Steve Soto

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Steve Soto
Steve Soto
Steve Soto performing at the Vans Warped Tour. Long Island, NY (July 8, 2017)
Background information
Born(1963-08-23)August 23, 1963
DiedJune 27, 2018(2018-06-27) (aged 54)
Years active1978–2018
Associated acts

Steve Soto (August 23, 1963 – June 27, 2018) was an American musician. Soto was a multi-talented instrumentalist, a founding member of California punk rock band Agent Orange in 1979, and a founding member of Adolescents in 1980[1] performing on bass guitar in both bands. Soto was also a member of Legal Weapon, Joyride, Manic Hispanic and the punk supergroup 22 Jacks. Soto fronted his own band, Steve Soto and the Twisted Hearts and he also became a member of Punk Rock Karaoke in 2001.

Agent Orange (1979)[edit]

Soto was a founding member of the Placentia, California punk band in 1979. They were one of the first groups to mix punk rock with surf music. Soto left the band after one year to form Adolescents.

Adolescents (1980–81, 1986–89, 2001–2018)[edit]

Adolescents were formed in Fullerton, California in 1980 and were one of main punk acts to emerge from Orange County, along with their peers in Agent Orange and Social Distortion. The band's debut album, 1981's Adolescents (also known as the blue album) was one of the first hardcore punk records to be widely distributed throughout the United States, and became one of the best-selling California hardcore albums behind the Dead Kennedys' 1980 album, Fresh Fruit for Rotting Vegetables, selling over 10,000 copies. Following the release of their 1981 E.P. Welcome to Reality the band broke up. In 1986, the original Adolescents line-up reunited to perform a concert at Fenders Ballroom in Long Beach, California.[2] The Concert was a major success with fans and critics alike, which lead to the reformation of the original group. Line-up changes including lead singer Tony Brandenburg leaving to join the Flower Leperds (A.K.A. Tony Cadena, Tony Reflex) caused Rikk Agnew to share vocal duties with Soto. In 1988 Soto was the main vocalist in the band. In 1989 The Adolescents broke up for a second time. In 2001, the blue album lineup of Adolescents reformed to perform at a birthday party for singer Tony Reflex's wife and over the next few years the band played sporadically. Encouraged by the response to their reunion shows, Reflex suggested that the band start writing new material. The Adolescents issued an EP titled Unwrap and Blow Me! in 2003, limited to 100 copies and consisting of six new songs. The band performed a show on October 3, 2003 at the House of Blues at Downtown Disney, which was filmed and recorded for Kung Fu Records' live series The Show Must Go Off!. The resulting live album and DVD, titled Live at the House of Blues, was released February 24, 2004. The following year the band released The Complete Demos 1980–1986 which collected all the demo recordings from the Adolescents' early years. Following the departure of Rikk Agnew, The Adolescents decided to continue as a quartet, re-recording the new songs they had done with Rikk and recording several more for their 2005 comeback album, OC Confidential, which ultimately took over two years to complete. Founding guitarist Frank Agnew left the band in 2006 leaving Soto and Reflex as the band's sole constant members and primary songwriters from this point forward. A split EP with the band Burning Heads was released in 2009 and in 2011 the band released the studio album The Fastest Kid Alive. In 2012, and the Adolescents released the American Dogs in Europe EP in conjunction with a European tour. Soto would release four more albums with the band including Presumed Insolent in 2013, La Vendetta... in 2014, Manifest Density in 2016 and the band's ninth album, Cropduster was released on July 20, 2018, a month after his passing.

Legal Weapon (1981–1982)[edit]

When The Adolescents broke up in 1981, Soto, together with Frank Agnew, joined the Los Angeles-based band Legal Weapon, performing on bass guitar from 1981–1982.[3] Soto appeared on one album with Legal Weapon, 1982's Death of Innocence

Joyride (1989–1994)[edit]

Following the 1989 breakup of Adolescents, Soto went on to form the band Joyride with former Adolescent drummer Sandy Hanson. They released two albums, Johnny Bravo (1992) and Another Month of Mondays (1994), both on Dr. Dream records.

