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Gaqs Has A Second Album - And Support To Make It Work

The last time Seattle’s Green Apple Quickstep played in Spokane it was a Tuesday night at Outback Jack’s and the event was a record release party for its major label debut, “Wonderful Virus.”

Unfortunately, it wasn’t much of a party because only about 30 people were present, many of them members of the opening bands.

Undaunted by the measly turnout, the hard-rocking, post punk band blasted out an uncompromising, eardrum-bursting set.

Playing to small crowds during its tours proved only a minor disappointment for the band - compared to some of the setbacks Green Apple Quickstep had to endure in the last two years.

For instance, the quintet switched labels, from Reprise to Medicine, before its debut was even completed. Once “Wonderful Virus” was finally released, it was given low-priority treatment by the band’s new label. Hence, the group received virtually no air play across the country.

With that, GAQS joined a long list of Seattle bands that were signed but didn’t make it their first time out. (The list includes: Tad, Flop, Hammerbox, Hater, Best Kissers in the World, Devil Head, Satchel and the Posies.)

At times, the band’s industry woes made its musicians wonder why they were making music in the first place.

“It’s a struggle,” said front man Ty Willman during a phone interview last week. “But it’s so fun, what else would we do?”

Constant struggle enabled the band members to grow as musicians. If nothing else, it inspired the band to cut a volatile second album, “Reloaded,” due in stores May 23.

Tonight, Willman is excited to debut his band’s new material at Outback Jack’s, even if no one shows up.

“It’s a better band,” he said. “It was pretty tough making our first record when you don’t know exactly where you stand. We’re just getting better as a band.”

For this album, GAQS’s label is fully behind the band.

“It’s kicking around right about now,” told Willman. “We’ve got better songs, a little better positioning and more help from the industry side of it.”

Another thing GAQS has going for it is that “Reloaded” was produced by Pearl Jam guitarist and long time friend of the band Stone Gossard, as well as Nick Didia, who worked on Pearl Jam’s “Vitology.”

“He (Gossard) really concentrated on having a really comfortable atmosphere … having a good time … and making a record.”

Gossard also helped capture the essence and energy of the band’s live performance.

“That’s what Stone brought into this record,” recounted Willman. “We didn’t do that first record live. We were kids; we didn’t have the songs to make it happen.”

Seattle’s 50 Paces and Coeur d’Alene’s Clarence open.

Clarence is one of two Black Happy offshoot bands to arise (the other is Shoveljerk) and is fronted by former Black Happy trombonist Mike Hasseries.

Music starts at 9:30 p.m. The cover is $5. Bring your ID.