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Orange amps has often been associated with heavy slow riffs, the type that knock the filings from your teeth and would blow the speakers in your car. This has always been something we have been very proud of, we make loud amps and we think they sound great. Our amps are perfect for a genre that spans from classic metal such as Led Zeppelin and Black Sabbath all the way through to the new boys of djent and progressive metal. But which amp works for each sub genre of metal? Well we are here to help!

Classic Metal

It feels a bit wrong to call bands like Sabbath and Zeppelin ‘classic metal’ but this is a way to show their older statesmen role in the genre. Basically if these guys had chosen another calling we all wouldn’t have a job or a record collection. So if you want to play like Jimmy Page, Orange has the amp for you, in fact he uses an Orange… see what we did!

The AD30 was used at the Led Zeppelin reunion show in 2007 (they were the single channel versions.) The current AD30 has two channels, channel one is cleaner, with channel two being the heavier channel, use this one for Page riffs!

Sludge Metal

Heavily influenced by Black Sabbath, sludge metal came about through bands mixing elements of doom metal and hardcore punk. What came from these two joining forces was heavily detuned guitars, lots of distortion and tempos switching from slow grooves to punk styled riffs. If this sounds like your thing then the Crush Pro 120 would be the perfect amp for you, none other than Kirk from Sludge Metal legends Crowbar uses it to create a wall of sound.

Taking inspiration from the Rockerverb 100, the Crush Pro 120 head is a solid state amplifier which delivers warm, rich analogue tone. Kirk started using one on the road and it has taken the place of an amplifier metal great Dimebag Darrell gave him. If this doesn’t make it the perfect amplifier for all those low tuned riffs, then we don’t know what will!

Nu Metal

In the late 90’s and early 2000’s this was the genre in rock, behemoths like Slipknot, Linkin Park, Korn and Limp Bizkit all came to the forefront of the music scene. Mixing rap, rock and metal elements they forged their own path, recently these bands have established themselves as some of the biggest rock acts in the world. Headlining every major festival Slipknot have become giants of the genre and Jim Root uses a Rockerverb to achieve his distinct, signature sound.

The Rockerverb was designed to be an amp for all genres and has been used by so many different players across its over ten year history. With two channels and four stages of gain it has become perfect for this genre. Not only does Jim Root trust the Rockerverb every night on stage but legendary guitarist Head from Korn calls the clean channel ‘buttery’.

Progressive Metal

Finally if you want to sound like a rock behemoth, then progressive metal is where it is all going off. Titans of the genre are Tool, Opeth, Rush and Mastodon and Orange has so many amplifiers that are perfect. The Brent Hinds Terror was built by men in mountains with googles (as told by Mastodon’s Brent Hinds) so it is the perfect fit for this genre.

The Brent Hinds Terror is a two channel, all valve, lunch box amplifier which was designed specifically to play Mastodon riffs loud. The bedroom/headroom switch makes bedroom practice a simple click of a switch, so nothing will get in the way of thundering riffs!

Jose Rios has been part of the Free Nationals since it’s inception, he has also produced a number of the tracks across their four album career. Jose has been using the Rockerverb 100 MKIII since it’s launch and has been one of its biggest advocates. We met up with Jose before the band played a sold out show to 10K people at London’s Alexandria Palace in spring of 2019. He was relaxed but excited about the show and talked at length about his influences and how Orange is to him the voice of quality.


What’s up everybody, it’s Jose Rios from Anderson Paak and the Free Nationals.

What inspired you to pick up the guitar?

I picked up the guitar because of Stevie Ray Vaughan, my father listened to quite a bit of his music. That’s the whole reason I play, he introduced me to that stuff and I was hooked immediately. I learned about a lot of other people through him and I realised where he got his style from, through learning and listening to other records. But he is the reason I started playing the guitar. Jimi Hendrix obviously as Stevie Ray Vaughan was influenced by him, I think a lot of soul music, like the Motown stuff, that real clean chordy music. I really loved Jazz music but I wouldn’t consider myself to be a Jazz guy. But I do listen to a lot of that stuff, I incorporate it in my sound.

Why did you choose Orange?

Orange was just gritty, had a big sound and kind of sounded different than the other stuff in my genre/style. The reason I picked it up and started using it. Orange had the 412 and the Rockerverb head and it was a beast. I wanted that specifically, I wanted power!

What is it about the Rockerverb you love the most?

First of all the quality, how it’s made and how it looks, it’s incredible. I think it’s real sleek and clean, it’s built well and good quality all around. Speakers through to the tubes it’s just a solid amp, it’s clean, I don’t use the reverb on it, just the EQ. I don’t even have to turn it up that much because it is so loud! I have never gone past four I don’t think, because it is just so damn loud and i’m barely using the power that it has. But it breaks up nice, it has a nice clean tone basically the foundation for my board , I incorporate my sound through that, that like my medium, that rig and the pedals.

Talk us through your set-up at the moment.

Right now i’m actually using a Mexican Jag, that I put the same humbuckers into that were in my strat. The humbucker sound with that amp combined is like heavy duty man, it’s really powerful. My distortion pedal its a really creamy tone, cut through solo nastiness!