Manic Hispanic (1992–2017)[edit]

Manic Hispanic was formed in 1992 with Mike "Gabby" Gaborno and other members of the Cadillac Tramps and the Grabbers. The band has released four records on BYO Records, The Menudo Incident(1994), The Recline of Mexican Civilization (1998), Mijo goes to Jr. College (2002) and Grupo Sexo (2005).

22 Jacks (1995–2018)[edit]

In 1995 Soto started the punk rock supergroup 22 Jacks consisting of members of Wax, The Breeders, and Royal Crown Revue. The band toured extensively and released three records, Uncle Bob(1997), Overserved (1999) and Going North (2001) on the SideOneDummy label.

Steve Soto and the Twisted Hearts (2008–2018)[edit]

Soto fronted the band Steve Soto and the Twisted Hearts with James Achor, Mike Duffy, Veikko Lepisto, and Mike Bolger and performed solo as a singer/songwriter. Soto released two records with the Twisted Hearts; An Exercise In Blue (2008) and West Coast Bound (2009).

Black Diamond Riders (2009-2018)[edit]

In late 2009/ early 2010 Soto helped form the Black Diamond Riders; and band of Punk Rockers masterfully playing 60s Soul along with Jonny “2 Bags” Wickersham from Social Distortion, bassist Warren Renfro from Cadillac Tramps and Manic Hispanic, drummer Jamie Reidling from U.S. Bombs and Die Hunns, saxophonist Vince Hizon, trumpet player Joseph Badaczewski and keyboardist Greg Kuehn from TSOL.

Other projects[edit]

In 2001 Soto joined Punk Rock Karaoke with Eric Melvin (NOFX) Greg Hetson (Bad Religion/Circle Jerks) and Darrin Pfeiffer (Goldfinger) ; they play "punk classics" live, letting members of the audience sing along.

Soto performed regularly on guitar and bass guitar, as well as adding vocal harmonies on many musical acts such as Jack Grisham's group the Manic Low as well as guitar and backing vocals on CJ Ramone's album American Beauty as well as touring and performing on guitar.[4]

Soto was part of a group known as Plan B alongside Nick Oliveri, Troy Van Leeuwen, and Joey Castillo.[5]

Personal life[edit]

Soto's family is originally from Mexico.[6] Soto died peacefully in his sleep on June 27, 2018 at the age of 54. The cause of death is unknown.[7][8]


Agent Orange
Legal Weapon
  • Johnny Bravo (1992)
  • Another Month of Mondays (1994)
Manic Hispanic
  • The Menudo Incident (1994)
  • The Recline of Mexican Civilization (1998)
  • Mijo goes to Jr. College (2002)
  • Grupo Sexo (2005)
22 Jacks
  • Uncle Bob (1997)
  • Overserved (1999)
  • Going North (2001)
Steve Soto and the Twisted Hearts
  • An Exercise in Blue (2008)
  • West Coast Bound (2009)


  1. ^ Huey, Steve. "Biography: The Adolescents". AMG. Retrieved 13 May 2010.
  2. ^ "Adolescents – Biography & History – AllMusic". AllMusic. Retrieved 28 June 2018.
  3. ^ "Legal Weapon". Discogs. Retrieved 28 June 2018.
  4. ^ "American Beauty – C.J. Ramone – Songs, Reviews, Credits – AllMusic". AllMusic. Retrieved 28 June 2018.
  5. ^ "Review & Full Stream: Nick Oliveri, N.O. Hits at All, Vol. 3". The Obelisk. 2017-10-12. Retrieved 2018-10-06.
  6. ^ "The Adolescents' Steve Soto on: La Vendetta, Records, Sobriety, Songwriting & Family. – conversations with Bianca". Retrieved 28 June 2018.
  7. ^ "Steve Soto, Adolescents Founder and Punk Veteran, Dead at 54". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 29 June 2018.
  8. ^ "Rest In Peace Steve Soto of The Adolescents". Retrieved 28 June 2018.