INTERVIEW: Stephen Ordonez of Fourth & Coast

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Fourth And Coast - Blue Promo

For Stephen Ordonez and James Colla of Fourth & Coast, the duo’s current tour with Jennel Garcia (from X Factor), Stay Seventeen, and Crash The Party hasn’t suffered from lack of obstacles to overcome. A victim of frequent transportation issues, Fourth & Coast has placed in interesting positions, forcing them to step-up throughout the tour’s duration. Between planning last-minute acoustic performances and rising above adversity and taking the initiative to play their first headlining show, Fourth & Coast has continuously demonstrated their professionalism and desire to prove themselves in the grueling music industry: the band won’t be defeated.

Stephen Ordonez of Fourth & Coast spoke with Substream Magazine regarding the band’s latest single “Young Hearts” featuring Jordan Witzigreuter of The Ready Set, the state of the band’s current tour, and the exhilaration felt from performing their first headlining show.

Substream Magazine: Earlier this month, Fourth & Coast released “Young Hearts.” Talk to us about the meaning behind the single.

Stephen Ordonez: “Young Hearts” is about love, youthful angst, and just being in the moment with someone you just enjoy being with even if it may not be the best thing for you. It quite literally is our “YOLO” song.

SM: Jordan Witzigreuter (of The Ready Set) is also featured on “Young Hearts.” How did the collaboration with Jordan arise?

SO: We met Jordan at a Halloween party last year through mutual friends. A couple months later, our manager sent him a demo of the song and he really liked it. After a couple of talks about what to do with the bridge of the song, we asked Jordan if he wanted to feature on it and it all just worked out. In the end we were able to feature an incredibly talented gentleman on our song!

SM: We know that the lyric video was just released for “Young Hearts,” but not a music video just yet! Are there plans to film a music video and if so, have any concepts developed, that you could share?

SO: We just recently finished filming the actual music video last month! I don’t want to give the whole thing away, but the concept definitely reminds me of something you could see Rachel McAdams and Ryan Gosling act to.

SM: Along with releasing the new song, you’re currently on tour with Jennel Garcia (from X Factor), Stay Seventeen, and Crash The Party. Thus far, how’s the tour compare to previous tours?

SO: It’s a blast. Everyone on the tour package is extremely humble and talented, so from the get-go it was easy to get along with everyone. We’ve thankfully never done a tour where nobody got along, so I would say that this tour continues the tradition of good friends and hangs. The shows have been more intimate than others though, making it very relaxed and super easy to hang out and talk to fans.

SM: As well as going through the daily tour motions, Fourth & Coast has decided to maintain a tour diary with Substream Magazine. How’ve you enjoyed keeping the tour diary, and what’s the feedback been like?

SO: I find it really convenient that we can actually recall everything that’s happened on this tour because of it! Usually we forget to document everything on tour because there is so much going on, but when we have time to look back on things that we’ve done, we realize it’s so worth it. It’s like having a yearbook for the tour. So far the feedback has been great – I think fans really enjoy being able to dive into what tour life is.

SM: The first week of the tour, Fourth & Coast faced an obstacle, after mechanical issues for Jennel Garcia/Stay Seventeen forced the promoter to cancel the IL show. However, you decided to play an acoustic show in Denny’s, where 30 people (the max. capacity) showed up. You noted that it was such a different experience. Describe the experience of putting on an acoustic show in Denny’s – as, I can only imagine!

SO: I think everyone in our crew went through a roller coaster of emotions, but thankfully – because of our incredible crew and the help of Crash The Party – everything went better than we could have ever imagined. Setting the whole thing up was the most stressful part. One of our managers, Nick Delouise, was able to tell us just in time for our other manager, Aaron Jennings to help create an event online for the last minute acoustic show. Our Tour Manager, Jacob Gutman, handled everything the day of show. After getting everyone together and grabbing a bite to eat at Denny’s, we ended up playing in the parking lot under a tree in the rain. It was the most hectic thing we’ve done as a band but it turned out to be one of the most intimate, coolest experience we’ve had with our fans. I have to say it would’ve been impossible without our managers, TM, and Crash The Party all helping!

SM: A couple of road bumps have occurred throughout the tour. How do you keep your head up, amidst the hardships?

SO: You have to see the bright side in every situation. Nothing is going to get better if you just complain and whine all the time. Fortunately, the cancelled Chicago show turned into a surreal experience at a Meet and Greet at Denny’s, and when the other bands on the tour package couldn’t make it to the Toronto show, we ended up headlining the show to one of the most responsive crowds we’ve had. If you don’t dwell on what goes wrong and just keep on trying to make the best out of every opportunity and situation, everything will be fine.

SM: While you’ve encountered hardships, I know that you had the opportunity to play your first headlining show, while on this tour, in Toronto – congratulations! How did that experience compare to other performances, and how did it feel to be the headliners?

SO: Thank you! For being so last minute, it went very well! Our Toronto fans definitely brought it. They were LOUD. I think the thing I liked most was not having to feel rushed during our set. We were able to just relax, play our songs, and just enjoy the moment. I just can’t wait until we have the chance to headline a whole tour!

SM: Along with the tour, you’ve been doing several house parties. Since the house parties provide such an intimate environment, do you prefer them over playing in front of larger audiences, or do you enjoy having the house parties to create a balance between the larger settings and more intimate ones?

SO: I definitely enjoy having a mix of both house parties and real shows. At house parties, we’re able to actually get to know our fans and hang out with them, whereas at a real show you don’t get that quality time. On the other hand, at a real show there is a lot more energy and you can lose yourself in the music, whereas at a house party it is more laid-back. So there are pros and cons to each of them!

SMP: Thank you for taking the time out! Is there anything else you’d like to add?

SO: I just want to say thank you to all of our amazing fans for supporting us and coming out to shows! We have so many things in store for the rest of the year and we can’t wait to share it with everyone.

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A self-made journalist, Alexa Spieler started contributing to the world of music journalism at the mere age of 13, after founding her own promotional website, A-ListMusicPromotions.com. Seeking out local acts, Spieler was captivated by the world of music, predominately through smaller, intimate shows featuring local artists on Long Island, NY. As the business expanded, Spieler found herself still seeking out ‘the next big thing’ through Long Island artists, but as the website burgeoned, she grew to interview and cover the likes of Justin Bieber, Kelly Clarkson, the Goo Goo Dolls, Daughtry, Cody Simpson, Fall Out Boy, The Janoskians, Carly Rae Jepsen, LMFAO, amongst others.

Now, a Media, Culture and Communication major at New York University, Spieler continues running ALM Promo (youtube.com/alistpromotions), but also serves as the Music Editor of NYU’s paper – the Washington Square News, a contributing writer for Substream Music Press, the NY Music Examiner for Examiner.com, and a reviewer for ReviewYou.com.