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Dallas, Texas, United States | SELF

Dallas, Texas, United States | SELF
Band Pop Alternative


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This band has not uploaded any videos



"Out This Weekend: Soviet and White Rabbits at the Loft"

Indie rock fans were spread thin this weekend. The majority were at Arcade Fire, with another chunk at EdgeFest 21. Then there was a cluster, including myself, at The Loft Saturday night reveling in Soviet and White Rabbits.

Without stopping for an introduction, Soviet went from adjusting their amps to all out mayhem. Within seconds into their set lead singer John Spies had dropped down to his knees, flung his head back and let his body spasm into convulsions causing curiosity within the back wall fans as they slowly made their way closer to the stage.

Soviet’s stage dynamic was all over the place. You’ve got Spies, who was on the floor one minute and high knee marching across the stage another. Then there’s drummer Sam Dobbins, whose posture was worthy of a royal recognition, letting his head bang occasionally but for the most part he kept his elbows in and his head locked. And although they lacked an introduction, Spies turned every interlude into an opportunity to engage, asking the audience the last time their parents had sex and warning “here comes the fun part where I get to walk around and kiss people.” The more obscure Spies got with his comments the more the crowd drew near, and as Spies’ body fell to the floor for the fifth or sixth time, one girl ran up with wide eyes to get a picture on her phone.

There was no room for mayhem when the six-person band of White Rabbits was finished filling up the stage with three guitarist, two drummers, and Stephen Patterson sitting at a wooden piano front and center. The White Rabbits didn’t need the stage room to move as all the motion in the room was soaked up into the audience. Each piano key and drum beat fused together in a way to create this traveling shake inside the crowd: the bobbing of heads bled into shaking shoulders and almost instantly you could feel the vibrations of everyone’s tapping feet on the floor. It was like they made movement irresistible: spending the first minute of each song building up this bold, aggressive beat mixing all the multiple instruments in a way that made all the heat rush to your face, but matched with subdued vocals that also kept you calm. And just as everyone was locked into this fluid sound, it would drop. The best and the worst part of White Rabbits was the way they ended each song: no warning, just a clean split letting everyone fall back to the floor and explode with applause.

Q&A Soviet

The four members of Soviet (John Spies, Andrew Weir, Sam Dobbins, and Richy Brown) tell me why the Dallas music scene makes them “not care.”

FrontRow: Spies, where do you get all your energy?

Spies: I don’t do anything but play video games and stay in my room. When I get up there it’s fun time, it’s my jungle gym.

FR: Yeah I noticed you guys act like you’re in the garage just playing with each other?

Spies: Yep. We want to be too boisterous almost, we get on stage and it just clicks. It’s one of those things where with every song if I don’t go hard I’ve got nothing to look forward to. That’s the mindset behind it. [Laughs] There’s not a lot to look forward to when you go home so might as well do something when you’re on stage. On top of that, at places like this, I’ve come to see so many shows here that suck and I want to put on a good show and entertain people.

FR: But what does that mean to you?

Spies: Entertaining them is just making people laugh making them forget that everything sucks in the world for a little while.

Weir: We have 30 minutes to make people forget there are world problems out there that we can’t solve and I think we pretty much accomplish it every time.

FR: So do you guys like to engage the audience or more so just black them out?

Spies: Half and half honestly. Sometimes they’ll react which can be pretty bad.

Dobbins: Like the last show on the last song I just walked off stage and was still playing the bass and walking around with it.

Spies: But there have been some shows where if the audience is just not doing anything, they’re just starring there, I’ll get really angry. I’ll start being really preachy and it’s really dumb, really stupid.

Weir: All your preaches are about sex anyway. [Laughs]

Spies: Well its all stream of consciousness so I must be thinking about sex a lot obviously. [Laughs]

FR: Where do most of your songs come from?

