Vinnie Kircher of Jaill On Driving To Denton And Not Puking
Milwaukee-based trio Jaill comes back to Dallas at Bryan Street Tavern this Friday, with the Coathangers and Sealion, in support of their latest album, Traps. We caught up with singer Vinnie Kircher last week while the band was in the middle of an eight-hour drive, and he shared plenty about the first time Jaill played Dallas, his first Sub Pop record, and his first tattoo.
What do you remember about the first time you played Dallas?
First time we played Dallas was at the Double Wide. Actually, I remember that night very well because there was a pretty good rowdy crowd. I was having a really good time, but an hour before we played, I got a tickle in my throat. I drank a drink or so. We played with Bad Sports, who we've become pretty good friends with. That was really exciting for us. We played the show. It went really well. After the show, I started feeling horrible. I went out and slept in the van for like, an hour. I really wanted to hang out with Bad Sports and when they came back out to the van to load at two in the morning, I was feeling horrible, but they had all been drinking. We couldn't find a place in Dallas to be put up. So then the Bad Sports guys are like, "Alright, let's go back to Denton," which is like a half hour drive. I was the one who got to drive even though I was feeling horribly sick. As soon as I got on the freeway to drive up, they all fell asleep and it started down-pouring. It took me an hour and a half of nauseous driving back to Denton. It was one of the most memorable nights of tour for me.
Since Jaill is on Sub Pop, what was the first Sub Pop record that you had?
That's a good question. Our bass player Andy was into so many of their bands. They were his favorite label. For me, I had a Mudhoney record, but I think I had a tape copy of it. That was something a lot of people did back then; people passed records around. I was buying records, but I wasn't a smart kid. I was buying Crash Test Dummies.
You have to start somewhere!
So, I can't be as cool as I like to say that I got the old Beachwood Sparks. It's nice to go back through with their collection and there's a lot of amazing stuff. I had a copy of an early Soundgarden 7-inch when I was into Superunknown. There were these tapes that people were passing around. I don't know if I ever ponied up. Doesn't that sound horrible? I was the kid stealing music back then before the Internet. It was kind of a reintroduction to Sub Pop when we got signed because they had that long run of the grunge music that I really did enjoy quite a bit. When we got interest from them, I had to reintroduce myself to some of the acts. A lot of the new acts that they were bringing in were right up my alley, especially with the King Tuff/Happy Birthday and Avi Buffalo. Truth is, Tony over at Sub Pop gave me a bunch of albums, so again, I didn't buy them. I need to buy more.
What was the first Jaill song?
Austin [Dutmer], the drummer, and I were in a band called The Detectives for three years. We started coming up with songs that had way too many chord changes and tempo shifts. Our bass player was getting annoyed at the direction we were going, so we disbanded and formed a two-piece recording project. We recorded these ridiculous songs. I think the first song that we did was called "Intensity." It actually found its way onto the first 7-inch we put out. When we broke up The Detectives and formed Jaill, we made a 20-song recording and chose four of the songs for a 7-inch.
What was a bigger influence on you: your parents' music or your friends'?
As a child, it was definitely inside the family. I was in a small town and a lot of my friends are into Pink Floyd, Santana and The Doors. That's fine, but there really wasn't anything I was grasping. My dad was listening to things that I loved to hate, but as I got older, I grew to love. Things like Elvis Costello and Harry Nilsson. At the same time, I remember my sister came home one day with Faith No More's Epic. We just listened to that tape until it fell apart. She's four years older than me and she was directing me. My dad would make fun of my mom for things like Sam & Dean, Gene Pitney and some of the more croon-y guys. He was more into The Beatles, Beach Boys, Kinks.
If you can remember, what was the first album that comforted you when you were dumped?
The Beatles' White Album, Nilsson's Nilsson Schmilsson, The Beach Boys' Pet Sounds. I definitely rocked "God Only Knows" and "Hang Onto Your Ego."
Do you have any tattoos, and what do you remember about getting your first tattoo?
I do. It's a star on my right shoulder. It's straight black, but no filling. I got it when I was 18. My first week in college, I was bored after class and I got on a bus, because I had never ridden the bus in the city before. I took the bus to the other side of town and saw a tattoo shop. I went in and I had no idea what to do, so I drew a star on a piece of paper. The guy said, "That'll be 50 bucks." So I said, "Let's do it." I got it and have regretted it ever since.