Friday, December 22, 2006

The Twelve Bands of Christmas: Day Twelve - Soft Complex

Chris might write for this site, but he also plays guitar for a really good band. Soft Complex is a five-piece from Washington, DC. If you like 80's Brit pop, melodramatic vocals, chimy guitars, new wave synth, cello... this is the band for you. They recently released their debut and they have big things planned for 2007, so this is the time to become acquainted with them.

Soft Complex
Washington DC
Current lineup solidified in February of 2005
Shane German – Vocals
Chris Connelly – Guitar, Keys
Rich Dejong – Drums
Mike Harbin – Bass, Keys
Alexia Kauffman – Cello, Keys
Silverthree Sound Recordings
Barcelona+ – 2006
Upcoming Live Dates:
January 6 @ Gullifty's in Harrisburg, PA
January 12 @ Starr Hill in Charlottesville, VA
January 19 @ V-Club in Huntington, WV
January 20 @ The Empty Glass in Charleston, WV
January 26 @ Alley Katz in Richmond, VA
January 27 @ Rock and Roll Hotel in Washington DC

How did the band form?
Shane formed the original band in 2002, down in Richmond. After some lineup changes, Shane moved up to Washington DC to reform the group with Mike Harbin. Mike and Shane had worked together in Richmond at Tower, and had always joked about starting a band together – but Harbin was always out touring with other bands. Shane basically brought him out of retirement; Harbin had intended to leave music behind after Burning Airlines split. Shane and Alexia were friends, and he knew about her experiences playing cello with Engine Down and some other Richmond bands, so he invited her to join. Rich was looking for a new group after leaving Phaser, and answered an ad Shane had placed in the Washington City Paper. Greg Svitil from the Antiques joined the band on guitar and helped them get started in writing material, but Greg wanted to leave to focus on Antiques material. I had moved to DC in 2004 and had been playing in a different group, but was looking for something new. I joined the band in February 2005, after leaving my first band in DC and answering Shane’s ad for a new guitar player.

How was '06 for you?
2006 was great; our first record came out, we were able to play some fantastic shows with some truly great bands, and we developed some great friends in the Washington DC music scene.

Highlight of the year?
The release of our first EP in October; it is great to finally have material out formally. It was a long time in the works, and we’re enormously proud to finally have it out there.

Oh, and for me personally (Chris), it was horribly cool to have James Iha in attendance at our show at Pianos in New York...I’m a diehard Smashing Pumpkins fan, and I could hardly contain myself.

What do you have in store for '07?
We plan to get back into the studio early in the year and record a full-length album to come out sometime later on in 2007. We’ll keep doing weekend shows, but we’re going to be focusing heavily on writing new material and recording.

Goal for '07 and beyond?
To keep writing the best songs that we can, and to keep having fun while we do it.

Barcelona+ (2006)
Beat the Chill (ACE Remix Featuring Raw Poetic)

3 favorite songs of '06?
Crazy by Gnarls Barkley
That’s a Lie by Middle Distance Runner
Blood by Editors (but this was technically released in the UK in 2005…so I’m picking a fourth)
Cheap Champagne by Georgie James

Favorite album of the year?
Plane in Flames – Middle Distance Runner

Best live show you saw this year?
Justin Timberlake at the 9:30 Club. Seriously.

Favorite holiday song and artist?
Christmas Time is Here (vocal) by the Vince Guaraldi Trio

Best present you ever received?
My first electric guitar was a Christmas present.

Worst present you ever received?
My family and friends have always been great to me.

Favorite songs of '06?
1) Minimal by Pet Shop Boys
PSB are back in top form with this melancholic but insanely catchy dance cut from the Fundamental album. Spelling out a song title hasn't been this clever since O-K-L-A-H-O-M-A.
2) Crazy by Gnarls Barkley
The most soulful thing I've enjoyed since Al Green or Marvin Gaye.
3) Count Souvenirs by Junior Boys
A vocalist more melodramatic than me. Misery loves company. It's a great thing.
4) Zombie by The Trucks
Keep dancing, but watch your back.

Favorite album of the year?
I'm still not finished with my favorites from 2005, so I'm a little behind.

Best live shows you saw this year?
Morrissey w/ Goldfrapp
Sinead O'Connor w/ Sly and Robbie

Essential holiday songs?
December will be Magic Again by Kate Bush
Fairytale of New York by The Pogues feat. Kirsty MacColl
2000 Miles by The Pretenders
River by Joni Mitchell

Best present you ever received?
Something Nice.

Worst present you ever received?
Something Naughty.

3 favorite songs of '06?
We share our mother’s health by The Knife
Reena by Sonic Youth
Dead Meat by Sean Lennon

Favorite album of the year?
Silent Shout – The Knife

Best live show you saw this year?
Morrissey/Goldfrapp @ SXSW
Runner up: Kraftwerk @ 930 club

Favorite holiday song and artist?
As far as holiday songs go, I like traditional- Hark the Herald Angel Sing.
I also love Chrismas Time Is Here (instrumental) by the Vince Guaraldi Trio, from Charlie Brown’s Christmas.

Best present you ever received?
Um…I don’t have the best memory.

Worst present you ever received?
No answer.

The Twelve Bands of Christmas
Day 1: Telograph
Day 2: AVEC
Day 3: The Hard Tomorrows
Day 4: Middle Distance Runner
Day 5: Thrushes
Day 6: Georgie James
Day 7: Exit Clov
Day 8: Jette-Ives
Day 9: These United States
Day 10: Cedars
Day 11: Two if by Sea
Day 12: Soft Complex

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Anonymous karen4dei said...

That's my boy!! I love you, Shane

Wednesday, January 03, 2007  

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