Spies: I write all the songs. so a lot of it comes from just sitting in my room. I think I’m manic depressive and also might be a hypochondriac so I have like these insane mood swings where one minute I think I’m going somewhere and I’m on top of the world and I think that’s pretty relatable like I think everybody goes through that. I live out in Arlington and I’m kind of secluded. I’m not a big drinker and I’m not a partier either so for me a Friday night is spent inside and I just usually hit on the guitar and just sing stuff until I like I hit the right emotion and right word capture of it and I start writing.

FR: Considering the Dallas music scene, what is the one thing you love and the one thing you would change?

Spies: Dada is home field. My number one gripe, and it covers everything and makes it all bad, is that: unless you’re doing what we’re doing, and we’re opening for a live band, you’re not going to go anywhere because there’s not dedicated club followings. Like some bands will have small followings — you know their friends and they’re be like fifty of them that’ll come out to shows. But it really masks the fact that none of these clubs have a built in audience, so like you’re either playing to people who already know you or you have to be doing s**t like this where no body knows you and there’s no happy medium. There are not clubs like in L.A., The Slime [sic] — out there where No Age, Health, and Waves got started. There are no places like that where a band can play there and there’s already 150 people there. There’s no place like that here, and that’s why it’s impossible and I think a lot of good bands here want to immediately leave because of that they all go to Austin immediately or Denton so that’s why.

FR: So why is it like that here?

Spies: Just because there’s too many choices here and you’re never guaranteed a great night, you know? For example, we’re playing at The Loft. It’s a national band type venue; Arcade Fire is playing at Gexa, and there’s EdgeFest. Where is there room for local bands there? Nobody is going to go see local music there, only like people who don’t give a s**t at all, like us. We’re not going to ride in on a white horse and save it, but we wish people would.

FR: Okay, so what’s good?

Spies: There are some cool ass bands, like right now Leg Sweeper is rad and they’re funny as f**k and hilarious. And I think part of that is they don’t care. Like we don’t care very much. They don’t care very much, and I think that’s why we both have these little tiny cult followings.

FR: Okay, but when you say you don’t care, what do you mean by that?

Spies: I don’t care what you thought of our performance, like I really don’t deep down. I guess some part of me wishes you’d like everything we do and like everybody would like everything we do, but we’re all too realistic.

Brown: And that’s a good point you make because John’s always making new songs, always changing the set, we played five new songs tonight that we never played before live. We’re always switching it up because if you came to a show we played two months ago at Dada, it doesn’t matter because we’ve moved on past that show. We’re ready to play new songs before that you haven’t heard because we don’t care. We changed from a three piece to a four piece, and we’ve seen success from that change, though we didn’t care if people cared either way.

Spies: I think what I mean by we don’t care is that we don’t really worry like a lot of bands here worry about what people will think after they play and their place in the music scene. We don’t care because we want to be bigger than god and bigger than sin. We’re so beyond that. We want big so everyone can hear it. We are the band that we want to hear. That’s the point. if we all didn’t like the songs a lot then we wouldn’t play and we wouldn’t bother. - D Magazine

"Album Review: Doom by Soviet"

An exciting thing has been happening in Dallas-Fort Worth the past couple of months as band of local youngsters have exploded onto the local seen seemingly out of nowhere, quickly commandeering the attention of north Texas music fans, practically demanding to be taken seriously, converting non-believers with each successive live performance. We proudly count ourselves among the growing throng of Soviet faithful, who have gone from Soviet ignorant to Soviet apologists in an alarmingly short span of time.

Because, let's face it; these guys are kind of badass, and are hands down the most prolific outfit we've ever come across. Weeks into their existence, the group has already assembled a back catalog of more than 60 tunes, which makes seeing the band live an ever-changing experience, always able to surprise, and which somehow manages to outpace their furious recording/release schedule. In other words, the band is writing wonderfully lo-fi, hook-heavy flower punk jams faster than they can record them -- a thought even more impressive when one considers how many different releases the band has already been able to put out (for free) via its Bandcamp page.

Most recently (the date of our Club Dada show, to be precise) the boys not only made their live debut as a four-piece, but released their most comprehensive work to date: a 16-track album, Doom that contains some of the best demos Soviet has recorded (usually in their cramped practice space) in the past couple of months.

