AltSounds has existed in many different guises since it was founded by Chris MUG5 Maguire while he has living in Washington D.C. in 2004. MUG5, who is originally from Wales in the UK, started the site to help promote his younger brothers band, The Story So Far (the Welsh band, not the American one still functioning as band). Hearing what they were doing Chris instantly asked to manage the band and setup about promoting them in a way unfamiliar to him. The first AltSounds iteration arrived right around the time of the original Myspace, being slightly overshadowed by it if we're honest. That said, we offered free artist hosting to anyone that wanted it and we had a huge database of tracks for listeners to go through and stream to their hearts content some of which were exclusive to AltSounds. AltSounds V1 was ahead of the curve in functionality and user experience.
AltSounds V2 happened around the time Chris re-located back to Wales to setup a recording studio, aptly titled Screamadelica studios. Chris noticed a shift in the way that people were consuming music and how the popularity of the blog format was growing significantly. Other larger streaming players were coming in to the field so MUG5 thought it may be a good idea to change the format completely and go down a more journalistic route, reviewing albums, journaling live shows & festivals etc. Chris put the feelers out for writers and before long, there were 50+ people across the world collaborating and submitting multimedia content to AltSounds. This is around the time that the only other person involved in AltSounds still, Jack Stovin came on board, offering a social knowledge, musical taste and work ethic only rivaled by MUG5. Over the coming years this AltSounds format grew leaps and bounds, having a readership of millions and covering high profile concerts, festivals and bands all over the world. We interviewed so many amazing people over our time, highlights of which include Yoko Ono, Slash, Wayne Static, Donny Osmond plus a million more amazing contributions by what was an awesome team of people.
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In 2015, we were bullied out of near existence, almost being eaten up by a couple of asshole companies whose role in this world is to ruin the independent guys. As such we needed a new direction and this is where MUG5 and Jack Stovin came up with AltSounds as it stands today. Through a long summer that Jack spent in New York City alongside MUG5 they decided to create a site that harkened back to the days of MTV in its original form – before all the bullshit reality that currently exists (and that we secretly actually enjoy!) The idea was simple, create a site that you visit and do nothing. The site itself does the work and you just sit back, listen to and / or watch the greatest new music & music videos that come out every single week. The site is carefully curated with love from New York City, ensuring that every single person viewing keeps coming back for more – discovering the best new music weekly. Much like every other iteration of AltSounds we have absolutely no genre bias. We showcase music across all genres, categorizing videos accordingly. AltSounds has numerous channels you can choose from if you want to listen to a particular genre instead of the Home (Latest) channel which showcases bands of all genres together in one space.
It's been a solid couple of years since AltSounds V3 was launched and, in March 2017 we launched an entirely new look, moved to a much faster host and generally made our user experience better for everyone, regardless of what device they're on. Our viewership is very dedicated to the cause, with many thankful that we exist in a world of lazy templatized blogs that all look the same and all approach their coverage in the same way – you all know who you are. They are also highly gracious for the musical recommendations as we highlight bands that many people just wouldn't find otherwise in an internet full of noise. 13 years strong and AltSounds isn't going anywhere anytime soon. We hold two firm middle fingers up to the folks that tried to end us, while at the same time thanking them for allowing us to get creative, becoming original and unique, allowing us to truly understand our brand while solidifying our existence for decades to come.
Simply put, if you LOVE music like we do, there is no better place on the internet to discover the newest, greatest music out there. It might sound biased but it is true, we created AltSounds with our needs as avid music lovers in mind, knowing full well that if it satisfies us, that there will be millions of people around the world that will love what we are doing also.
Big up the AltSounds Massive!