This week we chatted with Garrett Douglas from Long Beach, California pop-rock-reggae band 4th & Orange about a lot of our favorite topics at Concert Archives like first/favorite concerts, bucket lists, etc. The band recently released a live acoustic version of their song “Story of My Life”, and are currently in the studio working on their full length debut album!
Backstage Pass: What’s the first concert that you went to?
Garret Douglas: It was probably the Power 106 Powerhouse concert, probably ’06 or ’05. I saw Kanye West, Lil Wayne, Birdman. Oh my God. It was too many to count. It was the best thing that I’ve ever done in my entire life.
BP: Wow! That’s a stacked lineup. So what’s your favorite concert that you’ve gone to?
GD: Favorite concert? As of now I would say Cali Roots Festival, even though we played at it, I also got to attend it and I got to see Sublime for the first time. I know Bradley’s gone, but it was a big moment for me to be able to sit around and sing along to all my childhood favorite songs.
BP: Nice! My next question was going to be about your favorite show you’ve played, so I’m guessing it’s that one?
GD: Yeah! It was definitely Cali Roots Festival. I got to meet Rome backstage. He came to see us and actually watched our whole show, and met me backstage. And then we had a couple guys from Reggae 360 smoke us out. I had a buddy of mine, he rolled like, a foot long joint, and we put that in the air and passed it around to everybody, it was awesome!
BP: So before creating 4th & Orange, you were involved in the hip hop scene, rather than reggae. How has your experience playing shows with that previous project in the hip hop scene compare to playing reggae shows?
GD: It helped me out a lot because as the lead singer of the band, I have to know how to keep energy going because I’m not holding an instrument. And luckily being a hip hop artist, you’re basically just yourself, so I had to learn at an early age how to get the crowd going without having an instrument in my hand. And that’s definitely playing a key role in 4th & Orange!
BP: Did you always know you wanted to do music?
GD: I always knew that I loved music. I just didn’t know anything about playing it because I played the clarinet and I was terrible at it in middle school. So once I was so terrible at playing an instrument, I kind of just gave up on ever trying to be an artist and just started loving it [music].
Then, eventually I heard Eminem, and I went to go see 8 Mile. Once I saw 8 Mile, it was basically a blueprint for how to get famous. He starts off in a trailer park with a messed up family, and he goes and cuts the demo. He gives his demo out, then he promotes himself, and he becomes the man at the end. I knew that I had to get on that same path. It motivated me to become an artist, and then it evolved from rapping to singing and that’s where we’re at now. I’m like a rapper-singer, or whatever you want to call me.
BP: Any wild stories from your time on the road?
GD: The wildest story we have as of right now is definitely from the Arizona Roots Festival. One of the members from another band walked up to me with a stem and a top of a Shroom and I just ate it, and I definitely saw revolution, like I’ve never seen revolution before. I kinda had to get babysitted after that, ’cause I kinda got paranoid and everybody had to watch out for me. So I’m definitely keeping the shrooms away from me next tour. But it was a random moment. I felt like I had to.
BP: Since the quarantine started, you’ve played a bunch of virtual events, and you have some more coming up. How has that experience been compared to a normal show?
GD: It’s definitely made us improve the music side of our band. When you’re playing on a stream, you’re having audio fed into a machine, and then fed back out to people. And when that happens, you gotta be very specific about every detail of basically all your songs; every song has a special part about it. And it’s definitely made us focus more on what we need to get better at. So I think when we get back to the live stage in front of people it’s going to be a huge improvement for us as a band!
BP: Hopefully I can catch a show someday! What’s your favorite song to play live?
GD: My favorite song to play live isn’t actually released yet. It’s called “Happy Hour” and I think it’s going to be on our next record. It’s such a dope end of summer vibe and it’s going to get everybody at the bar drinking, which is where we’re at down there on Second Street. It’s definitely Happy Hour.
BP: Are you currently in the studio working on the album? And when can we expect more details about that?
