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

Can you tell us a bit about yourself and your band Fizzy Blood? Have you been a member since day one?
I’m Ciaran Scanlon and I’m the bass player in a rock band called Fizzy Blood. I joined Fizzy Blood back in 2015 a few months after they had come out of the studio recording ‘Feast’. Our drummer Jake and I had been playing in bands together for years, and at the time we were both living together in Leeds, studying at the Leeds College of Music. When Fizzy needed a bassist, I joined them for a few rehearsals and we’ve been playing together ever since. As well as ‘Feast’, we’ve also released ‘Summer of Luv’, plus we’ve just come out of the studio recording our 3rd EP, which we did with the wonderful Alex Newport. This will be released in the next few months so keep an eye out!

You’ve got some impressive shows behind you with your three years in the band, what would you say has been the highlight for you?
For me, it has to be playing overseas. We performed over in South Korea for ‘Zandari Fest’ and Austin Texas for ‘SXSW’, which were both pretty surreal experiences. In the UK, this headline tour we’ve just done is definitely a highlight as well. The gigs we played in Leeds, London and Birmingham were really exceptional and the crowds were so energetic and responsive. It was a really unique moment for the band.

How old were you when you got into playing, and what led you towards playing the bass?
I have been playing bass since I was about fourteen years old, so for about eight years now. I first started when I was in secondary school when a few friends of mine were learning instruments. I used to turn up to the practice room, hang out, and try to get involved any way I could, and with bass being the one instrument none of my friends played I thought ‘why not give that a go?!’. Later I got a bass for Christmas, and the rest is, as you say, history. My dad was really into the bass as well, just as much as I was, so he got me lessons to help develop my learning of the instrument. A few years later I decided to pursue it further and study music at university, which is where I eventually ended up joining the band.

 

What kind of music did you listen to yourself growing up?
Growing up in an Irish household in Birmingham, I was exposed to lots of talented Irish music and musicians. My parents were very much into the Manchester music scene, so bands like The Smith, Oasis, Joy Division and The Stone Roses were always played on repeat.

Can you give us a lowdown on your history and experience with Orange?
When I first started playing I had an Orange combo practice amp, which was one of the first pieces of equipment I ever owned. The Orange amps I have used over the years range from everything from practice combo amps to a Terror Bass and an AD200. I’ve always been a fan of Orange, especially with Fleetwood Mac’s John McVie being a part of the Orange family and roster. From the moment I first played Orange I’ve been sticking to them due to their top quality sound and pristine production, and I’ve been really lucky to use Orange amps across a wide range of tours in the UK with Fizzy Blood.

So you’ve played the Terror bass and you’ve given the AD200 a go, what’s your current set up for this most recent UK tour?
For this as well as the last few Fizzy Blood tours I’ve been using the Orange 4 Stroke 500, it’s got everything I want and I’ve had such a great time playing it. I dont rely on too many pedals either, and my small pedal board consists of a tuner running to a Sansamp into a pedal called a ‘Steel Leather’, which is essentially a treble boost that emulates a pick sound as I play with my fingers. It’s been nice using the 4 Stroke as I normally use my Sansamp to control my tone, as the 4 Stroke has allowed me so much more creative freedom.

If you could go back in time and give your ten-year-old self some words of wisdom, what would it be?
Save up all your pocket money and get yourself an orange amp. You won’t regret it.

Tim Commerford: Yo, my name is Timmy C, and I play bass for the ‘Prophets of Rage’ and I did some bass playing for a band called ‘Audioslave’ and I’m the bass player of ‘Rage Against the Machine’, and I’m here to talk about some bass with these kids from Orange amps.

I think I was more influenced by the feeling of bands like the ‘Sex Pistols’ earlier on but then I gravitated to more intricate, progressive rock and became a Geddy Lee fanatic. He actually was playing this amp that I am standing on and I was searching for a certain tone. It sort of came from him, the sound he has is similar to what I was looking for.

I have an Ampeg head, Barefaced 8×10 cabinet and then I have another Ampeg SVT pro with a gain control through a 4×10 Barefaced cabinet and then the Orange head. This head is an incredible head for just going to that next level of overdrive. When I want to push it into a higher end, not going crazy but more into the white noise and the higher distortion; This head is a beautiful amp for that. I have different amps for different tones and there is all different tones, and there is all different ways that you can make the bass sound even better.

