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Iron Maiden, Steve Harris

Iron Maiden ‘Beyond Flight 666’ by John McMurtrie

4 Stroke

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

Crush Bass 100
AD200 MK3 Head
OBC810 8×10 Bass Speaker

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, Geddy Lee

AD200 MK3 Head
OBC410 4×10 Bass Speaker
OBC810 8×10 Bass Speaker

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.

The Bronx, Brad Magers

4 Stroke
AD200 MK3 Head

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..

Radio Moscow, Anthony Meier

AD200 MK3 Head
OBC410 4×10 Bass Speaker
OBC115 1×15 Bass Speaker

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.

Tom Petersson, Cheap Trick

Rockerverb 50 MKIII Head
PPC412 4×12 Speaker Cab
AD200 MK3 Head
OBC810 8×10

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.

From an Artist Relations perspective, the AD200B bass amp is one of the best weapons in my arsenal. It’s an amp with extremely pure bass tone, lots of clarity no matter how you’ve set the knobs, and it’s overdrive is a perfect blend of classic and modern. I’ve had hundreds of artists make the switch from “the other standard bass amp company that which will remain unnamed” onto the AD200B.

Artists love it because it’s produced to the same standard as most vintage tube bass amps. They also tend to make the switch when their classic bass amps are ready to come off the road to become studio-only pieces.

Here’s the backstory on a handful of Orange Ambassadors that use the AD200B (which we commonly refer to as just the “AD200”):


Geddy Lee – Rush

This might be hard to believe, but Slipknot is actually responsible for Geddy Lee playing the AD200.

Rush and Slipknot were recording next to each other in a Nashville studio. On a whim, Geddy heard the bass tone coming out of Slipknot’s studio and peeked his head in to find out what was making that glorious sound. Martin, Jim Root’s tech at the time, told him it was the AD200.

It took us about NEGATIVE FIVE MINUTES to decide Geddy could make or break Orange bass amps. Once we got that now-iconic photo of him chilling on top of his AD200’s we started buying up a ton of full page ads in guitar magazines. It was basically an entire year of promoting Geddy. The result? A nearly 100% increase in bass sales (and they’ve been growing every year since then).

Geddy used the AD200 for ¼ of his onstage bass tone. He turned the gain and the treble all the way up and everything else down as far as it could go. So basically the AD200 was his overdrive tone. However, the bass tone on Rush’s 2012 album Clockwork Angels is FULL of AD200 (check it out).


Glenn Hughes – Deep Purple, Black Country Communion

I was at Winter NAMM in 2011 when suddenly I got pulled into our demo room by an extremely excited Cliff Cooper (Orange’s Founder and CEO). He told me Glenn Hughes had stopped by and asked to try the AD200. We stuffed ourselves into that demo room like sardines. Glenn plugged in, played for 10 seconds, and then stopped and looked at all of us. His face had an expression of disbelief.

“This is the tone I’ve been trying to find for decades…this is my sound.”

Since then Glenn has been using the AD200 at 99% of his shows without fail. When I can’t find backline for him in some random city in, say, Africa, he makes sure I know how sad it makes him. He recently switched from playing through a combination of OBC115 and OBC410 speakers, to a pyramid-looking set up featuring (3) OBC810 cabs turned sideways.


Tom Petersson – Cheap Trick

Everyone knows that Tom is constantly switching up his rig, but for the past 7 years Orange has become a staple of Tom’s tone. Tom plays 12 string bass guitars (which he’s famous for doing) and his rig is a mash-up of bass and guitar amps.

The first Orange amp he added to the mix was the AD200. Then he started throwing in Orange guitar amps, specifically the now-discontinued AD50 hand-wired, the AD30, and more recently the Custom Shop 50 hand-wired. For about a year his rig was entirely Orange, but in true Tom fashion he’s started to put some Fender back into it. Honestly, as long as Tom Petersson of motherfreaking Cheap Trick has Orange on his stage I’ll be OK with whatever it is!


Jason Narducy – Bob Mould, Superchunk, Split Single

I’m putting Jason Narducy, one of my favorite people in the world, right below Tom Petersson because Tom is the reason Jason picked up a bass. I’ll just let Jason tell you what he thinks about the AD200:

“The first time I played an AD200 was in a rehearsal space in LA in 2006. It was the first practice with Bob Pollard’s new band and we had to learn 357 songs or something like that. We also taught our livers what 357 beers felt like. Despite the beer and avalanche of songs, I knew right away that the Orange AD200 was special.

I noticed the amp was orange just like the manufacturer’s name. They nailed that. But more importantly, it had the best tone for my P-bass. There were no hollowed out frequencies that you get with the common rented bass rig. The AD200 has presence and muscle. It is my favorite thing besides beer. And my family, I guess.”

 


Ben Lemelin – Your Favorite Enemies

If you’ve been following Orange closely over the past decade you know that there’s a super insane French-Canadian dude named SEF from the band Your Favorite Enemies who has done product reviews for us. SEF is like the human version of candy-flipping. However, we also have been working with the band’s bassist, Ben Lemelin, for the same period of time, and he’s just as good at doing killer demos.

