For the past 20 years, Sam Coomes and Janet Weiss have made passionate, raucous music in Quasi. In the beginning, their partnership was marital as well as musical, but it continued past their divorce and concurrent with their work in other bands: Coomes in Heatmiser with Elliott Smith when Quasi began, and later as a guest with Built To Spill; Weiss as a member of Sleater-Kinney, Stephen Malkmus And The Jicks and Wild Flag. Mole City (Kill Rock Stars) is a culmination of Quasi’s many strengths: its oversaturated and distorted sound, its singsong and shouted melodies, its controlled abandon. Coomes will be guest editing magnetmagazine.com all week. Read our brand new Quasi feature.
Coomes: Years ago, I was walking down the street with a friend of mine, and we ran into Genesis P-Orridge. My friend—not shy, very outgoing—yelled out “Genesis P-Orridge!” and held out his hand. Genesis took a look at him and me, and gave a huge smile, took my friend’s hand and said, “Hello, how are you? So nice to see you … ” We exchanged a few pleasantries and moved on. Neither of us had ever met him before, so at that time I thought probably Genesis’s drug-strained mind could no longer distinguish between friends and strangers, so he played it safe and treated both the same. But later, having thought about it and having heard other tales of Genesis P-Orridge, I came to think that it had nothing to do with drugs, but that he made a conscious choice to treat all people with warmth and friendliness. Now, it’s very difficult to treat everyone with friendliness, and very easy to make snap judgments based on this or that and treat some people worse than others, but I always try to keep the memory of this encounter in the back of my mind as an example. He has also had a pretty interesting music career.