Standouts from the collection include "Wimbledon" which reminds us of the time we were watching the group play when Tyler White from Man Factory turned to us and said the reason he loves Soviet so much is because every one of their songs makes him feel like jumping on the stage, grabbing a mic, cocking his head back, and shouting out their giant hooks with a fist raised in support. The bulk of their set is made up of shout-alongs and we couldn't love them any more for it.

Another one we can't really get too much of is "On Ice," which reminds us of our first ever Soviet show. It was days after our day job had been shut down for the better part of the week following the Super Bowl-ruining Snowmageddon 2011. Magically Soviet had already written and rehearsed a song specifically about the frustrating experience the Metroplex had collectively just shared days before. Lines like "I don't do the things that I want / I just do the things when the sun comes up" made us realize how exuberant we were about finally being able to leave the house and how glad we were to have ended up at a Soviet show.

Other tracks from the album show the band "taking risks" by incorporating pianos or drum machines into their equation. And to think they've yet to record a proper full-length debut and already they've managed to convince those that matter they're seasoned enough to secure an opening slot for the April 20 Titus Andronicus gig at Club Dada! We shudder to think what this band could become after they've actually existed long enough to pay a few dues, and so thankful we caught on to these guys so early on. - Pegasus News

"Our Interview with Soviet: I will flash you a nip"

Growing up I hated everything Soviet. I remember being scared of nuclear war thanks to that masterful propaganda piece The Day After. I remember stopping by my cousin's house the night it was on TV and being scared out of my tighty whities by the imagines of Middle America. God Dammit Kansas looked boring.

Luckily we walked away before the real carnage to listen to his Dexy's Midnight Runners 7 inch single.

I will also never forgive that Soviet Drago for killing Apollo and his Soviet girlfriend Brigitte Nielson for dating Flavor Flav destroying my image of Public Enemy.

Needless to say when I stumbled across a band called Soviet I automatically had the image of the guy from The Scorpions whistling Winds of Change, and anyone who knows anything about The Scorpions knows that is when it all started going downhill.

Luckily this Soviet was not from the former USSR but were from my weird favorite fantasy place to live, thanks to a few nights I spent in Austin over the years and Friday Night Lights….GOD TIM RIGGINS IS SUCH A DREAMY REBEL!!!!!!!

Soviet is actually from Dallas, TX and I would describe them as "the tits" and not just regular "the tits" but pregnant dog level swollen with life giving milk "the tits". Soviet, will you nourish me?

SYFFAL: So you are one of those groups that think it's cool to pick a name that makes you virtually impossible to search for on the internets. Way to go. So being that I can't find a lick of information on you, but I now know a shit ton about Vladimir Lenin, please take this time to introduce yourselves to our readers, tell them what you do in the band and how your time in Siberia influenced your musics.

(The opinions and views expressed in this interview do not necessarily reflect those of 20th Century Fox or Rupert Murdoch Holdings LLC)

John (J): I'm John; I play the guitar and sing stuff, and write the songs.
Sam (S): I'm Sam and I play the drums while riding a taun-taun, so step to my level.
Brown (B): I'm Andrew; my friends call me Brown though. My position in the band is a private matter, I prefer not to comment.
B: Our time in Siberia was a big letdown, there were no hot bitches.
S: and too many gulags.
J: Inspiration was in short supply. Morale was low.
J: Also, we have rotating bassists. Limbo bassists. We're a 3 piece right now though.

SYFFAL: Being from Dallas must be an interesting experience. From my time playing shows there I noticed that all the shows seem to be in pool halls and Laundromats. Is it difficult playing in this environment and which is more distracting? The pool hustlers or the non-attentive parents who let their kids run wild in the Laundromat?

J: It is hardly difficult.
B: I like kids.
S: Nope.
J: Actually, this is a perfect metaphor for playing in Dallas clubs and stuff. Instead of parents and pool hustlers, just imagine fucking nothing going on in an empty Laundromat and you've got the Dallas scene.

