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Detroit's Dead String Brothers - photo by Doug Commbe

Dead String Brothers

by Kristen Winiarski
July 2008

Often compared to The Rolling Stones, the group, The Deadstring Brothers, is a mix of Detroit and London with a slight country-rock twang. Although neither of these cities reminds one of country music, the group succeeds in being a blend of country and rock, which is what its founder considers them to be. These two different, yet similar cities, collide together in the members: E. Travis Harrett on drums, Masha Marjieh on baking vocals and percussion, Jeff Cullum on bass and vocals, Pat Kenneally on piano and organ, Spencer Cullum on pedal steel, lap steel, and guitar, and Kurt Marschke on vocals and guitar. I had the opportunity to talk to the last of this list: Kurt Marschke.


Death On Two Wheels - photo by Brian Manley | Fun With Robots

Death On Two Wheels

by Tina Hall
April 2010

Atlanta based rock band, Death On Two Wheels features Trae Vedder (lead vocals and guitar), Andrew Knox (organ and piano), Paul Doss (lead guitar), David Fountain (bass), and Greg Neel (drums). Their new EP is set for release on Feb. 16. A new album is expected to be released by mid-year.

They are premiering two songs in the movie “The Violent Kind” at Sundance 2010. The two songs, Two Dollar Bills and Calling Us All Back Home also appear on their current release Separation of Church and Fate on Ghost Umbrella Records.

The film is brought to you by the award winning The Butchers Brothers; Mitchell Altieri and Phil Flores. It is produced by Michael Ferris Gibson, Jeffrey Allard (Texas Chainsaw Massacre), Andy Gould and Malek Akkad (Halloween), Jeremy Platt, and executive producer K’Dee Miller.

In celebration of the release of “The Violent Kind”, they are now offering both songs for free download at:

Maximum Ink: When was Death On Two Wheels formed?
Trae Vedder: Formed in late 2006, played our first show in late 2007, released our debut album in late 2008.

MI:  What are some of your influences?
TV: We draw heavily from 70’s rock bands, Steppenwolf to The Band, and everything in between. Personally, I draw from blues and soul classics like Lee Dorsey and R.L. Burnside. Modern bands we enjoy include Wilco, Foo Fighters, My Morning Jacket, The Whigs, and the Dewey Cox soundtrack.


Milwaukee's Decapitado featuring Dan Kubinski on cover of Maximum Ink in March 2004 - photo by Rokker


by Andrew Frey
March 2004

Most bands worry about making music to appease and please the masses. Not so with Decapitado. This Milwaukee trio is focusing on originality in an effort to maintain their sanity and produce high quality art. These guys are not newcomers to the music scene by any stretch. Each is currently in at least one other band outside Decapitado and each has been in several others before this as well. Bands like Fuck Face, Custom Grand, Boy Dirt Car, and Die Kruezen to mention a few.

Dan Kubinski (vocals/bass), Andy Keels (guitar) and Charles A. Mayer (drums) are Decapitado. Starting at the top, Andy fills us in about the band name. “The word decapitado appears in a newspaper clipping in the movie “Curdled.” I thought it was such a cool word. My wife said it would be a great band name. I was in three bands at that time, and this one fit the name best. The name symbolizes the world today; a lurching, twitching body, lumbering forward, unable to hear or think or see. It stands for the way too many of us live our lives.”


Deer Tick by Scott Alario  - photo by Scott Alario

Deer Tick

Deer Tick’s Ian O’Neil talks new album, live performance and songwriting
by Emily Genco
October 2011

It’s a good thing the band Deer Tick doesn’t spread illness like the woodland arachnids with the same name. Though, their reeling rock ballads that combine smoky vocals with rollicking guitars do infect listeners with urge to dance, shout along or at least bounce their glass to the beat on the bar. The Rhode Island five-piece will play The Majestic Sunday, November 13, supporting their latest album Divine Providence.


