4th & Orange are paving the way for reggae/rock bands all across the nation. The group is spearheaded by lead singer Garrett Douglas and Chris “DJ Irey” Garcia, who are longtime friends hailing from Long Beach. Their overall vibe, sound and energy pay homage to their hometown — giving audiences positive, uplifting records, in stark contrast to current, oversaturated state of music today.
The Southern California band is comprised of talented and experienced musicians from all different walks of life. But their ability to come together and unite as one entity is what propels them to the forefront of the fans’ radars, providing an escape for all those who listen. Not only do the instruments and production all collide smoothly and perfectly, it’s their relatable stories in their lyrics that listeners resonate with most.
To carry on with their momentum after the release of their last single “Only You,” 4th & Orange unleashed their first song of the decade: “In the LBC.” Not only is this an anthem for local fans, but it pays tribute to Dove Shack’s 1995 hit “Summertime in the LBC,” featuring Warren G. Directed by Michael Garcia.
The bandmates also recently shut down Long Beach’s own One Love Cali Reggae Fest, with their childhood idol Sublime with Rome even present to watch their set. Irvine Weekly caught up with 4th & Orange to discuss their love for their hometown, love for Sublime, inspiration from Collie Buddz and the best moments from One Love Cali!
IRVINE WEEKLY: How was One Cali Love Fest with Sublime with Rome?
GARRETT DOUGLAS (lead singer): [I’ve been a] believer in [the] law of attraction since I was 13 years old. I based this whole band off that shit. Literally anything we ever talked about always happened. Sublime with Rome, I talked to him two weeks before Cali Love Fest. He fucking came over and stood on stage while we performed. We performed at 4 p.m., he performed 9 p.m. or 10 p.m. He didn’t have to come out his trailer, he didn’t have to do shit. We just killed the show, we slapped each other’s hands. Then we walk over, he’s standing there with a big ass joint. I’m like “what’s up bro?” He said “I wanted to come check you guys out.”
How did you guys meet initially?
DOUGLAS: Obviously when you first hear of somebody else representing the band that you love your whole life, you’re skeptical. “Fuck man, he’s not Bradley Nowell.” That’s exactly what he’s not, he’s not Bradley Nowell. He’s himself, but he did a fucking hell of a good job on stage at One Love. You forget Bradley’s supposed to sing these songs. It doesn’t feel like that now, it feels like he’s supposed to sing the songs.
I reached out to him in a comment because I saw him commenting to somebody else. I said “yo what’s up Rome, I love the analog sound you guys have. Hopefully, we get to do that more this year.” He commented back to me. “yo we got to work on something.” I hit him back immediately, “for sure, let’s get something good before we even get together and we’ll make it happen.” Then he shows up there. This is some real shit! We’ve only been a band since February last year. To be sharing the bill with him, it’s fucking cool. It’s surreal.
Did you stay for Sublime with Rome’s set too?
DJ IREY: Yeah, we did. We watched the whole god damn thing, and we smoked up. We brought a two-ounce joint. It was a vibe. There were a lot of photo ops.
DOUGLAS: Fucking crazy, it was wild.
How did it feel to perform in your hometown of Long Beach?
DOUGLAS: Our team sends us our itineraries for what the year looks like so far. They ask “what’s your first concert of 2020?” Our first concert ever to be honest. We’ve done showcases. We’ve done small venues, important venues like Hotel Cafe in Hollywood down the street. Then we get our first announcement of where we’re performing for the first time on an outdoor stage called One Love Festival. They’re like “yo, and it’s in Long Beach, California.” It was unplanned, it wasn’t planned that way.
You’re telling me that our first show is in fucking Long Beach? It felt like we’re in the right place at the right time. We couldn’t have been in a better place to say “look man, all your friends get to come out to it because they all live there.” It was honestly a blessing because when we’re there, we performed literally 50 feet away from the actual Queen Mary. Right behind the stage were the big ole tubes. It was a huge vibe because we just released a couple Long Beach-specific, homage-type songs, it was a homage. We dropped “In the LBC” that day, the same day as One Love.
Things were meant to be this way. Through all the years making music, this year really showed us we’re finally making music that we’re supposed to be making for the moment that we’re in. The moment we’re in is what we did for experiences of our last practices and putting them on stage somewhere it can be heard by thousands — instead of the minimal amount of invites that we had before. We’d only be able to invite people. Now it’s an open crowd where these people came to see Sublime and they get to see this random ass band called 4th & Orange on the stage. They ask “where are you guys from?” Fucking Long Beach!
