Sweet Orange has become one of the favorite new bands to hear as their rock and alternative songs captivate audiences in Imperial Valley.
With the local music scene on the upswing in the view of some, a band made up of local 20-somethings is establishing a sound and a following with an eye toward bigger achievements.
Sweet Orange’s latest single “Almost There” has been available since Oct. 18.
The group formed in 2017 after its members posted on their personal social media accounts a video of themselves playing a song they wrote. Friends who saw it encouraged them to formally launch the band and get into a local studio and record the song.
“They saw the video and that's when we got asked (to record). We did it for fun and we continue to,” said Quintin Millan, 21, the band’s bass guitarist.
Other members include lead guitarist/vocalist Ricardo Zuniga, rhythm guitarist Fernando Beltran, and drummer Reyes Ortiz. All from Calexico except for Reyes who lives in El Centro.
The band’s sound is pop/punk/alternative with influences and inspirations from many directions, including Sum 41, Avenged Sevenfold, Red Hot Chili Peppers, The Offspring, The Police, Blink 182 and Green Day.
“The name ‘Sweet Orange’ doesn't really have a meaning behind it,” Millan revealed. “The story on how we got it is pretty funny. Ricardo saw a fruit vendor booth on the side of the road while he was on his way home and it said, ‘Sweet Oranges.’ When it came to taking the band more seriously, he brought it up while we were coming up with different names to call ourselves.”
Millan said support from the community has been good. Attendance at performances is solid and fans also buy band merchandise and wear it to the next show they attend.
Sweet Orange has also played two shows out of the area, one in Riverside for a private party and another at a San Luis, Ariz., restaurant.
“The crowd and bands for both shows were great. We enjoyed watching the other bands perform. The locations were alright. The big problem for both shows, gas. The crowd never disappoints since there's always at least one person who loves and enjoys your work,” Millan said.
The band will have it’s the biggest show at the world-famous Whisky a Go-Go on Nov. 20 in Hollywood, California. The venue has helped launch the careers of many artists, most notably The Doors in 1966.
“We're super excited and cannot wait for the night when our name will be posted on the legendary sign. We play right before the headliner as well so we're on at around 10:15 pm. We're really looking forward to this show,” Millan said.
Locally, performances include Strikezone in El Centro, downtown Calexico for the Battle of the Bands, Gran Plaza Outlets in Calexico for the Art Walk, Hot Rods and Beer in Holtville, and the Imperial Valley Pride fourth annual event in El Centro.
Sweet Orange’s single was released on all streaming platforms. Before that, they would release all of their demos and covers on their SoundCloud page.
The members of the band said they are very close and keep an open mind for suggestions so their shows are more entertaining.
“Success to us is when we see people having fun at our shows. We want people to have a great time and mess around, jumping, singing, moshing, laughing and bopping their heads are all signs of success. As long as we get one person doing either of these things, it's a success to us,” Millan said.
Milan explained it takes confidence and a bit of encouragement to start a band.
“Don't be afraid to express yourself,” he revealed. “We guarantee that no matter what your music sounds like, someone out there is going to like it. Don't forget that the whole band thing is about having fun. No matter where it takes you, never forget where you're from and remember that you're supposed to be having fun.”
When Sweet Orange takes the stage, their songs are be based on real feelings, thoughts, and emotions.
“It could be something simple like breaking out as a teenager and/or having a really bad ex-girlfriend to something a little more complex and heartbreaking like being outcasted into nothingness and forced to look at empty white walls. We want you to know that our songs are real. Even if you end up not liking the song, the lyrics are real and there is meaning,” Millan said.
Sweet Orange can found on Instagram/Twitter/SoundCloud with @Sweetorangeband, Facebook with @OfficialSweetOrange, and streaming services under Sweet Orange.