Artist Spotlight: The Hatchets

Indie rock band The Hatchets, country rockers Long Mama, and singer-songwriter Caley Conway all performed at the new Walker’s Point space Between Two Galleries Friday evening, drawing a wonderful crowd of friends and fans.

“They just knocked out a wall and expanded the room this week,” Hatchets frontman Justin Otto said about the venue. “I’ve never played here but we’ve been here before plenty of times and the room’s about double as big now.”

The Hatchets consist of vocalist/guitarist Justin Otto, guitarist/keyboardist James Sauer, bassist Alan Cote, and drummer Nick Lang. Originally formed several years back, the band’s current lineup has been playing since this past summer. Their debut record “The Uncounted Blue Jillions” came out this past July, supported by the single “Don’t Let Me Go.” Otto explains that the record was written those years prior.

“It was supposed to take a few months but ended up taking a couple years. Basically in the time of taking those years off, I don’t know if you count that as being a band or not, so either we’ve been a band for a couple years or a few months. We arranged the record in Milwaukee and then went to Rockford, IL and got a house for the weekend and recorded all the band stuff live. We came back to Milwaukee and did overdubs for the strings and horns and my vocals, but mostly it’s live stuff. We haven’t been playing tons of shows since putting out the record…we’re trying not to overplay the songs. We’re looking to do some regional stuff in 2020.”

Otto elaborates on what the band is working on now.

“I’ve got a lot of songs that we’ve been talking about whether to start throwing stuff into the set live before recording it, or to put off for a bit and record the stuff and then put into the set. The reason we took the time off was because I didn’t wanna play these songs for a year or two and then put the album out once everybody’s heard them, so I didn’t wanna play until we put out the record, which ended up taking me a lot longer than I thought it would. That’s kind of the same thing with the songs coming out in 2020 – I would prefer to have them done before we play them in the set for a while…we have a lot of the same people coming out to Milwaukee shows and we don’t wanna overplay them.”

The Hatchets are working on a music video for “Love Will Heal You,” the first track off their album. They play Saloon On Calhoun in Brookfield on March 13th.

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