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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!

So the dust has settled from last weeks announcements from Orange and we hope you were equally surprised and excited by what we have been busy working on for the past two years. A lot of time and effort goes into researching and developing products we believe you as our fans are going to love. One of these products is the Pedal Baby 100 and i’m sure there are plenty of questions about this compact amplifier. It’s a slight departure we feel from what Orange is primarily known for, so we thought it would help to show how the Pedal Baby can be used.

Why was the Pedal Baby created?

The Pedal Baby was designed to give guitar players the feel of an analogue amplifier incorporated into their small, touring rig. Orange is one of the most recognisable amplifier companies in the guitar amp market and we have spent most of our 50+ years building high watt, heavy amplifiers.  We understand though that some guitar players just want to arrive with a pedal board to the gig, or use their favourite profiles on their digital modeller. So the Pedal Baby was created to allow players to bring a compact, lightweight source of neutral, clean power. Meaning whatever you use it with, you can rely on it to bring your rig to life.

So hopefully that has give you a window into why we designed the Pedal Baby but now it’s probably best to give you some more information on the Pedal Baby, so here is a quick run down of the features.

What is the Pedal Baby 100?

The Pedal Baby is a 100 watt Class A/B neutral power amplifier, it is built for the road, fly dates and anything the modern musician can throw at it. Its lightweight, small and able to push out up to 100 Watts into 8 Ohms! The front panel has EQ controls, so you can fine tune your treble and bass setting quickly and easily.

So now you have a quick overview, here are a few ways you can use this new piece of kit:

If you are the type of player who spends days building the “perfect” pedal board and can’t wait to take your “work of art” out into the gigging scene, then the Pedal Baby could be perfect for you. You’ve got your perfect pedal setup but your stage sound is still missing something? Well the Pedal Baby can give a transparent power source and lift all your pedals sound, you don’t have to rely on the venues amplifier, which lets face it, is always in need of TLC.

We know there are plenty of players who don’t want to play big heavy valve amps and want all their effects and amps in a rack mountable solution. The Pedal Baby can be used with your Kemper, Positive Grid Bias Rack, Fractal or any other modellers to power your rigs.  All your patches and profiles you have spent weeks preparing and fine tuning will sound the best they possibly can with the Pedal Baby powering them.

Picture the scene, you grab your profiler rig and rush to the venue only to find the cabinet you were not expecting. Its got too much bottom end and makes your profiler sound rubbish. This wouldn’t happen with Pedal Baby, too much bottom end no issue! Use the front panel EQ to dial the bass frequencies back and when it sounds good, you are set. The Pedal Baby’s EQ settings are dialed in for guitars, so are the perfect controls to use with your guitar effects.

Any more questions?

So there is a quick overview of the Pedal Baby 100 and some of its applications. We shall leave you with the product video which sees John “Denzil” Dines going through the features and we hope you get to check out our new amplifier.

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