SYFFAL: You guys write a mean fucking song. Are you classically trained? If not how do you account for this?

J: None of us are classically trained, all self taught on all of our instruments.
S: I think I went to guitar center once.
B: I don't think my training reflects in my abilities, but we make do.
J: He's not good at the stuff he's supposed to be good at.
B: But really, my taun-taun does most of the work.

SYFFAL: Brown, I can tell you are the serious one that drive the middle school girls crazy.

I still haven't listened to your full length album Doom because I am obsessed with the EP Forever Today.

Convince me as to why I should change this behavior and how much skin are you willing to show to get the results you want?

S: I will flash you a nip.
B: Just don't worry about it; wait till you hear our new 7" coming out in late August.
J: Yeah, I think Doom is just us fucking around for 16 tracks. That's not to say it's bad, it's just not really indicative of where we're going as a band. This new stuff will blow your brain out of the back of your head.
J: But it's worth listening to. People really, really like it. We we're really, really surprised.

SYFFAL: Are you coming on to me? I have a friend named Joel who lives in the sticks but because he is within 2 hours of Chicago he always talks about living in Chicago. Do you guys actually live in Dallas? And either way why the hell would you admit to being from there?

B: Because nobody else will. And that's a serious answer.
S: Yeah, failing theme parks are deck as Fuck right now.
J: What Brown said.

SYFFAL: I have a little game I like to play with bands to see how creative they really are. Fill in the blankS:

SYFFAL: Soviet is the best _______ since Tonya Harding did _______ with her _______ and _______

Soviet: Soviet is the best _rapegaze band_ since Tonya Harding did _blow_ with her _best friend_ and _then she died_

SYFFAL: Soviet once _______ a drifter while _______ to reach _______

Soviet: Soviet once _tea bagged_ a drifter while _watching celebrity jeopardy_ to reach _nirvana_

SYFFAL: Soviet is the love child of _______ and _______ and were made while _______ watched them _______

Soviet: Soviet is the love child of _Iranian metal bands_ and _Outkast_ and were made while _hipsters_ watched them _through non-prescription glasses while taking instagrams on their smartphones_

SYFFAL: Soviet is known for having massive _______ that they like to _______ often in front of catholic _______

Soviet: Soviet is known for having massive _penis_ that they like to _penis_ often in front of catholic _penis_
Fuck you

SYFFAL: Hey that was mean. Let's imagine that your band is a small bird. You need to be fed via regurgitation from mama bird so you can grow up to be strong and stand on your own two feet. Who are the four bands that mama bird regurgitates into your mouth to make you the awesome band that you are today?

One of these answers is a false answer. Please bubble the correct answer on your scantron.

Answer Choice 1:
1. Creed
2. Train
3. Spin Doctors
4. Chumbawumba

Answer Choice 2:
1. Blur
2. Weezer (First two albums only)
3. Dinosaur Jr.
4. The Stooges

SYFFAL: I knew you were influenced by Chumbawumba and Blur. You strike me as a solid live band. I am basing this strictly on your album covers. What can people expect from a live Soviet show?

S: Well, John has climbed into rafters multiple times, spit at fans, and broken his guitars. And something on my drum kit is always broken by the end of the show.
B: And sound guys fear us.
J: Yeah, it's a really aggressive live show. Totally anything goes punk stuff. Brown's pants fell off at a show and he didn't put them back on. I think people get really confused when our songs are so melodic and full of hooks and then they're seeing 3 dudes kill themselves on stage. We definitely have a reputation.

SYFFAL: A "reputation" huh? Sounds like a girl I went to high school with named Marisa Covington. She ended up with a baby and the clap. Is that what you want?

During my travels to Dallas I got the impression that there are more leather flip flops per capita there than anywhere in the world. How does this affect the way you go about making music and do you have a no flip flops sign outside of your shows?

