A Brief History of SoundProof

SoundProof Magazine started in the winter of 2005 with a few people who had access to a food court after-hours ("head office") as well as a photocopier to which no one paid much attention. Two of these fellas, Chris Stevenson and Scott Mckean, are still at the helm today.

After almost no planning or marketing research whatsoever, the first issue of SoundProof hit the streets of Toronto in March of 2006. 500 copies, crudely stapled together (with Magneta Lane on the cover) were delivered to some select locations on Queen West in Toronto, and SoundProof was born. A live show featuring three local bands was thrown together to celebrate the release and more than 150 people turned up to help us bring SoundProof into the world. We were small, but we seemed to resonate with a lot of people. In spite of the limited release, we were hearing extremely positive feedback. We covered young, up-and-coming Toronto bands and wrote with a sense of humour, but also with respect for artists and music itself.

For our next issue, we decided to try colour, and a much more ambitious run of 10,000 copies. This was a pretty big deal to us, as we then had things to consider like printing costs and figuring out how to get advertisers. We were lucky to have local companies who believed in what we were doing, and bought advertising from us on our word that we would distribute the copies across downtown Toronto, which we did.

We realized that print was limiting in many ways. We could only afford to print a certain number of copies, and despite the fact that we were getting amazing responses to our full-colour second issue (with Ian Blurton and Katie-Lynn Campbell of C'MON on the cover), the competition was fierce, distribution was tough and we were killing a lot of trees that had never done anything to us except help us breathe.

One of the things that people really seemed to like about SoundProof, in addition to the top-notch writing and photos provided by our rapidly expanding team, was the fact that much of the writing and photographs were done locally. They liked that the people writing about the music were going to the same clubs and restaurants and record shops that they were, and that they really cared about the subjects they wrote about. The pictures were original and irreverent and creative, and didn't look like yet another PR shot.

Chris and Scott worked to keep the SoundProof vision alive. Soon enough, mercy would arrive in the form of the staff - who were not shy about telling them what they were doing right and wrong. Often.

Since SoundProof went online in March 2007, we have had some great experiences. We have covered hundreds of live shows and festivals all over the globe, have given exposure to hundreds of artists, and made some good friends along the way too. Chris and Scott even had a turn as media whores, er, darlings, including shooting a segment of "Listed" for Much More Music and lots of radio interviews - and that's their 15 minutes of fame taken care of!

Now SoundProof has over 100 contributors in 10 countries around the world, and visitor's from over 130 countries each month. We hope we continue to bring you the best in music in a positive and non-snarky manner, and that you continue to read, watch and share our stuff.

Music is the great equalizer - we all love, we all want to be happy and none of us wants to suffer - these are the things musicians write about. Stevie Wonder sang "Music is a world within itself / With a language we all understand." For those of us who are not touched emotionally by the latest manufactured "Idol" or pop-tart, there is SoundProof; offering access to musicians who play from the heart and for the love of music, without focus groups to tell them what to write about or wear (something Chris and Scott could use).

Welcome to our new home. We love music, we hope you do too.