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There is one thing we love more than anything else and that is rock ’n’ roll, in all shapes and sizes – we love it, can’t get enough. Without rock ’n’ roll, we wouldn’t be where we are today, and we owe everything to this beautiful genre and it’s offsprings. We like to take this opportunity to shine a light on a few (of many) rock bands and artists on our roster today.

Billy Gibbins, ZZ Top

Bax Bangeetar
Micro Dark

Another legendary guitarist making their way into this article is ZZ Top guitarist Billy Gibbons. Gibbons started his career in The Moving Sidewalks as a young teen, a band that landed shows supporting bands and artists such as Jimi Hendrix and The Doors – he then went on to forming ZZ Top in the late sixties alongside bassist Dusty Hill and drummer Frank Beard (who funnily enough is the only member without a beard), which remains the standing line up of the band today nearly fifty years later.

Throughout his time in the band, Gibbons have become a massive name among respected guitar players, and again and again produces quality blues infused rock albums whether it’s with the ZZ Top or as a recording solo artist. Latest one out is his solo project “The Big Bad Blues” released September 2018, which just adds to his already impressive resume. Billy Gibbons is a master bluesman, to say the least. Gibbons is not a big user of pedal, so we were particularly pleased when he took a liking to our Bax Bangeetar pedal which he uses both live and in the studio.

Phil Campbell, Phil Campbell and the Bastard Sons

Phil Campbell is first and foremost known as the former guitarist of legendary speed rock band Motörhead. His career in the band lasted for 31 years, which he pretty much spent on the road touring or in the studio recording. Sadly, the band’s disbanded in 2015 after the tragic passing of frontman Lemmy. Since then, Phil has formed his own band “Phil Campbell and the Bastard Sons” with three of his actual sons, almost a family business much like our own, sort of.

Rune Rebellion, Turbonegro

AD30HTC x 2
Rockerverb100
Turbonegro kind of came out of the Norwegian woods having created their own sort of genre called “Denim Death Punk”, which is pretty close to what we call rock ’n’ roll hence why we’re allowing them on our list. Turbonegro were initially formed in the late eighties and kept it going for about a decade, before a three year long hiatus. Luckily, to the joy of Turbojugends across the world the band got back together and kept releasing music. Rune’s one of the founding members of the band, and has been a constant member with the exception of a few years which we’re choosing to ignore. Watching Turbonegro live is in many ways the most masculine and feminine thing you’ll ever see all at once – middle-aged men in daisy dukes, sailor hats and make up, playing sweet rock ’n’ roll to a bunch shirtless dude and women (although they tend to keep their shirts on) – few bands throw a party like Turbonegro. Rune’s been using Orange for about 15 years now both live and in studio, and tends to stay clear of effects, as “The Rockerverb sound provides him with the softness of classic rock mixed with the modern hard rock growl which is perfect for the full on Turbonegro guitar attack.” – Rune Rebellion.

Scott Holiday, Rival Sons

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PPC412

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Some people say rock ’n’ roll is going, so whenever a band such as Rival Sons comes up it makes us happy as it means we can prove people wrong. Rival Sons are one of those bands that are kind of ticking all the boxes for a classic rock band, but with a modern twist – they have the anthems as well as the ballads, a killer frontman who can play the tambourine and look super fly while doing so, which is pretty rare in 2019, and they have Scott Holiday and his magician moustache. Scott’s all about the big sounds, and with the “killer and colourful heritage and history, healthy list of some of the greatest players ever and the high quality of current amps and cabs, Orange was an easy choice.” – Scott Holiday.

