Sad news to report today: punk rock mainstay Steve Soto has passed away. The Adolescents and Agent Orange bassist was 54 years old. A cause of death has not been announced.
Bandmate Tony Reflex shared the news via Twitter. “With heavy heart I share the passing of Steve Soto, my friend and bandmate since 1979,” he wrote. “I don’t know what to do or to say. Goodbye my brother.”
Soto formed Agent Orange, which was one of the first bands to mix punk and surf music, in 1970 – only to leave a year later to form The Adolescents. Although they went through many lineups, Soto would be the only consistent member of the band while Reflex was there for all but one album. Along with those two seminal bands, Soto played in a number of groups: Legal Weapon, Joyride, Manic Hispanic, 22 Jacks, and his solo project Steve Soto and the Twisted Hearts.
Soto is on all eight Adolescents albums. He just finished an East Coast tour with the group and was preparing for a European tour in the coming months. The band also has a an upcoming album, Cropduster, which is due out July 20th.
His work was highly influential on some of the genre’s biggest groups including Green Day and The Offspring, who also shared their thoughts on Twitter.
“We are devastated by the news of Steve Soto’s passing. He played in so many great bands, was a great bass player, guitar player, & singer, but mostly he was just an honest & sweet guy,” The Offspring band account tweeted. “He was our hero in the Adolescents and an inspiration to us as musicians.”
Our thoughts are with the family and friends of Steve Soto.