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King Llama - photo by Chad Elder

KING LLAMA

An interview with Ryan Bailey, Guitarist for King LLama
by Mike Huberty
October 2017

Progressive music takes precision and concentration. Time signatures change, genres bend in and out into one another, and a song can start in one place and end somewhere entirely unexpected. It’s this adventurous fusion of jazz, rock, and funk that KING LLAMA prides themselves on. A Los Angeles power trio consisting of guitarist Ryan Tanner Bailey, drummer Luis Briones, and bassist Nico Staub, KING LLAMA has toured from Illinois to Argentina with their instrumental fusion and they’re coming back to the Midwest on their latest tour. We talked with Ryan to get a little taste of what the intrepid music of KING LLAMA is all about.

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317 ViewsPermalinkKING LLAMA Website

Kittie

An interview with vocalist/guitarist Morgan Lander
by Aaron Manogue
September 2011

Is it just me or does it seem like the biggest thing in hard rock and metal lately is to throw a pretty face up on stage and hand her a microphone and pray that the fans take notice? Record labels using the age-old sex appeal to sell records. The thing that happens then typically, is that pretty face is nothing more than just that, a pretty face. This isn’t the case when it comes to the metal shredders in Kittie. Not only do they all have that pretty face to start off, but then they leave your asses thinking, “What the hell is this? I love it!” The femme-fatale quartet are maidens of destruction on their new album “I’ve Failed You” and continue to produce high-quality, ass-kicking metal that erases the underlying notion of an all-female metal band. They’ve demolished so many mosh pits and ruptured so many ear drums that they are simply a bad ass metal band with immense talent and enviable stage presence.  Maximum Ink’s Aaron Manogue sat down with lead vocalist and guitarist Morgan Lander to talk about why they chose metal, their new album and the personal struggle purveyed throughout it.

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Madison's Know Boundaries in Maximum Ink in April 2008

Know Boundaries


by Dan Vierck
April 2008

Know Boundaries, speaking simply, is indefinable. Calling them rap-rock is misleading because they’re, you know, good. Allowing for a more complicated definition, they describe their intention “[to] mix hip hop and rock and not make them two separate styles of music but just one music using the power in both.”

The six-piece, six-year Madison veterans have opened for groups as disparate as Cypress Hill and the Gin Blossoms. They’ve been sponsored by Budweiser’s True Music program, won multiple Madison Area Music Awards and have been showcased at numerous industry conferences.

The band is exceptional in that it follows through on its intention. The music of Know Boundaries has the energy and power of all exciting and powerful music, tastefully brought together in one sound. The rhythm is heavy - a deceivingly simple drum beat paired with an ambitious and audible, but not overpowering bass. This leaves the guitar to flit around on the high end mostly, ducking back into the general groove for the lush hooks and choruses. Out front the band flaunts a cooperative rap-rock ying yang. An easy symbol of the band’s musical ambition, the rapper and singer twist around with each other, always in support - never detracting from one another’s parts. Through all this the keys (a decked out and supplemented-with-gizmos Rhodes) steer this would-be chaotic ship through melodies that don’t get old when they repeat-they get stronger.

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Kodo Drummers

Kodo Drummers


by John Noyd
February 2009

In Japanese the word “Kodo” conveys two meanings: “heartbeat” the primal source of all rhythm and, “children of the drum,” a reflection of Kodo’s desire to play their drums simply, with the heart of a child. Bringing their One Earth tour to Madison’s Overture Center on February 21st Japan’s premiere taiko drumming ensemble continue their quest to unite the world through sound, transcending cultural barriers to remind us of our membership in that larger community—the world.  Taiko is not simply percussion,” long-time Kodo member Akimoto explains. “It’s a part of life, and part of communities. It unites people with people, and also people with nature and even with gods.” Community is a central theme in Kodo’s philosophy. More than a musical group, it is a village that harvests rice, runs a two-year apprentice program, and even crafts eco-friendly Earth Furniture. In concert, the thundering drums startle and mesmerize, racing in arresting rhythms that rumble in war-like marches and ripple in whimsical jigs, seismic salutations whose relentless beats collapse consciousness, altering moods and elevating the spirit in collective thought. A venerable tradition nearly thirty years old, Kodo is a sight to behold, a forceful reminder of individuals working together, united in a common goal.

