Chris Cutler has led Fat By the Gallon through various permutations since 2002, things appear to have really come together for the pop-punk band in the past three years. Whether it’s opening locally for the Descendents or Bad Religion, or getting in a van and touring the country, the band is poised to break beyond North Texas in 2018.
Cutler formed the band while he lived in Whitewright, a small town near Sherman, when he was a senior in high school. Despite having the distinction of this publication declaring Fat By the Gallon had one of the worst band names in 2012, the band’s music and work ethic has said so much more.
Co-front man Colton Carty and bassist Tony Enger joined the band in 2015, injecting a new life. By that point, the thought of changing the band’s name was not a good idea.
“I tried to talk him into changing it, but it was too late at that point,” Carty says with a chuckle as the band headed to a gig in Arizona.
“We couldn’t find anything that somebody didn’t already have,” Cutler adds.
After all these years of the band, the lineup is stable and they look forward to the rest of 2018 and beyond.
“We now have four guys in the band that have to play music,” Cutler says. “Like, it’s not an option to not. We’re all gonna do it, in one form or fashion. I hope this is going to last the rest of the life of the band."
The band is a self-run entity without a manager. So how they’ve been able to open for legendary punk bands is rooted in Cutler’s perseverance. He lets people know about his band, but he doesn’t harass people into liking his band or booking them.
“I would say that I am just a tad under annoyingly aggressive,” he jokes. “I don’t have a problem with cold-calling and cold-emailing people. I never really have. I guess I’ve had to get used to rejection a little bit because there’s a lot of that that comes with it.”
With new drummer Joel Herrera, Fat By the Gallon released a new four-song EP, Jackasses on Pleasure Island. They’re on tour, going all the way to California and back, with shows in North Texas at the end. One show will be May 30 at J&J’s Pizza and another show June 1 at the Double Wide, where they will open for rising Fat Wreck Chords act, PEARS.
This band is not made up of guys who are just out of their teens, putting everything in their lives on hold to play music and live like starving artists. Cutler is married with two teenage daughters and a full-time job as a home builder. Carty is married with a young child. Enger is as well. Herrera is unmarried and has no children.
“We’re all pretty tied-down as far as home life goes, but we’ve still got time to tour and do music,” Carty says.
The band is not spending nine months out of the year going all around the country and coming home for a few weeks at a time.
“I’ve definitely been able to find a balance,” Cutler says. “It’s healthy to be out and hanging out with your friends. My kids are to the age now where they’re looking at me and realizing you don’t need to give up on shit.”
Fat By the Gallon will play the Warped Tour date July 6 in Dallas. They will trek out to the Fest in Gainesville, Florida, in late October. Fellow Dallas band From Parts Unknown will play with them at the festival where people from all over the country descend onto the quiet little college town in Florida.
Doing this band for this long, there’s really no reason to give up now.
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“Man, I’m a lifer,” Cutler says.
“As long as it’s still fun, I’m gonna keep doing it,” Carty adds. “That’s the whole reason you do it anyway. I don’t have any plans to stop any time soon.”
“We’re definitely not it for the money,” Cutler says with a laugh. “It would be great to be able to make money, but it’s not 1996 or early 2000. It’s definitely hard. As long as we can still manage to balance it, we’re gonna keep [going].”
Fat By the Gallon plays May 30 at J&J’s Pizza and June 1 at the Double Wide.