Jaill's Sub Pop debut That's How We Burn caught a decent buzz this summer, a quick-hitting record chock full of catchy, rough-around-the-edges guitar pop. The Milwaukee quartet pretty much came out of nowhere; it's been busy tightening up its sound for mass consumption in the midst of a national tour supporting The Hold Steady.
OC Weekly caught up with Jaill front man and primary songwriter Vinnie Kircher; they open for the Hold Steady at the Detroit Bar in Costa Mesa 9 p.m. tonight, August 25.
OC Weekly: What's with the extra L in the name?
Vinnie Kircher: A German band from the '70s had the name and put out one album. So we added the L to avoid a good suing.
In your press materials it says you guys "try some speed and smoke some weed." Really, speed?
Yeah, weed is a given. Speed refers mostly to Ritalin, and that was something I took a lot of in my early twenties, but I spend my time now trying not to feel worked up, so speed doesn't really help that.
Even though you had been gigging steadily for the past eight-plus years in your hometown Milwaukee, your Sub Pop deal was somewhat of a surprise, at least for people writing about Milwaukee music. What kept Jaill more or less a well-kept secret on your home scene?
Probably the fact that Milwaukee writers weren't writing about us, and us not getting bothered by that, but rather trying to branch out to other markets. We had been touring pretty regularly building good musical friendships in other cities. Hometowns are tough because they've watched you grow up and they remember that time your guitar cuts out and instead of fixing it, you just start puking all over the stage.
Your sound is described as up-tempo, hook-driven psych-pop. What other bands share your sound? What are some comparisons people have made that you've found weird or annoying?
Current bands we think share a similar music appreciation and mindset would be Happy Birthday, Harlem, and Avi Buffalo. We get comparisons to They Might Be Giants which is weird and totally awesome. Comparisons to Billy Corgan are off-putting. He wears the stupidest hats as Kyle from Happy Birthday has adeptly pointed out to me.
Have you had any good rock star moments thus far?
Getting lost in the basement hallways outside of our green room trying to get to the stage. Getting sound checks. Shows having promoters and the clubs actually knowing there is a show that night. We destroyed a hotel bathroom ... we'd ordered pizza the night before [laughs].