If you haven't heard of Able Baker Fox yet, you're missing out on a treat. They've released a very solid debut album with "Voices". But what else can you expect really when you put members of Coalesce, The Casket Lottery and Small Brown Bike together, right?
PRT: Who are you and what would you like to tell our readers about yourself?
Mike: Hi, I'm Mike Reed. I play guitar and sometimes sing in Able Baker Fox.
PRT: Who else is in the band and why would my mom like them?
Mike: Ben Reed, Nathan Ellis, and Jeff Gensterblum are the other guys in the band. You're mom would probably like them because they are nice guys and they smile a lot.
PRT: You’ve previously played in bands such as Coalesce, The Casket Lottery and Small Brown Bike which means that people already have certain expectations of Able Baker Fox right off the bat. Do you feel that works for or against you?
Mike: I like to think the music is all that really matters. It helps having our other band's names attached to Able Baker Fox because our old fans are probably more willing to give it a listen. But as soon as that first songs starts, I would think all bets are off.
PRT: If Able Baker Fox was the lovechild of two other bands, which bands would’ve had sex and which position were you conceived in? And don’t say The Casket Lottery and Small Brown Bike!
Mike: Wow, umm...I guess I would say Pearl Jam and Jawbox. I'll leave the rest up to your imagination.
PRT: All four of you live in different cities which implied that you all wrote separately and then shared the files online. Does that kind of writing take some getting used to?
Mike: A little bit. We had some experience with it before when we did the The Casket Lottery/Small Brown Bike split, but back then we did it just by sending CD's through the mail. This time was all done via MP3's and email. It was nice not having to worry about practice schedules. We just worked on our parts whenever we had time.
PRT: Would your debut have been a completely different album if you’d written it the old-fashioned way with weekly band rehearsals?
Mike: Yeah probably, but I'm glad that we did it this way. It makes it less stressful and everyone can work on their parts on their own. You don't have the pressure of writing parts at practice - which can not be very fun. This was great because we were already done with most of the writing at our first practice, so we just kicked right into the songs.
PRT: The album is called “Voices”. Is that because there’s three of you singing? Was it hard to decide who would sing what or was it just whoever wrote that part that ended up singing it?
Mike: Nathan suggested the title "Voices" and we all just liked it. I think we did a pretty good job of balancing everyone's vocals. We went into the studio with a general idea of who was going to sing what, but there were a few times where we traded parts because someone else just did it better.
PRT: I’ve been listening a lot to the album over the past couple of weeks and the track that keeps popping out is “Whispering”. It seems to be a little different from the rest… do you get that comment a lot?
Mike: Yeah, that one was written a long time ago. Plus it's in a different tuning, so I think that has a little to do with it.
PRT: With an album called “Voices”, a song called “Whispering” and another song called “Stuttering”, would you say you are obsessed with speech?
Mike: Ha, I never noticed that. That must have been our collective subconscious working on that one.
PRT: It looks like you’ve only been playing shows in Chicago for now. Are there any plans for bigger tours? Maybe even Europe now that the album is out here as well?
Mike: We're playing The Fest 7 in Gainesville (FL) this year, but no plans for any big tours right now. We're all pretty busy with life, work, school, and other bands right now, but you never know.
PRT: Are there any goals left you’d like to achieve with Able Baker Fox that you haven’t been able to get around to in any of the other bands you’ve played in?
Mike: I think all of us would like to make it over to Europe someday.
PRT: Any last words for our readers?