A COUPLE OF YEARS AGO, STEPHEN Ordonez worked as a summer intern at Guitar Player. Now he’s the guitarist and singer in Fourth and Coast, and he and his bandmates were recently tapped to back solo artist Hello Highway on a U.S. tour.
“We’re doing this tour as the band for Hello Highway,” says Ordonez, “but, during breaks, we’ve also been booking private house concerts to promote Fourth and Coast’s new EP, Heavy Hearts. We play acoustic versions of our songs, and then hang out with the fans for a couple of hours. It’s a great way to keep our band’s name out there until we can do our own tour.”
Ordonez plays through a Peavey VK 100 head, and his co-guitarist, James Colla, plugs into a Marshall, but on the Hello Highway tour, many of the bands share gear, which has been educational.
“It’s interesting for me to see the different ways people get tone live, and to experience the most efficient ways to use all of the new technology,” he says. “For example, one of the bands we played with ran their whole live sound direct through a Digidesign Eleven Rack. And, obviously, sharing a backline means we can set up everything super fast. So instead of rushing to get our equipment onstage while another band is getting theirs off, we have two or three bands all helping set up the gear— which allows us to spend more time dialing in the instruments and focusing on getting a great live sound.”