Soft Tags have been playing shows in Portland for just over a year and a half and have been performing music that gets described by journalists as 'indie-beat' - a sound somewhere between college radio circa 1982 and London 1967.
Taking musical inspiration from dreams as well as frontman Richard Shirk's uncanny ability to stumble upon bizarre events; he spent an atypical childhood in the midwest where he lived in a haunted house and had 3 run-ins with what is described in journals of the paranormal as a poltergeist. Three years later outside of newton, iowa, he saw a UFO from about a hundred feet away.
The band started when kitchen four-tracker Richard Shirk (vox, gtr) met multi-instrumentalists Tim Yates and Paul Notley working on a film-shoot. They began working out songs (starting with Who covers) and brought Yate's university pal Gordon Nickel into the group on drums. Thomas Bradley Meyers (gtr) joined Tags after the band saw and loved an exhibition of his paintings at a local art gallery.
A true DIY collective, the band produces, records, mixes, screenprints and manufactures it's own work using mostly analog recording gear. The most recent work, the stunning double lp 'Mathematical Monsters' was recorded in a feverish 2 months in an abandoned cement factory in Portland, in Reykjavik, iceland and in an apartment in West Hollywood. Almost all the recordings were done in the late night, early, early morning hours before dawn, lending an ethereal, hazy, dream-like sheen to the record.
Tags have been enjoying a growing cult audience (including ex-Smith Andy Rourke who describes the band as "lovely") and playing shows with likes of The Prids, Lookbook, The Mint Chicks, Chikita Violenta (the best band in Mexico City as well as Broken Social Scene associates) and psychedelic legends The Green Pajamas.