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It’s October and ‘Voice of Metal’, this might get heavy – which we do well, really well. This one doesn’t really need an introduction, so without further ado, let’s get to it.

Sleep and High on Fire, Matt Pike

Rockerverb100 MKIII
Crush Mini
PPC412

You’re probably not surprised we started this list with Matt Pike, are you? Our favourite shirtless hero and alien expert, singer of songs and player of electric guitars. Whenever Matt Pike comes to town we clear out our backline suppliers within a 50 mile radius before his crew gets given the most exhausting job any road crew has had since the days of Terry Bozzio touring with Frank Zappa, a heavy load (in – and out..). Matt Pike has pioneered doom and metal with his bands Sleep and High on Fire, and has become sort of a legend while still alive. His average Sleep set up, which is bigger than the High on Fire one, normally contains of nine heads, mostly Rockerverbs and Dual Darks, and twelve cabs. Haters will say they ain’t all plugged in, but haters are wrong. For those of you who’s ever been lucky enough to attend a Sleep show and have had the same religious out of body experience as oh so many others while watching Matt Pike tear shit up, you know they’re plugged in and turned up to 11.

Slipknot, Jim Root

Rockerverb100 MKIII
Signature #4 Jim Root Terror Head
Signature #4 Jim Root PPC212
PPC412

Shock rockers Slipknot have been twisting stomachs, turning heads and upsetting parents since the 90s, and Jim Root has been on the front of it all since ’99. Jim, who’s also known by his number #4 is a massive Orange fan, so much that we developed a head and cab for him, the Signature #4 Jim Root Terror Head and Signature #4 Jim Root PPC212. 

“I really like the creamy mid-range, big headroom, and ‘less is more’ philosophy of Orange amps. And all I have to do is plug straight into it with my guitar. That’s my tone.”
-Jim Root, Slipknot

Mastodon, Brent Hinds

Brent Hinds Terror
PPC412

Mastodon’s Brent Hinds might just have one of the most famous face tattoos out there, alongside Mike Tyson, a feature we included on his signature Brent Hinds Terror. Orange and Brent have a longstanding relationship of working together, we’re good to Brent, and Brent’s good to us – just look at all the stupid shit he agrees to do for us!

KoЯn, Brian ‘Head’ Welch

Rockerverb 100 MKIII

KoЯn were one of the first bands to pioneer nu metal and bring it to the masses, with guitarist Brian Welch playing a key role in how the bands sound developed, defining the nu metal sound of the early 90s.

“KoRn has always been in the game of matching different amp tones and blending them together in the studio. And Orange has always been right there in the mix! One of the reasons I started using Orange amps live is because I was able to get such a smooth tone for my clean channel on classic KoRn songs like “Falling Away From Me” and “Here to Stay.”
– Brian ‘Head’ Welch

Sepultura, Andreas Kisser

Rockerverb 100 MKIII
PPC412

The year was 1983 when Andreas Kisser attended his first gig, seeing one of his all-time favourite bands in his hometown playing his football team’s stadium. The band was KISS on their ‘Creatures of the Night’ tour, and that night changed everything for him. Picking up guitar, his initial goal was to be able to play ‘Stairway to Heaven’. Starting out with acoustic Brazilian music, Andreas swiftly found Black Sabbath, Judas Priest, Iron Maiden and Jimi Hendrix who’s vintage sound influenced him massively. When given the opportunity to play Orange, he instantly took it; 

“You can watch Black Sabbath’s ‘Paranoid’ video where both Iommi and Geezer Butler are using Orange, so when I was given the opportunity to try it for myself I took it straight away – Orange always just had that ‘aura of the masters’. Orange offered more of an organic sound then what I was used to, because what I really love is when I’m able to just plug in and play. There is a lot of demand for distortion and heaviness with Sepultura, and I was very surprised that the Rockerverb II had all of that. A warm, and heavy guitar sound that kind of seemed to expand a bit more.“
– Andreas Kisser, Sepultura

Does your goldfish enjoy Mastodon? Is the answer to controlling a fire, more fire? And how can we be everywhere at once, yet still on the tour bus?

Orange may have the answer.

