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Jane's Addiction's Perry Farrel and Stephen Perkins, on the cover of Max Ink Mar/2012

Jane’s Addiction

An interview with drummer Stephen Perkins
by Dan "EJ" Schneiderman
March 2012

In 1985, the Los Angeles music scene was mostly hair metal bands trying to make it to super stardom. But a little known underground scene was being born with original bands playing new alternative music. One of those bands was Jane’s Addiction. Today, over 25 years later, Jane’s is still pumping out great music with an L.A. vibe. With their new album The Great Escape Artist finally out, and tons of 2012 tour dates booked, I spoke with Jane’s Addiction’s drummer, Stephen Perkins, about the new CD and tour and other good stuff.

Maximum Ink: Hi Stephen, my name is EJ, I’m with Maximum Ink Music Magazine and Maxinkradio, how are you doing today?
Stephen Perkins: I feel great man, it’s been a really good day,  I’ve got a 2 year old son, so I’ve spent the whole day with him, and now I’m on my way to rehearsal with the boys.

MI: What is the meaning behind the title The Great Escape Artist?
SP: It’s a personal thing like everybody, it really, with all the bullshit, no matter what year you look at, 2012 or 1812 there is always bullshit in the way of enjoying yourself. And what are we here for, I think we are here for art and sex. Let Jane’s Addiction be your art and sex, escape with us. Get away from everything else you’re fucking dealing with, put on this record, just like when we used to put on Sgt Peppers record, or I used to put on Physical Graffiti, which I still do and just get away from it all, let the music take you. Don’t let it do it 30 seconds at a time, go away for a half hour.

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JD Wiles & The Dirt Daubers  - photo by Joshua Black Wilkins

JD Wilkes and the Dirt Daubers

An interview with Kentucky Colonel and Rockabilly Legend, JD Wilkes
by Mike Huberty
August 2014

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Rocker from the Bluegrass State and real-deal “Kentucky Colonel” (an honor bestowed by the governor on notable Kentuckians), JD Wilkes, still leads popular punkabilly (seriously revved up 50s style rock n’ roll) LEGENDARY SHACK SHAKERS, but on the side he’s developed a formidable side project called JD WILKES AND THE DIRT DAUBERS.

Originally an acoustic group that played old-time songs, the Dirt Daubers feature JD on vocals and harmonica and his wife Jessica singing and playing standup bass. However, for their latest album, “Wild Moon”, they’ve plugged in electric style and have made a bluesy and soulful rock record that can fit perfectly next to THE BLACK KEYS or JACK WHITE. It’s a Southern Gothic spin on modern blues and “Wild Moon” is even produced by punk legend, Cheetah Chrome (ROCKET FROM THE TOMBS, DEAD BOYS), and is being released on his label, Plowboy Records. They’re coming to Wisconsin on September 24th at the Shitty Barn in Spring Green and on the 25th at The Lyric Room in Green Bay. We got a few minutes with JD to preview the upcoming shows.

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The Jeff Carlson Band

The Jeff Carlson Band

An interview with Singer/Songwriter Jeff Carlson
by Tina Ayres
August 2018

Potomac Records newest artist The Jeff Carlson Band recently released their newest single, the power ballad Never Be Another You. Deeply influenced by the so-called glam and hair metal bands of the 1980’s the band likes to deliver up power ballads in the same tradition.

Maximum Ink: Can you tell us a little about what first peaked your interest in music?
Jeff Carlson
: What peaked my first initial interest in music was my mother took me to see Kiss in 1975, as well as Black Oak Arkansas-and I got to meet Jim Dandy Mangrum- the singer. He was the guy that David Lee Roth took everything from as far as looks and stage moves go. That made a HUGE impact on me as a kid! Kiss made a HUGE impact on me as well…they were just the coolest!
MI: Who were some of your influences?
JC: My influences…let’s see…

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Jesse Sykes and the Sweet Hereafter on the cover of Maximum Ink in April 2005

Jessie Sykes and the Sweet Hereafter


by David A. Kulczyk
April 2005

Ever since two cavemen started beating sticks on hollow logs it has apparently been the goal of musicians to be louder. Symphony orchestras, Celtic, Polka, bluegrass, country, rock and roll and sometimes-even jazz, strive to amp up the volume. Now I love nothing better than to have my eardrums blown out by great live music, but not long ago I found myself on a road, miles from any sign of human inhabitation. I stopped my car and stepped outside. The quietness was deafening. A rushing white noise, phase shifted through my ears, like the beginning of some bad rock song from the 1970’s, but after a few minutes I started picking out the chirping of birds and insects. A minute later I could hear the leaves of trees rustling in the slight breeze. I was amazed at the complex audio beauty of a seemingly silence place. The same thing happened to me the first time I saw Jesse Sykes and the Sweet Hereafter. There are few bands in the world as quiet as Jesse Sykes and the Sweet Hereafter. You can literally hear a beer glass fall on the floor while they are performing.

