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Billy Gibbons - photo by Blain Clausen

Billy Gibbons

Baby, That Is Rock ‘n’ Roll
by Sal Serio
January 2016

Just when it seemed like the year was wrapped up as far as major interviews were concerned, the opportunity came about for Maximum Ink writer Sal Serio to conduct some Q&A with none other than music legend and Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame inductee Billy Gibbons, obviously of ZZ Top fame. Billy and his current touring band The BFGs play the Pabst Theater in Milwaukee on Saturday, January 30.

MAXIMUM INK:  A Slim Harpo song starts off your new solo CD ‘Perfectamundo’. To you, what is the geographical difference in blues music? Texas blues as compared to Chicago, Kansas City, Mississippi, or wherever. Which came first in your musical vocabulary: blues or rock ‘n roll?

BILLY GIBBONS:  [My] first real exposure to live blues was a man from Mississippi, who was based in Memphis at the time, who was recording in Houston, but whose most celebrated album was ‘Live At The Regal’, which was recorded in Chicago! It was B.B. King, of course, and I got to see him record in my home town thanks to some strings pulled by my Dad, when I was about 7 or 8. I guess I’m saying that blues has no boundaries and is all interconnected. There wouldn’t have been a Chicago scene if blues cats hadn’t come up from Mississippi. Texas cats tended to gravitate to Kansas City, but there was lots of cross pollination. Slim Harpo, by the way, was from Louisiana, so you could very well say “all and none of the above.” A few years before that encounter with B.B. King I got to see Elvis perform, and, as the song goes, “baby, that is rock ’n’ roll.”


Fiona Grey on the cover of Maximum Ink for September 2018

Fiona Grey

An interview with Dark Pop singer/songwriter, Fiona Grey
by Mike Huberty
September 2018

Fiona Grey is modern Top 40-ready Pop with a million dollar voice. Passionate and powerful, this Chicagoland native went west to LA to find her muse and has found success on a national tour with the band KITTEN (opening for huge artists like CHARLI XCX). Striking out on her own with her EP, Belladona, she’s following it up with a new EP Cult Classic coming out September 14th as well as a full North American tour. Her and her band are stopping by the Wisco on Sunday September 9th to play a show in Madison (this might be the only time that you get to see a mainstream-style Pop band at the Wisco, so it’s definitely gonna be something different for that place!) We talked to her about what everyone can expect for a Sunday night party on Willy Street.


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G. Love & Special Sauce

G. Love & Special Sauce

by John Noyd
March 2010

Deconstructing preconceptions, Philadelphia’s G. LOVE set 1993 on fire as a “white boy” daring to integrate the blues into hip-hop. Seventeen years later he’s still tearing up the joint, jamming and jiving. Appearing March 5th at Milwaukee’s Turner Hall and March 6th at Madison’s Barrymore, G. was kind enough to sit down with MAXIMUM INK and answer a few questions.

Maximum Ink: According to Muddy Waters the blues had a child and called it rock and roll. Where does funk and hip-hop come in?
G. Love: I think funk was basically blues on the one. John Lee Hooker would do his blues on the one and then James Brown and that generation flipped the backbeat and it was a whole new sound. Hip Hop is basically musically simplified funk with the voice of the youth on top. Hip Hop became the voice of the next generation (for the past 3 generations).


Gabriel and the Apocalypse by Brandon Wu - photo by Brandon Wu

Gabriel and the Apocalypse

An interview with vocalist Lindy Gabriel
by Aaron Manogue
December 2011

“Longevity comes from doing something different and having artistic integrity.” These words, spoken by Lindy Gabriel, lead vocalist of Minneapolis’ own Gabriel and the Apocalypse Lindy Gabriel explain her life surrounded by music and doing what it takes to make it in a music industry oversaturated with bands. Her voice and sound transcend a lifetime of musical, personal and intellectual experiences, accompanied by guitar drum and bass work that flows like brush onto easel painting a hard rock masterpiece. There are so many bands out there today, sometimes it’s hard to find your way through all the clutter, but Gabriel and the Apocalypse are definitely a diamond in the rough. Maximum Ink’s Aaron Manogue sat down with the band’s talented vocalist Lindy Gabriel to discuss their music, her upbringing and their experience so far in the crazy music industry.

