I was walking through Hangout Fest when I saw a man with sunglasses sitting on a bench wearing an “Artist” wristband. I went up to him and asked, “Are you Bahamas?” He laughed, and replied: “No, I wish.” It turns out this man was Hunter Porter, lead guitarist for Pacific Dub. He invited me to watch their set, and I’m so happy I did.
Pacific Dub, a SoCal reggae/rock quartet, has just released their new album, played the Sunset Stage at Hangout Fest, and they’re currently on tour with the Dirty Heads until the first week of July. Needless to say, they’ve been pretty busy, but their lead singer, Colton Place, found the time to have a chat with me about all their successes so far this year.
They’re new CD, “Guide You Home,” features eleven tracks you can easily listen to on your next trip to the beach. It’s their first full-length album since 2012 and with much gusto, they’ve worked hard on it since summer of last year. Their sound has “matured” and Colton believes it’s a “good representation” of the way they want to go for future releases.
“We’ve found a really cool stride that we were able to hit with song writing. The production is levels ahead of where we’ve been on previous records. We’re trying to explore every different style that we can implement into our sound and I think we’ve found a good zone to hang out in.”
Much of the production on “Guide You Home” was done in-house, although the level of sound quality would never reveal that fact. The band outsourced the live drums to their tour manager, where he and drummer David Delaney recorded them in his Torrance studio. Other than that, everything was done in bassist Nathan Ueda’s home studio where he and Colton mixed and mastered everything.
“It was definitely a departure from how we’ve normally done stuff in the past. It was such a comfort zone though; we weren’t racing against the clock trying to pay for some studio time. And honestly it couldn’t have come out any better in my opinion. It’s the best production sound we’ve had on our record. We’re pretty stoked on how it came out.”
Regarding their performance at Hangout Fest, Colton isn’t exactly sure whether their agent reached out to the festival or vice versa, but he knew they “had to say yes.”
“There was no way we weren’t going to make it work. A festival like Hangout is pretty legendary. Just to have the opportunity to be there, it was super humbling and we had a great time.”
Unfortunately, they didn’t get to meet Kendrick (we shared a laugh over this,) but they did catch his set along with others like Grouplove and Foster the People.
As for Pacific Dub’s demographic, they don’t really aim to please one specific type of person. Their music is really for everyone. They just played in my neck of the woods- Houston, TX- the picture of the audience that Colton painted for me was quite colorful.
“I think the one interesting thing you’ll notice if you spend enough time around this kind of scene is that there’s not one true demographic. There were some people with their kids that were four to five years old and there were people in their sixties. It’s really broad, and it’s really cool to be able to play to that many people and to meet that many people. That’s one of the things I like about the music we play. We have a good time.”
As for the interactions with fans, he describes it as “really organic an natural.” The members of the band are fans of the Dirty Heads, Iration, and the Movement (all of whom they are on tour with currently,) so after their set they like to watch the rest of the show and hang out by the merch booth to talk with fans.
“We like making the connection. We appreciate anyone who comes out to listen to our music so it’s nice to be able to let them know that.”
Overall Pacific Dub doesn’t have a “transcendent theme” but, in Colton’s words, “It’s about living your life in a positive way no only for others but for yourself, making sure that you’re making the most out of your situation. Making sure that you’re living for yourself as well as for others and vice versa.”
Pacific Dub’s new album, “Guide You Home” can be found on Spotify! Make sure to check out the new music video for their single, Reaching.