Take a spin through the suburban music scene, and you’re likely to find fingerprints left by Naperville’s Adam Krier. But he’d never take credit for that. Krier, the husky-voiced vocalist and guitar-slinger of AM Taxi, is far too humble.
“There are all these talented bands and talented songwriters, and I’m just putting a little something extra on it,” said Krier, “but it’s really all them.”
That understated confidence may have been part of why the title of AM Taxi’s first LP, 2010’s “We Don’t Stand A Chance,” sported a level of cynicism about the band’s chances on the music scene. But what started as a spinoff of suburban rock powerhouse Lucky Boys Confusion has grown into an LBC-adjacent go-getter of its own making.
And Krier has a lot to do with that. In the last 11 years, he’s helped plant solid roots for the band in the once-again-blossoming Chicago rock community.
But he’d never tell you that himself. Krier will admit he’s the primary songwriter for the band, but he’s sure to note his bandmates’ skills, too. “I do write all the songs, the words, but we work as a group to come up with the arrangements,” Krier said of his partners — Jay Marino on guitar and vocals, Chris Smith on drums and backup vocals and Jason Schultejann, his bass-playing LBC bandmate. “They contribute so much to the sound.”
AM Taxi is nearing completion of a new album — the band’s sixth — with a planned January 2019 release on the horizon. Band members are also on the verge of dropping a new single, “St. Jane,” just in time for their big show as direct support for St. Louis hard rock band The Urge at Chicago’s Cubby Bear Saturday, Nov. 3.
“Back with Lucky Boys, we played a few shows with The Urge,” Krier said. “It was the early 2000s, and they combined punk and ska and funk, some reggae, too, with some heavy guitars. Kind of a neat thing. They killed it.”
The Urge is coming to town to celebrate “20 Years of ‘Master of Styles’,” one of the band’s most popular and influential albums, with a showcase featuring AM Taxi, West suburban punk band The Run Aroundand California hip-hop/rock combo Jodoh.
When he’s not prepping for shows like this, Lucky Boys Confusion’s Dec. 8 show at House of Blues or sets with the Libertyville-based Ike Reilly Assassination, Krier is lending a hand to bands on the Chicago and suburban music scenes through his Sound Summit Studios in Naperville.
Krier’s musical vision and solid foundation in rock music has helped local artists refine their sounds and songs for years — from Swizzletree, Logan Square and 15 Minutes Late back in the day to current projects with Kevin Prchal, Take the Reins, Parker, Stellar West and more. Through Sound Summit, he and his team can also provide rehearsal space, recording, songwriting assistance and other preproduction elements.
“All I do is listen and give them ideas,” Krier said. “Sometimes it ends up being what’s on the record, and sometimes it opens a can of worms that gets musicians thinking about different directions they can take their songs.”
And its downtown Naperville location pays homage to where AM Taxi and Lucky Boys Confusion found their roots. For Krier, it’s home.
“A lot of musicians I know grew up in the suburbs, then lived in the city for a while, and then wanted to move back for the suburban lifestyle,” he said. “I skipped that city stage because I was on the road so much with LBC and then AM Taxi that it was nice to have a familiar home base. I got all that out of my system being on the road. When I got back to Naperville I liked being in a place I was familiar with.”
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20 Years of “Master of Styles” with The Urge, AM Taxi, The Run Around, Jodoh
When: 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 3
Where: Cubby Bear, 1059 W. Addison St., Chicago, (773) 327-1662
Tickets: $20; cubbybear.com