Thursday, February 9, 2012

In The Spotlight--Emily And The Complexes

Emily & The Complexes play the Galaxy Feb 27th
Joining a great lineup on February 27th will be Columbus based Emily And The Complexes.  The band has only officially been playing together since November of 2011, and are using Tyler Verhagen's solo material as the base from which they work.  But Verhagen, bassist Jordan Finke, and drummer Tom Konitzer had a history which has allowed them to create a coherent sound in the short time they've been together.  Verhagen and Finke played together all through high school in a punk band, and through those shows got to know Konitzer.  The all-too-usual post high school break-up of the band occurred, and Verhagen spent the next couple of years touring with his solo material, before landing in Columbus and recruiting the other two to form the current lineup.

Konitzer tells us that "We kind of adapted our sound from the indie folk style that Tyler was playing as a solo act into something a bit louder and heavier. We definitely added some elements of punk and garage, so now I guess we kind of have a combination of those three."  The three members cite diverse influences in their approach to music.  Weezer and Margot & the Nuclear So and So's are bands that Verhagen draws on, while former punk drummer Konitzer points to pop punkers Valencia and Canoes.  On the other end of the spectrum, Finke "listens to a lot of chill wave so there's that" says Konitzer.  They told us that "Tyler usually spends a lot of time working on the songs and writing the lyrics and then when he brings them to practice we all really add things in and fill out the structure."

The scene in Columbus seems to be one of the strongest around, and the band confirms that notion.  "The city is growing and becoming a cultural hub, and there are a lot of really good bands. There's room for all kinds of music and art here and we really haven't had any trouble getting shows thanks to a lot of awesome bands and venues."  Networking with other bands past and present is still key to getting shows for them, both in and out of town, as the band plays our show on the 27th with Yankee Go Home in a repeat engagement. "We played with Yankee Go Home at our first show here in Columbus. We really know them because Tom is from the same area and actually played in pop punk band, Apathetic Epidemic, with Dave Paulett for 6 years," says Konitzer.
Sample the goodness!

Being a relatively new band, they've yet to put together their first proper album, something they plan to rectify in April.  They have a handful of demos at, and the tracks you can listen to above through Reverbnation.  Like most bands we've talked with, they put the internet to good use, in addition to good old fashioned foot soldiering.  "When we release (the album) we are definitely planning on fully utilizing itunes and spotify to get the word out. We use the internet a lot. We are on facebook, reverbnation, bandcamp, twitter, indieonthemove, and the Columbus DIY message boards. Those sites all help, but we also believe in the need for a lot of foot work and spend time putting up flyers all over the city to let people know."

The band follows up that work ethic by playing shows everywhere they can get them.  Konitzer says, "I'd say our most memorable show so far was in a basement in Athens, OH. It was a bunch of kids who really got into it. In fact, they got so into it they broke a window halfway through and a lot of them fled the scene, It was still really fun, so punk rock."  While playing basement shows though, as with all bands, they have their dream show lineup, which includes a band other artists in our In The Spotlight series have mentioned. "I guess we all really grew up loving Brand New and no matter how much our musical tastes have expanded we would still absolutely love to play a show with them."

You can catch Emily And The Complexes along with Mad Anthony, Yankee Go Home, and Honah Lee at the Galaxy on February 27th in another of our $5.00 shows.  Showtime is 7pm, and the show is All Ages.  Thanks to the band for taking the time to talk with us, and we'll see you at the show!

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