By OnMilwaukee Staff Writers   Published Mar 13, 2011 at 1:06 PM

Ninety percent of being on tour with a band is trying not to fart.

The majority of bands touring the country's clubs and small theaters cram themselves, their luggage and their instruments into a passenger van that inevitably ends up smelling like a blend of body odor, McDonald's double cheeseburgers, and BBQ potato chips.

With venues spread out hundreds of miles from one show to the next bands wake up, eat some food, and hit the road like long haul truckers delivering musical freight.

That being said, you couldn't find three more laid back guys to tag along with under these circumstances than the guys from Milwaukee indie rockers Jaill, and as we pulled out of Cleveland with a belly full of delicious breakfast on the second day of their tour to South By Southwest everyone was in high spirits.

By the time we got on the freeway around noon most of the foot or more of snow that had fallen in a severe overnight storm had been cleared. Vinnie Kircher, the band's singer and guitarist, had awoke early and dug the van out with help from Sam, a friend of theirs we crashed with who got blackout drunk at the previous nights show, but somehow still managed to order us a pizza that was still warm when we got back from the venue.

Cleveland had been an excellent first show. Jaill sold a ton of records, the staff at the venue the Grog Shop were all ridiculously friendly, and Sam took us to Big Al's Diner for one of the best gravy soaked breakfasts we'd all had in a long time before sending us on off.

Detroit lay ahead, and the hard luck town can be notoriously tough for touring bands. The drive was one of the shorter ones and, with the exception of running into a group of Amish teenagers smoking cigarettes and playing video games at a truck stop somewhere near Toledo, Ohio was pretty uneventful.

With gas prices being so high, the guys are trying to stay with friends as much as possible. Having toured so often in Jaill and other bands, the guys know someone in almost every town.

In Detroit that friend was a guy named Craig from the band Terrible Two's. Craig and his band play Milwaukee every couple months and he actually worked at the bar the band would be playing at that night, PJ's Lager House.

We waited for him to get off of work and as we drove through the decaying heap of abandoned concrete buildings trying to carefully dodge 4-foot-wide potholes created by years of neglect, he made it a point to narrate the drive with his own unique brand of 1000-word-per-minute demented enthusiasm.

"Hang a Richie right here," Craig shouted as we pulled in front of the Bronx, a cool and dimly lit old bar with giant delicious sandwiches and a jukebox stacked with old country and Motown hits.

Our grandmotherly bartender took our food orders with a thinly veiled looked of utter contempt stretched across her face, and when she returned with our food released an expletive filled few paragraphs in which she somehow managed to greet Craig with "sweetheart" and also mention that she couldn't wait to "Get the fu#k out of here." In Detroit, even grandmas are tough.

The Detroit show was another good crowd but, after an all around good time and performance in Cleveland, just felt slightly less welcoming.

As we sat around talking with Craig in his living room before bed his girlfriend decided to really lay into him and tell him what a crummy boyfriend she thought he was and that she was leaving him. Craig calmly asked her to talk about it later. When we packed up to drive off from his neighborhood in the morning Craig called to let us know his girlfriend was no longer mad. Oddly, you go the impression that they were going to be in love for a very long time.

As we pulled out of town a woman who looked to be in her 70's pulled past us riding a BMX bicycle.

The drive to Chicago from Detroit flew by and a few friends and family from Milwaukee awaited. The band stayed with Nathan Lilley from Call Me Lightning, who also worked the door at the Empty Bottle that night. Nathan's girlfriend Samantha Sanborn actually appears on the cover of Jaill's latest record "That's How We Burn" which made for some hilarious double-takes around the merch table when she was hanging out.

The club in Chicago was packed and Jaill played third out of the four bands that night. When they went on the room was absolutely packed and they ripped through their songs quickly jumping from one into the next in their most full-throttle set of the tour so far.

Vinnie Kircher's parents, and his girlfriend Erika Carrizales, who drove down from Wisconsin to catch the show hung out and really gave the night a hometown show kind of feel. Jaill sold a ton of merch again and we didn't see any grandmothers but I got the impression that if we had they would have been nicer than the ones in Detroit.

The show went late and when things finally got loaded out of the club it was past 3 a.m. Tired we drove back to Nathan's to crash on the floor.