Following their successful 2014 tour, Pacific Dub knew they needed some time off. The Huntington Beach-natives just completed a run that had them on the road for the better part of a couple of years in support of 2012’s Tightrope. Little did they know that what was intended as a few month break would turn into nearly a two year long absence that saw a few extended members depart.
“2014 was a very, very hectic year for us,” singer/guitarist Colton Place says over the phone as he’s finishing up a Guitar Center run ahead of the band’s first major practice. “It was the most touring we’d ever done, and after it, a few people realized that it (playing in a touring band) may not be for them.”
That same year, the band headed back into the studio to lay down some new tracks ahead of their summer tour. However, the sessions didn’t go as planned. They started pre-production, but the songs weren’t coming out how as they’d intended. Pacific Dub scrapped those sessions, instead releasing two singles instead of a new batch material.
After downsizing the band and parting on good terms with their former members, Pacific Dub mulled their future and decided that if any of the original members—including Place, lead guitarist Bryce Klemer, bassist Ryan Naglich, drummer David Delaney and keyboardist- Justin Quaress—were to leave, then they’d have to consider their options. There wasn’t a specific or breaking point that pushed the band to the sidelines. Instead, the gradual grind of the road became a bit more grueling than anticipated.
Outside of a handful of shows in 2015, the band stayed dormant. It wasn’t until September of last year that the now-quartet returned to the studio to put together what was to become their Take Me Away EP. A few songs from the 2014 scrapped sessions were resuscitated for Take Me Away, with the others worked on during their layoff.
“We’ve pretty much got the original lineup back and we’re ready to get back at it,” Place says. “We’ve got a new team around us that we’re lucky to be working with and we’re really stoked on the future and getting back on the road.”
Their brand of California-infused fun loving reggae won them supporters, and this EP picks up where they left off in President Obama’s first term. Pacific Dub got back together to work on new material in the summer of 2016 before heading into the studio. The time off reenergized the band.
Now that its finally ready, the six-song collection serves as the motivation for Pacific Dub get back on the road next week. Admittedly, there’s been some rust even though some of the members jammed during their hiatus as they ready their live set. Yet, with the appetizer of an EP out of the way, the band is already tossing around ideas for their next full length.
“We already have stuff in the works; that’s never been a problem for us,” the singer says. “The right timing to do so (record and release material) and to make sure that when we are recording them, that they’re something that we’re proud of and stoked to have and not a product of somebody else trying to mold into something that it’s not. There’s not really a comparable feeling to doing something that you love and having people enjoying it.”
Pacific Dub perform at The Observatory presents: One Love Reggae Fest at the Queen Mary, 1126 Queens Hwy, Long Beach. www.observatoryoc.com, 12 p.m. Fri.-Sun. Feb. 10-12. $125 Friday, $65 Saturday. All ages.
Daniel Kohn is a writer based in Southern California. With bylines in an assortment of outlets, Kohn primarily specializes in music with other interests ranging from sports to food. As a transplant, Kohn loves the beautiful weather and is glad he no longer has to deal with brutal winters. If you see him, say hi and of course, he’s always willing to down a beer or two…if you’re paying.