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Drown on the cover of Maximum Ink in April 1999

Drown


by Paul Gargano
April 1999

Say what you will about America as it races towards the millennium, but the country is soft. Where else in the world does Matchbox 20 sell 10 million records? Where else have politically correctness and money-hungry lawyers made it hazardous to speak your mind? And politics being what they are, where else can a mockery of a sex scandal not cause a country to reassess their moral and ethical standards? Yes, America in the 20th century can’t boast the hardest of inhabitants. In fact, with hundreds of television stations, the Internet offering the world at our fingertips, and Domino’s promising a piping-hot pizza in “30-minutes-or-less,” we’ve got little reason to leave the house. In a world ruled by survival of the fittest, we could be doomed, but don’t tell that to Drown.

In a music industry seldom recognized for rational thinking, Drown—frontman Lauren, guitarist Patrick Sprawl, bassist Sean Demott and drummer Marco Forcone—have survived more adversity than any one band should have to face. They’ve proved they’re amongst the fittest, and Product of a Two Faced World is their double-fisted heart punch to an industry that’s stabbed them in the back a few too many times. With debut Hold on to the Hollow unveiled in 1994 by Elektra Records, and the following three years bogged down by bureaucracy, last year’s Product of a Two Faced World, the band’s sophomore release and first for Slipdisc/Mercury, provided vindication. “No more days putting faith where it doesn’t belong, I’ve been held down here for too goddamn long. Seen you all come and go and I’ve been led on. But I am still alive and I proved you wrong,” charges frontman Lauren in “1605 (for my suffering),” a crushing condemnation from a band that refuses to go away, let alone quietly.

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Drowning Pool on the cover of Maximum Ink in November 2001 RIP Dave!

Drowning Pool


by Paul Gargano
November 2001

Don’t let their casual charm and effervescent personalities fool you, on the package tour dubbed Music As A Weapon, Drowning Pool ‘s performance is the equivalent of stumbling into the ammunition hold and dropping a lit stick of dynamite. Sure, Disturbed have earned their stripes and deserve their place atop the tour they assembled, but if the headliners are the United States Navy, Drowning Pool are the Navy Seals, sneaking up on the unsuspecting crowd with stealth, and attacking with a sonic spray that numbs the senses.

Granted, it’s getting harder for Drowning Pool to “sneak up” on anyone, especially given the breakthrough success of their debut single “Bodies,” one of the most potent metal hits this side of Pantera ‘s “Walk.” The song is a smash even becoming the theme music for the World Wrestling Federation’s recent plotlines, but the acclaim it’s brought with it isn’t all it’s cracked up to be.

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 - photo by Phil Hunt

Drowning Pool

An Interview with guitarist CJ Pierce
by Karli Norton
November 2014

The superstitious better say their prayers, because Drowning Pool is bringing the “unlucky” full force. After 13 years, the band is re-releasing their 2001 album ‘Sinner.’ The expanded reissue is a two-disc set with remastered originals as well as 13 demo tracks including “Soul” and “Hero Sleeping”, the last song to be recorded with the band’s first singer Dave Williams, whose untimely death in 2002 at the age of 30 marked an unlucky end to a rising star. The current tour is a chance for new fans to see some of these classic songs live. Max Ink caught up with guitarist CJ Pierce out on the road.

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Drummer, the band

Drummer


by Joshua Miller
October 2009

In this unsettled world, it’s important to treasure all your feel good moments.

That’s the mentality members of Akron, Ohio, band DRUMMER apply to their music and lives. As the frigid winter kept their state tightly in its grasp this past February, the five musicians of Drummer - including Patrick Carney, drummer for critically acclaimed band the Black Keys - set out in the settings of Carney’s basement to renew old friendships and have a good time making music.

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The Reverend Eddie Danger

Five Favorites: Eddie Danger

One-man band Reverend Eddie Danger tackles the Five Favorites challenge
by John Noyd
January 2015

Carefree and upbeat, the chipper singer-songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, live looper and ordained minister Eddie Danger is a constant beacon of entertaining goodwill on the Midwest folk circuit. A grade-school sax player who got kicked out of his high school jazz band, the Reverend reintroduced himself to music when he attended a Grateful Dead concert at eighteen and started participating in drum circles. Decades into his journey, the sunshine shaman has amassed an eclectic collection of international instruments and a lifetime’s worth of tall tales. A creative dynamo, Danger’s eleventh studio effort, last year’s naturally affable, “If and When,” showcases his versatility at various strings, keyboards, percussion and woodwinds; peppering his casual folk-blues ballads with colorful characters and true-life experiences to conjure a friendly intimacy that bolsters the spirit and warms the soul. We caught up with the mellow minstrel and asked him about a few of his favorite things.

