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|Origin||Portland, Oregon, U.S.|
Quasi (phonetics 'kwa - zee') is an American indie rock band formed in Portland, Oregon in 1993 by former spouses Sam Coomes (vocals, guitar, rocksichord, various keyboards, bass) and Janet Weiss (vocals and drums). Joanna Bolme performed and recorded with the group as a bassist from 2007 to 2011.
In 1990, Sam Coomes, Janet Weiss, and Brad Pedinov formed the band Motorgoat. The band released two self-released cassettes and one 7" single before dissolving in 1993. Coomes and Weiss then began recording as a duo in 1993 under the name Quasi. They played with various additional musicians in early live appearances, but eventually settled on playing live as a duo as well. They self-recorded and self-released a cassette and a CD in 1993. They recorded R&B Transmogrification in the Portland band Pond's basement recording studio and released it on Up Records in 1997. They released two more albums with Up: Featuring "Birds" in 1998 and Field Studies in 1999; both albums were recorded at Jackpot! Studios in Portland, Oregon.
In 1998 and 1999, they toured the United States, Europe, Australia, and Japan opening for and serving as the backup band for Elliott Smith (with whom Coomes had played in Heatmiser) as well as touring on their own in the U.S. and Europe. In 2001, they home-recorded The Sword of God and released it on Touch & Go. They released Hot Shit! in 2003 and When the Going Gets Dark in 2006, both on Touch & Go in the U.S. and Domino Recording Company in Europe. In 2009, the band signed with Kill Rock Stars to release their next record.
Although Coomes and Weiss remain busy with other bands, Quasi tours fairly regularly. In 2007, they toured the U.S. with Touch & Go labelmates Ted Leo and the Pharmacists. Just prior to that tour, Quasi announced that bassist Joanna Bolme, who had toured with Quasi in 2006 and plays with Weiss in Stephen Malkmus and the Jicks, was a permanent member of the band. Bolme performed on Quasi's 2010 full-length American Gong and continued to tour with them through the first half of 2011. In June 2011, Quasi posted an update on their official Facebook page, announcing that they would be returning to their original two-piece lineup for "the foreseeable future" and thanking Bolme for her time with the band.
In addition to her work in the Jicks, Weiss was the primary drummer for the group Sleater-Kinney, and has recently played with Bright Eyes, John Doe and Wild Flag, while Coomes has been working with Pink Mountain and on his solo project, Blues Goblins. He has also played with Jandek, and has appeared on several Built to Spill albums.
The group seemed to have reactivated in 2020 with one-off releases via Bandcamp.