Maximum Ink: Tell me about when you first started singing. Where and how did you get your start? Did you always know you wanted to sing rock and metal?
Lindy Gabriel: I started singing when I was six years old. I always knew I wanted to sing and be a performer. I grew up with it. My parents have been playing in rock bands for many, many years, even before I was born. I started playing bass and guitar at the age of ten and started my first real band at eleven, playing gigs and all. This is what I have always done.


Gates of Babylon

Gates of Babylon

An interview with the entire all-girl metal band from Cleveland and Detroit
by Tina Hall
October 2010

Gates of Babylon is an all-female metal band comprised of Suzie Reagen on guitar and vocals, Jessi Carrick on lead vocals, Kristen Woutersz on guitar, Nikki Collins on drums, and Sarah Stonebraker on bass. They currently claim Cleveland, Ohio and Detroit, MI as home.

The band, though unsigned, has developed quite a following from Ohio to Michigan. They will be featured in the upcoming November issue of Revolver Magazine - Hottest Chicks in Metal Special Edition. With so little known about them it was an honor to have the chance to bring our readers up to speed.

Maximum Ink: When you where growing up did you ever see yourself as part of an all-female metal band?
Kristen: No, but I always imagined myself playing guitar in a band and being in the music industry. I would dream about performing on stage when I was a kid.
Jessi: Never! I have always loved music and being a part of bands, but was never looking to be part of an all girl band. Originally, I started out in a completely different genre of music. I was playing indie/folk music on acoustic guitar and singing. I had also been in a rock band for a year or two. I knew very little about metal until I met these girls. I love our music though, and am having so much fun playing with all girls in the metal genre.
Sarah: I would fantasize about it sometimes especially growing up seeing groups such as Spice Girls, Josie & The Pussycats, Kittie, Jack Off Jill, etc. (LOL, hey at least I’m being honest here). I ended up actually being in an all male band before joining GOB.
Suzie: Not when I was growing up. I played classical guitar when I was a kid and I hated it. lol. But I also know that if I wouldn’t have had that at an early age chances are I wouldn’t be playing now. (thanks mom) When I was about 11, I hit an age of curiosity. I started to discover music. I started listening to Marilyn Manson and a lot of the grunge stuff. I was just in awe. All I ever wanted to do was listen to music. It was like food to my brain! I didn’t care about anything else!  When my mother would make me go to church, it was so boring I would sit in the last row and draw pictures of me playing instruments and being in a band. I think in a sense i have always wanted this from an early age, I would fantasize about being in a band. I used to play guitar for the church, but I hated it. lol.


Gear & Beer Fest II

Gear & Beer Fest II

an interview with founder Wendy Schneider
by Teri Barr
September 2017

Musical gear, and craft beer. It doesn’t get much more Wisconsin than this event. The must-attend gathering is Gear and Beer Fest, and it’s happening at the East Side Club in Madison, starting at noon on Sunday, September 24, 2017.

And the brains behind it?

The fearless leader of Coney Island Studios in Madison, Wendy Schneider, best known recently for her work on the Smart Studios documentary. “Coney Island recorded bands for a long time, around 20 years ago,” Schneider says. “I’ve resurrected the idea of Coney Island as a brand for local music, but instead it’s now focused on presenting events, and producing films that include local or midwest-based music at the core.”


The German Art Students, who aren't really German art students at all, hail from Madison, Wisconsin

The German Art Students

by David A. Kulczyk
March 2003

The German Art Students are in a time vortex and they are happy about it. Formed in the summer of 1997 by Kirk Wall and Andy Larson and joined by Annelies Howell and Randy Ballwahn the next year, GAS detained the 80’s sound of their college when every city had it’s own sound and you risked getting attacked by rednecks and frat boys for not looking like them.  People like The German Art Students fought for your look and so it is their prerogative to play like it’s still 1984.

Over the years they have gather much press and praise and in 2001 they were one of the top 50 finalists for the Coca-Cola New Music Award presented by the American Music Awards and sponsored by CMJ. Rock and Roll legend Dick Clark personally gave them a listen.  They’ve also gotten some great opening slots for Half Japanese, The Poster Children, Jonathon Richman, Gigolo Aunts, House of Large Sizes and The Returnables.  With the press drooling over their latest CD, “Kissing by the Superconductor,” and performing like the early The Who in just about every municipality, burb and metropolis between Chicago and Brainard, MN a lot has been written about the German Art Students but here are some things that you didn’t know.


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