Soft Tags are from the indie music hotbed of Portland, OR. It rains constantly. We live in direct sight of at least one volcano at any time. Sometimes they spew smoke. Under the volcanoes, we have been playing for sold out shows in the Pacific Northwest and writing music that we feel is pretty unique – acoustic guitars are fuzzed out through tube amps and melodic, chiming guitars carry the melodies we couldn’t get out of heads back on college radio circa 1981.
Taking place over the course of a particularly spooky and fog-gauzed November, BLUE HOUSE (their best record and 4th in just over a year and a half) is a collection of short story songs that find strange transmissions coming through on radios, volcanos about to explode and cults taking over abandoned government satellite dishes in order to communicate with the dead.
This band started like most bands do ….. former rock journalist Richard Shirk (lead vox, gtr right) met Nick Ocon (drums) in the elevator of our building. he met Adam Jones (vox, gtr left) while filming a movie and met Paul Notley (accordion, bass) through a pal. Shirk grew up in the midwest where he lived in a haunted house, saw a UFO in close proximity, and generally felt the spookiness of the vast, empty spaces dotted by luminous water towers and strange burn-marks out in the corn-fields. All of these factors lead to tags songs that tend to gravitate towards storytelling rather than than girl-I-like-you songs as seen in most of the tracks on ‘Blue House,’ especially lead track ‘The Appeal of Alice to the Spectre of Walter’ and fan favorite ‘Lunar Eclipse Song.’
Tags have been enjoying a growing cult audience over the last year of playing shows with bands like Neva Denova, Chikita Violenta (the best band in Mexico City and Broken Social Scene associates), Ladyhawk, The Mint Chicks, The Prids, and psychedelic legends Green Pajamas. The band recently contributed a track to ‘Dots to Connect’ a benefit compilation for their friends the Prids on NYC’s Five03 Records. Soft Tags appear alongside A Place to Bury Strangers, the Upsidedown and the Wendy’s (a former Factory Records band) along with many others.
Influences: go-betweens, R.E.M., velvet underground, smiths, orange juice, wire, elephant six bands, flying nun bands, La’s.