After premiering a brand new Sisters Of… song (see below), we decided to catch up with guitarist and bassist Chris Clark and find out a little bit more about his gear. Check out our conversation (and the new track if you haven’t yet) to discern how Clark’s gear impacts the group’s sound.
What one piece of gear do you use to obtain your signature sound?
Clark: This, without a doubt, would have to be my Orange Rockerverb 100 MKI.
What about it makes it so important to you?
Clark: I’ve gone through a lot of amps over the years. This is far and away the most versatile, yet solid and dependable amp I’ve ever owned. For example… we don’t use distortion pedals. Never have. We just use the dirty channel on the amp. The gain structure is so easy to manipulate, but still low-end responsive and cuts through. I’ve never had an amp that the tone could be so easily modified depending on the application it was being used. This is definitely the last amp I’ll ever own.
How was this gear used during the recording of your latest album?
Clark: On the EP, we did about half the guitars through this head, and the other half were done direct with all distortions and modulations done “in the box.” This made it very easy to just plug and play, but ended up being a headache in mixing. We had a hard time agreeing on tones, effects, layers… etc. because it all had to be done in that interface. We bickered over it a LOT. With the new record 99% of both of our guitars were done with this head, through an Orange PPC412 cab, double mic’d. This has proven to be the best decision made for this record.
We spent more time on getting a good sound out of the amp, into the mics, and we couldn’t be happier. They really sound so, so good. When we started mixing it were like “Whoa. That sounds awesome. Yah. Leave it.” Aaron recorded (and mixed) this record. And I know this go around was a lot easier for him when it came time to mix guitars. Also, I do feel compelled to say all guitars and basses on this record were done with Orange gear. We used a Bass Terror 500, direct-in, for bass, and did a couple of smaller, last-minute guitar overdubs with a Tiny Terror.
How do you recreate your album (guitar/vocal/bass) tones in your live set?
Clark: Well, we haven’t played live… YET… but we should be able to answer this question very soon.
Do you have a backup for this gear, if so, what?
Clark: Years ago, a friend of mine was entertaining the idea of building custom amps for musicians in the area. So, he frankensteined this monster of a head together and let me take it. He took old pieces from Orange, Marshall, Hi Watt, Peavey and Soldano and put this… thing… together. It was also the only amp he ever made. It’s an amazing sounding amp, but with 6 power and 6 pre-amp tubes, it’s just too much. I always got compliments on it, and was even approached by a boutique amp company who wanted to model it. I love it, but the Rockerverb is the real deal.
How long have you had it, how do you use it, would you ever change it?
Clark: I’ve had this amp for around 5 years now, and I use every facet of it. The pedalboard runs through the effect loop, which is so transparent and clean, the clarity of the effects is unreal. Along with using the dirty channel for the main (only) overdrive, that’s really it. And no, I don’t plan on changing anything about it. Tung Sol tubes pushing Orange circuitry… there is nothing better.
Any final thoughts or comments on the gear?
Clark: I highly recommend the Rockerverb to anyone who is looking for something new. This amp can do anything… metal, blues, country… anything. And… if anyone from Orange is reading this, Aaron could use one too.
*Photo credit for both pictures, Claire Perry.
Check out the song “The Angel”