I’m a finger player and I feel like it is a sport and that’s the way it is supposed to be played. I’m on that field with those guys who play with their fingers and realize it’s just like a little miniature body on the end of your arm. It’s a deeper, for me, a deeper science, a deeper low end, a different feel.

Because I still enjoy going on the internet and going “Hey, bass lessons” or “advanced bass lessons”, these videos come up and there are great players out there and they aren’t in these huge bands but they are showing you how to do cool stuff. That’s something I didn’t have when I was growing up as a kid, now any song you want to play is on the internet. So it’s actually a good time to learn how to play an instrument and do it the right way. My advice is to put away the computer for everything expect for bass lessons, its killer for that!

Tuk Smith – Rick thanks for meeting.

Rick Nielsen – Happy to be here.

Tuk – We are going to talk about some good shit. In the early days, you guys did 300 shows a year plus, you’ve never quit touring. You tour now more than any other band, what is your secret?

Rick – You got to like what you are doing and people have got to hire you, if we weren’t hired then I don’t know if we would be out quite as much. But about eight years ago we said maybe we shouldn’t tour so much, so we should raise our price and that didn’t stop anything, so we should have raised our prices ten years ago!

Tuk – I’ve heard you have a really special Orange amp? It’s an early one?

Rick – That one right there, right in the middle, I think it is the first one ever made. Basically I bought it from Orange music, in London, I bought it from Cliff Cooper who started Orange.

Tuk – What year was this?

Rick –  It was somewhere between 1968 and 1970, because I bought my Mellotron, my first Mellotron from Cliff Cooper, it was used one over in London and I had it shipped over by boat. It was on the first album of Fuse in 1969, we recorded in 1968 so that would have been in.

Tuk – So you’re a self proclaimed hoarder?

Rick – Ye! So this is number one and the guys at Orange told me they made four of them and they haven’t even seen one, so that’s the very first one, very rare. So I’ve had it for forty or something years. Except for the emblem being bust, its perfect.

Tuk – Do you ever track in the studio with Orange?

Rick – I track in the studio with it yes, its got a punch, its got great punch to it. Then Orange was kind enough to build me another one and they made a chequer board for me. Its a little different configuration, looks a bit different. But then about a month ago I was in Seattle, went guitar and amp shopping with Mike McCready from Pearl Jam and I walk in this store, they were all looking at this and that. Then I go BOOM! I point over and that was down on the floor, that is a direct copy of this same one I already have, so I have got two of the four.

Tuk – Have you ever thrown a pick into an orifice, a mouth or an eye ball and was there a lawsuit?

Rick – A lot of cleavage, that is where it is usually drawn.

Tuk – Tell me about the cameo in the Fat Boys movie, because that was fucking wild.

Rick – See they wanted a really crappy actor and they got it. I can’t act, I can react, I’m a pretty good reactor! But as far as acting…

Tuk – I think your rat tail sold it though, you had a nice one.

Rick – They cut out my best line in that movie because I said “I was only going thirty five” but the other line was “I was only going thirty five” and then I gave him the finger!

Tuk – Well if you need somebody cute, to play rhythm guitar Rick, so you don’t have to do all the duties, I’m right here buddy.

Rick – Well why don’t you play with us tonight?

Tuk -Well I didn’t know you were serious Rick but that is awesome!

“For me their isn’t a better sound.”

The first time I remember seeing an Orange amp must of been 2009 or 2010 when we really started doing our first tours and stuff. You saw a lot of bass players with either an Ampeg SVT or an Orange head. I noticed the Orange AD200 MKIII which is what I used, I actually moved from the Ampeg SVT to that because I felt for me there isn’t a better sound.

I can’t really have a head that I will do two tours with and then its done with or I have to replace the parts in it. You can tell just by the weight of them, its not to be messed with, its a really heavy piece of equipment. Its got a really nice tone about it and I think it is just really user friendly as well. The master, the gain and then the three tone knobs, you can find your sound really quickly with an Orange head and that is what I like about it.

With it being four valve, usually I don’t really have a lot of me in the monitors, I’ll suck most of the mid out and I pair it out with my pedal board. I usually go with not a lot of mid, treble round about 10 o’clock and the bass around about the same 10 oclock to 12 oclock. You have got to be careful because with the guitar tones that Sean and Matt have, it is quite attacky and its got a lot of gain to it. The amp is quite versatile and you can have a lot of attack on it or a rounded off sound as well, so I think you can achieve what you want.

