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Chicago's Alkaline Trio

Alkaline Trio

by Chris Fox
November 2008

Riding the release of their latest album, “Agony & Irony,” ALKALINE TRIO has hit the road. The band started in late ‘96 with an upbeat, melodic sound with dark, realistic lyrics that slowly but strongly developed a dedicated following. Though big on the punk scene, the band strives to cross barriers and bring in fans from all walks of life.

Derek Grant (drums) said the new album is “getting back to the basics” as they put more concentration on content rather than layering and perfecting instrumentations. Through several previous albums, the writing fashion had become monotonous, so they took a stripped down, more natural approach to the production of “Agony & Irony.” The essence of their songs has remained the same and as the fan base continues to grow, the songs remain relatable and tend to touch a nerve that most bands avoid. Grant says, “we’ve never taken the easy route in any shape or form, we aren’t a band that is born out of convenience,” and this, he explains, is why their following remains strong.


All Girl Summer Fun Band in Maximum Ink in September 2003 - photo by Michael Lavine

All Girl Summer Fun Band

by David A. Kulczyk
September 2003

This year, one of the best CDs of all time, “2” by Portland’s All Girl Summer Fun Band, was released on K Records and in a great feat of resolve, I drove 140 miles, first stopping in San Francisco to pick up my friend Gray Six and then to San Jose to my cousin Dan ‘s place.  Dan then drove to Los Gatos, where at an all ages club nestled in a lush park in the Santa Cruz Mountains to see “The All Girl Summer Fun Band” who by all accounts was the best live band in the world that day.


All That Remains - photo by Adam Bielawski

All That Remains

by Chris Fox
September 2009

Pounding their way through the country, ALL THAT REMAINS find themselves coming to Madison. Bringing their heavy yet melodic sound and raging voice, this quintet of about ten years has helped redefine the new sound of heavy metal and bring a no bullshit attitude to an increasingly theatrical music scene.

Their most recent album, Overcome, takes another step in the progression of music. As Jeanne Sagan (Bass) explains “when we were writing this album we concentrated on writing songs and whatever the part naturally called for,” and with the combination of more clean vocals yet utterly brutal instrumental work, ALL THAT REMAINS has been able to reestablish their sound without losing their heavy roots.  These roots, Sagan says, are “influenced by the live shows… this underground world of music where people seemed to give a shit and energies of the crowd were intense.” The utter epicness that is the sound of their band draws on inspirations from across the board, Sagan lists, “chicken wings, relationships, and castles” in no particular order. As she digresses, “everyday is its own animal” but there is no denying the utter power behind their sound.


All That Remains

All That Remains

An Interview with guitarist Mike Martin
by Aaron Manogue
November 2010

Maximum Ink: Can you tell me a little bit about your new album For We Are Many?
Mike Martin:Yeah, everybody’s pretty psyched about it. I think everyone feels it’s the best balance of what we’ve done as a band. We spent more time on this one compared to the last one so I think everyone’s pretty psyched about how it came out. Last time felt a little rushed when we did the Overcome album.  This time everyone’s a little happier that we got time to go through things with a fine-toothed comb, you know?

MI: Was there a message or statement you were trying to make with this album?
MM: Well, it’s just the same for us every time which is to write the best record that we can.  Everybody’s always talking about, “Oh, there’s too much singing here. There’s not enough screaming here…blah, blah, blah.” There’s never been a conscious effort on any album to have more singing or less singing; or more screaming or less screaming. It’s just whatever the music has called for in the past that we think sounds good, we just put on the record. It’s always just make the best record you can. There’s no statement or like “Oh, we’re going to try to be heavier this time because people got mad about “Two Weeks.””


Alter Bridge on the cover of Maximum Ink

Alter Bridge

by Angela Ransom-Villand
September 2004

If you have tickets to see Alter Bridge in Chicago, Thursday, September 30th at the House Of Blues, I congratulate you. Some will envy you, though, because it sold out. If it’s any consolation, the guys won’t be packing up and heading out right after that show. They’ve just announced a 2nd show the following night, Friday, Oct. 1st at the same venue! It gets better, though; tickets for the Friday performance at the HOB are $9.47 thanks to 94.7 The Zone and a show at the Rave in Milwaukee is scheduled for Saturday, October 2nd.

In short, here’s the scoop…Creed is finished, Stapp’s doing whatever it is he does, and the rest of the band have moved on. Mark Tremonti (guitars) and Scottie Phillips, (drums) have formed a new band, Alter Bridge, with vocalist Myles Kennedy (formerly of Mayfield Four).  The new album “One Day Remains” is a melting pot of metal, love, memories, sadness, gratitude, happy thoughts and a good dose of guitar solos. That doesn’t sum it up, but I have to start somewhere.


Altered Five

Altered Five

An Interview with Milwaukee's Altered Five
by John Noyd
November 2012

A staple of the Milwaukee blues scene, Altered Five arrived as a cover band, “bluesifying,” the Rolling Stones, Prince, Sting and the Pretenders. Drawing from an incredible stretch of influences ranging from Stax to Clapton, Motown, Deep Purple and Bootsy Collins, the band began concocting an intoxicating cocktail of original blues-rock fusions.. Currently touring Southern Wisconsin to promote their jaw-dropping sophomore effort, “Gotta Earn It,” they live by the words they play, earning it the hard way, on the road. Communicating through email, it soon became apparent this versatile band operated as a tight-knit unit, sharing the spotlight and dividing the credit for their gutsy soulful sound.

Maximum Ink: How did you come up with the band’s name?
Jeff S: We wanted something that signified our music is a team effort. JT is clearly our frontman, but our sound is a blend of all five of us. The “altered” part fit because we wanted to be different in some way—originality was and still is important. And, of course, the name is also a play on words with the musical term for altering the fifth of a chord. Early on, we arranged a lot of well-known songs in a bluesy style so I guess you could say the name worked as a double entendre.


Altered Five

Altered Five

by Teri Barr
December 2014

It’s been a great couple of weeks for the members of Altered Five. The Southern Wisconsin Blues Band’s new C.D. is just out, and already trending high on a few notable radio and on-line charts. Lead singer Jeff Taylor, guitar player Jeff Schroedl, bassist Mark Solveson, Raymond Tevich on keys, and Scott Schroedl on drums worked with a Grammy-winning producer on their latest effort, after taking home a few awards of their own this year. Somehow, in the middle of it all—- they took time to answer some questions from me about their history together, and with their music hitting a high note—what’s next for this groovy group.

MAXIMUM INK:  What is the key to Altered Five’s success right now?
JEFF SCHROEDL: We all bring different musical influences and experiences to the band, and our music is really the result of that melting pot of sounds. The five of us have been able to blend our ideas and styles really well. There’s no formula; everyone is just able to create interesting parts that gel and support JT’s voice, the lyrics, and overall song.

MI: How did the five of you connect?
MARK SOLVESON: Well, Jeff Taylor is our frontman and lead singer, Jeff Schroedl on guitar, Scott Schroedl on drums, Raymond Tevich plays keys and I’m the bassist. We formed in 2002 and have performed and recorded steadily ever since. We’ve logged quite a few shows and have a pretty large repertoire of songs. We’ve always been blues-based, of course, but we’ve evolved to play many more original tunes over the past four years or so. Our music is best described as “contemporary blues.” It’s groove-based, edgy, soulful and at times really rockin’, but it’s all grounded in the blues.


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