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Q&A with The Fatty Acids' Josh Evert
The Fatty Acids front man and new Jaill drummer talks recording, touring and juggling two bands

Photo of Josh Evert by Gino Gaglianello

On Saturday, 50 bands will descend on 25 Brady Street and Brady Street-adjacent establishments to take part in the Eastside Music Tour. Many of the area’s best and most beloved acts will take to stages (and other makeshift performance spaces) in venues, bars, boutiques and cafes to do battle with cabin fever. Two of those bands will feature Josh Evert.

Since 2007, Evert has been front man and unofficial leader of the accomplished and oft-Music Notes-referenced Milwaukee outfit The Fatty Acids. This winter, Evert also became part of another great local outfit when he took a seat behind the drums for Jaill. With The Fatty Acids recording its long-awaited third record and Jaill between tours, we figured this was an ideal time to check in with Evert to hear his early experiences with his new band and get the skinny on his plans for his primary project.

You got back from you first Jaill tour about a week ago. How did you end up in the band?
Vinnie approached me some time last year. He was trying to add members to boost some of the sonic stuff going on with Jaill, so he was trying to add keyboards and more backup vocals and stuff. I told him I couldn’t do it because I really wanted to focus on Fatties stuff.

I just don’t feel like Jaill [Kircher] gets the respect it deserves in Milwaukee, and that’s always kind of bummed me out. I’ve always been a really huge fan of Vinnie’s music. He’s been doing this for like 11 years, and he’s written some amazing pop songs. When they went on tour in Europe, they had lost Austin [Dutmer] before that, and they had lost Andy [Harris] when they got back. That’s when Jon Mayer talked to me, the now-bass player.

He approached me and kind of hinted at what was going on. I guess I was more excited about playing drums for them, too. I spent a lot of time in high school playing drums. It’s always been a real physical release for me. Songwriting is definitely a more emotional release, but drums, you managed to get more of a workout from it. I was really excited to play drums for them.

I really stressed out about Fatty Acids show. So far, I haven’t been as stressed about Jaill. It’s been more of a fun thing. And Vinnie is the lowest pressure guy ever. It’s really low pressure, just fun.

Are you enjoying being in the back and not being the main focus?
It’s a good change-up. I was playing with Night Moves from Minneapolis, and that was cool. I kind of missed that. I need to be playing some drums in my life, I think.

With that, I’ve noticed you’ve mixed a lot of drum parts into the new Fatty Acids songs. I mean, you’re not behind the kit or anything, but you’re doing a lot of the auxiliary beats. Is that something that you did with the need to play drums in mind? Or are you attempting to add more layers and depth into the song?
I’m not really sure. Some of our newer stuff, we’re trying to keep it a bit more simplistic. Cole [Quamme, The Fatty Acids drummer] got the cocktail kit for a Christmas present, and we just couldn’t help but bring it in. This thing is awesome. It’s just something to do on stage. If it wasn’t there, I’d probably just be walking around and singing. I guess I’m just more comfortable doing something.

Even though you’ve only been on the road for like two weeks with Jaill, what are the differences being on the road with them compared to touring with The Fatty Acids?
Well, touring with Jaill has been a bit more comfortable just from a completely physical standpoint. The first night we were out, we played Allegheny College in Meadville, Penn. And we had a hotel room bought for us by the college. That’s something I’ve never experience in any band before. That’s the coolest feeling in the world – all expenses paid. It feels like it’s actually your job. That’s another thing that’s been different about [being in] Jaill. We get meal vouchers a lot of the time. I don’t think our rider gets fulfilled most of the time, but when it does, it’s awesome.

It was really comfy compared to Fatty Acids tours. It’s a completely different thing. Jaill has professional bookers and [The Fatty Acids] has always booked our own tours. There are definitely advantages to each. When we’re doing our own booking, we always make sure we’re with an awesome local group because we have no local draw, so we have to depend on the local band to get people out.

Are you worried about juggling multiple bands?
A little bit, but I’ve been playing in Night Moves for about two years, and they were in Minneapolis. I was still able to juggle that most of the time. It’s really easy; Vinnie lives three blocks down Chambers, so I just walk over there for practice. He’s always doing stuff months in advance, so I’m not too stressed out about double booking or anything. When I got back from that Jaill tour, I was ultra-motivated to keep working on Fatties stuff. You do someone else’s vision for a while, then you come back to your own. It’s a good break from doing Fatties stuff. But I’m not worried at all about it ruining anything.

The Fatty Acids will play at Up & Under Pub at 7 p.m. and Jaill will plays Club Brady at 9 p.m. For full lineup and schedule or to purchase tickets, go to ArtMilwaukee.com.

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