Some cities have well-deserved reputations for breeding great hard rock and metal bands: Detroit (MC5, the Stooges, Ted Nugent), Birmingham, UK (Black Sabbath, Judas Priest), Los Angeles (Guns N’ Roses, Mötley Crüe). Port Of Spain, Trinidad has not been on that list – until now. Orange Sky may be the band that changes that.
Lead guitarist and singer Nigel Rojas insists that he and his bandmate/younger brother Nicholas aren’t the only metal fans on the island. “We grew up listening to the radio stations that played music from the States,” he recalls. “Every Thursday night there was a show that would come on called Rock Concert, and that guy would be playing Ozzy, Scorpions, Judas Priest, you know? So then the record stores started to bring records in, because people who’d been listening to the shows wanted to have the music, and about four record stores opened up and those guys became millionaires really fast, selling Ozzy stuff, and Scorpions, and Mötley Crüe.”
Meanwhile, Nigel and Nicholas were learning to make music of their own. “Nick is five years younger than me, so we grew up jamming together,” Nigel says. “When I was about ten, my aunt taught us to play a couple chords on guitar, and I showed Nicholas what I knew, and we’ve been jamming ever since. We’ve never really parted ways, in terms of having this dream that we could grow old together play music and see the world.”
The brothers formed Orange Sky and began playing gigs in their home country, rapidly gaining a reputation as a highly entertaining live act. They opened for a wide range of touring stars, from Metallica to Ludacris. Signed to Granite/Universal, they released their first album, Upstairs, in 2006, and supported it with a 44-date U.S. tour opening for Yngwie Malmsteen. As a guitarist, Nigel recalls the experience of watching Yngwie night after night as “like penis envy. I just wanted to pick up a ukulele and go home.”
Still, they won fans. “Our live show is sex for us,” says Nigel. “That’s where we make our real connection. The recording is one thing, and we respect that, but the real connection is the live show. We love to play and we love to connect in that way.”
They’re now ready to unleash their second album on the world, and Nigel says it’s packed with music that existing fans and new listeners alike will go wild for. “Dat Iz Voodoo has stuff that’s really meant to be played live. Not just songs to listen to, but songs to bang your head to.”
“It’s a more progressive record,” he continues. “We were a little more open to each other, playing songs we knew would go off better live.”
Dat Iz Voodoo runs the gamut from the delicate, piano-led ballad “Never” to the almost thrash “Psycho World,” from the industrial-strength reggae-rock of their take on the Scorpions’ “Is There Anybody There?” to the crunching funk-metal riffs of “Dark Room” – a dozen songs in all, guaranteed to get fists pumping and moshpits swirling, with a couple of lighters-in-the-air, arm-around-your-girl moments in between.
Orange Sky doesn’t shy away from political engagement, either. Nigel has talked on the band’s blog about his issues with the Trinidadian government, and tackles issues of injustice and poverty throughout Dat Iz Voodoo – but he writes love songs, too. “I would say Bob Marley inspired me very much as a lyricist, but so did Ozzy,” says Nigel. “We talk about everything – life, death, romantic angst.”
Dat Iz Voodoo represents a new beginning for Orange Sky. After leaving Granite/Universal, they were signed to StarCity Recording Company by Jeff Glixman and Jim Gentile. StarCity, incorporating a state-of-the-art recording facility as well as their record label and artist management division and headed by Phil Ehart of rock legends Kansas, brings the industry know-how and the passion that a young band from an unexpected place needs. But Orange Sky has the kind of work ethic and drive that should guarantee them success, no matter where they hail from.
“We put out everything we have,” says Nigel. “We do what we would like to see done if we go to a show. The best compliment we ever got was someone said, ‘You guys sound and perform like if the Wailers and Black Sabbath had a baby.’”
Dat Iz Voodoo is out now on StarCity Recording.