The OMEC Teleport USB Audio Interface

From within the Deep

Along the murky journey of discovery, music, especially amplified music developed through necessity. Just as humans evolved ears from gills, the universal language of music has continued to change faster than you can say ‘amphibian’.

That evolution began in the Deep South as musicians innovated through necessity, converting wartime radios into rip-roaring filthy beasts of amplifiers that warded away the competition with a harrowing banshee-like wail of the Delta and Chicago Blues.

The Beast from the East

Innovation like that of the blues explosion provided the inspiration for amps like the Orange Rocker 32. All valve monster tone within a 2×10” stereo combo designed for experimentation, offering a 15W per channel stereo power amp with a mono FX send and stereo return (left and right).

John from Orange giving some real life examples of how you could set up your Orange Rockerverb 32

Within one box you have an array of tonal weaponry to rival even the monster rig superpowers. Imagine the footprint of a self-contained amplifier, but with the option to run stereo or mono outboard rigs or even A/B split to create two separate tones, helping to build a complex sound that would envy the genius of professional amp techs.

It’s that kind of flexibility that has put musicians like Kelby Ray of The Cadillac Three on the map of modern music innovators.

Beyond the Southern Limits

The Cadillac Three (signed to Big Machine Records) are quite an incredible band who push the envelope of the Southern Rock genre, occupying a space in country music that goes beyond their stomping ground of Nashville.

Part of their appeal is their straight-talking, no-nonsense songwriting alongside a unique band setup that features Kelby playing a lap steel guitar, bi-amped to produce the full spectrum of tones.

“People watch us play live and they think there are six people in the band when it’s all coming from two guys and a drummer,” said Kelby in a recent interview with Orange. 

On what makes Orange Amplifiers ideal for building a mountain of tone Kelby goes on to say “If you play through any of the Orange amps over their competitor (products) you’ll notice the difference is this cool overdrive sound that gives a little bit of grit on the bass of the AD200-MK3, and the crunch and full-bodied mid-range of the AD30HTC and OR15H”.

It covers all the spectrum and is badass! –
Kelby Ray of The Cadillac Three on his Orange Amplifier Rig

However, Kelby’s mad skill though is mastering the art of bass playing and transferring that skill onto the lap steel while simultaneously covering the treble side of the instrument, something that he partially attributes to the advice of legendary producer Bob Rock. These days Kelby is nailing it all on his own!

And into the Realm of Possibility

Another Big Machine Records artist who’s been pushing the limits of the bass guitar for some time now is Tom Petersson of Cheap Trick.

Petersson dons a mindboggling 12-string bass which is pretty innovative in itself, but he also runs a monstrous rig of all valve gear combining guitar and bass amps with a huge speaker array pushing a hell of a lot of air. He likes to push his amps to their limits, producing natural overtones that you can only get from all analogue gear.

By his own admission, Tom is looking for that sound when the amp is ‘about ready to blow up’. That’s why at Orange Amplifiers we build our amps to be taken one step beyond the expected, gear that can handle anything you throw at it.

“It’s at this point you can dig in and it breaks up; back off and the amp is clean”, said Petersson. “Orange Amplifiers give you the headroom to create your own sound, allowing for techniques like muting where the subtly comes out in your playing”.

You can’t match the sound of tube amps, and with Orange Amps, the sound is unbeatable –
Tom Petersson, Cheap Trick

Petersson’s sound is a combination of the AD200 bass head with an 8×10” cabinet, that’s 200 Watts of pure creamy, dynamic low-end with focused mid-range, engulphing you in a barrage of harmonics across the whole frequency spectrum.

In contrast, Geddy Lee uses the same AD200 bass amp as one-quarter of his mega rig opting to max out the treble and gain to produce the overdrive part of his tone, highlighting how universal that classic all-valve bass amp can be. 

But for Tom Petersson, his Cerberus-like monster rig features two Orange guitar amplifiers for the top end which includes a Custom Shop 50 head, crafted to produce exquisite blues-rock tones. This amp includes a switchable output stage to offer the chimey purity of Class A or a more opened mid-range Class A/B which adds plenty of full-bodied kick. Petersson’s Customer Shop 50 is partnered with two 4×12” cabinets.

