Interview with Eric Sands and Alex Auxier of Orange USA, Atlanta, GA
Most guitar players and enthusiasts are completely enthralled with Fender, Marshall and even Vox amps to mention a few. But there’s another amplifier manufacturer that has found its way into the hearts of the most sophisticated guitarist down to the entry level guitar player’s heart and that is Orange Amps. They are one of the most incredible and coolest names in the music industry and their amps give you beautiful, world-class tone.
Just ask Jeanne Saga (All That Remains), Laura Pleasants (Kylesa), Kate Nash or Glitter Rose, to name of few of their artists (along with Jimmy Page, Getty Lee and a long list of other dangerously good players).
While founded and based in the UK, Guitar Girl Magazine sat down with the guys who make the world turn for Orange USA: Luke Zollinger, Eric Sands and Alex Auxier – and here’s the story they had to tell.
GGM: What’s the story behind Orange in the USA?
Alex: In 2001, the UK sent a gentleman over here to start Orange USA. He began it by himself in an apartment and quickly hired another gentleman, primarily to do assembly, but also marketing and artist relations. Then in about 2003, we acquired this space here off Peachtree Industrial and we’re definitely on a growth pattern.
GGM: What do you do here?
Alex: I do marketing and artist relations.
Eric: National Sales Manager for all the US.
“Orange really pioneered the compact tube head”
GGM: How much interaction do you have with the UK office?
Alex: A lot! (laughs) Pretty much daily, sometimes hourly, because the marketing materials that we create here are for worldwide use.
GGM: What female artists are you working with?
Alex: Jeanne Saga from All That Remains and Laura Pleasants from Kylesa (pictured in cover photo). They’re pioneers in new rock. Kylesa is very popular right now and All That Remains is a very radio friendly, new rock band, so to have them playing our gear is pretty cool.
We just signed Kate Nash and that’s a big deal for Orange. She’s touring right now with the Orange AD200 bass amp and OBC 4×10 cab.
GGM: What are some other artists you’ve liked working with?
Alex: Jim Root from Slipknot. He’s actually the first artist we’ve ever done an artist’s amp with the Terror range.
GGM: How does the Jim Root Tiny Terror differ?
Alex: His amp is essentially the dirty channel off of our Rockerverb 100; it’s very “rock.”
GGM: How popular have the Tiny Terror amplifiers been?
Alex: We put out the Tiny Terror in 2005 and since then we’ve sold tens of thousands of them! Expanding that range and creating the lunch box amp trend was a very big deal for us.
“As far as being a trend setter, there’s really no apology”
GGM: Are you getting a lot of competition in the lunch box sized amps?
Alex: Everyone is doing it.
Eric: Orange really pioneered the compact tube head. A lot of companies since have followed suit but they just don’t sell a lot. The Orange Tiny Terror has been just a constant good seller. It’s in every recording studio. It’s a staple which will always be around. It’s achieved that kind of a status.
Alex: We sell of a lot of them to producers and a lot of the music you hear now has a Tiny Terror on it.
GGM: Do you consider Orange amplifiers to be “English” sounding?
Alex: Absolutely! Definitely! That’s inherent in everything we do. The reason that we sell so many amps is ours is a sound a lot of people appreciate.
GGM: What is the spirit of Orange USA?
Alex: Everybody here is a “go getter.”
Eric: More than anything we’re all really passionate about Orange and what we’re doing, we’re very much a team.
GGM: What sets Orange apart?
Eric: We have an amazing amp designer, Adrian Emsley, and he’ll build a product without any restriction. He’ll build the best product you can possibly build and then we figure out after the fact what we have to sell it for (laughs). It’s entirely backwards from what everybody else does. People don’t mod Orange amps, we never cut corners.
Alex: What sets us apart is tone. As far as being a trend setter, there’s really no apology. It’s clean design and it’s made really well.
GGM: What’s new for this year?
Eric: We came out the Micro Terror amp and we can’t keep up with demand.
“The best product you can possibly build”
GGM: How does it differ from the Tiny Terror?
Eric: It’s smaller, 20 watts with a tube preamp, a digital power section; it’s really popular at $149.
Alex: There are a lot of demos on line.
GGM: Anything else coming for this year?
Eric: We’re excited about a new line of amps called the Crush PRO amps. We have our Crush PiX line and these take it to the next level. They’re based on our Rockerverb series so we’re really excited about that.
Alex: We’ve got the Custom Shop 50, which is hand wired tube amp.
Eric: There’s also the OR100 which is a great stage worthy amp. It’s great for large arenas or small clubs because you can dial the wattage down all the way to 20 watts.
GGM: What about events with Orange?
Alex: We sponsor the Warped Tour and there’s The Fest in Gainesville, FL. This summer there’s Camp Jam and this year they will have Orange on stage for their live performances. Also, they’re offering pre-orders on practice amps. So before you go to the camp, you can pre-order an amp at a lower cost than usual and then you can actually have that when you’re practicing with your band, getting ready for the big final gig.
“What sets us apart is tone”
GGM: What about the recording amp?
Eric: It’s a PC optimized for recording.
Alex: When you turn that thing on, Windows loads up and you’ve got software loaded ready to go. There are on our web store online and we are selling them direct.
GGM: What’s the price point on that?
Alex: It’s $1,600 for the I7 version. They are available now. It’s got all the components, it’s very connected. It’s basically a studio for PC users.
Eric: It looks like a guitar amp; it has built in JBL studio monitor speakers.
GGM: Anything else you would like our readers to know about Orange?
Eric: We’re proud to be part of Orange manufacturing the best guitar amps in the world.
With a history committed to making exceptional amplifiers at all levels, it’s no wonder Orange Amplification is a shining light in its field.
With the right Orange amplifier for you, it’s no wonder you’re amazing in Orange.
Photo credits: Orange USA and Guitar Girl Magazine