The reformed post-hardcore punk veterans Small Brown Bike recently released their new album, 'Fell & Found'. Vocalist/guitarist Mike Reed talks to us about the early days, their reunion and the new material.

The last album Small Brown Bike released with this original line-up was your 1999 debut 'Our Own Wars'. What are your memories of writing and recording that album?

"Ben [Reed, bass] was going to school in northern Michigan at the time and had an nine hour drive home for practice. It was tough, but it added to the overall feel of the record. We recorded and mixed it in three days in Detroit. Thinking back on it now, I have no idea how we pulled it off."

What was it like to be a part of the post-hardcore scene of the late '90s/early '00s alongside the likes of Hot Water Music, Cursive and The Casket Lottery? Was it a good time to be a band?
"It was an exciting time for sure. No internet, no cell phones, no social networks. News spread around via zines, fests, and record stores. We were lucky become friends with those bands. Getting to to tour together and watch them every night was inspiring."

How have you changed as musicians and people in the 12 years since? Is the chemistry of the band still the same?
"The dynamic is actually very similar to how it was in the beginning. Our lives have changed and we all have new things going on now - family, work, school, other musical projects, but when we get together in the same room, it’s just four old friends writing music. It’s actually probably a little easier now because we don’t get together as often, so every minute counts."

Did the 2007 reunion shows and/or Able Baker Fox lay the groundwork for the proper reunion in 2009?
"After we broke up, I think maybe knew we might make music together again someday. But we didn’t really talk about it until after we did the reunion shows. Then it took another year or so to finally get together and work on new music."

What's it like to be playing as Small Brown Bike again? Did it take some readjusting or was it just like old times? Did new songs come easily?
"It’s kind of crazy doing it again, but everything came back to us pretty quickly. We didn’t want to just relearn old songs and play shows, so we immediately started working on new music. Getting back together was all about moving forward and creating new music."

Was it cool to do a couple of 7"s to get back on the horse before you recorded a new album?
"Yeah definitely. We wanted to do something fun before we jumped back into recording a new record. We recorded them in Dan’s basement, so we weren’t under a lot of pressure. It helped us figure out how to approach recording the record and not to get stressed out over it. Just have fun."

The new album is amazing and seems slightly more upbeat and melodic than previous efforts. Is that fair and does it reflect where you're all at in your lives right now?

"Thanks! Yeah, you’re right on with that. I look at this record the same way. We have more experiences to draw from and it comes through on this record. Personally, my lyrics reflect where I’m at now. I take things day to day and try not to get stressed out about the past or the future. Enjoy the now and be happy for where I am."

It seems that, although you've drawn on your established sound, you've built on it and kept it fresh. Is that important to stay relevant and interesting as a band?
"Definitely. Like I mentioned earlier, writing new music was the main reason we got back together, so keeping things interesting to us was important. I hear elements of each of our previous records in this new record, but I think ultimately it stands on its own. We didn’t think over think writing this record. Things just happened naturally."

What is the theme of 'Fell & Found' and does that tie in with the striking, beautiful artwork?

"Travis came up with the title. It started as a song and we all liked the concept, so we thought it was a good name for the album. I think we each have our own interpretation of what it means. I see it as the idea of finding something good in tough times. Being down and out, but having a sense of wonder and optimism. Ben took the photos and designed the packaging based on the title and lyrics of all of the songs. We’re all proud of how everything came together."

One of my favourite songs is 'Rescue Mission', which we exclusively streamed on the Big Cheese website. What's that song about and do you enjoy playing it live?

"We haven’t played that one live yet, but I’m looking forward to it. That one started as something we jammed at practice and it just grew from there. They lyrics are very personal. I woke up in the middle of the night with a lot on my mind and those words just kind of poured out. It’s about having someone close to you in pain and feeling helpless."

What are your future plans? I see you're playing Fest 10. That should be one hell of a party! Any UK tour/festival plans?
"We’re taking it month-to-month for now. We’d love to come to the UK, but it’s probably not going to happen this year. We’re going to book a few more shows later this year, but our individual schedules are pretty busy. Everyone should come to The Fest!"

'Fell & Found' is out now on No Idea Records.
Small Brown Bike play The Fest 10 in Gainesville, Florida in October. For more info go to thefestfl.com