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
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?
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.
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.
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?
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?
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
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?
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.
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.