They started pouring over. Because our stage was built right where the line entered at so people would be trying to get to their band, but they’d look to the right and see this band on the stage. They stopped dead in their tracks, came over and heard us. It was fucking amazing guys, we fucking did it. We did big vibes that night.
Did you guys celebrate that night?
IREY: We smoked a lot. [laughs] Nah, we just enjoyed the rest of the show. Definitely got inspired by all the other bands that played after us.
DOUGLAS: Especially inspired by the bands that we’ve been inspired by to make the music that we make today. We don’t take from anybody but everybody in the world is always made up by their favorite artists. When you listen to a band, that band’s probably inspired by so many other bands. That’s why they sound the way they do.
We’re inspired by so many other people that we used to make music like or somewhat in the same realm as. Now we’re on the same stages as them? It shows that we’re headed in the right direction. 2020 should be a big year of combining our band and our sound with everything else that we’ve been inspired by. Now that we’re there, our only next mission is 1) gain fans and 2) be friends with these guys now. Let’s brush shoulders. Let’s fucking share joints. Let’s …
Have you crossed paths with Snoop?
DOUGLAS: Oh, plenty of times. For the last five years before this band, I was signed to Big Boy from Big Boy’s Neighborhood. I had a five-year contract, that’s where I met Nick Ferrer. I met him about 10 years ago. I was only 19 years old, I made this song called “LA You Drive Me Crazy.” I used to be a rapper my whole life, it ended up being on the “New at 2” with DJ Felli Fel. Felli literally went onto a website and saw my song there being promoted really hot, and he ended up putting it on Power 106.
My homie called me one day, “yo you’re on Power right now!” I’m like “nah, you’re probably listening to 96.3 Latina or whatever,” they play my stuff all the time. He’s like “bro, Felli Fel does not spin on 96.3. You’re on Power 106 right now.” I went out to the car, put the radio on. 105.9, boom! Banging my song. I thought “yo this is crazy.”
What was your artist name?
DOUGLAS: I was Beach Boy back then. Because when I came up from Long Beach, everyone would call me the Beach Boy. It was weird. I’ve been Beach Boy since I was 13, so this is 16 years ago. I ended up getting that shit tatted on my fucking chest. I just ran with hip-hop for a long time.
Talk about loving Long Beach so much you named your band after streets, 4th & Orange.
DOUGLAS: I love Long Beach a lot. It’s the city that created the whole vibe for what I wanted to base our sound off of. We went through a whole procedure of trying to figure out a name. Atlantic Records came to us like “what’re you going to call yourself? We want to give you guys a deal.” At the time, I didn’t know these guys [points to room]. I only knew DJ Irey, I’ve known him since high school.
IREY: We were called Long Beach Boys. [laughs] That’s what they would say.
DOUGLAS: Because they didn’t know our name. We’re throwing names back at each other. Everyone’s in the chat like “what should we call ourselves?” One person said “you should call yourself Mez Cali,” it’s a play off Mezcal. I’m like “nah man.” Just because we’re from Latin descent, doesn’t mean we should strategically name ourselves a Hispanic name. Some of us come from Hispanic backgrounds. This guy’s white as hell [points to DJ Irey]. I’m half-white too.
But we didn’t want to put ourselves in a box in the beginning. If we named ourselves a Latin name, we’re narrowing our fucking audience. People will think “oh, I don’t really know what Mezcal is….” I’m like “nah man, how about we do it what we’re from?” I live on 4th and Orange at the moment.
Wait, are people coming to your crib?
DOUGLAS: Yo! After the music video… in the music video, they didn’t fucking blur the address out. When I’m walking down and smoking my joint, it says “1134 East 5th Street.” I’m sitting right in front smoking a joint with my boys in the music video with the fucking address above me. I’m like “I don’t know how this is going to turn out.” We got the final edit of the video and it showed it, I’m like “we might want to blur it out.”
But it’s cool because I plan on moving soon to be closer to work, which is out here in Hollywood. I don’t mind because man, I wear orange everywhere I go. I have orange hair, you can’t really miss me anyways out there. So it’s not a bad thing. But for me, at least we based our band off of what we feel like. Every time we’re in the studio, we’re at home. When we rehearse, we’re at home. My home is 4th and Orange, I’ve even brought them down multiple times to 4th and Orange.
