When five seasoned veterans of the D.C. music scene get together to collaborate, it could easily turn into a creative nightmare. However, the nightmare never came to fruition as Chris Connelly got together with Shane German (formerly of Trixie Delicious), Rich Dejong (formerly of Phaser), Mike Harbin (formerly of Burning Airlines) and Alexia Kauffman (of Engine Down). Instead, Soft Complex has been nothing short of a dream come true for one of D.C.’s most promising acts.
With Soft Complex poised to release their new EP “Barcelona +” (available nationally on Silverthree Sound Recordings and on iTunes Oct. 17), a celebration is surely in order. And celebrate they will, this Friday at the Black Cat’s main stage. “We just want everyone to have fun … it’s a celebration for all of us,” Connelly said. “We hope people can come away from it excited about what they’re hearing, and what’s going on in D.C.”
Indeed, this Friday is set to be a microcosm of what’s going on in the D.C. alt rock scene. Good friends in the local music community are showcased on the EP and are slated to appear at the show as well. Connelly said “it’s a really awesome local thing … we’re really excited we could bring so many people into it.”
The band itself is a testament to the fact that the D.C. music scene has become increasingly self-supportive. “The community aspect is really growing,” said Connelly, who looks forward to headlining the show, with bands Monopoli and Cedars opening.
The song-writing process could have easily turned sour for the group, with each already having defined their own musical style. Fortunately, that wasn’t the case. “It’s a lot of fun to work with musicians that have a strong background … it gives us a good working knowledge of how the dynamics are and what the business is like,” he adds. “We’re all creative people, but it’s a really cool advantage. The push-and-pull between styles gives the songs some depth that they wouldn’t have otherwise … it makes you look at music in different ways.” Connelly said, “There were some creative differences, but it makes for a better product.”
The group has capitalized on their varied backgrounds to create a very diverse sound. They draw on alt rock, techno, dance and pop to meld in their tunes. With so many ingredients in the recipe, the final product comes out sounding something like a diet Death Cab for Cutie. Yet, what they might be lacking in originality is compensated for with talent. Regardless, Soft Complex shows immense potential to emerge as one of the District’s hottest bands.
Soft Complex will headline Black Cat Main Stage Friday at 9 p.m. Tickets are $10.
This article appeared in the September 21, 2006 issue of the Hatchet.