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Iron Maiden, Steve Harris

Iron Maiden ‘Beyond Flight 666’ by John McMurtrie

4 Stroke

Steve Harris, where do we begin with Steve Harris? The only constant member in legendary British hard rock band Iron Maiden alongside guitarist Dave Murray, and is also the primary songwriter of the band. Since the formation of Maiden in East London’s Leyton in 1975 the band has released sixteen studio albums, toured the world a countless time in their own airplane flown by singer Bruce Dickinson and made their mark as one of the biggest heavy metal bands in history. Steve Harris has developed a recognisable way of playing such as the “gallop”. Paired with drummer Nicko McBrain and his unexpected clever ways, three guitarists and Bruce Dickinson sprinting and jumping across the stage throughout every single Iron Maiden show, and let’s not forget, fights Maiden mascot Eddie on a regular basis, their shows are nothing but spectacular. In addition to his bass playing and songwriting, Steve Harris has also produced and co-produced their albums, directed live videos and played keys for the band while in the studio. A Jack of all trades, so say the least.

Glenn Hughes

Crush Bass 100
AD200 MK3 Head
OBC810 8×10 Bass Speaker

Glenn Hughes is not just an incredible bassist, but a remarkable singer with the most astonishing vocal range. He first made a name for himself while in Trapeze, before joining Deep Purple in 1973 where he shared vocal duties with David Coverdale, and brought the funkiest bass lines to the band. With Deep Purple MK III he released “Burn” and “Stormbringer”, before Ritchie Blackmore left the band and Tommy Bolin was brought in on guitar for Deep Purple MK IV. They released “Come taste the Band” in 1975, before all going their separate ways the following year. Since then, he’s released a one of album with Pat Travers’ guitarist Pat Thrall, recorded with Gary Moore and fronted Black Sabbath briefly in the 80s. In more recent years, he released a one off album with his short lived band ‘California Breed’ with Jason Bonham on drums and guitarist Andrew Watt, as well as playing in Black Country Communion with Joe Bonamassa, Derek Sherinian and again, Jason Bonham on drums. His latest venture is touring the world, twice, as “Glenn Hughes plays Deep Purple”, bringing back to life all the songs from way back when.

Rush, Geddy Lee

AD200 MK3 Head
OBC410 4×10 Bass Speaker
OBC810 8×10 Bass Speaker

Rush have over the past forty years pioneered progressive rock with their unusual compositions and musical craftsmanship, with each member repeatedly being listed as some of the most proficient players of their instruments. This has led to Rush being somewhat of a ‘musician’s favourite band, and they have been highly influential within their genre, although that has changed slightly over the course of the career. Geddy Lee first started playing music when he was around 10 years old, and got his first acoustic guitar at 14. Before this, he played drums, trumpet and clarinet. However, it wasn’t until he was introduced to popular music at the time and some of the great Brits such as Cream, Jeff Beck and Procul Harum, and cited Jack Bruce as one of his first and early influences.

The Bronx, Brad Magers

4 Stroke
AD200 MK3 Head

It wasn’t until in recent years that Bronx bassist Brad Magers got his hands on his first Orange and we are stoked to now have him as one of our artists. He’s got a few different set ups consisting of either the 4 Stroke, or an AD200, which he describes as: “A monster of an amp, it’s just such a simple set up but exactly what it needs to be. I hate when all these amps have all these annoying tweaks on them as there’s just a few things you really need. As long as there is gain I’m pretty much good to go – you set it up in like two seconds and then you’re just there like: “Well, that’s the best sound I’ve ever heard!”  When Brad isn’t busy with the Bronx, he puts on his mariachi suit and picks up the trumpet with side project Mariachi El Bronx. Rumour has it that there might be a surf band in the works as well, but we can’t say for sure – yet..

Radio Moscow, Anthony Meier

AD200 MK3 Head
OBC410 4×10 Bass Speaker
OBC115 1×15 Bass Speaker

Anthony Meier’s first encounter with Radio Moscow was back in 2012 when his other band Sacri Monti played a few gigs with some of Radio Moscow drummer Paul Marrone’s other bands, and they got chatting. However, it wasn’t until a year later when singer and guitarist Parker Griggs relocated to San Diego that the band started looking for a new bassist. Paul suggested Anthony and he was invited to jam with them. Needless to say, the jam worked out well, as Anthony’s still in the band over five years later. When not on the road with Radio Moscow, he still keeps busy with his other band Sacri Monti that’s due to come over to Europe this summer. He also DJs regularly at local San Diego / Oceanside bars, and is an skilled pool player, some might even say excellent.

