Getting to Know: The Complex Dialect

Seattle is on fire with new music, and one of the most dynamic bands to emerge from rain city is The Complex Dialect. A mix of jazz, rock and rap make this progressive outfit one to watch. We got to chat with The Complex Dialect’s guitarist Earnie Ashwood.


TSL: Can you please introduce yourselfand tell us a little bit about how you all came together?

Earnie Ashwood: My name is Earnie Ashwood and I’m the guitar player and band leader for The Complex Dialect. We all found each other through random jam sessions all around the Seattle area.


TSL: Why “The Complex Dialect”?

EA: We wanted a name that represented our specific way of interacting and writing music. A lot of that revolves around the concept of conversation, specifically talking to each other through music and jams. To us that music is “The Complex Dialect” so to speak.


TSL: Are you all originally from Seattle? How influential is Seattle to the bands sound?

EA: 3 of us are from the Seattle area, while the rest of us are transplants from all over the US. While I can’t say Seattle itself has had a direct influence on our sound, I can say that it’s been the perfect place for this group to find itself. Seattle is definitely a part of us for sure.


TSL: The band’s debut album Change is set to release on December 1st, 2017 – Congrats! I understand that it’s a very politically charged album; can you tell us more about the bands feelings and inGluence in the creation of the album?

EA: Well 2016 was a pretty stressful, draining year. Change was created as our way of processing both the external and internal issues we were facing that year and how we chose to move forward.


TSL: What is your message with the new single, “Capitalism”?

EA: Capitalism is about living in an economically unforgiving society that is controlled by corporations and the top 1%. The song calls out the external conditioning that creates said economic state while at the same time draws attention to the personal decision we make that contributes towards our own social economic oppression. The brands we buy, how we spend our currency, and how we constantly have our financial status on our minds are large contributors towards a system that strips away many of the qualities that make up our very humanity. The song is about taking a step outside oneself and challenging the personal ignorance of the unwilling contributions one makes to their own personal subjugation.


TSL: The album cover is interesting, is there any inspiration or meaning behind it?

EA: I’m really glad you dig! It’s our band logo. It represents changing and evolving in the middle of oppression.


TSL: Your sound draws from so many genres, what would you say is the genre you guys best fit in? What are some of the artists that influence you the most?

EA: It honestly really just depends on how we feel at the time. Whenever we write, we aren’t really thinking about genres you know? Just the conversation at hand. Sometimes its r&b. Sometimes rock. Sometimes hip hop or singer-songwriter. In the end, to us its all music, therefore its all usable. When it comes to influences, I can’t say that there are specific influences as we all come from such a wide rage. Each of us bring our own huge library of different influences on an individual level. However, I think we as a band are more influenced by each other rather than external artists.


TSL: Are there any plans for you guys to tour?

EA: Eventually we would love to tour. It’s by far the ultimate dream. We just want to make sure we do it right. So we’re crossing our t’s and dotting our i’s when it comes to things like merch, music distribution, and finding a proper booking agent. But touring is definitely a priority for the near future.


TSL: Where can fans keep up with the band?

EA: You can find us on all major social media sites like Facebook, twitter, and instagram, and you can also stay up to date by checking out our website at


Thank you to Earnie Ashwood and The Complex Dialect for letting us learn more about them. To follow the band on social media: 
Instagram: @thecomplexdialect
Twitter: @complexdialect
Official Website:



Mayra Ramales
Mayra Ramales
Mayra Ramales founded The Sound Live in 2014, with the goal of highlighting underground talent. By creating a media platform, she aimed to expand accessibility to music journalist for up-and-coming writers and media creators. She completed her undergraduate degree at NYU and a dual masters at the University of Texas at Austin. She hopes to maintain The Sound Live as a DIY hub for everyday creatives.