ONE LAST HIT WITH DOUG JAMES - Stoney 11/4/04
A little over six years ago I responded to an ad in the Metro Spirit for pa for what would be the Launch Party for Lokal Loudness online. Later on that day I met a recently transplanted Ohio native by the name of Doug James. Since that time Mr. James has been a very intrumental in the success of man a Lokal Loudness event whether it be providing sound, playing live or mixing mastering cds. His studio JameSound can be credited at least in part to many of the great lokal releases from the past few years and as part of the band 420 OUTBACK raised the bar of what a lokal band could be, and at times, should be. Now after making his mark in the Augusta scene, Doug prepares to leave his adopted home to return to his true hometown of Toledo, Ohio. Doug, gracious as always, answered some parting questions for Lokal Loudness..
LL - First off let me just say, and I think I can
speak for the music freaks of Augusta, thank you for
the last 6 years of your participation in the lokal
music scene. We are definitely going to miss you.
DJ - It has always been a distinct honor to be a
part of this music scene. There's so much talent in
this town, magical things can happen as long as you
keep on keepin on.
LL - Now you and your family (wife Ree and daughter
Sarah) will be moving to Toledo, Ohio which is where
you are originally from. Why the decision to move
DJ - It's something we've been discussing for quite
a while now. Nothing against Augusta, but I can do a
whole lot better for my family in Toledo. There's my
family, which by the way, is huge. Sarah's got 6 more
aunts and uncles and countless cousins that she hasn't
even met yet. There is also many more opportunities to
make some better money up there. So it's just better
for me as well as my family.
LL - Before you moved to Augusta from Ohio, you were
just starting to make your presence known on the
Toledo scene, any immediate plans to jump back in
and show the hometown what they've been missing for
the past six years?
DJ - I'd be lying if I said I'd stop playing, but I
have no immediate plans as far as bands go.
LL - What have you missed most about Toledo and what
do you think you'll miss most about Augusta?
DJ - The thing I'll miss most about both cities is
the people. It's staggering to think that in 6 years
I could have met so many people that I consider to be
good, life long friends. So make no mistake; Ree,
Sarah, and I will be dropping in from time to time to
check on everyone.
LL - Looking back at your time with 420 Outback,
when did you first notice that the band was starting
to make an impact lokally
DJ - I guess the first time was when we played the
Amphitheater for the Garden City Music Festival, and
afterward the Homegrown guys mentioned on air that
they were impressed with our show, and we didn't even
have to pester them for it or anything. Until that I
hadn't realized that anyone was even paying attention.
LL - Did you ever expect that the band would build
the following it did?
DJ - Nope. Never expected it, but I'm damn glad it
LL - What do you think it was about 420 Outback that
made it special to so many people?
DJ - I think the fact that we included anyone and
everyone who ever came to see us play into the 420
family. I also think that people could relate to what
we were singing about. Good times, good beer, and
LL - CDXX will go down as one of the classic albums
released in Augusta and from it songs like "Foggy"
and "Hit" received quite a bit of play on Homegrown.
How instrumental do you feel the bands following
was in the amount of attention and airplay this
album and it's songs got?
DJ - Homegrown helped a whole lot, but there was
also the Spirit, the Chronicle, and of course Lokal
Loudness that always kept our name on the mind of the
public. The key is to cover ALL of the media outlets.
LL - Recording CDXX wasn't exactly a short easy
process. What where some of the obstacles you
encountered and how did it feel to finally get it
finished and out to the public?
DJ - Obstacles, huh? Well, getting essential
personnel to the studio always seemed to be a
challenge. Then of course the aggrivation of thinking
you have it all done, only to discover upon a test
listen that there is still something wrong and then
having to go back and DO IT AGAIN. Of course when
it's all done it's probably the most relieving feeling
ever (just like that post-Thanksgiving
LL - In late 2002 the people spoke and 420 Outback
pretty much owned the Choice awards show in february
2003. Were you surprised at how many awards you
racked up and how much did it mean to the band to be
recognized by the public so strongly?
DJ - Absolutely. It really warms your heart when
the public recognizes you for the work that you do
because while we were recording it, it never crossed
our mind that "Oh, were gonna walk away with the
Loudies next year". It's just something that we did
because it's what we all wanted to do.
LL - Now at the time the projected outlook was that
420 Outback was going to release a follow-up and
totally take over the Augusta music scene so it was
surpring to many when the band broke up. Why the
decision to split when the band had all that
DJ - When all of the parts of an engine are pushing
together in one direction, a butt-load of momentum can
be built up. However, if any part starts pushing in
another direction, it doesn't take long before every
part is going a different way, and before you know it
all of your momentum is gone.
LL - When the band splintered into two great bands,
Local Ghost and Knowface, was there ever a thought
that one day 420 might get back together?
DJ - Not in my mind.
LL - Looking back, do you feel as if you
accomplished what you wanted to musically in
DJ - It's funny because it really doesn't feel like
I've accomplished all that much, but then I sit down
and start thinking about it, there's a whole lot that
I have done here. So, I guess that I have
accomplished some, but there's still a long road to
LL - If you were to pick one special musical moment
while you were in Augusta, what would it be?
DJ - I could pick a lot more than one, but it would
probably be a tie from the Seven Mary Three show and
the 12 Bands of X-mas show in 2002. Great crowds,
LL - How did this one - off 420 Outback show on
November 26th come to be?
DJ - It was Gabe and Ryan's idea. They figured it
would be a good time to have a going away party and do
the 420 show all in one swoop
LL - What are you looking forward to the most about
DJ - Getting Local Ghost, Knowface, Jemani, and 420
Outback together again, and the fact that instead of
charging cover, we're going to ask that people bring
either a canned food item for Golden Harvest Food Bank
or an unwrapped toy for Toys for Tots. There'll be
donation bins for each.
LL - Expecting it to be very emotional?
DJ - Naturally.
LL - Is this more a proper final farewell for the
band or more a farewell for Doug James?
DJ - You can label it however you wish, but I think
it's a little of both. Besides, I'll be coming back
to Augusta every now and again and who's to say we
won't do something like this again.
LL - Doug, thanks so much for not only this
interview, but for giving Augusta not only some
special music, but also the chance to share it with
a special musician and person. Before you go, any
parting words to the Augusta faithful?
DJ - Do what you love, love what you do. Never lose
sight of the dream. You have the means in your
possession to reach the promised land, wherever the
hell that is. Thank you, Augusta for 6.5 years of my
life that I will never forget. You gave me confidence,
you gave me love, and you have given me my family. I
just hope that along the way, I have given you even
half as much as you have given me.