Tom Petersson, Cheap Trick

Rockerverb 50 MKIII Head
PPC412 4×12 Speaker Cab
AD200 MK3 Head
OBC810 8×10

Cheap Trick bassist and Rock ’n’ Roll Hall of Fame inductee Tom Petersson turned heads in the early 70s when he came up with the idea of creating a 12 string bass. The reason behind this was wanting to make the band sound as big as humanly possible, and by adding (after inventing…) the 12 string bass, he was left with an instrument that almost sounded like bass and guitar all in one. This has become a vital part of the bands sound, and his amps plays a huge part in this. He is a big fan of both the AD50 and AD200, and plays them both straight out without any pedals.

I’m Tom Petersson, bass player for the group Cheap Trick. I’m here in London, England at Sixty Sixty Sounds, Denmark Street.

I came with our guitar player Rick Nielsen, he and I came to London in 1968. We went to Cliff Cooper’s shop, Orange music which is around here somewhere! I don’t know where the exact location was and he was just starting to build Orange amps in the back room. 

Once the british invasion hit that kind of took over everybody’s lives at the time, it just kept going on and on, and people are still listening to it, its amazing!

We first saw Orange amps being used by Fleetwood Mac, they came over in ’69 in the US and they had the big giant bass rig. Peter Green and Danny Kirwan the tone they had was killer, I love to have the feel of the air being pushed like 412 cabinets. I’ve always liked the sound of tube amps, i’ve never liked transistors, it never had the right warmth to it and distortion. We’ve never used pedals for distortion, it’s all totally the amp being pushed to its maximum. I love the sound of the amp sounding like its about ready to blow up, like Jeff Beck is that perfect example of just great tone. Of course it’s in his hands, so it is different in that way but its just that sound and that warmth and that real distortion that you can’t get from transistor. You can’t match the sound of tube amps.

What I like about Orange is the quality of the gear and just the tone, it’s got that warm tube sound and you can push it. If you back off it will clear off a bit, it will be relatively clean and if you dig into it, it breaks up great. So you have got a lot of room with getting your own sound, with muting and it brings all the subtleties out in your playing. Something about the sound about the analogue amps is unbeatable.


Something about the sound about the analogue amps is unbeatable.

For us reliability is a big key and you don’t need amps breaking down. Having vintage amps is a pain, you can’t replace them, they get busted up traveling and the Orange gear just covers all the bases really.  You can get it anywhere and they just have great sound, they really are unbeatable.

I use an AD50 guitar head running a 412 orange cabinet and an AD200 bass head running a 412 orange cabinet and that is it!

I play a 12 string bass, my rig is really the same for a 4 string as a 12 string bass. Its that same guitar sound, your just really adding in the high, it’s a bit like a 12 string guitar playing along with a bass. When I switch over sometimes to a T-Bird or a Fender Precision, they both have that grand piano sound which is great. So you get that great guitar distortion and they have great low end. It’s really basically the same sound, the twelve string is a bit bigger because they’re are high strings going on. Get the great guitar sound and then just add bottom, nothing to it.

The main reason we keep going or most musicians, is that you don’t have a back up plan, it’s not like I can fall back on my lucrative dentistry career! I have been doing this since i was 14 years old and started playing in clubs since I was 15 and it’s really all we know. It’s what we love to do and I can’t imagine stopping. You are not thinking anything, you are playing for the love of it, there is mainly no money in it. You just do it because you love it, we have kept going and there is no reason to stop, yet!

From an Artist Relations perspective, the AD200B bass amp is one of the best weapons in my arsenal. It’s an amp with extremely pure bass tone, lots of clarity no matter how you’ve set the knobs, and it’s overdrive is a perfect blend of classic and modern. I’ve had hundreds of artists make the switch from “the other standard bass amp company that which will remain unnamed” onto the AD200B.

Artists love it because it’s produced to the same standard as most vintage tube bass amps. They also tend to make the switch when their classic bass amps are ready to come off the road to become studio-only pieces.

Here’s the backstory on a handful of Orange Ambassadors that use the AD200B (which we commonly refer to as just the “AD200”):


Geddy Lee – Rush

This might be hard to believe, but Slipknot is actually responsible for Geddy Lee playing the AD200.

Rush and Slipknot were recording next to each other in a Nashville studio. On a whim, Geddy heard the bass tone coming out of Slipknot’s studio and peeked his head in to find out what was making that glorious sound. Martin, Jim Root’s tech at the time, told him it was the AD200.

It took us about NEGATIVE FIVE MINUTES to decide Geddy could make or break Orange bass amps. Once we got that now-iconic photo of him chilling on top of his AD200’s we started buying up a ton of full page ads in guitar magazines. It was basically an entire year of promoting Geddy. The result? A nearly 100% increase in bass sales (and they’ve been growing every year since then).