J: Aw shit, you just started a motherfucking Star Wars. Yeah, Dallas is awful, we get it.
S: We need to make shirts that just say "Soviet: No Flip Flops...Bitch"

SYFFAL: YES! Can I have one? I'm what the gays would call a bear so I need a XXL. On a scale of 1 to 10, 1 being Rupert Murdock's lower lip and 10 being Leon from Curb Your Enthusiasm, how great is our site?

S: What site?
J: It reminds me of my childhood. Or something like that. Ten points to Gryffindor, or whatever.

SYFFAL: I LOVE HARRY POTTER!!!!!!! Which do you find more annoying, the recent obsession with taxes or old people?

J: Taxes.
B: I work for the city of Dallas, Taxes.
S: People are wonderful...mostly.

SYFFAL: Our site was started by a group of friends sharing the music they love. In this spirit, outside of you, who are three bands we should be checking for?

S: Tape Deck Mountain.
J: Yup, we played with them and it was like seeing Ride for the first time.
B: I want to say Sum 41, but I know you guys won't take me seriously. But they are the best, no homo.
J: Fuck you.
B: Nope, shut up. Sum 41.
J: Ummm...I really think The Radio Dept is brilliant. Clinging to A Scheme is one of the best albums in the last 5 years.

SYFFAL: John I should introduce you to my friend Del, he loves those Bork bastards. He is a French and a Jewish.
Do you still write about me in your dream journal? If so what was the most recent entry?

J: Yes. Here it iS: July 6, 2011. 4:41 AM.
J: "I touched his flowing blond hair and it felt like glass...the most perfect glass. I knew Tim wasn't real, he was just here in my dream. But I didn't care. I grabbed him and violently..."
J: It trails off and ends there.

SYFFAL: Ooh my, Mr. Federline* just made an appearance. Describe your sound using a 1980s sex romp teen comedy, which song is the fat girl that comically sleeps with the uber skinny nerd?

*Mr. Federline is code for my wang.

J: I think we would pick "Hot Dog: The Movie".
B: Oh my god it's so good
J: The song that describes that scenario is Colors. What even is this question?
S: Yeah, Fuck this question. Fuck this.

(Sam left at this point)

SYFFAL: What even is this question? What are you a Russian stereotype? HOW DARE YOU WALK OUT ON ME SAM!!!!!!!! Anything you want to promote? Please do so here.

J: Definitely our new 7", coming out in late August on a local label called Tree Fall Sounds. It's our first recording that was made in a real studio, and it will also be available on iTunes and Amazon. It's got an A/B Side, plus a bonus track.
B: It's the best thing.
B: Seriously, if you don't buy it I will come to your house and ask you why. If you don't give me an acceptable answer I will walk away with all the china in your house. AND YOU WON'T KNOW HOW I DID IT. If you don't have any china I will take your firstborn
J: Yeppppp. He'll do it.
J: Okay, this is over.
S: Tiger of Bengal
J: what? Why are you here?

SYFFAL: Welcome back Sam. I knew you couldn't quit me. -


It seems like Soviet has been around longer, but the band first appeared on the scene only in January. Boy, did they ever make a splash upon arrival: With the release of their Forever Today EP, the lo-fi, garage-punk outfit, then a three-piece, filled the void left by the hiatus of Teenage Cool Kids. While other acts may have crumbled under such expectations, lead comrade John Spies seems to have thrived, expanding to a four-piece, embracing his band's fast-rising profile, wearing it as a badge of honor and even getting a little confrontational with live audiences in the process (see: Soviet's memorable 35 Conferette performance at J&J's Pizza).

Unfortunately, their full-length debut, DOOM, feels a little rushed. The 18-track release, which features only three tracks that surpass the three-minute mark, is somewhat scatterbrained, the result of Spies and Co. putting out seemingly each and every bedroom-style recording they'd made on a whim in the past few months. Considering this band's youth, though, maybe that's not such a bad thing. In some ways DOOM scores as a behind-the-scenes look into a band still discovering its own identity.