Honestly, it’s not a bad thing that everyone knows where we’re from or where we’re at. Because our band is a representation of “remember where home is. Remember where you came from to know where you are going.” 4th and Orange is just a regular ass band of regular people. Hopefully, we eventually become superstars. We can make a lot of money that way but until then, we’re going to represent the fact that we came from nothing. Now, we’re trying to make something out of nothing.
What does each person bring to the table?
DOUGLAS: So I’m the lead singer. I don’t play instruments. I know how to write music, I know how to write songs. Irey used to be my producer. He still is, he produces a lot of our stuff. The thing is, we didn’t play all these instruments. They bring the live instrument side to us that me and Irey didn’t really dabble in. Irey can’t just go to the drums and start slapping it. It took a lot of responsibility off of us when it comes to providing all the elements you need to make a song. All the elements are live instruments and good songwriting. Me and him have songwriting, we have production, but we didn’t know how to play every instrument.
When they came into the band, we get to write songs now according to what everyone does. We don’t ask Sam [Ward] to stray away from what he knows. Sam’s our drummer, he adds the drums lines. Alex [Bursztyn] over there adds the bassline. Ricky [Santiago] adds the lead guitar that we need. Honestly, it’s everything that we needed that we were missing, which was the fucking talent on our own instruments. I’ll never ask these guys to try and write for me, even though they’re really good. A lot of times, you guys have great ideas when you send them to me. But I focus on songwriting, you focus on drums, Alex focuses on his bass, and he focuses on his guitar. That helps us out literally when we’re writing our songs. We need certain elements and we’re able to ask them to add the elements, that way our job isn’t as hard as it is. That’s what we do now: we just vibe, write music, and it becomes the best songs we have now.
What are you most excited for touring with Collie Buddz?
IREY: Man, Collie Buddz is a sick-ass band first of all. We know they’re going to make us play hard, definitely going to inspire us because we know they’re a great band. They’re veterans.
DOUGLAS: Mmhmm, Collie Buddz is our main inspiration. Because the first song me and Ire ever made together, before we even knew the boys, was a song called “My Ganja.” It was a Collie Buddz instrumental that was uploaded to the internet.
IREY: A long time ago.
DOUGLAS: That song ended up being our first reggae song ever. I saw them the other day at One Love. I didn’t want to seem like a groupie, but I’m totally a groupie. Even Mackenzie said “he’s standing behind you.” I go “oh, I knew 10 minutes ago he was.” [laughs] I almost went over there and jumped his shit for a second.
IREY: He’s dope.
DOUGLAS: He’s so talented so to be able to share the stage with him, it’s another part of this whole law of attraction thing I was telling you. How are we going on tour, our first tour ever, with the guy we made out first reggae song from and I am definitely going to walk up to him and have the song read, put it up to his ear. He’s going to be like “yo, that’s my beat.” I know, but wait till you hear my vocals…
You don’t think he has heard it?
IREY: Nah, we made that 10 years ago. Nobody knew who the fuck we were. [laughs] But he will. He’s going to trip. It’s going to be fun. Collie Buddz is sick.
What’s next for 4th and Orange?
SAM WARD: Hard touring. We’re going to be on the road with some of our favorite artists. We already are. To answer your question about Collie Buddz, for me personally, when I was 14, 15, 16, getting out of high school and smoking some weed behind my house — sneaking it out, I’d always have Collie Buddz playing. To be opening up for Collie Buddz is dope because I love all that music. If we keep picking up shows with good artists like that, it’s natural that the audience will connect with us as well as they do with them. That’s the main goal. We keep trekking, we keep working hard, we keep playing shows.
DOUGLAS: That’s very true. 2019 was about getting our sound right, rehearsing and getting our show right. 2020 should be about gaining fans first of all, because nobody really knows us yet. They might know the individuals from the band, but they don’t know who 4th and Orange is yet. 4th and Orange is that band that goes on stage and becomes a representation of everybody’s spirit animal. When people want to live free and compare themselves to an animal, it’s because they try to compare themselves to something they know that animal does.
Some animals are wild, and we’re wild. We’re wild. Sometimes, we’re too wild. We should probably tame it down a little bit. But at the same time, 2020 should be about showing people how fun we are on stage. Literally, we don’t focus too much on our sound. We know we have the sound, we just want to focus on making people love us in a way that we love our favorite bands in the past. Our favorite bands always went on stage and brought a party. When we went to go see Sublime, they brought a fucking party.
IREY: It was them. It was authentically them and that’s what we want too.
DOUGLAS: 2020 has to be about growing our fans. Letting them know the genuine side of us, not just the musical side of us.