The long wait is over for Big Wheel Stunt Show

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(Left to right) Bassist Jake Melius, drummer Justin Gimse, and guitarists Fred Speakman and Evan Nagle form Big Wheel Stunt Show, which will perform at Louie G’s Dec. 15. photo by Ernie Sapiro

One of Tacoma’s very own, home-grown rock bands, Big Wheel Stunt Show, is putting out their long awaited fourth album, a wild ride on the sonic slip n’ slide called “Draygun Raygun.” The band will perform an album release show Dec. 15 at Louie G’s (5219 Pacific Hwy. E. in Fife).

Big Wheel Stunt Show has, for most of its existence, been a three-piece consisting of Evan Nagle on guitar, Jake Melius on bass and Justin Gimse on drums. Recently, however, a second guitarist, Fred Speakman, joined up with the band. Back in 2011 Rolling Stone Magazine, Spain (Eng. Trans) pegged Big Wheel Stunt Show as one of the top 20 bands to watch — not in Tacoma or in the United States, but in the entire world! The publication went on to make comparisons between BWSS’ guitar wizard Nagle and Jimmy Page of Led Zeppelin fame.

Big Wheel Stunt Show’s first trilogy of albums, “A Brand New Bag,” “Cheetah Milque” and “Wonderful Life,” all came out in quick succession, recorded in less than three years. And then silence.

Now, almost six years later, the band has emerged from the confines of the recording studio with a new collection of high energy, rocket-propelled songs. “Draygun Raygun” differs from previous albums in being more a product of the recording studio than previous excursions, which were reflective of the live performances of what was then the dynamic three-piece outfit that fans are familiar with.

This time around, however, the band experimented with multi-layered guitar parts. They liked the sound so well that they decided that it was time to add a new member to the band in order to get the same type of sound on stage.

“We decided to record with a good friend of mine, Jacinth Clifton,” said Nagle. “He’s an incredible engineer/producer who loves sound, knows sound on a mathematical level and has a passion for it. He showed us that there are no boundaries and we decided to pull up all those buttery forces from the earth and the metal gods and give it hell leading to the fact that we were going to have to do it all live, so we needed to add Fred.”

Nagle discussed the change in an interview with Nancy Guppy on a recent episode of the Seattle Channel’s “Art Zone” (to watch visit www.seattlechannel.org/videos?videoid=x85517 and http://www.seattlechannel.org/videos?videoid=x85516 ).

When asked if seasoned fans of BWSS should be concerned that the addition of a new member could tamper with a tried and true formula, Nagle said, “No worries about longtime fans of the band. If they loved BWSS as it was, they will love it as is. Fred has always been super fun to watch (at the very least) and we can do more and sound better.”

Nagle cites drummer Gimse’s gift for whimsical banter as the source of the name of the new album. “We love ridiculous stories and coming up with somewhat inside jokes and end up telling them over and over making them outside jokes that everybody probably thinks are ridiculous as well,” said Nagle. “But they always make us laugh and that is part of what makes up this family. Justin is the mastermind behind these stories and the best shenanigan storyteller we have.”

Appearing with Big Wheel Stunt Show on Dec. 15 at Louie G’s will be the bands Devil on a Leash and Garage Heroes. Tickets are $7. Doors open at 8 p.m. For further information visit www.facebook.com/events/856699014512666 or the band’s facebook page at www.facebook.com/thebwss.

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