing that every night but we want that sound, we don’t want that sound to die with an era. There is elements of purity that you want to use the same stuff but in the end, it’s the sound you want and I will rub to sticks together if it gets that sound that I want. This here it works perfectly with our pedals and allows us to be mobile and it’s a really awesome, malleable, it wants to help you!

Black Deer Festival 2018 – Photo via their website.

As some of you might know by now, we’re headed to Black Deer Festival next month to air our cowboy boots (thank you Lemmy!), potentially wear cowboy hats, listen to great music and eat delicious food. As we’ve mentioned countless times before, we don’t just cater for stoner bands, although we are totally stoked about Matt Pike creating that image for us – who wouldn’t be?!

Black Deer Festival is new to the UK festival scene and specialises in country and americana, and will take place in Eridge Park in Kent the weekend of 21st to 23rd of June. Despite the main focus being country and americana, you’ll also find blues, folk, some heavy rock and psych artists – mutual for all is the origin being the same, simple blues. Among the artists you’ll find country heavy weight champion Kris Kristofferson, who’ll actually turn an astonishing 83 years old the day after his set, as well as younger generations of the genre such as singer-songwriter Justin Townes Earle who happens to be named after Townes Van Zandt, blues sisters Larkin Poe, Grammy award-winning and the king of charisma Fantastic Negrito and political activist and singer-songwriter Billy Bragg, to name a few.

Radio Moscow’s Anthony Meier

As for the heavier side of things; Desertscene, the creators of Desertfest have taken ownership of ‘The Roadhouse’ which they will be curating throughout the weekend. Some of the bands you can catch there include legendary UK heavy blues band Ken Pustelnik’s Groundhogs (who alongside Kris Kristofferson were one of many bands on the bill for the famous 1970 Isle of Wight Festival which also saw the likes of Jimi Hendrix, Ten Years After, Sly and the Family Stone, The Doors, Procol Harum and Terry Reid, yikes!), San Diego’s face-melting heavy psych three piece Radio Moscow, multi-instrumentalist and former Kyuss drummer Brant Bjork and New York’s psychedelic, heavy, mellow and melodic King Buffalo.

What sets Black Deer apart from other festivals is the community aspect of it all; where a lot of festivals would give parents anxiety even considering bringing their kids to it, Black Deer has created a separate festival within the festival, giving children the opportunity and encouragement to explore, whether that being through music, craft or the outdoors. There will be live music performances, guitar lessons and arts and crafts workshops – a great way to get ‘em while they’re young – we gotta shape the next generation of musicians somehow.

Black Deers’s also teamed up with SupaJam, an organisation who helps educating disadvantaged youth on everything music, and have for this year’s festival given them their own stage to manage, ‘The SupaJam’ stage. They will be responsible for every aspect of the stage from set design, to curating and managing, providing them with the qualifications and skills they need to progress within the music industry in the future.

Another thing we can’t forget about is the food, which will be served up in the ‘Smokehouse’. As with the music, the food has also taken it’s inspiration from America’s deep South, and you can expect southern bbq foods and flavours such as ribs, pulled meat and brisket. They will also be catering for the vegans and veggies with coal-roasted aubergine, cheese stuffed jalapeños and corn tacos, as well as serving up a variety of craft beers, artisan ales and fine wines, and of course, a team of expert trained baristas providing you your morning brew to get you going in the early hours.

We’re also incredibly excited to have teamed up with Black Deer to give a band or artist the opportunity to play a 45 minute set at The SupaJam Stage, as well as winning a Tremlord 30 Guitar Amp. The winner of this competition has been selected and will be announced shortly.

There are still some tickets left for this years festival, so hurry on over to Black Deer’s website to get your hands on one. See you there!