And there are still flashes of brilliance: "Wimbledon," with its angular guitar riffs, is good enough to stand toe-to-toe with pretty much anything that Denton's supreme punk alliance has yet released in '11; "All Sorts" is a retro, sock-hop romp that shows this band's popular-music awareness; and album-closing piano ballad, "No Other Will Do," shows a band confident even when stepping well outside its comfort zone.

You can't blame a band for wanting to capitalize on its early success. But let's just call a spade a spade: DOOM's really just a massive collection of demos, and not the full-length debut Soviet's billing it as, if perhaps with a wink; like Forever Today, DOOM is a pay-what-you-want release available for download on the band's BandCamp page. - Dallas Observer

"Soviet's Forever Today EP"

Some totally stellar lo-fi art rock came out this week in the form of Soviet's Forever Today EP. Best part is these kids are from right here in our own backyard, and we all know music sounds so much better when it is local.

Well probably.

Anyway it is kind of criminal how little buzz has surrounded their latest release thus far. Head over to their Bandcamp page where the first 200 of you cheap bastards can download it for free.
- Subservient Experiment

"Download: Soviet's Forever Today EP"

Soviet frontman John Spies knows that his band's music might sound a little familiar.

But there's reason for that, the 21-year-old explains: The band got its started when he and his drummer, the 20-year-old Andrew Weir, plugged in their equipment and began "copying Japandroids songs and fucking them up."

That was five months ago. In the time since, the longtime friends ripped through a line of bass players before settling on 21-year-old Richy Brown and started writing their own material, which they recently started recording. The result is the group's debut EP, called Forever Today, which was released earlier this week as a pay-what-you-want download. And, believe us, it's worth every penny you're willing to offer up.

With nods to Japandroids, the Black Lips and others of that ilk, and a boasting a flair not unlike longtime DC9 favorites Teenage Cool Kids out of Denton, the young group's early output is an impressive one. Forever Today is an impressive collection of pop-indebted, jangly garage rock, filled with all the angst (and apathy) that you'd expect from college dropout Spies and his young collaborators.

For good reason, Spies explains: "We're 21 and both have nothing else to do except this."

Lucky us. After the jump, stream a taste of the disc, the EP's third cut and very autobiographical "Kids In My Backyard." Then catch the band on Saturday night, when it plays Club Dada with Man Factory. - Dallas Observer


Forever Today (4 track Demo Collection / Self Released)
// Jan. 2011
Doom (16 track Demo Collection / Self Released)
// March 2011
OK Together 7” (Vinyl & Digital Download / Self Released
// Nov. 2011



Soviet is a 5-piece heavy art pop group from Dallas, Texas. Over an extremely short period of time (less than 10 months) in the mainstream Dallas scene they have played over 50 shows (including opening for major touring bands regularly, full list below) at almost every major venue in the city. Soviet was an official showcase selection at 35 Denton 2011 (in past years known as NX35 and 35 Conferette), and preformed at numerous unofficial showcases at SXSW ’11.

They have released 2 demo compilations for free on Bandcamp, Forever Today and Doom, both of which have been hailed by local press as being promising and wildly different than anything currently coming from Dallas. Local DJ Mark Schectman picked up their song, “Forever Today”, for leading local rock station 102.1 The Edge, and Soviet tracks have become a staple on his Sunday night show. This, along with a growing reputation for being a wild and engaging live act (popularly described as “Black Flag playing Beach Boys songs”), garnered Soviet 3 nominations at the 2011 Dallas Observer Music Awards (Best New Band, Best Song, Best Punk Group). All of this has been accomplished without the aid of a label or management, and thus Soviet is seen locally as the most fiercely independent band in the city. The release of their first physical record in early November, the OK Together 7”, has been hotly anticipated for months in the local music community.

Soviet has shared the stage with //

Titus Andronicus
White Rabbits
Cloud Nothings
Casper And The Cookies
The Drowning Men
The Memorials
The Young Maths
Spooky Folk
And bunches and bunches of great local bands