Interview: Abbey Simmons and Josh Lovseth of Sound on the Sound

Seattle music blog Sound on the Sound does not simply write about great local music; they help create great local music.  They put on sold-out shows, they produce gorgeous music videos, they document magical live music experiences, and they do their damnedest to make sure great music rises above the fray and makes it to people’s turntables.  Most of the bands I’ve interviewed in the last few months have credited much of their success to the support of Sound on the Sound co-editors/founders Abbey Simmons and Josh Lovseth.

In most cases, that support was more than a glowing write-up about the latest single.  One of the most challenging aspects of being in a band is creating new, exciting, and professional content in the months and years between album releases.  While the community of photographers, videographers, sound engineers, bloggers, and other artists is profoundly connected to the music scene in Seattle, Sound on the Sound is at the forefront of bringing all those skills and resources together to create extraordinary “Like-You-Were-There” moments that bands could not have achieved on their own.  Whether capturing the majesty of Doe Bay, creating a party in a practice space, or stripping down a rock band to a songwriter on a porch, the Sound on the Sound team is providing a unique and beautiful meeting point between bands and fans and expanding the narrative of everyone involved.

It was an absolute pleasure to sit down with Abbey and Josh a few weeks ago and discuss my usual themes of community, beginnings, and transition as they related to a blog as opposed to a band.  What I found is that they were essentially the same – at least the way Abbey and Josh do it.  They talk about their blog the way I talk about my band, with the same passion, love, and mile-high standards that come from hours and hours of unpaid work.  Enjoy the interview in short mp3 clips below, or you may download one big mp3 (Podcast) of the entire SOTS interview by clicking here. (36.96 MB)

“We always set out to offer a narrative and to tell more than just ‘Here’s someone’s tour dates,’ or ‘Here’s their next show’ or ‘Here’s their new single.’  I think that people see it as both a strength and a weakness of Sound on the Sound.  People will say, ‘You write about the same bands over and over again.’ Well, that was kind of always our intent because once we start to support a band we do want to follow their career and offer a narrative and a context.” –Abbey Simmons, Sound on the Sound

“We don’t claim to be experts about music, or even the local scene.  Initially is was [about] “Wow all this great stuff is going on, why isn’t anyone talking about it?” . . . Initially that was our goal, to make sure Seattle was being represented online.  Seattle – everyone talks about it being a vibrant rock town, but how is that manifest?  Online it wasn’t manifest at all.” –Josh Lovseth, Sound on the Sound

Photo by Dylan Priest

MH: “What is the origin story of Sound on the Sound and what was it like in the beginning?”

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MH: “How would you characterize the Seattle music scene when you first started writing about it in 2006?”

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MH: “What do you see as your role in all of this, and how has that changed over time?”

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MH: “Are there any particular narratives or themes that you like writing about the most?”

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MH: “Many people have talked about the Seattle music scene transitioning into true community.  Why here, and why now?  What are some of the factors that have contributed to that shift?”

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MH: “What advice would you give a fledgling band in Seattle?”

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Sound on the Sound’s latest video creation is a “Porch Session” with The Lonely Forest frontman John van Deusen, filmed by Tyler Kalberg.

The next Sound on the Sound Presents show will be May 6th at Columbia City Theater, featuring Ravenna Woods (CD Release), Weinland, and Fort Union.  Click here for more information.

I also recommend following them on Twitter and Facebook.

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