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Growing from Madison, WI


An interview with band members Brandon, Jesse, Paul, and Gage
by Michelle Braun
April 2016

Formerly known as Look I’m Burning, Growing is a metal band from Madison, Wisconsin featuring members Brandon Connor (vocals), Apostolos Holevas aka the boss (guitar), Jesse Chieffo (guitar), Paul Swift III (drums), and Gage Woodman (bass/vocals.) Between their hard work, unparalleled live performances, and brand new EP, Growing is easily becoming one of Madison’s finest, rising bands. Maximum Ink met with a few of the members in the basement of Frequency to discuss challenges they face as a band. They give us the hard facts of “growing” a band and the rundown on their show in Madison at The RedZone with Scale the Summit on Sunday, April 17th.


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An interview with Dave Bonson, organizer of Grrrls Kick Ass Fest
by Mike Huberty
August 2016

Forget the Lilith Fair, we’ve got something way better in Madison, GRRRLS KICK ASS FEST. Put together by local musician Dave Bonson, it’s the fourth year of a special female-centric show that features women in diverse acts like Milwaukee’s Annie B from THE COMPLICATION and Madison’s prog star Sarah Longfield in THE FINE CONSTANT. We talked with Dave about the show on September 4th.

MI: What gave you the idea for Grrrls Kick Ass Fest in the first place?

DB: When I was young a friend of mine introduced me to Bikini Kill. From there I went on to listen to Bratmobile, Sleater-Kinney, L7, X-Ray Spex and so on. I was hooked. I loved riot grrrl music. The attitude, overall confidence, and passion for what they believed in. They weren’t singing songs about fucking (although, that’s a great Big Black album) and they weren’t singing songs about how awesome it is to party and get fucked up. They were singing about what they believed matters and the way they did it too, you knew they meant every word. It was a huge inspiration to me for starting a festival like this.


Guided By Voices - photo by Daniel Coston

Guided By Voices

by Kurt Stream
June 2002

“Eh, I’m getting old,” causally remarked Robert Pollard, referring to his recent on-stage back injury from his home in Dayton, Ohio. The 44-year-old, former elementary school teacher is the singer, songwriter, and only permanent member of Guided By Voices, one of the greatest bands that most radio-friendly ears have never even heard of. But once exposed to the Guided By Voices empire, many will become borderline worshipers. Magnet magazine publisher Eric T. Miller has said that Pollard has written more great songs than the Beatles, the Who and the Rolling Stones combined. Last year, San Francisco Mayor Willie Brown went as far as declaring April 3, 2001 “Guided By Voices Day” in the city. In an age of utterly disposable bands like Limp Bizkit selling millions of records, this well-merited praise comes to a band that, after 17 years, finally made it to the billboard top 200 last year, peeking at 168.


Guido's Racecar featuring Max Ink's Lane Klozier on Drums (2nd from left)

Guido’s Racecar

by Kristen Winiarski
October 2008

Somewhat on-again off-again band, Guido’s Racecar has been on-again since 2007. Made up of Roni Allwaise on vocals, Mike Hoffman on guitar, Johnny Washday on bass and fellow Max Ink writer, Lane Klozier on drums, this relatively low-key “kinda glam & kinda punk [band]” as Allwaise calls it, had its start back in 1998. I had the opportunity to speak with Roni Allwaise.


Guitarist Richard Fortus

Guns n’ Roses

An interview with guitarist Richard Fortus
by Tina Hall
December 2011

Richard Fortus has graced the stage with artists like Rihanna,The Psychedelic Furs, Nena, Love Spit Love, Honky Toast, The Compulsions, Thin Lizzy, and most recently Guns N’ Roses, with a stage presence that is nothing short of amazing. His work with the music production company Compound has seen his work featured in various tv, film, advertising and videogame projects. Fans of the former television show Charmed have enjoyed his work on the theme song as well. His work ethic and drive led to his being one of the most sought after first call sessions artists in NYC.

