Rebel Rockers

Fourth Dimension celebrates eight years of creating a conscious reggae party

Steve agrees: "We only created that CD so we could stop telling people we didn't have one. Up until then, we were playing 'Hot Hot Hot' and all the bubble-gum Bob Marley tunes, and that's what that disc sort of reflected musically."

In recent years, they've undergone tremendous changes as musicians and as individuals. Most important, they take their work more seriously. "The first five years of Fourth Dimension were based on us being South Florida's top party band," Steve says. "That's what we started off as. 'Cause we didn't know this was going to be our future. We saw original bands not getting no gigs 'cause nobody wanted to hire original bands, especially not nothing that promotes consciousness."

He's speaking of the difficulty spiritual reggae bands have getting gigs at local bars.

"The owners of bars, sometimes they just want that whole kinky reggae," he continues. "They want the whole provocative, forbidden dance part of it. They want to see girls dancing, drinking, the guys drunk, and when that happens, the bar is making its numbers. That's why they don't hire real dreadlock Rastas to go out there and perform. So we've had to come in like guerrillas almost, playing an original here and there."

That tactic has helped the band survive. They're able and willing to play their own music with hard-hitting reggae covers mixed in.

It's a part of what makes their shows so much fun. Like a reggae jam band, the set list on any given night can vary tremendously.

"We're still working on our sound and growing," Arnau adds. "It's a process that never stops."

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