Expert Music Career Advice For DIY Musicians

Sonicbids Artist of the Week: The Soonest


Feb 20, 2012 04:00 AM

Marya Mclaughlin

Known for their energetic shows, intricate arrangements, and thoughtful songwriting, The Soonest has shown that they're serious about their craft. Their approach to music is simply to create interesting songs that will grow with every listen. The Soonest, a San Francisco quintet comprised of members, Young Lee (guitars/vocals), Andrew Wales (drums), Alex Stack (bass), Greg Sammis (guitar), and Mark Quitevis (guitar), started as a side project for Young and Andrew that quickly turned into a full band as they discovered their sound which has been described as rich and haunting and has been compared to bands such as The National, Arcade Fire, and Interpol. We recently had the chance to chat with Young about his favorite gig, his prediction for the next big advancement in sharing music, and where you can see The Soonest next.

What do you hope listeners will get from your music?

As specific and cheesy as this will sound, I hope that our music helps add some color to people's day whether they're at work, washing dishes, reading/studying or just sitting on a bus, train or car on their way somewhere. I find that the main times I get to listen to music nowadays is while I'm doing these everyday activities and certain songs and artists become part of my "soundtrack" that adds uniqueness and enjoyment to those otherwise monotonous experiences. I guess if listening to our music changes people's lives, that'd be great too.

What’s the best gig you ever played?

The best gig we ever played so far would be our first EP release. It was a great night where we got to celebrate with a ton of our friends, family, and new friends. I don't remember how or what we played or if it even was one of our better shows, but I just remember the feeling of "wow, we're actually doing something with this music" and how exciting it was to be there and share that experience with everyone.

What’s your prediction for the next big advancement in how we find/listen to/share music?

I think the next big advancement will be an improvement on the current social sharing that we're seeing on Facebook, Spotify, iTunes,, etc.  I feel like people still ask their friends for music recommendations so it's only natural that we're seeing it on a larger scale online. At least for me, I feel like what's going on with these platforms right now is a little clumsy and overloads people with too much information so I think it's just a matter of time before there's an easy, more streamlined, and less intrusive way to share and listen to music.

What’s your favorite way/tool/site for you to interact with your fans in the digital age? Do you recommend anything to other artists?

We could definitely be better about communication but we're all over the usual sites like Facebook, Twitter, and Tumblr. We also are big fans of using email. I feel like there's a more personal feeling you get when you receive an email, even if it is part of an email blast. To keep things interesting, we try to add some humor, personality, and inappropriate jokes to our updates, postings, and emails.

What’s your next big gig coming up? When/Where?

Right now, we're working on material for our next EP, which will be released in April, so there are no shows planned yet. However, we're super excited about playing the new songs live. We recently released a demo of a new song and so far the response has been great. Once the EP is done, we'll be planning a string of shows in the Bay Area and hopefully in other cities on the west coast too!

Check out more on The Soonest here