Nigel Rojas (lead guitar, vocals)
Nicholas Rojas (bass)
Obasi Springer (drums)
Richard Hall (keys)
Dion Howe (guitars)
"Upstairs" 2005 Granite Records
"Dat Is Voodoo" 2008 StarCity Records
Orange Sky at StarCity
[+ Show ]
Far from where they started back in the early 1970s, longtime Kansas drummer Phil Ehart and producer...Far from where they started back in the early 1970s, longtime Kansas drummer Phil Ehart and producer Jeff Glixman are working at StarCity with Orange Sky, a heavy metal reggae band from Trinidad and Tobago. Glixman and Ehart were in Trinidad recording a Kansas record in 1996 when they met Nigel Rojas, a teenager in a local band, Jaundis-I, with whom Glixman went on to produce a record. Hooking up with Nigel’s new band, Orange Sky in Barbados 2 years ago, the commitment was made for the team to begin work. Glixman and Ehart are currently enjoying the fruits of their efforts, as Orange Sky recently began its first tour of the United States in support of their debut CD, Upstairs, and DVD, Live in Trinidad. The group is appearing with guitar legend, Yngwie Malmsteen.
Recorded at Real 2 Reel in Atlanta and mixed at Roselane East in Wildwood, N.J., Upstairs was produced by Glixman; Ehart serves as the band’s manager. The influence of Caribbean music is deeply entrenched within Orange Sky’s distinctive style. One of the most popular Trinidadian bands, Orange Sky was founded by vocalist/lead guitarist/songwriter Nigel Rojas and features rhythm guitarist Adam Murray, keyboardist Richard Hall, bassist Nicholas Rojas and drummer Obasi Springer.
In an additional effort to capture the band’s unique and energetic style, Ehart and Glixman decided to capture a live performance of Orange Sky at Club Zen in Trinidad. In front of 1,500 fans, Orange Sky powered through a set of original songs and one cover: Cat Stevens’ “Peace Train.” The show was recorded for 5.1 DVD release and mixed in Surround Sound at StarCity Recording in Bethlehem, Penn. by Glixman, the studio’s executive vice president, and Carl Cadden-James, StarCity’s vice president of engineering.
“Working with Orange Sky is a unique experience,” Glixman stated. “We handled preproduction recording in the Caribbean, which presented many challenges. Simply finding equipment like guitar strings is more difficult than here in the States. It’s not as if we could run to the local Guitar Center to pick up the equipment as needed. We shifted to Real 2 Reel for the recording of ‘Upstairs’ and everything went smoothly.”
Producing the DVD was vital for Orange Sky’s presence, according to Glixman. “The DVD enables would-be fans an opportunity to witness the band’s distinctive live performance style and passionate dedication to music. There is also a short documentary that provides an excellent feel for the band members, truly talented and humble individuals. The strategic simultaneous release of the CD and DVD will help further bolster the band’s fan base.
Dean Guitars - Nigel Rojas
[+ Show ]
ORANGE SKY, TRINIDAD'S HOTTEST MUSICAL EXPORT, SECURES ENDORSEMENT WITH DEAN GUITARS, Lead vocalist/...ORANGE SKY, TRINIDAD'S HOTTEST MUSICAL EXPORT, SECURES ENDORSEMENT WITH DEAN GUITARS, Lead vocalist/lead guitarist/songwriter Nigel Rojas of Orange Sky endorses Dean's Dimebag Darrell signature model and the '79 ML model. The Dimebag Darrell model was designed by the late Pantera and Damageplan guitar hero. The '79 ML guitars are built to the exact specifications of Dean's original 1979 model. The originals are now highly sought after by collectors.
"I am so excited to play these great instruments. I am a huge Dimebag Darrell fan and these guitars fit my style perfectly," ....Nigel Rojas. Orange Sky has toured in the United States with Adema, Buckcherry and most recently Yngwie Malmsteen. In Trinidad, the band has opened for a diverse range of artists including Dokken, Skid Row, Six Feet Under, Hatebreed and Ludacris.
At home in Trinidad and Tobago, and throughout the rest of the Caribbean and the West Indies, Orange Sky is incredibly popular. Trinidad and Tobago's Ministry of Tourism has officially named the band as International Ambassadors. Orange Sky is sponsored by Angostura distilled spirits. For more information, visit www.theorangesky.com
Orange Sky Announce Second Run of Tour Dates with Yngwie Malmsteen
[+ Show ]
ORANGE SKY, the pride of the Caribbean nation of Trinidad and Tobago, is announcing its second tour ...ORANGE SKY, the pride of the Caribbean nation of Trinidad and Tobago, is announcing its second tour with legendary guitarist YNGWIE MALMSTEEN for May 2006. Dates are scheduled in the United States and Canada. ORANGE SKY first toured with the Swedish six-string master in the winter of 2005.