GD: Yeah, we’re in studio Monday and Wednesday of every week, and we’re trying to pump out two songs per week all the way until the end of September. That way we have at least 30 to 40 songs to cut down into a body of 10 or so. It’s been awesome because as of right now, we just get to bounce ideas off the wall and whatever sticks, we go with. So it’s definitely going to be an album that takes you on a roller coaster – up, down, left, right – emotionally. I’m looking forward to it and I’m super proud of the boys for what they’ve already been producing for me.
BP: I can’t wait to hear it! What’s your creative process usually like when working on songs?
GD: It definitely goes any way possible. Like, I can literally write a song by myself. I’ve be writing songs since I was a little kid, so I can write a song with no beat behind it and just start writing, or I can take inspiration from something I saw. As of late it’s been going a lot towards Ricky, my guitarist. He’s sick with the guitar loops, and he’s been providing a lot of guitar loops for me to start ideas off of. And that’s basically how it goes down; it goes a whole bunch of different ways.
BP: When can we expect to next get a listen of what you’re working on? Any plans to release additional acoustic tracks, like you did for “Story of My Life”?
GD: The release that should be out by the end of September is called “Happy Hour.” We’re putting it together now; we gotta get the master right. Other than that, we’re planning on possibly doing the whole album that we’re going to release in an acoustic version. We have this new setup that records us while we’re playing live acoustic sets. If we can get all of them perfected, we’re definitely gonna press it down and release an acoustic album.
BP: This one’s kind of random, but what’s your go-to food before or after shows?
GD: Definitely Asian, anything Asian. I’m addicted to anything that’s Thai, or Japanese food, or anything like that. That’s what I do. So if you want to take me to Benihana before a show, you let me know!
BP: You have some live stream events coming up on Veeps. What can people expect from these events when they tune in?
GD: It’s going to be dope because we’re going to provide a party for people at home! Since we’re doing it every Wednesday, each week at the end of the show we’re going to be performing two unreleased songs so people can hear the new music, and that’s what I’m really looking forward to, ’cause it’ll help build the anticipation for the album!
BP: That’s definitely a great reason for people to tune in. Once it’s safe to tour again, do you have any exciting plans to get back out there?
GD: We definitely do! We got our emails, I think last week of all of the rescheduled concerts that we have. I don’t know the exact locations, but a lot of the concerts that we had scheduled before COVID hit have been rebooted and they’re actually going to still go down, just starting in March of 2021. I’m super excited about that, and I hope people are going to be eager to go see a live performance, and if they are, we’re definitely going to be there to give them that!
BP: I know I am. It’s been way too long.
GD: Yes! I need some bright sun on us, and March would be a good time for that!
BP: If you could play with any band, who would you want to tour with?
GD: If I get to play with any band, I would probably say… I know it’s crazy because they’re so big, but Maroon 5! My peers in reggae are super good, but what we’re dabbling into at the moment, it’s more of an awesome pop/hip-hop/reggae vibe that we’re doing. It’s not fully tied to one genre, and Maroon 5 definitely fits in the bracket of what we’re trying to do.
BP: That’d be a pretty sick lineup! Are there any festivals or specific venues that you’d love to play someday?
GD: We’re definitely all looking forward to doing The Fonda. We’ve been trying to do The Fonda with our last tour that we had booked, it was with Natiruts. We were going to play at The Fonda in LA and it was going to be one of the biggest moments for us because everybody in the band just knows how legendary that venue is. It definitely got canceled, and we’re just waiting for that to get back to us, hopefully that reopens and we get to do it. Other than that is Red Rocks. We definitely want to do Red Rocks. It looks like such a vibe there.
BP: That’s on my list too! I want to check it out someday, but it’s so far from me.
GD: Yeah, I just want to see how they get down with the whole, like reverbing of the sounds that bounce off the wall and how it amplifies it. I just want to be there to feel that kind of energy.
Thanks Garrett for taking the time to chat with us! We can’t wait to hear what 4th & Orange has been working on!
Make sure to follow the band on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter for updates on new music and shows! Head over to Veeps to grab tix to their upcoming streams, and check out their tunes on Spotify or Apple Music.
Know which band we should interview next? Check out out Contact Us page, and let us know!