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 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 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.
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..
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.
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.
Once again we’ve made it through to March and this year’s International Women’s Day. Haters might say we don’t need it, and how can we be equal if men don’t men have a day of their own? Well, men don’t tend to get grabbed and get abuse shouted at them when walking down the street, they don’t get paid less because of their gender, and you know, they don’t have to give birth either so, yeah, we kinda deserve this day – we can grow a human inside us but in some eyes not even that makes us good enough, yikes! Anyway – enough politics for our end, let’s chat music.
At Orange we’ve got quite a few women working for the company such as myself, my name is Ella and I do freelance content creation and artist relations, plus a bunch of other ladies in our offices keeping this ship afloat as well as the wonderful female artists we endorse. Now, there might not be a secret that rock and guitar music might be slightly more male dominated but that doesn’t mean that it’s a boys club, there’s a bunch of rad ladies out there, and today we’ll be shining a light on a few of them:
Rockerverb 50 MKIII
Orianthi’s got a pretty spectacularly impressive resume, having performed for Steve Vai at the age of 15, and been asked to jam on stage with Carlos Santana at 18. Her big breakthrough came in 2009 when she played lead guitar for Carrie Underwood at the Grammys, which led to Michael Jackson reaching out to her, inviting her to join his band for his “This is it” concert series, which unfortunately fell through due to his death. Since then, she’s played with Alice Cooper, as well as releasing various solo albums as well as winning the award for “Breakthrough Guitarist of the Year” 2010 by Guitar International Magazine.
Despite her young age of 21, Hannah Wiklund, the soulful blues guitarist that could probably fit the description of the love child Janis Joplin and Hendrix never had, has got a remarkable 2000 shows behind her. Hannah was gifted a guitar from her dad an an early age, and had her first ever The Steppin’ Stones band practice back in 2005, with the first ever song they played being Neil Young’s “Rockin’ in the Free World.” By the time she finished high school at 16 they had already played over a thousand gigs together. The band released their debut album last year, and are currently touring and gigging, as they’ve always done.
Thao Nguyen is a guitarist and banjo player and the front woman of Thao & the Get Down Stay Down, a San Francisco based alternative folk rock band. She started playing music around the age of 11, and ended up starting a country pop duo with one of her friends. Shortly after she began performing acoustic solo shows, before eventually forming Thao & the Get Down Stay Down with fellow students. Thao’s lyrics are often about relationships and childhood, with some crossing over into politics. She has also been featured in the 2017 documentary “Nobody Dies: A Film about a Musician, Her Mom and Vietnam”, which follows Thao and her mum as they visit Vietnam, Thao for the first time, and her mum for the first time since the Vietnam war, where she is faced with the two conflicting cultures that helped shape her and her music.
Rockerverb 50 MKIII
Laura’s career got a kickstart in 2008 after joining Youtube and sharing videos of herself playing guitar, the response was overwhelming and she quickly built up a following which has now reached over 363k followers and 80 million views. Due to her online success, she formed The Laura Cox Band, which is influenced by Southern legends Lynyrd Skynyrd and ZZ Top as well as Aussie rockers AC/DC. There was no other musicians in her family when she was growing up, but hearing her dad play Dire Straits and AC/DC records she felt inspired and intrigued to play that music herself, and was shortly after gifted a guitar for Christmas. The rest is, as they say, history.
MILK TEETH bassist Becky grew up in a music loving household with a musical and saxophone playing dad who regularly However, it wasn’t until the age of 11 that she found her own taste thanks to bands such as Nirvana and Smashing Pumpkins, which are two of the bands that led here to where she is today. Influenced by the above, punk band MILK TEETH was born in 2013 and have been playing together ever since, although with a few line up changes along they way. The band’s latest release is the single “Stain” which was out just before Christmas, and brings to mind bands such as Hole and Nirvana.
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.
Hey it’s Becky from Milk Teeth, I play bass and sing.
I used to go to Hevy Fest a lot, that was one of my first “ins”. I always loved the gear, I like the classic way that it looks, you know an Orange from a mile off, you could be stood at the back of crowd and you will know the cab.