Geddy used the AD200 for ¼ of his onstage bass tone. He turned the gain and the treble all the way up and everything else down as far as it could go. So basically the AD200 was his overdrive tone. However, the bass tone on Rush’s 2012 album Clockwork Angels is FULL of AD200 (check it out).


Glenn Hughes – Deep Purple, Black Country Communion

I was at Winter NAMM in 2011 when suddenly I got pulled into our demo room by an extremely excited Cliff Cooper (Orange’s Founder and CEO). He told me Glenn Hughes had stopped by and asked to try the AD200. We stuffed ourselves into that demo room like sardines. Glenn plugged in, played for 10 seconds, and then stopped and looked at all of us. His face had an expression of disbelief.

“This is the tone I’ve been trying to find for decades…this is my sound.”

Since then Glenn has been using the AD200 at 99% of his shows without fail. When I can’t find backline for him in some random city in, say, Africa, he makes sure I know how sad it makes him. He recently switched from playing through a combination of OBC115 and OBC410 speakers, to a pyramid-looking set up featuring (3) OBC810 cabs turned sideways.


Tom Petersson – Cheap Trick

Everyone knows that Tom is constantly switching up his rig, but for the past 7 years Orange has become a staple of Tom’s tone. Tom plays 12 string bass guitars (which he’s famous for doing) and his rig is a mash-up of bass and guitar amps.

The first Orange amp he added to the mix was the AD200. Then he started throwing in Orange guitar amps, specifically the now-discontinued AD50 hand-wired, the AD30, and more recently the Custom Shop 50 hand-wired. For about a year his rig was entirely Orange, but in true Tom fashion he’s started to put some Fender back into it. Honestly, as long as Tom Petersson of motherfreaking Cheap Trick has Orange on his stage I’ll be OK with whatever it is!


Jason Narducy – Bob Mould, Superchunk, Split Single

I’m putting Jason Narducy, one of my favorite people in the world, right below Tom Petersson because Tom is the reason Jason picked up a bass. I’ll just let Jason tell you what he thinks about the AD200:

“The first time I played an AD200 was in a rehearsal space in LA in 2006. It was the first practice with Bob Pollard’s new band and we had to learn 357 songs or something like that. We also taught our livers what 357 beers felt like. Despite the beer and avalanche of songs, I knew right away that the Orange AD200 was special.

I noticed the amp was orange just like the manufacturer’s name. They nailed that. But more importantly, it had the best tone for my P-bass. There were no hollowed out frequencies that you get with the common rented bass rig. The AD200 has presence and muscle. It is my favorite thing besides beer. And my family, I guess.”

 


Ben Lemelin – Your Favorite Enemies

If you’ve been following Orange closely over the past decade you know that there’s a super insane French-Canadian dude named SEF from the band Your Favorite Enemies who has done product reviews for us. SEF is like the human version of candy-flipping. However, we also have been working with the band’s bassist, Ben Lemelin, for the same period of time, and he’s just as good at doing killer demos.

Ben loves the AD200 for its super pure bass tone and for its ability to get wildly overdriven when necessary.

 

CLICK HERE TO VIEW THE ORANGE AD200B PAGE

After more than four decades in the industry, you’re now getting the highest acknowledgement there is in rock ’n’ roll by being inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame – how does that feel?
We are thrilled to be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. It’s hard to imagine that it’s really happening.

You’re notoriously known for your 12 string bass and at times you’ve almost had a function as second lead guitarist, how did the idea about the 12 string bass come about?
I had the idea for the 12 string bass back in 1973. Our friends Paul Hamer and Jol Danzig were starting the Hamer Guitar Company and by 1977 I was able to talk them into making me one.


Can you tell us a bit about your history and experiences with Orange?
Our guitarist Rick Nielsen and I went to London in 1968 and met Cliff Cooper at his Orange Music shop where he was just starting to make Orange Amplifiers. Rick ended up buying one of his 2×12 combos at the time which he still uses on stage. 

What’s you’re current set up – guitars, pedals and amps?
My current live rig is an AD50 Custom Shop head running an Orange 4×12 cabinet and an AD200B MK3 head running another Orange 4×12 cabinet. I don’t use any effects or pedals.

As mentioned earlier, you’ve all been doing this for a very long time, will this be your last album, or do you have any plans of recording yet another one? How does the future look like for Cheap Trick?
We are releasing a new LP, “Bang, Zoom, Crazy, Hello” April 1st on Big Machine Records. After that, our plan is to release a new record every year. We’ve almost completed our follow up record!