Its extremely nice and I feel honoured to be part of such a roster with amazing people on it. I just see myself as a guy from Sheffield, when you’re in a band and you are climbing the ladder of success you keep in your own bubble. Its very hard to get an outsiders perspective, in my eyes we are still this band who are still coming out of Sheffield but its nice to recognised on the same level as those people.

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…

Orange Amplifiers caught up with Linz from Vodun at this years Desertfest in London. We discussed how trying a Tiny Terror in London lead to him using the TH30 and then the Rockerverb. Linz uses a complex guitar amp setup to give him a full band sound from only one guitarist. Using a TH30, Rockerverb and OB1-500 to give him the massive tone Vodun are known for.

Go check out the band on the current tour:

2nd June – London – Decolonise Fest
16th June – France – TBC
17th June – Germany – Freak Valley Festival
18th June – France – Hellfest
20th June – Italy – Rozzano
21st June – Italy – Pordenone
22nd June – Italy – Turin
24th June – France – Rock In Bourlon
25th June – Netherlands – Rotterdam
27th June – Spain – Barcelona
28th June – Spain – Madrid
30th June – Spain – Bilbao
1st July – Spain – San Sebastian
15th July – London – Metal Brew
22nd July – Portugal – Woodrock Fest

Hey guys, what’s up, what’s up – who are you, and you give us the lowdown on the band you’re in?
Stephen: My names Stephen Pye, I sing and play lead guitar in Psyence and have been since 2012. We also did some stuff together before Psyence when we were still in school.
Jamie: I’m Jamie Bellingham, and I play bass. And yeah, we have done some stuff before Psyence, some stuff that we don’t talk about, remember…?

Well, obviously now you’re gonna have to tell us…
Stephen: Well, when we were about 14, we were in this school variety show, Jamie on bass and me on guitar, and we covered ‘I bet that you look good on the dancefloor’ by Arctic Monkeys. Somewhere out there there is a video, and it’s hilarious. Obviously nothing we’d ever let you use in this interview though.

(Ok so I will totally search the darkest corners of the internet until I find this video.)

You just released your latest EP ‘A New Dawn’, which is awesome, and also quite different from your older stuff which seemed to be a bit heavier. Did you guys purposely change direction or did it happen naturally?
Stephen:
Two of the tracks on that EP, ‘Cold Blooded Killer’ and ‘The Bad Seed’ has that sort of generic ‘Psyence sound’, then we’ve got ‘Falling in Love Once Again’ which is a bit spacey, a bit of a loose jam and kind of a mix, then what I wanted to do personally for the EP was to get a really slow tune on there, because a lot of my favourite bands from over the years have always had slower tunes on their records, so we did ‘A New Dawn’, which worked out really well, to be fair.

Personally I’ve never been to Stoke-On-Trent, but I know it’s not exactly the biggest and most buzzing city in the UK – how is the music scene up there?
Jamie:
It’s perking up and there is a lot of aspiring new bands.
Stephen: A lot more bands now than when we first started, and we’re obviously not the first ones to be doing what we’re doing in Stoke, but a lot of bands similar to us did appear after we started gigging. We really, really pushed the band, and since that it’s become this whole new scene.

You originally started out as a five piece, then turned into a four piece, until having second guitarist Jamie Cartlidge join the band last year, how has it been for you two having a second guitarist back in the band?
Stephen:
Basically, we went as a four piece for about two years, and in the studio I would lay shit down five times, to then realize ‘how the fuck do I do this live?’
Jamie: We got to a point where we realized we couldn’t replicate what we did in the studio when playing shows, so it’s taken a lot of the pressure of the two of us, and has given us more freedom. I mean, he’s a bit of a prick, but fair enough, he’s a decent guitarist…
Stephen: He’s definitely still on probation.

So he’s like the new kid being bullied?
Stephen: Yes, he is and he will continue to be for a while. On a serious note though, going back to being a five piece, has been a lot easier than it was being a five piece in the past.
Jamie: And to be fair, most of what he says is comedy gold, he’s a good guy, Jamie.

