Orange Jams is a series of live sessions hosted by Orange & Jam in the Van which features Orange ambassadors from across the globe. This session sees Heavy Temple live at Noisy Little Critter in Pennsylvania.
Nighthawk: My history with music goes as far back as I can remember. My parents had a pretty diverse record collection and they encouraged me to play early on. I started on piano and eventually moved to cello as a classically trained musician, though admittedly I hated practicing. I was a music major for a year and then realized I just wasn’t cut out for it. I dropped out, bought my first bass and discovered that playing it came much more naturally to me. I was at my friend’s house getting stoned and he put on Black Sabbath’s first album (for those who are wondering, yes, I didn’t hear that record until I was 20). That’s when I knew what I wanted to do. I also make flyers for our shows, and had made a bunch for our tour that just got postponed. I just really enjoy doing anything creative when it comes to music, be it writing, playing, making flyers, just experiencing it in any way possible. You can check out my flyers here.
What can you tell us about your band Heavy Temple?
Nighthawk: I found myself without a band in 2012 and was rather depressed. I went through the “I’m gonna sell all my gear and quit music forever” phase. Then one day I just sat in the basement and started recording a few riffs that had been kicking around in my head. Fast forward to 2 records, 6 lineups and 8 years later. I feel like we’re really starting to hit our stride as far as live performance and collective writing. We all have different desert island records but also have a strong foundation in heavy rock. Our personal influences span everything from punk and black metal to psych and doom. The Sabbathian overtures on the first two records are obvious but not directly intentional. With this third record, you’ll hear more vibes like Black Angels, Queens of the Stone Age, Acid King, if I had to put a finger on it. We were set to release that this year on a label, but since the world is ending we might just put it out ourselves.
Is there any artists that stands out as an influence to you?
Nighthawk: I always find myself struggling to answer this question succinctly. If I’m naming bass heroes, I’d say Nick Oliveri (as bassist for Queens of the Stone Age), Bootsy Collins, and Lemmy. The bass playing I enjoy the most is groove based and more complex than you think, like Captain Beyond, early Scorpions, Grand Funk. Overall I’m influenced by a lot of things. Basically whatever sounds good to me. Could be High on Fire, could be Interpol. Could be Tchaikovsky.
You recently got the OB1-500, how are you getting on with it? Have the neighbours complained yet?Nighthawk: Oh. My. God. I can’t believe I haven’t played through this before. The tone that I’m able to get straight out of the head is insane. Honestly it’s a real game changer for me. The fact that it splits the signal so you can dial in the clean sound before sprinkling that distortion on top is great. And if we’re being honest I like the easy to discern images on the face plate for people like me who sometimes have one too many shots of tequila before playing. As for our neighbors, they’re actually pretty cool. One keeps asking when we’re putting out a new record, so we got that going for us.
You also just released a solo album, what can you tell us about it and the influences behind it?
Nighthawk: Well, I love Italian horror movies and film scores. I also really enjoy the process of composing, so the album I just released, “The Dimensionaut” (listen here), is really an homage to all of that. It’s nearly a decade of music that I’ve wanted to put out for the longest time, so I figured I’d just go for it. I dig what you can accomplish with synths. There’s so much atmosphere you can achieve. My favorite tracks have a sort of ethereal synth sound with a massively wet reverb guitar track over top. We’re also releasing a split Funkadelic EP on Riff Merchant Records with our friends from Wolf People in a couple of days on the 31st of May which we’re excited about.
When catching up with Orange artists, one of the things we tend to ask is how they first got into playing – some were pretty much force-fed music from a young age growing up in musical homes, others found music for themselves. Over the next couple of weeks and as part of our ‘Learn the Orange Way’ campaign where we offer free guitar lessons for all Orange users (more on that here), we’ll be sharing a series of quotes from some of our artists on why how they got into playing.
Mainly KISS and Queen, they were my two main bands. Queen came to Brazil in 1981, but my mum wouldn’t let me go because I was too young. Then KISS came in 1983, and that was my first ever show. Being able to go see them live at their Creatures of The Night tour, was insane, that changed my life. That’s why I’m here! Seeing that, in my home town, at my football team’s stadium.. As I said, it changed everything. When I first started playing, my goal was to play ‘Stairway to Heaven’, so that’s what I told my teacher. She gave me the basics and a good ground to learn on, gradually. It started out with acoustic Brazilian music, before moving onto other things. Slowly I’d expand my music taste as well, and start listening to bands such as Iron Maiden, Judas Priest, Black Sabbath, Deep Purple, Jimi Hendrix and Cream, all of those incredible vintage sounding bands and artists. I’m also inspired by Brazilian music, and as I’ve become older and developed my taste I’ve picked up on a lot of the older Brazilian music, which has been a huge inspiration to Sepultura. That’s played a huge part in finding our sound, using Brazilian percussion and other bits from our more traditional music.