Danava, Peter Hughes

Rockerverb 50
OR100
PPC412 x 2
Peter Hughes, the classically trained and exceptionally skilled guitarist of heavy rock ’n’ roll bands Danava and Sons of Huns. Peter got his hands on his first ever Orange (which was a Rockerverb 50 combo) back in 2007 having just graduated the Willamette University with a Bachelor of Music degree in Classical Guitar performance. It didn’t take longs before he had his hands full playing for both bands, venturing far away from the classical sounds but bringing along all the tricks of the trade to the table, now catering for a new audience with his high paced and heavy rock ’n’ roll which would suit fans for the likes of Motorhead and Thin Lizzy. Since then, he’s become an official Orange ambassador and acquired a few more pieces to his rig in the form of two PPC412 cabs and an OR100. When Peter isn’t playing his Orange amplifier at excessive decibels, he enjoys “plucking out the Baroque stylings of the one and only J.S. Bach on Classical Guitar”, as well as being a amateur mycologist, or a fungi enthusiast.

 

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Classic Rock is a UK magazine. Europe has been really good to Rival Sons. What do you attribute to your early popularity over there?

Our label is UK-based, as many of their contacts and connections are. That’s where they started the push with Pressure and Time. And luckily, those folks on the other side of the pond reacted quickly.

Once the fire lit, we had to service as much of Europe as we could (playing live). So, I think we’ve just given that part of the world the most attention. On another level, it really seems folks over there are slightly more partial to rock n roll…and getting out to shows. I think the U.S. is waking back up to it though.

Rival Sons’ “Great Western Valkyrie” is nominated for “Album of the Year” at the Classic Rock Awards. Can you tell me what that means to you to have your music nominated for this award?

I’m not a big fan of music being a “contest”…but will say to be recognized by one of my favorite magazines…and to be mentioned alongside these fantastic records by some of my favorite artists of all time…that’s really cool.

The album GWV doesn’t necessarily challenge the signature sound of Rival Sons, which is a blend of classic and modern rock. Instead it seems to give the band’s existing style a bit of a polishing. Can you explain the attitude you went into recording this album with and the goals you had in mind?

We record all our records in a live setting. This one was no different.

We’ll write and capture a song between 1 and 5 takes. If we don’t have it that quickly we’ll usually move on. Being our 5th record, I wanted to look at this record like the 5th chapter in the book of Rival Sons. I wanted it to reflect something from each previous record but completely have its own identity at the same time. There’s also the idea that this may be the first record many hear from the band…we’re still making a ton of brand new fans. So as much as we want to take some left turns or reconstruct our sound, approach or writing, we had to remain conscious as to not stray too far. As far as the attitude and moral of the band.

We couldn’t have been more excited to make a new record. We were all basically brimming with new ideas and really fired up to write some new songs and create the next chapter.

Describe working with producer Dave Cobb.

Dave is definitely like a 5th member of the band when we are recording together. We’re great pals and have done all 5 of our records together with a great result. He’s very interactive with us at every step of the process. On each record we will talk about a general idea for the record.

We’ll discuss what gear we want to use, what worked or could be better from the last records…and discuss song ideas and directions.

Once we actually get in the studio things happen very very quickly and working with Dave is a big reason why. I think very few producers these days have the prowess to capture a record live off the floor like he does. At least, with the result he can deliver.

We’re in the age of over-producing, over-writing, just too much everything. That’s not what we’re doing – that’s not what Dave’s doing. In his own words “our job is to create and capture energy.” And not enough guys out there today understand this or how to do it.

Dave does.

Rival Sons will be playing a live set at the awards show. Any special tricks planned for the set?

No smoke.

No mirrors.

Just unadulterated, unapologetic, dirty rock n roll.

What’s the future of Rival Sons as far as you see it?

It’s hard to forecast anything in a business like this. As far as the creative side – as long as we’re inspired and able to make honest music we’ll keep making records. And as long as people want to keep buying tickets…we’ll keep coming to your city.

It’s impossible to say how long it will last. I’m a Capricorn and a pragmatic realist…so that’s the answer from that perspective. Although, naturally, being a guitar player in a rock n roll band, there’s another answer to this question.

And that answer is…World domination.

Order “Great Western Valkyrie” now:
CD/Vinyl/Box w/ 5ft x 6ft blanket – http://www.earache.com/rs14
iTunes – http://bit.ly/gwv-itunes