Talk about good timing. Chicago-based AM Taxi‘s debut album, We Don’t Stand a Chance (Virgin), was released June 8—just a few weeks before the pop-punk quintet joined Motion City Soundtrack, The All-American Rejects and others for the start of this year’s Warped Tour.
Singer/guitarist Adam Krier checked in from the road to talk about AM Taxi’s origins, recording the band’s full-length disc in Texas and his thoughts on the Warped Tour so far.
Medleyville.us: So how exactly did Sublime producer Miguel Happoldt play a role in the forming of AM Taxi?
Adam Krier: “Jason [Schultejann] and I had worked with Miguel years ago, and I called him when my old band quit touring. He asked me to bring a drummer and come to Long Beach [California] to track something for him. I told him me and Chris [Smith], our drummer, would need to practice together before coming out there.
“So he got us a practice space and said, ‘Use it every day. I don’t care what you do; play covers, work on your own songs. Just be tight when you get here.’ So we practiced every day and Jason joined us. I showed them all my tunes, and we continued jamming after Chris and I returned from Long Beach.”
How would you describe the taxi system in your home base of Chicago, and which American cities would you say have the best and worst taxi systems?
Krier: “Big cities have it down almost always. They know what they are doing, even if some of the drivers are a bit insane.”
Talk about how you hooked up with Mike McCarthy to make your band’s Virgin debut in Austin, Texas, and what the overall recording experience was like.
Krier: “We talked to a bunch of great producers who wanted to do the record — big names, some of them. But Mike was one of the only ones who wanted to record the way we wanted to: live to tape, the way they made real rock ‘n’ roll records. Of course, we did have overdubs later for vocals, piano, etc.
“Austin was great. Every day we would record, eat barbecue, record more and then drink by the pool — can’t complain.”
The first video from We Don’t Stand a Chance was “The Mistake.” Let’s get it out in the open: Which member of the band made the most miscues during the filming of that video? And how about for “Fed Up,” the second single?
Krier: “They got us pretty loaded for ‘The Mistake’ video, so I don’t recall. ‘Fed Up’ was fun, and I’m really happy with the way it turned out. However, I found out while trying to lip-sync that I had changed some of the words between the recording session and the shoot.”
What have been some of the highlights so far for you and the band on this year’s Warped Tour
Krier: “Not showering rules. And we have a shower in our ride, so that’s just sad, I know. Not shaving is also fun.
“Most of the other bands are great, and it’s nice to be fed once or twice a day. But the best part is all the music fans everywhere checking out all the bands and having a great time.”
— Introduction and interview by Chris M. Junior
AM Taxi on tour (schedule subject to change):
* July 14: Darien Lake Performing Arts Center — Darien Center, N.Y.
* July 15: Toyota Pavilion — Scranton, Pa.
* July 16: Susquehanna Bank Center — Camden, N.J.
* July 17: Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum — Uniondale, N.Y.
* July 18: Monmouth Park Racetrack — Oceanport, N.J.
* July 20: Merriweather Post Pavilion — Columbia, Md.
* July 21: Virginia Beach Amphitheatre — Virginia Beach, Va.
* July 22: Verizon Wireless Amphitheater Charlotte — Charlotte, N.C.
* July 23: Vinoy Park — St. Petersburg, Fla.
* July 24: Cruzan Amphitheater — West Palm Beach, Fla.
* July 25: Firestone Amphitheatre @ The Lot — Orlando, Fla.
* July 26: Aaron’s Amphitheater at Lakewood – Atlanta
* July 28: Riverbend Music Center – Cincinnati
* July 29: Marcus Amphitheater – Milwaukee
* July 30: Comerica Park – Detroit
* July 31: First Midwest Bank Amphitheatre — Tinley Park, Ill.