Ben loves the AD200 for its super pure bass tone and for its ability to get wildly overdriven when necessary.

 

CLICK HERE TO VIEW THE ORANGE AD200B PAGE

As Cheap Trick embark on their 2017 tour, which marks the 40th anniversary of their ’77 self titled debut record, I met up with bassist Tom for a quick pre-gig chat. As I arrive at the Kentish Town Forum for my interview, I seek shelter from the rain while chatting to one of the main security dudes who pretty much find me roaming the backstage area there on a monthly basis with all sorts of bands, as the venue almost seem to be a Mekka for Orange ambassadors.

While waiting around as a drowned cat dreaming of the remaining of my pint that’s been left in unsafe hands with my mate at the pub (low and behold – it was still there when I got back!), Cheap Trick’s tour manager and Tom comes to find me, leaving me to wish I could time travel back to 1978 to tell my 18 year old dad what was about to go down. Tom brings me upstairs to his hospitality room, where he introduces me to his wife and two kids, his daughter being sat on the sofa chilling out and playing the bass – cool kid = level expert. We take a seat, and I make myself as comfortably as humanly possible sat face to face with rock royalty and a Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee.

First of all – congratulation on the 40 year anniversary of your first record! How does it feel to still be going that strong after four decades in the industry?
Well, we’ve always just been taking it one day at a time, it was never anything we did while trying to plan our future, it’s just something that’s been happening – You do a record, you do a tour, and at first it was a massive thing just being able to do it and survive, and we’ve just been lucky enough to be able to just go along with it. It’s not like we had some master plan on how to do it or how to make it, we fell into it and did our best, got extremely lucky, and made it.

I had a quick chat with you last year right before you got inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, and you mentioned then that your plan was to release a new album every year?
And we went and did it, didn’t we?! And even more to come, as we’ve actually just finished recording a Christmas record about two months ago, which will actually make it three records in two years! The Christmas record will be released around Halloween, and it came out great! We did one standard, and then all sorts of different songs on there, it’s really cool.

Are they your own Christmas songs, covers, or a little mix of both?
We’ve got a few originals, and we covered songs from artists that we really like which have done Christmas songs we think’s really cool, you know, Roy Wood and that sort of thing. The only confusing thing about recording this record, is that every song had the word Christmas in it, so we could never keep it straight during recording, trying to figure out which song was which; ‘Ok guys so let’s do the Christm….. the sleigh song next.’

That’s so awesome, and the fact that after all these years playing together you’re still hungry for more and keep coming up with great new material.
It just seems very natural for us, I can’t really explain it. People will ask for advice, and, I just dont have any. We love recording and writing together, and we always search for that perfect record which you can never achieve, so I guess that might be one of those things that keeps us going, there’s always room for improvement and change. Occasionally you get this one tone and we’re all just like ‘No one moves, stand in this spot – THIS.IS.IT!’

So, the reason we’re both here today; Orange Amps.
Yes, and you know what? Our guitar player Rick Nielsen and I were friends before we started working together, so in 1968 we came to London, I was 18 and he was 20, and everything we loved, came out of London. It was the British invasion, and we were totally into it. So when we came here, we went to Cliff’s shop, and he was telling us all about his plans of putting out a line of amps which he was building in the back of the shop, and the first ever band I saw using Orange was Fleetwood Mac. They came to the US in ’69, and it was so great. At that time they had those really big ones, you know, giants. The cabinet was like ten feet tall, it was a joke. After that, we all just absolutely loved Orange Amps, and I’ve loved them ever since.

How long have you been using Orange yourself?
For a very long time, I don’t even know what year it was. I’ve had an Orange guitar head which I’ve had for years that I use when I record, but I dont take that one on the road. I love the AD50 and the AD200, and what’s so great with Orange having done so well for themselves, is that I can go pretty much anywhere in the world and get those amps, the exact rig that you want.

So what is it about the Orange Amps that draws you to them, is it the fact that you can pretty much just plug in and play?
Yeah absolutely! I don’t use any pedals, none of us do, so it’s just straight out, and I really like the push. Orange is great because you can push them and make them sound great at low volume too. Mainly I get a guitar sound, and add low end to it for bass, which I find especially useful since I’ve got a 12 string bass.

Let’s talk some more about your famous 12 string bass…
Well, when I decided I wanted a 12 string bass, there was no such thing as a 12 string bass, there was an 8 string, but that was a crummy lil’ thing that didn’t have any low end, they didn’t fret out, and they just weren’t all that great. We just wanted our sound to be as big as possible, so I thought, ‘Why don’t I just get a bass with a whole bunch of strings, so it’ll sound kind of like a guitar player just playing along with the bass player?’ I originally started out as a guitar player, so it’s sort of just like a huge, giant rhythm guitar.

Well, you mentioned your Christmas Record being released later this year, are you still planning on sticking to the whole ‘releasing an album a year’ thing after that as well?
Yes, absolutely! As long as the label allows it, and they were the ones who suggested it, so there’ll definitely be more new music coming your way…