Tom also boasts a venomous Rockerverb mkii alongside two 2×12” cabinets, adding the filth and the fury to his already mighty setup.

Innovating with Solid (State) Logic

After recording and touring 12 studio albums Ty Tabor knows a lot about tone and as an Orange representative with experience using solid-state gear in the studio and on the road since the beginning of the technology, he’s an authority on the subject.

Tabor’s amp of choice way back was the Lab Series L5, also a favourite of the late great BB King. It’s one of those fabled amplifiers that many people have been striving to recreate. The fact that Tabor was the first endorsee to use the Orange Crush Pro 120 is a testament to the tone of that solid-state amp.

When Orange took our foray into solid-state amp build of the Crush series, we put all the attention to detail you get from an Orange tube amp, giving that lively feel and responsiveness with a rich tonal characteristic, the hallmark British sound. If you imagine how those early solid-state engineers would have been producing their amplifiers, they were probably taking the same approach as Orange, although those pioneering engineers didn’t have the luxury of using tried and proved on the road, sourced from reliable partners. They were in at the deep end!

What you get with the Orange Crush Pro is two channels built into the ruggedness of a solid-state amp. One channel is a classic vintage-inspired channel with sparkle at the top end and when pushed it embodies the bluesy crunch of Keith Richards. Channel two is more matched to the Rockerverb’s high gain, all-out attack.

Masters of Flexibility

Brent Hinds of Mastodon is a beastmaster; those who venture the deep enough into the bowels of the underworld will discover his truly monstrous creation. Ler LaLonde of Primus knows the deal; he’s also one of the dark souls of willing to adventure into the depths of musical creativity where mere mortals dare to tread.

It’s diversity where the Brent Hinds Terror comes up trumps with two channels and a unique Terror gain structure that works beautifully for funk, world music and metal alike.

The natural channel has more bottom end staying fat and full, oozing with warm valve compression from the EL84 output section. On the dirty channel, there’s three different gain structure, brighter at lower gain levels which fattens up the more you dial the gain in. The new gain structure also means that the gain comes in more quickly.

I tried the potato plugged into an avacado, and that didn’t work at all. So when I tried the Orange, that was a massive improvement in the sound –
Ler LaLonde

Into Another Dimension

Sometimes big rigs come in surprisingly little boxes, take for instance the OMEC Teleport interface. For a start, this piece of kit fits in your pocket or snugly on your pedalboard.

What the OMEC Teleport does best is give you total flexibility transferring from the analogue realm through to digital or vice versa.

Use it as a high-quality AD converter to:

  • Track straight into a DAW or audio editing software from your instrument
  • Connect to a virtual rack straight from your instrument

Use it as a high-quality DA converter to:

  • Switch a digital signal back to analogue into whatever outboard gear you’re using (like a mixing desk, DI box, amplifier)
Since the OMEC Teleport has such low latency, you can plug into the teleport and from there connect into an app like Guitar MIDI 2

The OMEC Teleport is roadworthy, and that is noteworthy. Just like all Orange products, it’s designed to take the brunt of the road, it’s a rock-solid design in a stompbox casing; pretty tough to break. If you’re nodding your head at this point, you’ve experienced the joy of your latest recording gadget falling apart mid-tour.

Second, on the horror shit show of modern technology is latency issues, the OMEC Teleport, doesn’t have this issue, here’s what Rudy Sarzo of Whitesnake/Ozzy Osbourne had to say:

 “As a recording and touring musician with the Teleport I’m now able to bring my favorite audio plugins on my laptop, iPad or iPhone and play them on stage, in my hotel room or recording studio. I now have a consistent tone and quality anywhere I go with minimal amount of gear. In addition, the low latency and high-end AD/DA makes the Teleport my to go audio interface. All of this in a lightweight mini pedal. A total game-changer!!!”

There’s more, you can convert audio to MIDI, meaning you can control synths and MIDI libraries, Nalle Colt of Vintage Trouble adds:

“What an amazing little pedal! Big thanks to Danny Gomez at Orange Amplifiers for setting me up with this little genius box. With the major advancements of digital plugins, this is the gateway to marry new and old together in a super simple way.”

