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Band Logo by Patrick Foote - photo by Patrick Foote

Big N Tasty Blues

An Interview with Big N Tasty Blues
by Karli Norton
January 2015

Big N Tasty Blues is ready to take a break from the cold and make their way down to Memphis for the 31st Annual International Blues Challenge.

The seven member blues band from Green Bay, Wisconsin has formed their own style like none other around the area.


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The Big Payback on the cover of Maximum Ink music magazine

The Big Payback

"An Interview with Guitarist Kyle Rightley"
by Michelle Harper
November 2016

The Big Payback is about to unleash a brand new bag of jazz-rock brass-laced funk on Madison’s music scene.

Five years after their debut album “Overture” took audiences by storm, The Big Payback is releasing a new album entitled “Animal Brain” on November 18th. And, with the talent and projects compiled in the 9-piece musical powerhouse, recording it was no small feat. Fronted by the spicy soulful vocals of Leah Isabel Tirado, TBP is compromised of highly experienced and profoundly innovative artists whose collective sound has earned them award after award after award. Guitarist Kyle Rightley took time out this week to talk with me about “Animal Brain” and how the theme of musically unifying the duality of the human mind came to fruition.


1898 ViewsPermalinkBig Payback Website
Big Sandy in the foreground with a Summerfest montage in the backround

Big Sandy And His Fly-Rite Boys

by Dave Leucinger
June 1999

Robert Williams, AKA Big Sandy, seemed to pick the right time to take a sabbatical from touring. Last year, at the height of the neo-swing movement, he was relishing in a solo west-coast doo-wop album, while his Fly-Rite Boys bandmates were soaring through a guitar pickin’ jamboree heavy on instrumentals. So instead of trying to lose the albatross that “swing” has become to some, Sandy and his band have picked right up where they left off - if not a few steps ahead for the rest. “I’ve been trying to be careful to not align myself too closely to any one scene,” he said in a recent telephone interview. “When I first started, I didn’t want to be part of any scene, but rather to create my own scene. Trends come and go, but we’ve continued to go along. I’m glad we’ve done it that way.”

That way has covered more than a decade as the Southern California-based group has criss-crossed the United States and Europe, building a following for up-tempo western swing and smooth hillbilly jump tunes. But while he edges away from typecasting in the retro mode, Sandy has built a growing group of followers in that camp – while also building awareness of the fruitful legacy of artists such as the Maddox Brothers, Boyd Bennett, and Merle Travis. “In general, the Europeans were ahead of Americans in knowledge of the music when I first started,” he said. “But having some of these trends has helped increase awareness in America of the traditional styles of music.”


Billy Idol on the cover of Maximum Ink

Billy Idol

by David A. Kulczyk
September 2005

What can you say about Billy Idol?  That the mold was broken after he arrived on the music scene with his pioneer punk band Generation X in 1976?  That he was music video pioneer?  That he lived the life of a rock star while retaining his punk rock beliefs?  After a serious motorcycle accident and some substance abuse problems, Billy Idol took a well-deserved twelve-year break from the music business.  His latest album, Devil’s Playground [Sanctuary Records] is pure unadulterated Billy Idol.  I interviewed Billy Idol via email while he was between tours in August 2005.


Bird's Eye at the High Noon Saloon - photo by BMB Graphics

Bird’s Eye

interview with Joe Waldbillig
by Teri Barr
July 2015

This is one sneaky band. Bird’s Eye lures you in with its positive energy, which is driven by some great live musicians. Then, wham; you are hit hard with a positive hip hop vibe, delivered with a funky, fresh beat. You’ll get the chance to check out this group at this year’s two-day AtwoodFest. Bird’s Eye plays the Alchemy Stage on Sunday, July 26th.  I recently asked guitar player Joe Waldbillig what to expect during the band’s AtwoodFest show, how they find time for music, and why their busy lives have led to a divide and conquer attitude.

Maximum Ink:  You have some multi-talented musicians! Six people singing and playing almost ten different instruments?
Joe Waldbillig:
Yeah, Bird’s Eye consists of Ra Fury, and yes that is his real name! He is our emcee/vocalist/lyracist. I’m on electric guitar, Evan Nelson plays bass guitar, Lauren Johnson covers vocals, saxaphone, and piano. We have Sean Peyton on drums, and Hannah Larson is also a vocalist, plays piano, and auxiliary percussion.


1576 ViewsPermalinkBird’s Eye Website
drummer Ryan Peterson and guitarist Cory Divine of Madison's legendary metallers Birth Of Tragedy

Birth of Tragedy

An interview with Birth of Tragedy's Cory Divine
by Mike Huberty
October 2016

Two-man heavy metal juggernaut BIRTH OF TRAGEDY ripped through the Madison scene in the late 90s and early 2000s with a blend of prog and hardcore. Singer/guitarist Cory Divine and drummer Ryan Peterson delivered a concentrated sonic enema of what they called “Cathartic Metal” that was often more about emotional release than it was about entertainment. After quickly becoming Midwest metal darlings and even a tour with MUDVAYNE, the duo decided to take a break from the music and since 2002 have only sporadically recorded and released music. The good news is that they’re back this month for the Maximum Ink Halloween Spooktacular on October 29th and we spoke with Cory from the band about what they’ve been up to and where they’re going.

MAXIMUM INK: BIRTH OF TRAGEDY is back after a hiatus. On your Facebook page, you mention success and excess getting to your heads, what does that mean?
Part of that is just Spinal Tap-esque sarcasm. Like one of the final scenes where they’re talking about what happens after the band ends, “The end is something that’s happening, but not happening”.  Funny thing is, I think we may have been at that very pool side roof top when we played in Hollywood with MUDVAYNE many years ago. On a more serious note, we just kind of moved into a different chapter of life for a while, domestication, families, careers, school, etc…  Ryan and I are pretty much best friends so this band has always been an extension of that, ever since we drifted away from “rock” per se and started delving into heavier territory when we were about 20, we’ve always stayed connected. Our families are close, we still go to shows together, hang out all the time. There were months that would go by where the drums/guitars sat idle in the basement but yet we always stayed connected. If we felt the itch, we’d rock out a few old ones, but it wasn’t really until last fall when I started seriously writing again that things began to take form for this new chapter.


Madison's Birth Of Tragedy, a two piece metal band, Cory Divine (left) Ryan (right)

Birth Of Tragedy - 2008

by Mack Dreyfuss
September 2008

In 2003, scientists from the Institute of Astronomy in Cambridge, England, were studying a supermassive black hole located 250 million light years from earth. They discovered that it was producing sound waves.  These sound waves translate into B-flat, 57 octaves below middle C on the common household piano.  This pitch, inaudible to the human ear, is the sound of the slaughter of light.

Addiction is much like a black hole that crushes the light of those enslaved by it.  A local counselor and musician named Cory Divine works to alter the trajectory of youth who have found themselves in the vacuum of addiction by producing his own yawp of sound. 

His band is called Birth of Tragedy and consists of only two members: Divine on guitar and vocals + Ryan Peterson, percussionist.  To call Peterson a percussionist is to call the Sears Tower a building.  Upon experiencing the colossal sound of Birth of Tragedy, one is certain that continental drift progresses significantly with every set.


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