Do you prefer analogue or digital?

I’m just old school, I love the old guys and how they did it. They didn’t use digital, it was like amps, it was like analogue. I don’t know maybe I will one day switch over but right now I love my amp and I love having it on stage, I feel comfortable and i’m still as a player learning about it every day. Like tone and options on stage but right now i’m sticking to my guns and saying I need that 412 with me on the road!

Of all the genres of music, country is exceptional.

Formed by a continent of migrants, country music is a concoction of hardships and woes interlaced with the music and culture from across the globe. Its predecessor, Roots, spawned a vast array of musical styles that have since split and reconnected many times over.

Claudia Hoyser
Claudia Hoyser plays Orange Rocker 15

It’s music built on experimentation and where one in a million chance happenings seem to occur on a frequent basis. Swerving the direction into new unexplored areas, just as the pioneers had done way back when.

From Cash to Stretches

Although there were many country greats before Johnny Cash, the Rockabilly sound of the 50s, driven by amplified guitars, was a defining moment in the evolution of country music. Luther Perkins, ‘the original man behind the man in black’ paid a huge part in that with his signature ‘boom-chicka-boom’ sound which defined the genre.

It is said that Perkins’ style of playing came by chance when defective equipment left him little choice but to dampen his strings with his palm. Consider the classic locomotive stomp from the hit song ‘Fulsom Prison Blues’. To pull that off requires skill and equipment capable of bringing out those tonal nuances.

A Modern Twist on an Old Faithful

The Orange TremLord 30 was designed with careful consideration to players needs, offering a compact 30-watt all-valve combo that replicates the golden age of Country tone. It’s a sweet sounding amp with an Orange twist, featuring those classic EL84 tubes that add a little British character to the mids.

Orange TremLord 30 Amplifer

What makes this amp unique is the custom made Lavoce 1×12” speaker providing a smoother top end along with more headroom before the amp starts breaking up. It’s the perfect match for players looking for responsiveness; faithfully replicating the subtlety and spacious voicing of that golden age.

Eloquent clean tones can be ceremoniously battered by a crashy, splashy beast of a tube driven two-spring reverb tank that oozes with vintage class. If you want to add in delays or compression for a truly authentic sound, the low impedance 12AT7 tube driven FX loop gives you flexibility without sacrificing on tone. Even at lower volumes, Tremlord 30 is designed to be switched all the way to 1-Watt, ideal for even the most intimate spaces.

The Bakersfield Sound

Speaking of intimate spaces, it was Mearle Haggard experience of watching Jonny Cash perform at San Quentin State Prison in 1959 that lead him to pursue his calling in country music. As far as country players go, Haggard is what Joe Strummer was to Punk Rock; he provided a stark contrast to heavily producer controlled music that choked the mainstream airwaves.

The music was called the Bakersfield sound and its reverberations have cut deep into the music of America, influencing the artists like the Grateful Dead, Credence Clearwater Revival and The Flying Burrito Brothers. These artists, in turn, influenced the Southern Rock movement, and at its peak in the 70s, guitarists began to turn to the grunt of an all-tube British amplifier.

Orange AD30 All-Valve Amplifier

Our flagship Orange AD30 is an ideal midpoint between the classic country tone and that synonymous British sound that harks back to the heyday of the all-valve amplifier. Its balanced and natural compression is the perfect all-rounder amp for country picking. If you need more heat, the second channel gives you more attack while still emphasising the bottom end for a full-bodied tone.

A Divided Country

On one side of the ravine, a glassy formation looms ominously; its meteoric rise is a paragon of success and excess. Below, overshadowed by the enormity of its neighbour, a gritty cliff edge juts out over the ravine.

And there’s no way better to explain it, mainstream traditional and pop country guitarists usually opt for the open and glassy chimes of an amplifier with those iconic American 6V6 tubes. It’s a path well trodden.

Artists like Tim Montana and The Shrednecks aren’t just pushing the envelope of sound, they’re pioneering a new wave of southern rock that’s like a sonic punch in the face. The bastard love child of ZZ Top where smashing out riffs like Thor’s hammer on the Rockies is just another day in the trailer park. Their weapon of choice is the Rockerverb MKiii.

“Orange amps give me the versatility to go from the cleanest, warmest, country sounds to the melt your face, Shredneck shakedown, in the click of a switch! These amps are built for the road and built for life” – Tim Montana

This boozed-up, steroid-fuelled monster is no roadhouse frequenter. It’s built for a hardcore workout on the road with a feast of total delights that range from chimey cleans and iconic gain tones of a classic British crunch right through to a fistfight with Satan himself.

But others choose to expand the frontiers.

Looking Back to Go Forward

Not so long ago the general public could distinguish the difference between that classic American tone and the British sound. While they are fundamentally different, the lines have become blurred. That’s when the magic happens.

Claudia Hoyser – What Kinda Man

Take modern country artist Claudia Hoyser, her amp of choice is the Rocker 15. It’s an amp that is perfectly voiced to bring out the natural sound of the instrument, the perfect accompaniment for Hoyser’s sultry vocal styling. Sensitive to the touch of dynamics and oozing with valve warmth the Rocker 15 begs one question.