I was born in Puerto Rico and moved to the States when I was five. Some of my earliest memories are of my dad and uncles playing me music, those dudes loved Metallica. My dad would also drive me around with Pearl Jam on repeat. All my uncles played guitar, and my grandfather the cuatro, so I had early exposure to those instruments. I didn’t pick up a guitar myself until I was 15 or 16, when my dad finally got an acoustic for Christmas and I got bitten by the bug. Eventually I bought an Epiphone Les Paul for money I’d earned selling candy in high school, and once that was done I stopped doing just about everything else to pursue playing. I’d recently been turned onto At The Drive-In and The Mars Volta and was like ‘Damn, that dude’s got hair like mine and he shreds, let’s learn that shit!’ My dad also made sure I knew Led Zeppelin was the greatest band of all time, so I guess that shaped a lot of my playing too, Zeppelin>The Beatles
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.
Jaret, how did it all begin?
I was born in Puerto Rico and moved to the States when I was five. Some of my earliest memories are of my dad and uncles playing me music, those dudes loved Metallica. My dad would also drive me around with Pearl Jam on repeat. All my uncles played guitar, and my grandfather the cuatro, so I had early exposure to those instruments.I didn’t pick up a guitar myself until I was 15 or 16, when my dad finally got an acoustic for Christmas and I got bitten by the bug. Eventually I bought an Epiphone Les Paul for money I’d earned selling candy in high school, and once that was done I stopped doing just about everything else to pursue playing.
I’d recently been turned onto At The Drive-In and The Mars Volta and was like ‘Damn, that dude’s got hair like mine and he shreds, let’s learn that shit!’ My dad also made sure I knew Led Zeppelin was the greatest band of all time, so I guess that shaped a lot of my playing too, Zeppelin>The Beatles
Puerto Rico’s a really musical island, and we like to make noise!
You’re currently keeping busy with two bands, Grave Bathers and Heavy Temple, what can you tell us about them?
Grave Bathers formed about a year ago, bassist Davis and I had been in a surfy psychedelic porto-punk band together for a few years called The Bad Larrys, when our musical tastes started outgrowing what we were doing. So, we decided to get a heavier outlet to create music that resonated more with us. We met Drew, the singer, at a show, and the original drummer in Bathers, Barret, was an old band mate of Davis’. Our other guitarist, Steve, was the last piece of the puzzle, and we had our first show in NY within a month of forming. 2019 was a wild ride with lots of obstacles to overcome as a new band, but 2020 is looking promising with our new drummer Cliff having joined us
Heavy Temple’s been a band for about 7 years, and Elyse played with five different lineups before I joined on guitar and Will on drums. My buddy Zach from High Reeper gave me a heads up one morning that she was thinking of hitting me up to join, and I was sold before she even asked. Some of our bands had crossed paths in the past, so we were familiar. Before joining Heavy Temple, I’d never been on tour or played anything besides bar venues – all that changed this year.
As a guitarist, who would you say is your main influence?
That’s like trying to play FMK with Omar Rodriguez-Lopez, Jimi Hendrix, and Jimmy Page.
When it comes to music in general, what bands are on repeat?
As for recent bands, King Gizzard and The Lizard Wizard, Monolord, and Thee Oh Sees. Oldies but goodies; Hendrix, Zeppelin, Dust, Sabbath, Captain Beyond and Sir Lord Baltimore.
What would you say has been your musical career highlight so far?
2019, from start to finish. Joining Heavy Temple and hitting the road to play in states I’ve never been in has been amazing. We got to play Union Transfer for Tired Hands Brewing’s (where I work as a brewer) anniversary party with Weedeater and Pallbearer, and I’d say that’s my favorite gig I’ve ever played, thanks Jean! Grave Bathers playing Johnny Brenda’s in Philly for our last show of the year, a year into being a band, let us know that we’re on the right track. THEN I got to join the Orange family! I definitely had to pinch myself a few times in 2019.
What’s your history and experiences with Orange?
My buddy had an Orange in high school, and one night we ate a bunch of shrooms and plugged his SG Custom into his AD30HTC half stack, and my mind was blown in the most perfect way. There was a lot of pedals to make noise with and everything sounded like.. Pink Floyd? Ha. I eventually bought an AD30R combo, before trading it for the twin channel head and cab on the day of my new psych band Tail’s first show.
What do you look for in an amp?
It should sound perfect turned all the way up, and then allow me to destroy that with a fuzz pedal. Beefy bass and low mids, with wooly top end that doesn’t sparkle too much. Everything Orange sounds like to me.
What’s your current set up?
I run either a Tokai Flying V or a Black Beauty Les Paul Custom into my vintage 1972 GRO100, with one or two PPC412’s. I’d play someone else’s guitar before playing a different amp. It reminds me of everything I loved about my OR50, just with more headroom and that crusty mojo. I drove 15 hours on a Sunday to pick that head up and when I found it, or it found me, the new backplate that was made for it had my birthday written on the back.