MAXIMUM INK: Do you have a favorite album from your childhood?
EDDIE DANGER: The first cassette tape I owned was the Ghostbusters soundtrack. I was really into They Might Be Giants in my younger days. I grew up in the birthplace of emo music and never really fit in there.

MI: What’s your favorite local venue that no longer exists?
ED: Feel Good Music & Art Festival in Amherst, WI from 2004-2010.

MI: What’s your favorite cookie and why?
ED: Gluten free pot cookies… but only one. Too much pot food makes me freak out!

MI: Do you have a favorite author whose voice has informed your songs?
ED: Reading is one of my biggest sources for lyrical content. I’m currently reading Occult Science by Rudolf Steiner (the father of Waldorf Education & Biodynamic Farming). I just wrote a song that was inspired by my evolutionary astrology report from Ryan Evans. My song “Shipwrecked” was written after I read the book Life of Pi.

MI: Where’s your favorite place to get away from it all?
ED: I practice Kriya Yoga and Meditation twice a day. The best escape is to still your mind and stretch your spine. Meditation allows me to dial into the creative energy flowing everywhere.

Catch Eddie in February where he wraps up dates with the Steel City Jug Slammer Tour, plays The Root Note in LaCrosse on the 11th, a Mardi Gras show at Madison’s Up North Pub on the 17th and finishes up the month at the Historic Trempealeau Hotel on the 28th. For more information click onto www.eddiedanger.com

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Ronnie James Dio

Ronnie James Dio

Six Decades of Ronnie James Dio
by Jeff Muendel
June 2010

Six decades. That is the span through which Ronnie James Dio (born Ronald James Padavona) was a rock‘n’ roll professional. With his death last month on May 16, an incredible music career ended. Dio was best known for his work in heavy metal, and in fact he became a cultural icon – one often steeped in humor – for the exaggerated posturing and fantastical lyrics that are a rich part of the genre. His introduction of the “metal horns” hand sign cemented it. To be sure, Dio immersed himself in such things, but it’s interesting to note that his musical career actually took him through several rock‘n’roll genres.

In 1958, a band from upstate New York called Ronnie And The Red Caps released their first 7-inch single on a small label called Reb Records. They could be described as a doo-wop group. Ronnie James Dio was the singer of that band, and the vinyl single began his professional recording career. Dio went on to form a group called Elf that also garnered a recording deal. That band, which had their first release in the late sixties, could be best described as boogie rock. But Dio’s strong voice set the group apart from many of the hippie bands of the time, lending a power to the band that was unusual.

Elf got a big break by landing opening slots for Deep Purple

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Sue DaBaco & Wise Fools

Sue DaBaco & Wise Fools


by Mike Huberty
January 2009

An Illinois native whose star is on the rise in the Milwaukee blues scene, lead guitarist and frontwoman, Sue DaBaco came to southeastern Wisconsin a decade ago after playing in Chicago’s Buzz Kilman And The All Bubba Blues Band for years. She solidified the lineup of her band, WISE FOOLS, four years ago with Scott Walters on bass and Darrel Douglas on drums. A power trio that started off as primarily blues but has “morphed into a progressive rock-blues thing”, according to DaBaco.

Raised on the still-ubiquitous 70’s rock sound of bands like Fleetwood Mac, Rush, and Heart, DaBaco says Jimi Hendrix is still her favorite, but she also incorporates influences like Clapton, Stevie Ray Vaughn, and Sonny Landreth. WISE FOOLS has been performing regularly throughout Wisconsin, being an annual Summerfest favorite, and even opening up for big classic rock names like Peter Frampton, Eddie Money, and Jefferson Starship, along with more straight-up blues musicians like Koko Taylor, Lonnie Brooks, and The Fabulous Thunderbirds.

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