Thursday, July 8, 2010

Interview with AM Taxi... So Cool!

Chances Are.

It’s 123 degrees on the blacktop at Cricket Pavilion in Phoenix, AZ. Warped Tour, in all its parts, is fighting through what could be an epic meltdown but the sponsors, the bands and the kids are all still going strong and so are the Chi-town future rock/power-pop, soon-to-be heroes, AM Taxi.

This is your first Warped Tour, how has it been thus far?
AM TAXI: Hot…. but not like today. Overall it’s been fun. It’s been good. Jason: We’ve met a few bands. Everyone’s been real nice. Riverboat Gamblers are real nice guys. We did a little bowling charity thing last night.

I heard Motion City Soundtrack were the winners. Did you make it to the final round?
Jason: We made it through the first round. Not so much the second round. After a few we started to not bowl as well. Luke: I started to do the dive bowl; the upside down.

Your new album just came out, how has it been received?
Jason: Real good. We’re excited to now be on tour, sell some CDs, and have people hear us play.

How was it working with Mike McCarthy (Spoon, …Trail of Dead, Patty Griffin)?
AM Taxi: Interesting. No (laughs), it was great! He’s an amazing producer, but he is an eccentric guy. Adam: His set up in the studio, well, you can’t see him. There is a wall, then the control room. So we would play and wait and wait, and have no idea what was going on. Then you would hear the Sex Pistols and we’d put down our guitars, and you’d go in to see what was going on and he’d be dancing around the room. Then we’d all be dancing around the room. Then it was like, “Ok. Now we can get a take.”

How long were you guys there for?
AM Taxi: 8 weeks. John: It felt pretty loose. Near the end, of course, you’re like, ”Oh crap, there’s like three days.” And then you want to stay longer, and he’s saying, “You brothers. Are you sure you have to leave, man?” We’re like, “No more days! We have shows booked.”

Did you have moments were it felt like monotonous?
John: Not the way Mike recorded. He kept it exciting. Adam: Well, there was Woodpecker. That was the one song. John: Woodpecker, which is on our record, there is another version of it floating around. It’s a little slower. It is Mike’s baby. Luke: If anything got monotonous it was “computer camp.” We had computer camp all of the time while he would tune the drums, and then the other instruments.

Do you find yourselves re-working/mixing stuff up on stage?
Adam: Some of the songs are a little older to us because of touring them before, so the recording was the re-working.

For Warped Tour each band plays for 30 minutes. How do you choose which songs you are going to play?
John: We tie names to pigs and try to catch the pigs. Jason: Greased pigs! Luke: Tiny pigs! Jason: It’s really fun today because it’s so hot. John: The “Half Hour of Power” we like to call it.In a 30-minute time limit you need the set to have as much impact as possible, so it has to be more organized. You need to work the set so it keeps the crowd’s interest and know when Adam is going to talk.

Warped Tour is intense. There are a lot of bands, crew, sponsors. It’s hot and dirty. What are some of your touring necessities?
AM Taxi: Babywipes! Jason: Toothpaste.

Off the topic of music, let’s get personal. If you could have a superpower what would it be?
Chris: The ability to do laundry in my shoes. I am running out of clothes. If I could turn anything that resembles a bucket into a washing machine, I would. Adam: Turn any beverage into an alcoholic beverage. Jason: I wanna fly. I wanna go up and fly. I don’t want to be called Superman though. Chris: Like Sugar Ray? (everyone laughs) Jason: Not like Sugar Ray. Or it would be to get rid of jokes like that (laughs). John: To read and control people’s thoughts. Mind control. AM Taxi (minus John): Freak show! Luke: I’m going to go with telekinesis, or I’d like to have Prince’s singing voice. One of the girls on our bus has a pillow with Prince’s face on it. It’s awesome. Luke: I want to meet this girl.

What are some of your musical escapes? What do you listen to when you want to shut out the madness and get locked into your own world?
Luke: Kings of Convenience Adam: Otis Redding Jason: Sam Cooke, Wilco Chris: Sub.bionic John: My brother clanking stuff around. (Luke is playing with a Keep Abreast water bottle and it’s a noisy mess). No, Massive Attack or Zero 7.

Now that you’ve been away from home for a little while, what do you miss from home [Chicago] the most?
Luke: My girlfriend and my cat. Jason: My fiancée and my dogs.

Finally, what is your favorite WONKA candy?
AM Taxi: Cherry Kazoozles and Nerds Luke: Sweet Tarts, and I’m a big fan of the chocolate John: The Kazoozles or Nerds. Chris: The gummies in the orange package [Sluggles].

AM Taxi will also be doing a series of signings in the WONKA Music Factory this summer during Warped Tour. You can keep posted on these by following WONKA on Twitter:

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Ready, Set, Go! Vans Warped Tour 2010 Officially Kicks Off!

Hey WONKAnation! WONKA here, reporting from the start of the 2010 Vans Warped Tour! We’ll be living on and riding one of the valiant tour buses across the U.S. and through Canada, bringing y’all the behind-the-scenes scoop from all the cities coast-to-coast and above the border. Actually, we (the fun family that is Warped Tour) just completed day one.

Oh yes, numero uno, the sweet beginning. And it was sweet, not just because we’re partially fueled by Kazoozles and other WONKA candy goodness, but because the Carson/Los Angeles show was a totally outstanding blast off into tourspace! In the WONKA tent, we had AM Taxi signing autographs after they rocked their set with their Americana punk stylings. I had a minute to chat with Jason from AM Taxi about his need for coffee in the morning, being snowed-in in Chicago and Boston, and why Chicago needs to get their garbage situation in check.

He also informed me that WONKA Gobstoppers are Adam Krier’s favorite candy. Jason told me that he even “eats them for breakfast!” We’re stoked to be riding along this summer on Warped Tour. Many people thought that maybe Warped Tour would slow down, or maybe even halt, as it turned 15. Well, they were wrong! Watching the kids swarm the grounds, taking on the heat, it’s obviously nothing but full-speed ahead. So, keep your eyes on WONKAnation’s blog, Facebook and Twitter for all of my updates, because we’ll be coming to a city near you soon!