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Peter Cornell

Peter Cornell


by Tina Ayres
October 2014

Peter Cornell has worked in the music industry in such bands as Inflatable Soule and Black Market Radio and as a solo artist. His latest release Champion features former Pearl Jam drummer Dave Abbruzzese on drums.

Maximum Ink: What were you like as a child? What are some of your most fond memories from that time?

Peter Cornell: I was a little hyper. Consequently I got in a bit of mischief. I was also fairly bright and did well in school when I could stay out of the head master’s office. I love being outside. I love playing football and basketball and when I got to be a teenager I learned how to sail and raced sailboats for years. Sailing, the sea, the water, boats of all kinds are still a huge love of mine.

MI: What was it like growing up with Chris? What has been like getting to watch him succeed at doing something he loves? Do you ever get tired of people mentioning the connection there?

PC: As adults, we have always been close. As kids we were kids and pulled each other’s hair and pinched each other’s arm. But I would crush anyone who ever threatened to lay a hand on him. Then and now I love the man dearly and have always taken a paternal pride in his success. Somewhere along the way I took an interest in music and honestly Chris has mentored me every step of the way and still does. If I hated him it would probably bother me that I get a lot of questions about him. But I love him so I don’t mind if people talk to me about him. But family is very private for us so my answers are limited.

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Ben Chasny

Six Organs of Admittance

Ben Chasny discusses his new album and musical strategy
by John Noyd
March 2015

It is helpful to have an open mind when encountering Six Organs of Admittance’s driving force, guitar-strategist Ben Chasny. Through a career that is as prolific as it is eclectic, Chasny’s teen-age folk roots carried him through a labyrinth of styles, from hyperbolic-baroque to psychedelic wrecking-balls gnarled in cosmic jazz. From Brit-folk dream-weaver Nick Drake to free-jazz action-guitarist Rudolph Grey his influences tend towards the daring and his ability to synthesize these experimental elements into intriguing treats is the cornerstone of his revered standing among the adventurous. A restless spirit through and through Chasny has written for underground films and audiobooks, banded together with like-minded players from sonic noise-makers Comets on Fire to the recent jangle-folk poets The New Bums and forged a fondness for left-hand turns and abstract catastrophes into a solid body of trail-blazing amplified six-string bewilderment.

When reviewing his musical wanderlust in a phone conversation, a modest Chasny admitted to MAXIMUM INK he feels super-lucky to have been granted a life that nurtures his curiosity as well as provide him with so many talented friends. Although he also admitted his latest experiment became a Six Organs project somewhat by default when some of his friends declined to answer the emails he sent discussing his musical theories regarding computation science, game theory and paradigm shifts. Others of course were intrigued. Setting a deadline to transform his Hexadic pre-compositions into recorded songs, proactive procrastinator Chasny tackled this challenge enlisting drummer Noel Von Harmononson as what he called the signal-giver, and bassists Rob Fisk and Charlie Saufley. A behemoth work, the resulting whale-swallowing album will not surprise long-time fans who appreciate Chasny’s meta tendencies, but still manages to open up new abstract territories.

Citing the Surrealist parlor games of unmediated chance from the twenties as inspiration, Chasny invented a means to randomly assign tonal fields and intervals using an ordinary deck of playing cards to outline what notes were fair game and in what time span they could be played. As the cards were dealt into six sections he called it the Hexadic System and assembled thirty or so song ideas over several years. Chasny refers to the system as a contemplative exercise that blossoms under scrutiny and takes on different lives depending on the individual player. When asked whether the System helped break writer’s block he said he’s never really had a problem creating new music, but was looking to shake things up and discover combinations a conscious approach would never have unveiled.

Whereas the system’s guiding rules still allowed for major interpretation, the Hexadic album employs the initial event as a compositional launch-pad that could be ridden in any number of directions. While his original demos were acoustic in nature Chasny was interested in swinging these sounds into rawer, more electric realms. Chasny clarifies, “this recording was as much about pushing things out of their comfort zone as writing charts based on a game.”  The resulting effort is a spiraling ride through amorphous textures, deep-sixing roaring distortion inside intergalactic atmospheres; unpredictable and challenging, but oddly alluring and endless fascinating.

Touring the country to bring, “Hexadic,” on stage, Chasny plans to deliver a live version of the studio recording along with songs from, “Ascent,” but isn’t interested in bringing out the playing cards for live demonstrations. The finished product, he emphasizes, came from concerted interpretations of his acoustic demos. Crediting each player for their contributions Chasny is very happy with the results and is eager to work the material live. Never one to rest on their laurels, the barrier-breaking Six Organs of Admittance play Madison’s The Frequency April 22nd.

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Elicia Rocker

The Cervical Rock 2011

interview with Elicia Rocker
by Mike Huberty
June 2011

New Cervical cancer diagnoses occur in the United States over twelve thousand times a year and almost four thousand women die from the disease. Yet, it’s one of the most preventable cancers and death rates are declining due to ladies getting earlier and more regular testing. On Wednesday, August 3rd, the High Noon in Madison will host The Cervical Rock 2011, a benefit to make a difference someone personally affected by this disease. Featuring an all-star lineup of Madison hard rock, metal, punk, and indie bands, we talked to the benefit’s creator, Elicia Rocker of Extremely Rockin’ Photography about why she was inspired to get this thing going.

MI:What about your friends’ situation made you decide that you needed to help?

A: We have known each other our whole lives and she is one of the sweetest people I know and if it were me who ended up in this situation she would do the same thing. She is only 25 and works at a retail store where she does have insurance but it hasn’t covered much of her bills. She is very far in debt and scrapping by. When she came to me and told me about the bills in collections and needed some extra money to help get her car repaired, I decided enough is enough, you can’t heal when you are stressed about money or stressed at all. So I did what anyone in my position would do, I started putting together a benefit show.

 

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The Haunted Club Tavern in Middleton, WI

The Ghost of Club Tavern

An interview with Moose Werner, owner of the haunted Middleton music venue, Club Tavern
by Mike Huberty
March 2016

Middleton’s Club Tavern has been a mainstay for live music on the west side for decades. The bar itself has been around for a lot longer than that and was even featured in the 1975 book, “Blue-collar Aristocrats: Life-styles at a Working-class Tavern”, a sociological study that looked through the other end of the hippie spectrum during the Vietnam generation, but what excited me the most about the place was the fact that I’ve heard several times from the staff that the Club Tavern was haunted.

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