I want something that has the basics, you have good tone, tone is really essential. Does like a decent job but at the same time I like to have some versatility so you can change your sound and stuff. I tend to play quite bass heavy, a little bit of treble, I just like something punchy.
My current rig is the OB1 head by Orange and i’ve got the 8×10 cab which is great, it weighs more than i do, I googled it! I’m not using much gain on it, as I tend to get most of my gain from the RAT pedal. I tend to use it more as a clean, like I said I have the bass really high, I like it to sound deep and bassy. The mids are like eleven o’clock, the treble is actually down I used to turn it up but it’s now down a bit. Its more like ten o’clock but I think it sounds great as it is.
I’m after the next amp up, the AD200 thats on the wish list. But I think for the money the OB1 series is great, it’s just as good, it sounds way more expensive than it is.
Its really cool that Orange has taken me on as part of the roster. I think its really great that someone has put faith in a girl playing bass because some companies not all may be a bit wary, so that is refreshing. I’m surrounded by a host of other great musicians, its just really nice, I mean we are out with Good Charlotte at the moment and they are also playing Orange. So that’s cool, we are matching!
Who are you, and what are you about? Can you give us the low-down?
My name is Shaun Cooper, I play bass in Taking Back Sunday. My parents introduced me to rock ’n’ roll music when I was a little kid, and I remember hearing The Beatles and I just connected immediately – hearing John Lennon’s voice was just like ‘Ok, I get this, and I really like it.’ My mum would always sing around the house and play a little bit of piano and my dad plays the accordion – you can’t really rock out with an accordion, although Dropkick Murphys figured out how to do. I guess people in my family were always into music and would play at least a little bit. I started playing bass when I was 12 years old, and I dont know what it was or why, but I just fell in love with it. I started using Orange exclusively three or four years ago and I’m currently using OBC810 and the AD200. At the time I had been trying out a few different things, and while on tour over here I was playing Orange and then my sound guy was like ‘come on man, you gotta make the switch, this sounds so good!’ So I talked to my manager and put in an order, and the rest is, as they say, history, and here we are now.
Ok – so that is pretty much the entire interview done…
It’s been nearly two decades since you originally joined the band, did you ever dream that it’d take you this far and that you’d still be going by now?
Sure, I always dreamt that, but I never had any idea that it could possibly happen. It seemed so far out of reach growing up. I assumed we’d maybe release one album, tour a bit over summer, then go back to school and then get a normal job, because that’s what people do. I never really had any hope that we’d make it a ‘thing’, as I didn’t know anyone that had actually made it or made a career out of it, but then again, here we are, as you said, nearly twenty years later, and we seem to be going strong. There’s been plenty of ups and downs, but we seem to be on a pretty good ‘up’ at the moment, and we’re just enjoying the ride. We all get along really well and have figured out how to interact with each other and to write better and better music as we progress as people, musicians and songwriters, and I’m very grateful that I’m able to be in this position.
When not touring, how do you guys work? Do you get together on a regular basis, or do you have intense sessions where you just ram it all out at once?
Mark and I live very close to each other, and so does John and Adam, so a few of us will get together and work like that. We’ll also email ideas around and set a time where we’ll all get in the studio and put those all those ideas together and work on new music. It seems to work out pretty well to do it like that, we’ve learned how to work well together and not waste time in the studio, something that’s become better with maturity and age – we’ve stopped dicking around.
You mentioned you started today by rolling into London half asleep, is that normally how you start your days when on the road?
Yeah that’s pretty much it, you get into town and the crew starts loading in the gear, I’ll roll out of bed and maybe go for a walk around town, get a coffee, get the lay of the lands, see where we’re at – that sort of stuff. I normally call home as well, I’ve got two little kids so FaceTime and all this technology is making touring so much easier as I get to see their little faces. Besides that it’s mostly about getting ready for the show, playing is always the best part of the day and what we gear up for. In the States we normally do two hour long sets, the UK and European ones tend to be a bit shorter but still intense and full on, so after the shows you try to rest, relax and recover for the next day. We love playing, so we’re very fortunate we’re still able to do so!