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2937 ViewsPermalinkKodo Drummers Website
Kodo Drummers

Kodo Drummers


by Andrew Frey
March 2005

The first drum beat each of us experience is our mother’s heartbeat. This drumming continues as our own heartbeat propels us through each day of our existence. On Sado Island near Japan, the group known as KODO express their own heartbeats through drums. Taiko drums to be exact.“

Historically, every culture has had their own kind of drum. It can be considered as “a tool shared by all mankind,” explained Jun Akimoto, KODO’s tour manager. “It definitely has the “power” and “possibility” to appeal to and connect the people all over the world.”

During their performances, the KODO performers are clad in sweatbands and loincloths and meticulously beat their drums to create rhythms and patterns as old as our collective human heartbeat, yet as new as the ears that hear them. Drums with names like “Hirado-daiko” (flat-barrel drum), “Chu-daiko” (middle-sized drum) and the giant 800 pound “O-daiko,” (a double headed drum made from the trunk of an African Bubinga tree and the hide of a large cow) all have been chosen and woven into tightly composed and choreographed rhythmic and musical tapestries. KODO have given over 2600 performances in 42 countries on all five continents since their debut at the Berlin Festival in 1981. When asked about a favorite among their live performances, Akimoto replied, “All the performances we’ve done are memorable in their own way but to name one, the outdoor concert that we did at Red Rocks, Colorado in 2002 as part of a music festival made a lasting impression as the venue was unique. Also our concert at The Acropolis (in Greece) was amazing.”

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5072 ViewsPermalinkKodo Drummers Website

Korn

An interview with drummer Ray Luzier of Korn
by Aaron Manogue
July 2012

There have been very few bands in the history of metal that have paved the way for other bands much like Korn did in the ’90s. The biggest thing that people don’t realize is that with their latest change toward dubstep is that change is Korn’s mode of operation. They came onto the scene with a new form of metal that would later be dubbed numetal and quickly became one of the world’s most recognizable sounds.

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2088 ViewsPermalinkKorn WebsiteKorn MySpaceKorn Wiki
Korn on the cover of Maximum Ink in March 2006, the Ten Year Anniversary Issue, and the second time Korn made the cover - photo by Paul Gargano

Korn - 2006


by Paul Gargano
March 2006

In an era where nameless, faceless and meaningless have become standards, Korn have transcended hard rock and heavy metal banality with a sound and vision that defies categorization. They bubbled from the Bakersfield, CA, heavy metal underground more than a decade ago, emerged as a hard rock phenomenon with the breakthrough success of Follow The Leader in 1997, and have exceeded any and every conceivable expectation since then. It may seem premature to consider Korn legends in only their second decade as a band, but not when you acknowledge the facts.

Impressed by numbers? Korn have released seven albums, surpassed the 25 million mark in worldwide sales (more than 15 million of those in America alone), and have had every album since their self-titled debut enter the Billboard Top 200 Album Chart in the Top 10, with all seven of their studio albums achieving Platinum sales (their 2004 Greatest Hits release is certified Gold). The numbers don’t lie, but they don’t even begin to tell the story of Korn, who not only redefined heavy metal with the diabolic, cutting-edge histrionics of their 1994 debut, but turned the industry on end in the years that followed, having a profound influence on today’s heavy music scene and making a marked impact on the way metal has reemerged as a sonic force on the pop-driven musical mainstream.

In one fleeting decade, Korn have single-handedly changed the way America views heavy music. Now, with the release of See You On The Other Side, they’ve opened the doors to even more disarray, taking their trademarked sound to the next level. It’s what they’ve always done, but to even more astonishing depths.

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