Australian musician and PRS artist, Orianthi Panagaris has played with some of the best acts in music including Michael Jackson, Alice Cooper, Richie Sambora, and many more. She has also made her way to the tops of the charts as a solo artist. For all of her different musical endeavors, she’s found common ground in using PRS for her live gigs and studio work. Below we interviewed Orianthi about her favorite PRS instruments, her new album, and more.
PRS: It has been about a year since your last visit to our factory here in Maryland, but that feels like ages ago. What have you been up to since then?
OP: I’ve been promoting my new album “O”, which comes out November 6th, and I am very excited about that. We’ve been shooting music videos, and lyric videos, and I’ve been rehearsing with my band as we got ready for a Livestream at The Whisky, which was worldwide and a lot of fun to do. And just doing a lot of press until the record comes out. And then we will see from there, hopefully some more livestreams to get the music out to the fans during this time. But, I really cannot wait until things open back up next year, and we can start touring again and seeing people in person. Because that is what it’s really about, and that is what is the most fun and rewarding.
PRS: You have a new album coming out this Fall and just released the first single. What can you tell us about it?
OP: Well “Sinner’s Hymn” is a really heavy, rift based Blues song; it’s kind of a rock, pop, edgy alternative track. Which I kind of found inspiration by listening to a bunch of things like Buddy Guy, ZZ Top, Nine Inch Nails, Hendrix, and just a bunch of different things while making this whole record, O. But yeah with “Sinners”, I really hope the people dig it and that they just want to crank it up in their cars! And I can’t wait to play it live for everyone. I mean it was a lot of fun playing it live for The Whisky show, even though I didn’t have my fans directly in front of me, which would have made it so much better. But I’ve already seen people send in videos of them playing the riff and that just makes me really happy to see people getting in to it!
PRS: What is the spirit behind this new album, is the material a departure from your previous work?
OP: The spirit behind this new album is one where it isn’t overthought. It has kind of a raw edge to it, yet it is still produced up by the amazing Marti Frederiksen, who is a great friend of mine. He co-wrote and produced this entire record with me in 28 days in Nashville and we had a blast doing it, we really did. I hope people dig the new sound. It is still rock and still pop, but it’s got different synth sounds, and beats, and elements that haven’t been on my past records. We also played with a ton of guitar tones. It was just a really fun record to make.
PRS: What guitars are you favoring these days and have you made any significant changes to your live rig recently?
OP: I am using, obviously, my custom 24 purple PRS, which was used prominently on the record O. It’s very special because it has secret pickups and a killer sound. Actually, you can order this guitar through PRS dealers by way of their Private Stock program. They are made to order situations due to the amount of amazing detail to them. This guitar is just so cool. I’m also using a Custom 22, a PRS as well. And as far as amps go, I am using Orange Amplifiers. I just started using a Rockerverb Mark 3 and I absolutely love them! Those along with my Nexi signature pedals, the Octaver, an octave pedal, and the NexiPlexi, a classic, fuzzy blues & rock type pedal. But that is kind of it really for my rig recently.
PRS: You have shared the stage with some pretty serious names, what have been your most memorable collaborations over the years?
OP: Well number one, Santana and Steve Vai, and also Billy Gibbons, Robby Krieger, Michael Jackson, Carrie Underwood, and Prince. Gosh, there have been a lot! I can’t name them all off the top of my head, but there have been so many people. I really feel so beyond honored that I have gotten to collaborate with those that I just mentioned, as well as A.R Rahman, Ritchie Sambora, and Alice Cooper. Yeah, there have just been so many great people that I have gotten to work with and they have all been absolutely amazing! You know, these are all people that have helped shape who I am as an artist, and so it’s kind of hard to name them all. But I really just love working with others who have worked so hard to make music what it is for so many people. It is truly inspiring!
For more Q&A with Orianthi, check out the videos below!