It’s a classic Minneapolis love story. Drummer moves to town, joins a band, then joins another band, and another — and soon he’s juggling so many gigs and projects that it’s enough to make the casual concertgoer’s head spin. Such is the case for 25-year-old Jared Isabella, who started drumming in Yer Cronies but soon found himself entangled in a web of musicians who bandy between handfuls of different projects.
Tonight, as local music fans gather in the First Avenue Mainroom to watch a crop of seven up-and-coming bands find their footing on that big black stage for the first time, Isabella will perform in three different groups: Sassy R&B group Sexcat, sprawling improvisational collective Dream Crusher, and Domino Records’ newest signees Night Moves.
“Really, Dream Crusher is how I met all the cats that I play with now,” Isabella explains. “When we did something over the summer called CrushFest, I saw Night Moves there and I went up to Mickey [Alfano], the bass player, and was like ‘hey man, where’s your drummer at?’ And found out that Josh [Evert, the band’s other drummer] isn’t there all the time, and was kind of like ‘well, I really dig what you do, and if you need a drummer I’d be happy to do it.'” Soon enough Isabella found himself picking up enough gigs that he became Night Moves’ main drummer, and will head out on tour with them this year in support of their soon-to-be-nationally-released debut, Colored Emotions.
Isabella isn’t the first multi-tasking drummer to work the Minneapolis club circuit; in fact, it’s a phenomenon that’s become so common in the Twin Cities that I asked him if there was something about being a drummer here that lends itself to transitioning between several different projects.
“Yeah, I would say so. Especially if you lend yourself to trying to play with more people. I try to play lots of genres of music, you know, so I can try to play with Night Moves and play space rock and play jazz or whatever, and I think a lot of drummers are willing to do that, willing to be in a bunch of bands, so the demand seems to be there. There’s a lot of artists in this city and there’s less drummers than guitar players and all that jazz. It seems like a good thing to do, I’m happy to do it,” he says. “I want to be in the next series of JT Bates and Dave Kings. That’s why I push myself.”
Isabella’s bands Night Moves, Sexcat, and Dream Crusher play alongside MaLLy, blood&stuff, Fire in the Northern Firs, and Gramma’s Boyfriend tonight, Wednesday, January 25, at First Avenue. 18+. $7. 7 p.m.