Fresh off a twenty-day tour of 2,000 seat theaters opening for Bright Eyes, Jesse Sykes and the Sweet Hereafter is hitting the road again. Their latest CD, “Oh My Girl” on Barsuk Records has been selling steadily and has landed on the Best of 2004 lists by such notable publications as the New York Times, The L.A. Weekly, Harp and Maximum Ink.  The band isn’t resting on its laurels.  “When you get home from a tour,” said Jesse, “it’s like, what do I do?”

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Jethro Tull

Jethro Tull


by Justin Beckner
June 2010

Jethro Tull has tiptoed behind the scenes of mainstream rock music for almost 50 years. They brought an element of class and sophistication to popular music and won over their audiences with witty lyrics and an original sound that blended elements of nearly every style of music. Throughout the years they dared to be different and became something great. The following is an interview with charismatic frontman, Ian Anderson.

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Jillette Johnson

Jillette Johnson

An Interview with Singer-Songwriter Jillette Johnson
by John Noyd
March 2014

Singer-songwriter Jillette Johnson began performing at the tender age of twelve, but years in the business have done nothing to harden her outlook on making music. Balancing piano-driven intimacy with an urgent openness, her songs are both quietly inviting and boldly direct, building into a floodgate of swirling emotions that sweep in unexpected leaps while holding fast to rock-solid beliefs; traversing romantic semantics and sexual politics with daring diplomacy wrapped around vampish fantasy. Still only in her early twenties, Jillette’s dramatic pathos reveal a tenacious optimist skillfully capturing life’s passionate battles in surging orchestrations, lyrical twists and boundless bravado; gracefully capturing love’s inevitable turbulence with a sure hand and a steady heart. In anticipation of her forthcoming visit to Madison, we sat down and asked her a few questions. 

MAXIMUM INK: When did you first feel you had something to offer the world?

JILLETTE JOHNSON: I was four and I told my dad I wanted to be a rock star.

MI: Were you musically precocious, unnaturally imaginative or prematurely literate?

JJ: Yes, yes, and yes. I was quite a little hurricane.

MI: What other outlets does your creative energy express itself?

JJ: I have an affinity for vintage coats.

MI: What aspect of your personality might be construed as a blessing and a curse?

JJ: I’m unabashedly wide-eyed.

MI: If you could change one thing about yourself what would that be?

JJ: I wish I had more control over my lust for vintage coats… and my anxiety.

MI: What do you find to be the most difficult idea to capture in song?

JJ: Whatever it is I’m going through right that moment. I’m a nostalgically emotional writer. In other words I usually need some time to process before I can write a song about it.

MI: What songwriters have inspired you and in what ways might you try to emulate them?

JJ: Carole King in her simplicity and sincerity; Paul Simon in his wit, lyrical rhythm and sense of pop; Joni Mitchell in her whimsy and her everything; Randy Newman in his ironic sadness.

A charming and dynamic performer, Ms.. Johnson visits Madison’s The Frequency April 2nd opening for indie-pop rocker WAKEY! WAKEY! and performing songs from her Wind-up Records debut, “Water In A Whale.”

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Joan Osborne on the cover of Maximum Ink in May 1996 - photo by Dave Leucinger

Joan Osborne


by Dave Leucinger
May 1996

If God were one of us, and his tour of duty brought him to Milwaukee, it’s a safe bet that he’d fill more seats than Joan Osborne did at the Modjeska Theater. Not as safe a bet is whether he’d be able to sing as well.

With five Grammy nominations under her belt, the question wasn’t if Osborne would sell out the 1,800 seat Modjeska, it was how quickly. Imagine the surprise when hundreds of tickets remained minutes before the Kentucky native took the stage May 11. The crowd was sparse – you could walk to within ten feet of the stage without a problem – but its diversity read like an open book on Osborne’s critically-acclaimed major-label debut, Relish.

There were the pop fans, weaned on the radio friendly “one of Us;” the music fans attracted to the show by Osborne’s endearing spirit and warm, folkish charm; and those that fell in between, more than willing to bask in the glow of songs that aren’t motivated by anger and rage.

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