When Minneapolis garage-rock band Jaill set forth this summer to support their new album Traps, Jaill songwriter Vinnie Kircher is saddling his live-in girlfriend with not just a few long weeks of loneliness, but also the responsibility of taking care of their pets. And we’re not talking about a goldfish. Kircher’s house has two dogs, a pig, a lizard, two cats and two people — and that’s just at press time.
“I live just north of downtown Milwaukee,” Kircher tells Hive. “It’s a cool little neighborhood but I’m not sure having all of these animals are within the rules, but there are other things going on in the neighborhood, like bee keeping.” For a more intimate look at the animals that dwell within Kircher’s world, and to satiate our own budding interest in indie-rocker’s pets, Kircher Instagrammed five camera ready animals below with their stories of origin.
This is our oldest dog, he’s 7 and his name is Fozzy. He’s a Chow and Black Lab mix and we got him from the Humane Society right when my girlfriend and I moved into this house. Animals definitely pop up in our songs because there’s a lot of brainstorming around the house and playing on guitars. The animals are always doing something nearby to inspire me, and I feel like the dogs relax when I play. They come in and lay down while I play for them. They’re a good audience.
2. Lala, the Guilty Looking Dog
This is Lala, she’s three years old. She’s extremely skittish and sort of scared of people, so she rarely comes out of her shell. But when she does, she’s pretty awesome. If you pre-order our new album, there’s a 7-inch that comes, and the B-side is about Lala. It doesn’t say her name, but it’s about walking the dog and figuring out who she is.
3. Piggles the Pig
The pig’s name is Piggles and he’s pretty new to us. We got him from a friend of my girlfriend’s mom, who runs an animal shelter. He had bounced around from home to home; people were exhausted caring for him. So we took him in. He was pretty destructive in the beginning, but now he’s potty trained and stays out of most things. He’s got a pen inside, but we put him outside for the most of the day because he’s happier out there. The dogs play with him, he and Lala were recently kicking a milk carton around. But if the pig finds some food and one of the dogs want it, they get pretty nippy with one another.
4. The Afghanistan Gecko
I believe this is an Afghanistan gecko. My girlfriend’s brother lost interest in this guy, so her mother was taking care of him. The lizard eats crickets, so she was driving a half hour into town to get crickets for an animal nobody wanted. So we brought him down here because the cats love to watch him. And I think it’s pretty fun to watch him eat the crickets, too. He’s pretty stealthy.
5. Cosmo the Cat
Cosmo is the biggest cuddler and biggest jerk in the house. He’s huge and pretty nasty. In this picture, he’s sitting at the kitchen table, licking his chops because we’re about to make dinner. He’s always interested in whatever food we’re making. And he’s really good at knocking things off the nightstand in the middle of the night.