Obviously you’re both using Orange, so can you tell us a bit about your history and experiences with the brand?
Stephen: I remember first time ever seeing an Orange amp, and although I don’t remember which one it was, I just remember being so attracted to the bright colour. I’ve been through various amps over the years, Fenders, Marshalls, what so ever, but the Orange sound is just massive. Besides from them sounding awesome, I just love looking back when we play and seeing them, it looks mint! I’ve got a Rockerverb MKII, and it sounds amazing. I definitely want an Orange extension, and I’m never going back to another brand now.
Jamie: I think the first time I ever saw one was when watching The Enemy, and it was just like a beacon on stage, I just couldn’t keep my eyes of them until I got one. I had two Ashdowns and I blew ‘em, had a Peavey which I set on fire, so then I decided to splash out and got myself an Orange and I never looked back. I’ve got OBC212 cab and the Terror Bass 500, and I do want to get another cab as well.


Psyence on Facebook / Soundcloud / Instagram


 

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!

Norwegian band Shaman Elephant recently released their debut album ‘Crystals’, which the critics and music know-it-alls have been all over. Based in Bergen, one of the rainiest cities in Europe and the black metal capital of the world, I was intrigued to find out more about their trippy, feelgood psych-rock, so I decided to pin down guitarist Eirik before their release gig at Bergen’s legendary music venue Garage.

So, Eirik, fellow Norwegian viking, new record – tell us about it!
We started recording it about a year ago and did almost all of it at Bergen Kjøtt (Translates to ‘Bergen Meat’, and old factory converted into music studios and rehearsal spaces), except for vocals and overdubs which we did at Solslottet. It’s been out just over a month now and people seem to really like it! Niché magazines and music blogs have been giving it pretty good reviews, and BT (Norwegian newspaper) gave us 5/6 which we’re pretty damned pleased with. The only one who didn’t like it was Gaffa, but they can go fuck themselves.

Fair dos – clearly Gaffa knows fuck all.

How long have you guys been playing together?
The three other guys, Ole, Jard and Jonas have been in various bands together for years, but I’d say Shaman Elephant’s been going for about three.

You’ve got a big night tonight with the record release show – how’s the next couple of months looking? 
We’re heading overseas to London in April, where we’ll be playing a headline show at The Unicorn with GNOB 18th of April, followed by a set at The Jonesing Jams at 93 Feet East two days later. Besides that, I reckon most of our gigs will be in Norway, possibly some German dates.

…damn, I’m really fucking hungover. Went to a gig last night and was only meant to have one beer, but when’s one beer ever actually been ‘just one beer’? Before you know it it’s 6am and you’re still going strong. It’s all good though, I’ll get another few beers in me and then chill out for a while before I go on stage. I’m really stoked about tonight, our bassist’s got this old Orange guitar amp which he’s running his bass through, it sounds sick!

Speaking of Orange, you’re an Orange man yourself?
Sure am! I’ve got a Rockerverb.  I work in a guitar shop so I’ve tried pretty much all there is, and the Rockerverb’s just brilliant, same with Dual Terror and Tiny Terror, massive fan!

 

What got you into Orange in the first place?
I was looking for a new amp but didn’t quite know what I wanted, all I knew was that I didn’t want Marshall because I think they can get too complicated, and I wasn’t too keen on getting a Fender. There I was watching a Prince show and he was using Orange, which kind of just settled it for me. I decided on a Rockerverb – I’d never tried one, but I knew I needed one. It’s been six years now, and I couldn’t be happier with it, you get that filthy and fuzzy tone that you can only find in an Orange. A lot of sustain, and simply just a great sound. Plus, they’re Orange so they look fucking cool. I’d love to get two 4×12 cabs, it’d be pricey but worth it. Build my own wall of sound, like Sleep’s Matt Pike and his rigs of doom.

Growing up in rainy Bergen, what music would you be listening to?
I’m very much raised on my dad’s music. I went through a hip hop phase, which I still can appreciate today, but when my dad told me to check out Hendrix that changed everything. I remember finding ‘Purple Haze’ live from Woodstock, and it completely knocked me out. After that he’d just feed me whatever he’d be listening to, whether it was Led Zeppelin, Deep Purple or AC/DC, it was all thanks to my dad.

Bergen’s been mostly known for it’s black metal, how is the music scene when it comes to other genres? Is there room for variety?
Absolutely! There’s been a fair bit of this prog-jazz as well as a wave of retro noise/psych. I dont think there’s too many other bands like ours in Bergen though, so there’s always room for more. That said, Bergen was either black metal or pop music for a long time, but the last couple of years I’ve seen that new genres have been popping up between the two, filling the gaps out a bit more. Norway has a lot of trap and hip hop, so it’s cool when people break the norm and do their own thing, we need more of that.