"EVERYTHING ABOUT this band is like we went back in time to high school," says Kathy Foster, so it's fitting that I'm talking to Hurry Up inside a former classroom at the former Washington High School building. Foster (drums), Westin Glass (guitar), Maggie Vail (bass), and Vail's dog Johnny (dog) are settled around an indoor picnic table at the new offices for CASH Music, where Vail works as executive director.
But there's one big difference between Hurry Up and high school. "There are no rules in this band," says Foster.
The idea for Hurry Up started when Foster and Glass—both members of the Thermals—ran into Vail at a Thermals gig while all three were in New York City in 2010.
"We said we were gonna make a hardcore band," says Glass.
"We were talking about how everyone thinks we're the nice people," says Vail. "So we wanted to bring out our weirder, darker personalities."
The band's first practice was within weeks of that, and proved to be a prolific meeting of the minds, with the trio writing five songs right out of the gate. But as Foster jokingly explains, that was their only prolific period. The next four and a half years would be a very slow-moving process of putting out a record, despite playing numerous live shows in the city.
"It took us a year to get around to recording them, another year before we mixed, another year before we put the vocals on there," says Glass. "Every step of the process has taken like a year. Hence the band name!"
Hurry Up was also the name of a weird candy bar that Foster and Glass came across in Germany. Candy, it is soon revealed, plays a big part in Hurry Up's history.
"We've been a sugar-fueled band from the beginning, so it's appropriate we're named after candy," says Glass. "We eat so much candy when we practice."
But on the surface, the band was forged from a desire to mitigate the pressures of the digital age. Vail's days playing with seminal Olympia punk band Bangs may not have been so affected, but Foster and Glass' Thermals have matured in the social media era, where tweets, Facebook posts, and online presence are seen as essential. Hurry Up wasn't having any of that. Consequently, since the band's inception nearly five years ago, there has been no music online, no videos. Nothing until now.
"It was kind of by design: If you wanna hear us, come to our shows," explains Vail.
"We all have had bands that are more serious, and [you have to be] on top of all the social media and everything," says Foster. "This band, for me, I just don't want to. It's kind of old school. How you heard the band was by going to see them or borrowing your friend's record."
The self-titled LP was recorded in Vail's basement on a four-track cassette recorder. Hurry Up digs deep into Northwest punk roots, with angular riffs and lo-fi melodies creating fun, high-energy listens on tunes like the Vail-sung "And Then," the Glass-sung "Guillotine," and Foster's vocals on "Shit or Fuck."
"For that one," says Glass, "we just wanted to write a song called 'Shit or Fuck.'"
Yeah, that one probably wouldn't have passed in high school.