How long before others walk the line?

You recently released a single ‘Dropout’, can you tell us a bit about it?
Adult Swim approached us about doing a song for their singles series, and since we are all longtime fans of AS, we couldn’t really say no. Historically, Pallbearer has mostly been an album focused band, but this gave us an opportunity to work on something that didn’t have to fit within the context of a full album, which was liberating in a way. Dropout was written, recorded, and mixed rather quickly in comparison to much of our other work, and we’re really happy with the results.

You did a live recording of it at Bohemian National Cemetery in Chicago, how was that whole experience, and how did it come about?
Though it was initially tracked at Fellowship  Hall Sound in Little Rock, Audiotree hit us up about wanting to collaborate on something after our then upcoming show in Chicago. As per usual, we’d celebrated rather heavily the night before with some old friends, so when we rolled up to this old Polish cemetery at 10 am with the task of recording two live tracks, there was a definite heavy feeling in the air. Ultimately, with the help of coffee and whatever else was floating around the cemetery that morning, we pulled it off. It’s easily one of the more interesting places we’ve ever played, and I’m stoked that they reached out to us.

What’s your own musical background, earlier and current influences?
The first band I ever fell in love with was Nirvana. I remember reading about Kurt early on, and discovered that he’d loved both the Beatles and Black Sabbath. So I checked them out, and ended up sharing his admiration for both. It was around this time that I first picked up a guitar, and it’s been a wild ride since then. In the last few years, I find myself spending most of my time listening to jazz and country records from the 60’s and 70’s. There’s a lot of prog from that era in the mix, as well. I’m not stuck in the past or anything, and I believe there is a ton of great current music out there, but at the same time, it’s virtually impossible to beat an old Coltrane or Miles record.

What’s your history and experience with Orange?
I wanted an Orange amp the first time I saw one. I remember watching Tony Iommi playing a stack in this old Sabbath video, and I was immediately drawn to it. Years later, when I was finally able to actually try one out, I fell in love. I’ve played about every kind of amp that’s out there, and as the years have passed, I’ve come to realize that there really is nothing that scratches the itch like a cranked Orange. I’m a big fan of the cleans too, especially on the Rockerverb MKIII. In the studio, or a live setting, as long as I’ve got an Orange around, I know I have the best tonal foundation imaginable for what I’m looking for in an amp. I’m an unabashed fanboy.

What’s your current set up?
Currently I run both a MKII and a MKIII Rockerverb simultaneously through a ppc412 and a ppc212. This allows me blend two different amp tones, which to my ears is the best way to achieve a full, interesting sound. It has all the volume I ever really need, and I have used this setup for some time now. Oranges are built like tanks, and they are absolute workhorses, which is an absolute must when you tour as much as we do.

Photo by Johnny Hubbard via ESP guitars.

 

Each Christmas we have a competition called ‘Wish Granted’ where Orange fans could wish for the gear of their dreams – if you could pick any Orange gear, what would it be, and why?I’ve never had the opportunity to play any of Orange’s hand wired/custom shop stuff, and I’m sure they are amazing, so I’d have to go with one of those. Maybe the OR50, or something based off the old OR80’s.

It’s been 30 years since you joined Sepultura in 1987, can you tell us a bit about how the music and your sound has developed over the years?
It’s developed together with everything else, like all of us growing up as people and traveling the world. We started out at a very young age, looking for pedals and gear that was nearly impossible to find in Brazil, and I started out using Mesa/Boogie, which I used for many years. Then this rep from Orange approached me, just at the time where a lot of heavier bands were embracing Orange, and as I was becoming a bit sick of my Mesa/Boogie sound I was ready to try something different, and I mean, 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. In the studio I use a few different amps depending on what I need, but live the Rockerverb is absolutely fantastic, and on this tour I’m playing through both a Rockerverb 100 MKII and a Rockerverb 100 MKIII, and I could not be happier with all the support from Orange!

You mention Black Sabbath’s Tony Iommi and Geezer Butler as some of the masters, was there anyone else in particular that got you into playing when you were younger?
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.

Correct me if I’m wrong, but you’ve also got a radio show?
Yeah, I’ve got a show with my 19 year old son Yohan, it’s great to have him involved and see how he’s developed over the years of the show, he himself is a musician as well, although more into the progressive side of rock, which you have to be an incredibly good musician to be able to play. We’ve been doing the show for five years now, and it’s really great, it’s so hard to get played on the radio, so I’ve been lucky enough to be able to open up doors for a lot of younger Brazilian bands. There’s one band called Claustrofobia, a group of young kids playing trash who also mix some of the Brazilian percussion into their music. They released an album called ‘Download Hatred’ at the end of the last year and it’s just brilliant, so check it out if you can, it’s fantastic. Besides that we have fun, and total freedom to play whatever we want, which of course is a lot of heavy and metal, but also Beatles, Stones and other bands like that too, as well as Napalm Death and Slipknot. All the extremes, and everything in between.

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