Although they were influenced more by new romantic and Brit-pop, Soviet was one of several electro-pop artists who surfaced in the late '90s. The band first appeared in 1999, though singer and songwriter Keith Ruggiero had been recording with a four-track at Syracuse University since the mid-'90s. After being joined by keyboardist/programmer Chris Otchy, the two began playing shows around the country. Additional members Amanda Lynn (synthesizer), Greg Kochan (synthesizer), and Kenan Gunduz (guitar) joined, while Soviet moved their home base to New York City. In early 2001, the group released its debut album, We Are Eyes We Are Builders, on California's Plastiqmusiq, later reissued on Ruggiero's own Head Records. In addition to dates with Stereo Total and Add N to (X) in fall 2002, Soviet has shared the stage with several neo-electro artists such as Peaches, Fischerspooner, and A.R.E Weapons.
by Kenyon Hopkin