Def Leppard

Def Leppard

an interview with drummer Rick Allen
by Sarah H. Grant
July 2007

Of all the places you imagine rock stars go, the dog groomer is probably not one of them. Not so for Def Leppard’s thunder man Rick Allen, who woke up at seven o’clock to take his little cairn terrier, Ricky, to get his hair coiffed and paws manicured.

Then again, Rick Allen is no ordinary rock star. Joining the Leppards as a nineteen-year-old pup himself, Allen rode the effervescent wave of Britain’s heavy-metal renaissance on the brink of the eighties. With their trademark trickling vocals and opulent guitar riffs, the multiplatinum, Union-jack clad lads from Sheffield are one of the biggest-selling bands in the world. But their success did not come at a low price. On New Year’s Eve, 1984, Rick Allen walked away from a lethal auto accident with only one arm—a death knell for the career of a drummer. Two years later, Allen miraculously took the stage again, this time playing on a specially customized electronic drum kit which compensates for his handicap.

The resilient Rick Allen spoke to Maximum Ink, in his ever-cheery English accent, before Def Leppard churns the wheels of their unusually long three-year tour towards Summerfest 2007.


Def Leppard

Def Leppard

An interview with guitarist Phil Collen
by Tina Hall
May 2012

Phil Collen is best known as the guitarist for Def Leppard where he perfected the dual guitar style alongside Steve Clark that gave the band its signature sound. Before all of that he was a member of the rock band Girl. He can currently be found in Manraze as well with drummer Paul Cook(Sex Pistols) and Simon Laffy(Girl). Their sophmore album PunkFunkRootsRock is out now.  He can be found on tour with Def Leppard this summer headlining with Poison and Lita Ford.  Phil endorses the Jackson PC 1, a limited edition Jackson PC1 Splatter 30th Anniversary, and the Jackson PC Supreme.

Maximum Ink: Are you looking forward to hitting the road with Poison and Lita Ford later this year?
Phil Collen: Always. We’ve toured with Poison before in 2009 and we’ve known those guys for years. We’ve never toured with Lita but are looking forward to it.

MI: You have said you picked up the guitar as a means of self-expression. Do you think it is important for people to have an outlet that encourages the growth of the self?
PC: Absolutely especially kids when they don’t know how to express themselves with words. Grownups should have an outlet too…

MI: You seem to live a rather healthy lifestyle. Do you think it has helped you survive the rock n roll n roll lifestyle as well as you have?
PC: I guess so but I see people in their everyday lives not in the business, 10 to 15 years younger than me, in really bad shape. Not just physically because it’s not just about working out but pretty much all around in their lives.There seems to be an overall ‘agony’.To me it’s a no brainer.

MI: You are also working on a Physical Mechanics routine that involves muay thai, heavy cardio, and weight training. Can you tell our readers a little more about that, what exactly is muay thai? What is it like working with Jean Carrillo?
PC: Muay Thai is a martial arts Thai fighting style sometimes known as ‘Thai Boxing’. Jean Carrillo is a former European world champion and a five time world champion coach. I get the benefit of having someone who has such a vast knowledge train me in the same way he would train his fighters. There are lots of benefits. The physical, mental, and spiritual awareness that evolves is unsurpassed.


Default in 2001 - photo by Phil Hunt


by Sarah Klosterbuer
December 2001

When Dallas Smith auditioned for drummer Danny Craig and guitarist Jeremy Hora only two years ago, it was a new experience for him.  Before that, Smith’s vocal performances had been limited to singing along with the radio, but a decision that it was time to try it for real lead him to vie for the position of lead singer in Hora and Smith’s band.  It went well.

Today, the three of them, along with bassist Dave Benedict, are collectively known as Default, a Vancouver rock band whose buzz just keeps growing.  When asked if he had any idea back in 1999 that the band would have gained this level of success and notoriety so quickly, Smith replied, “Not even a .1% chance.  It’s like winning the lottery, really.  We can’t believe it.”


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