Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Jaill - Band Interview - February 13, 2015 - Mr. Smalls Theatre

Jaill. Photo copyright Kurt Raether
Milwaukee indie rock band Jaill are the last minute replacements for Operators as openers for The New Pornographers' brief swing through the States. (Operators ran into visa troubles that prohibited them from entering the country.)

Jaill has been around since 2002 and signed to Sub Pop in 2009, releasing a pair of well-received albums, including 2012's Traps. Here's the video for "Stroller," the jangly lead track off of That's How We Burn, their first Sub Pop release. (It's also a personal favorite of Johnny Marr.)

Since releasing Traps, the band have re-issued some earlier recordings on Burger Records, and are in the process of releasing a new studio album sometime in 2015. 

Lead singer Vincent Kircher was kind enough to answer some of our questions from Ithaca, where the band kicked off their stint with the Pornographers.

Pittsburgh Music Report: How did you guys end up taking over for Operators? Did your former labelmate Dan Boeckner put in a good word? Did Bejar send a text?

Vincent Kircher: Friday afternoon, I had just gotten the van back from the mechanic for its awful brakes.  I was running some much needed errands with my lady, and I checked my phone in a checkout line.  Booking agent Joe at Inland [Empire Touring] wanted to know if we could do these shows. Within two hours we had our schedules cleared - which I was sure was too long - yet by early evening we were confirmed. 

I met Dan once a few years back when we opened for Handsome Furs, super nice guy. I don't think directly he had said anything or Dan Bejar either, but however it works, we are super excited to be playing with such an incredible group of musicians.

PMR: Your music has a jangly, summertime feel to it. I'd expect you to be from El Segundo, not Milwaukee.

VK: Milwaukee parties hard enough in its 2.5 months of summer to put warm weather cities to shame. I've always really appreciated this sort of drunken love of music. Wisconsin has a lot of acts creating sentimental music too, and it's very good. But to me, Milwaukee is the center and will always be a city where you can't rock hard enough.

PMR: What's the scene like in Milwaukee? Everyone knows Justin Vernon. What other bands should we be aware of?

VK: People know Vernon. He's not Milwaukee per se. Milwaukee is wonderfully DIY, song craft, excited, drunk, happening, stoned, new, it's good and the venues support it. Milwaukee bands that are awesome include The Fatty Acids, Surgeons in Heat, Sat. Nite Duets, Midnight Reruns, and way too many more.

PMR: Speaking of Milwaukee bands, what's up with the Violent Femmes opening for Barenaked Ladies this summer?

VK: That sucks. Barenaked Ladies shouldn't be playing still because some jokes never are gonna be funny.

PMR: How is the new album shaping up? Your website has a little teaser that saysIt is called ... and will be available via ... records in ... 2015.” Are you able to fill in any of the blanks yet?

VK: Our new album has been done for a while and it will be coming out soonish on Burger Records. Much more info coming.

PMR: You guys were here twice in 2013, once at the Smiling Moose and again at Brillobox. Any memories that stick out from either gig, or generally from your time in Pittsburgh?

VK: Games N' At! Smiling Moose has stairs.... We went and played pool at Howlers with John's friend Derek... Getting lost on bridges over the city... Really have enjoyed Pittsburgh. It's pretty similar to Milwaukee in some tough way.

Jaill play at Mr. Smalls w/ the New Pornographers this Friday, February 13. The show is sold out.

-- B. Conway


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