"Upstairs", ORANGE SKY's acclaimed debut album, and the DVD "Live In Trinidad", are now available through Granite Records. The band members include lead vocalist/lead guitarist/songwriter Nigel Rojas, bass guitarist/vocalist Nicholas Rojas, rhythm guitarist Adam Murray and drummer/vocalist Obasi Springer. Nigel and Nicholas are brothers.
"We are so happy to be back. Being on tour with Yngwie is always an honor and people should expect to see us rocking harder than ever!" says Nigel Rojas.
The crowds on last winter's run of shows universally welcomed ORANGE SKY with open arms and embraced the band's dazzling blend of heavy metal, hard rock and pop with Caribbean touches.
ORANGE SKY's career has shot off like a rocket. The band, which has been named International Ambassadors by Trinidad and Tobago's Ministry of Tourism, has opened concerts by the diverse likes of DOKKEN, ADEMA, BUCKCHERRY, SKID ROW, SIX FEET UNDER, HATEBREED and LUDACRIS. Endorsement deals have been secured with Dean Guitars, Music Man Basses and Yamaha Drums.
YNGWIE J. MALMSTEEN / ORANGE SKY (LIVE) - The Music Mill, Indianapolis, Indiana, USA
[+ Show ]
At about 9:05 p.m., a “new” band called Orange Sky from Trinidad, a tiny island in the Caribbean, nu...At about 9:05 p.m., a “new” band called Orange Sky from Trinidad, a tiny island in the Caribbean, nudged through the crowd and took the stage. It’s fair to say that other than media members and the employees of the venue, no one in the audience had heard of this band before this evening, and the fact that they are a band made up of musicians of color, sporting various forms of dreadlocks, certainly took the conservative Indianapolis crowd by surprise. What took the crowd even more by surprise was how much Orange Sky kicked arse during their all too brief performance. The band, having recently released its first international recording in Upstairs (read the Metal Express Radio review by clicking here), mixes sounds of the Caribbean (e.g., Reggae) within a Heavy Metal platform … sort of a Bob Marley meets Judas Priest sound, if you can imagine. The band quickly won the hearts of the audience with their unassuming honesty, apparent love for what they were doing, and obvious appreciation for the opportunity to tour with such an established name as Yngwie J. Malmsteen … a man, as Nigel Rojas (lead guitarist and vocalist) mentioned, who has been one of their musical heroes and influences throughout their personal histories.
Playing predominantly songs from Upstairs, Orange Sky started out with the song “Dogs” and “Escape,” which both rocked, and kind of caught the audience off guard. The crowd initially rendered a reserved “courtesy” applause after these songs, but sort of like the village peasants in the thematic story Stone Soup, those in attendance began to realize that they indeed were witnessing something special, and began to rally around this band in a way seldom seen in a 35-minute set. Nigel Rojas and his guitar compatriot, Adam Murray, ripped off some impressive riffs and power chord schemes, while Nigel’s brother, Nicholas Rojas, played some inspired bass fills, keyboardist Richard Hall flung his dreadlocks in headbanging fashion, and Obasi Springer literally beat the living crap out of his drum kit in John Bonham/Tommy Lee fashion. By the time the aggressive riffs of “Tug of War” were played near the end of the set, the audience was completely sold on this new pearl out of the Caribbean, as was evidenced by the roar of the crowd as time expired and the band had to leave the stage.
After their set, many members of the crowd ran to the back area of the venue to pick up a copy Orange Sky’s new CD, which was wisely made available by the band for purchase. Orange Sky’s message was clear … they wanted to “plant a few” seeds during this tour, and “make new friends.” Due to the fact that they could be found the entire rest of the night hanging out with the crowd and talking with whomever wished to meet them, the Rojas brothers and co-musicians showed they indeed were serious about making the most out of this opportunity to expose the world to their new brand of Metal music … and for all accounts and purposes, they accomplished that goal as well as could ever be expected.
Original Rock/Metal with Reggae Influences
There are no upcoming dates at this time.