The Ever-Evolving Sphere

At Orange Amplifiers we keep close to players, from bedroom guitarist to the worldwide touring artist. You never know when or where the next great idea will come from, but it will always have: a tough skin, be simple on the outside, but complex enough on the inside keep doing what it needs to, and most of all bear fruit for the future innovators.

Back in late 2017 I was tasked with creating an interview video for the, at the time, soon-to-be-released Brent Hinds Terror amp. I’d sit down with Brent, guitarist and co-vocalist for the Grammy-winning metal band Mastodon, and we’d have a chat about the work that went into creating his first signature guitar head. I’ve worked with Brent for almost a decade and quite frankly I’m one of the only people that seems capable of getting him to sit down for an hour to capture an interview.

When it comes to Brent, very little is ever scripted. He just doesn’t operate that way. In fact, most of the time he shows contempt when you give him too much input. Instead, you give him a vague idea and he does the rest, even if “the rest” doesn’t result in usable content. Editing is definitely important in these situations.

About 30 minutes into the official interview it dawned on me that we weren’t going in the right direction. That’s when Brent threw out the idea of having me “get mad” at him on camera. I’d be telling him exactly what to say, he’d say it the wrong way, and then I’d get upset and scream his line back at him. It resulted in a hilarious back and forth that actually resulted in Brent giving us MORE usable content than ever before. Breaking from the standard interview format relaxed him enough that we were able to delve deeper into his psyche. Many people told me that we got one of the best, most serious interviews out of Brent they’ve ever seen (despite the fact it starts off so fake and kooky).

With that said, I wanted to show you the outtakes from that day of filming. This is all unscripted and it’s very “classic Brent.” We only used about 1 second of this footage in the final cut, out of roughly 20 minutes of Brent doing random stuff on camera. Enjoy!

Strap on a life jacket and prepare for the angling trip of a lifetime as Richard Turner (Blackberry Smoke) hooks himself the biggest fish of all, the fabled Orange Amplification Terror Bass!

This renowned bassist features in the latest ‘Lure & Savior’ adventure to embark on the dirty mission of catching the legendary re-issue of the Terror Bass. Set in one the world’s most desirable angling locations with all the best gear from Orange Amplification, this intrepid bass expert reels in the most amazing catch. Brent Hinds (Mastodon) also appears from the depths with his signature Terror amp.

This is the kind of fishing Richard and Brent enjoy: lots of bites with the best tackle! To get tips on catching the sought-after Terror Bass using the OBC112 as the perfect lure go to.

Oh look! Another “best of 2017” list. Awesome! And its several days late? Even better.

Wait, this is a list made by a bunch of dorks who work at a guitar amp company? I bet their tastes are SUPER great. That must be why they work at an amp company instead of managing bands or doing A&R for a major record label.
I’m sure everyone is going to read this list in depth and with lots of attention to detail.

Charlie Cooper (Marketing Director – UK)

Band: Clutch

www.pro-rock.com

Venue: Indigo at O2, London

Why It Was Rad: Pretty amazing gig, Clutch played a full Orange back-line and just nailed it. At the end of the night, Neil joined Mastodon for a song – which you can see here (forward to 30 minutes in)

 

Alex Auxier (International Artist Relations Manager  – USA)

Band: Mastodon with Eagles of Death Metal

www.mastodonrocks.com   eaglesofdeathmetal.com

Venue: The Fox Theater, Atlanta, GA

Why It Was Rad: Mastodon playing one of the biggest theaters in their hometown? Yes please. The energy was insane. Speaking to the band afterwards it was clear they thought it was one of the best performances they’d ever put on. Afterwards Jesse Hughes from EODM played a few songs at an unofficial aftershow. All in all it was a hell of a night!

 

Rory Riley (Regional Sales Manager – USA)

Band: Allout Helter

allouthelter.bandcamp.com

Venue: Durty Nelly’s  Pub – The Fest 16, Gainesville, GA

Why It Was Rad: I was eager to catch these guys after I heard their new album on Bird Attack Records that was produced by Trevor Reilly (A Wilhelm Scream) and they sure didn’t dissapoint this fan of melodic skatepunk with heavy riffage.  Allout Helter brought the pain with plenty of noodly guitar harmonies and cool palm mutes, (guitarists using a Rockerverb and a Tiny Terror) all over cut time drums that any appreciation of the genre should dig.

