Quasi "American Gong" Album Preview

Quasi, "American Gong" (Kill Rock Stars)

Release Date: February 23, 2010

Longtime followers of indie rock trio Quasi should expect more guitars and fewer keyboards on the Portland, Ore.-based band's eighth studio set, "American Gong," according to Quasi vocalist/guitarist/keyboardist Sam Coomes. The dynamics of Quasi's sound changed about three years ago when bassist Joanna Bolme joined the group (prior to that, the band only consisted of Coomes and drummer Janet Weiss).

"One of the reasons why we did keyboards over the years as a two-piece was to cover the whole sonic spectrum," Coomes says. "But now with a bass guitar covering the low end, playing guitar is just more fun." Coomes says his favorite song to perform live from "American Gong"-the band's first album for Kill Rock Stars-is the rocker "Bye Bye Blackbird," which includes an extended bridge that allows for improvisation. "It's always fun to take the leap at that point in the song," he says.

Quasi plans to promote the new release with a U.S. club tour that begins in March. The band is also planning visits to Japan and Europe in 2010.