Mad Marv's Music Den: In on the joke

No Soap, Radio celebrates two years of eclectic music making

click to enlarge Mad Marv's Music Den: In on the joke (2)
photo courtesy Ryan Beery, Safe Sax Photography
Members of the band No Soap Radio, clockwise from top, are Quinton Kamala, Orion White, Jeremiah Edmiston, Destiny Angel, Alex Lardie and Bobby Meador. Tim Zillar is not pictured.

Regional band No Soap, Radio dropped an album in October called “Revival.” It’s a highly eclectic affair that marries jazz, fusion, funk, progressive rock and metal into a tasty musical elixir sure to make you feel fantastic.

Artists that come to mind when I listen to it are Mr. Bungle, Frank Zappa and Return to Forever. With jams like these, you can either rock out, shake your thang, or relax and groove. My favorite track is “Techtonik,” with its stabbing rhythm.

The band is having its two-year anniversary show at 9 p.m. Saturday at John’s Alley in Moscow with opening band The Maple Bars, from the Lewiston-Clarkston Valley. There’s a $7 cover for the 21-and-older gig that includes games, prizes and dancing.

I linked up recently with baritone sax player Orion White to talk about this incredibly talented group.

Marvin Lee: How many members are in the band and what instruments do they play?

Orion White: There are seven of us. The instrumentation is drums, bass, guitar, soprano saxophone, alto saxophone, tenor saxophone and baritone saxophone. We can all play other stuff too, and we write songs that let people switch between some of their doubles, but that’s the main lineup.

ML: How long has No Soap, Radio been together, and where did y’all get your name?

OW: We’ve formally been a band, albeit with member shifts in there, for almost two years. The name comes from a social experiment. There are 40 people in a room, 39 of whom are actors. Those 39 all laugh at a joke that makes no sense and has no real punchline, and that single other person, 99% of the time, laughs, too. Our name comes from the “punchline” from that experiment.

ML: The artwork for your releases is entertaining. Who is the artist?

OW: We’ve hired people to make original artwork for us in the past, but it’s now done in-house by the band members. Mostly our alto player, Destiny Angel-Hubble.

ML: What is the creative process like for the band?

OW: Very collaborative. We all write music in, mostly, isolation for the group and then present it to the band periodically for feedback and new ideas. Even once we’ve played a piece a few times, we still edit it and change it as we discover what goes over well with a crowd and what we do/don’t enjoy about it.

ML: Is it a chore with a group this size to get together for practice and band meetings?

OW: The size is less of a problem than the distance. Four of us are based in Moscow, one is based in Coeur d’Alene, one is in Post Falls and one is in Spokane. We rehearse in isolated sects and then bring those groups together for a larger rehearsal when we can manage it. Meetings happen over Discord routinely with no issues.

ML: Has anything wild happened at a show that really sticks out?

OW: A lady was dancing so hard she got dizzy and fell over our monitors, hitting her head on our soprano player’s stand. Before we could ask if she was OK, she stood back up, yelled, “I’m fine I just want to dance!” and proceeded to dance away.

ML: What shows do you have coming up besides your birthday show?

OW: Honestly? Not many, currently. We’re in talks for a lot of March and April stuff, but we haven’t finished negotiations yet. Keep a lookout.

ML: Where is No Soap, Radio’s album available for purchase?

OW: We’re on the usual places like Apple Music and Bandcamp. However, if you want a physical copy of anything, you’ll need to come to a live show (which you won’t regret wink, wink).

ML: One last question. What color does the band enjoy more: chartreuse or magenta?

OW: Everyone except for our stupid drummer agrees magenta is better. 

Lee is a self-professed music nerd and part-time artist. He can be reached at