 

Neil Mitchell (AR and Marketing Coordinator – UK)

Band: Metallica www.metallica.com

Venue: O2 Arena, London

Why It Was Rad: This was the first time I’d ever seen Metallica live despite having been a fan for the better part of 25 years. I had high expectations but they absolutely smashed it, 2 hours of chest shatteringly loud awesomeness!

Image courtesy of Metal Injection

 

Dan Darby (European Artist Relations and Marketing)

Band: HO99O9

www.ho99o9.com

Venue: Underworld, Camden, UK

Why It Was Rad: Utter chaos in a small venue, sound was great and band were ace.

 

 

Derron Nuhfer (Customer Service Manager – USA)

Band: Mutoid Man

mutoidman.com

Venue: The Masquerade -Atlanta, GA

Why It Was Rad: Three insanely super-talented dudes from other bands that are just having the best time in the world shredding riffs, smashing drums, and melting faces.  Sometimes you see a band that inspires you to go home and pick up your instrument to practice more, well this band is so freakin’ good that it makes me want to never touch an instrument again.  Bonus points for them using an Orange Bass Terror.

 

Ella Stormark (Content Creation/Artist Relations – UK)

Band: Radio Moscow

radiomoscow.net

Venue: Desertfest, Antwerp, Belgium

Why It Was Rad: 2017’s been a fantastic year for gigs, but the band that had my gut wrenched in excitement the most was Radio Moscow. I was lucky enough to tag along on tour with them in August and had my brain melt every night for a week. Still, the highlight was a few months later when they headlined Desertfest Antwerp in October. To see them on such a big scale and have them blow absolutely everyone’s mind was just spectacular. Give their song ‘Dreams’ a go and you’ll get my drift, it’s like a 21st century Jimi Hendrix Experience. Earthless straight from the airport after 18 hours of travel was also pretty god damn incredible, and the thought of the two bands having joined forces in Alpine Fuzz Society is just beyond me.

copyright JT Rhoads

Two nights ago, it was time for the annual Metal Hammer Golden Gods awards at London’s indigo2, a celebration of pretty much everything related to heavy rock. The night saw performances from bands and artists such as UK Stoner legends Orange Goblin (who’s frontman Ben Ward snapped up the ‘Defender of the Faith award along side partner Sandie Soriano after a hugely successful fundraiser to help Team Rock employees that was left unemployed right before Christmas last year), Swedish windmilling extraordinaires and edwardian pirate uniform cladded Metal band Avatar and Orange family friends Clutch and Mastodon, the last one winning ‘Best Live Band’.

Personally, the highlight of the night was the final award, the ‘Golden Gods’ awards, when they began dropping hints about who it could be, four guys from Birmingham, all that jazz. I pretty much held my breath for what seemed like forever, until iron man, the golden god himself, Mister Frank Anthony Iommi walked out on stage and accepted the prize on behalf of Black Sabbath. And there I had been with an AAA pass all along not knowing I was within the same establishment as this living legend – probably for the best, as it would have turned into a human hunt fueled by free Monster energy and gin drinks…

A huge thank you to everyone involved in making this evening such a success, we’re very proud to have been a part of it. Plus, we can’t forget; A massive congratulations to all the Metal Hammer Golden Gods 2017 winners, all very well deserved!

Best New Band: Venom Prison
Best Underground Band: Pallbearer
Best UK Band: Architects
Best Live Band: Mastodon
Best International Band: Avenged Sevenfold
Best Independent Label: Nuclear Blast
Dimebag Darrell Shredder Award: Airbourne’s Joel O’Keeffe
Riff Lord: Devin Townsend
Best Game: Iron Maiden’s Legacy Of The Beast
Breakthrough: Avatar
Defender Of The Faith: Ben Ward and Sandie Soriano
Inspiration: Exodus
Best Album: Magma by Gojira
Spirit Of Hammer: Prophets Of Rage
Icons: The Dillinger Escape Plan
Golden Gods: Black Sabbath