Maximum Ink: Who were some of your earliest influences?
Richard Fortus: The Beach Boys, Beatles, Stones, Aerosmith, Black Sabbath, Pink Floyd, David Bowie, T Rex, Neil Young.

MI: As someone who has studied music professionally do you recommend formal training to others? What advice would you offer the musicians of tomorrow?
RF: It really depends on what you want to do. It’s definitely not necessary, but I always wanted to gain all the skills possible to be as good of a musician as possible. I always wanted to learn everything I could about music. You never stop learning.

MI: You started playing the violin and drums as a child. What made you want to become a guitarist?
RF: There were always guitars around the house when I was growing up. I was always pretty intimidated by them because they had 6 strings and I had my hands full with 4! I always loved guitar though. Guitars are just so sexy! 

When I was about 12, I used to jam with other kids and they started showing me stuff. I became fairly adept very quickly. I always hung around older kids that were much more advanced. They hung out with me because at a very young age, I was a pretty solid drummer and they all played guitar.



Guns n’ Roses

An interview with producer/Guns 'n Roses guitarist Ron "Bumblefoot" Thal
by Tina Hall
January 2012

Guitarist, songwriter, producer Ron “Bumblefoot” Thal is best known for his work as the guitarist of Guns n Roses since 2006. He has appeared on many various albums as a quest artist with nine albums credits of his own.  As writer his work can be found on various jingles, theme songs, and shows such as The Metal Show on Vh-1, Smallville, WWE Raw, Real World, Pimp My Ride, Hogan Knows Best, Osbournes, Made, Clone High, Road rules and countless others. With twenty years experience as a producer Ron has worked in a vast array of genres bring his unique musical vision to many projects. Thal is also a member of the MS Research Foundation Board of Directors.

Maximum Ink: Is it true that you could spell by the age of 2 before you could talk?
Ron ‘Bumblefoot’ Thal: Yes, but with time it flipped around. Now I can talk but can no longer spell.

MI: What is your fondest early memory?
RBT: Hmmmm, the first thing that popped in my head…birthday party when I turned 1. Big cake, parents’ friends & their kids, and they put this pointy party hat on me, I hated the fucking thing. It had an elastic string that went under the chin, fastened to the hat by a staple on each side. My hair in those spots right in front of my ears kept getting caught and pulled by the staples, was pissing me off. And I couldn’t figure out how to get the hat off, that elastic string turned the hat into some kind of skull super-magnet. I’d lift, move, let go, smack back on my head. And if I was making progress some sadistic giant would reposition the hat and I’d have to start from scratch. I’ve kept my distance from such hats since. But yeah, other than that wardrobe malfunction it was a good night, earliest memory of some good partyin’.

MI: You have stated that from an early age you didn’t need most people. Do you think that is a good thing to learn considering the whole issues of trust and loyalty?
RBT: I’ve just never liked dependency. I’ve always been able to entertain myself just fine, stay busy, I usually flourish when I’m alone, undistracted, I’m more productive, body and mind both get stronger, my interests grow, get new skills. Only problem with that is in the end everybody is depending on you, you’re the ‘Go To’ Guy for everything, and if you’re not able to say NO for 99% of it you become nothing more than everyone’s life support system wherever you turn. And that’s when life becomes empty and questionable - when you slowly realize you’re just a fucking carcass getting picked at until there’s nothing left. I believe in being wanted, not needed. Being wanted is by choice. Being needed drains my batteries.



An interview with Lead Vocalist, Oderus Urungerus and Bassist, Beefcake the Almighty
by Edub
April 2012

Maximum Ink: This is E-Dub from Max Ink Radio hanging out at The Majestic Theatre in Madison, WI with Oderus Urungus and Beefcake the Almighty.  12 Studio releases, 22 videos, a couple of grammy nominations
Oderus: We’re ashamed of those, of course….

MI: And yet you still find the time to rape, murder, and pillage…How do you manage to keep that schedule?


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