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Listening Party from Milwaukee, WI

Listening Party

An interview with Weston Mueller from Milwaukee's Listening Party
by Mike Huberty
July 2016

Milwaukee’s LISTENING PARTY is downhome Americana folk, soothing and smooth vocal harmonies over acoustic guitars with a little electric piano and clean electric guitar layering extra melodies over the top. If you’re into TRAMPLED BY TURTLES or THE LUMINEERS, you’ll find lots to enjoy listening to their songs. Musicians Weston Mueller, Joshua Hester, and Jacob Wood just released LISTENING PARTY’s self-titled debut on May 6th and I talked to Weston to get some background on the band and their upcoming show at Atwoodfest on Saturday July 30th at 2:15pm on the Harmony Bar Stage (in the parking lot of Monty’s Blue Plate Diner.)


Little Red Wolf

Little Red Wolf

by Troy Johnson
May 2011

Success is happening fast for Little Red Wolf. The four Madison women who make up the group and have been writing multidimensional folk based pop songs together since 2008. Each member of LRW is well-versed in various instruments and the singers harmonize like a group that has been together for years. With influences ranging from seminal riot grrrls Sleater Kinney to current groups with diverse but traditional sounds like The New Pornographers and Grizzly Bear, listening to LRW develop their sound is going to be a thrilling ride. When asked what groups they would most like to share a stage with drummer Emily Mills mentioned the Ditty Bops and Fleet Foxes. “Both of these groups have taken traditional American music and found a way to put their own, unique and—frankly—awesome, spin on it. I think we’d mesh pretty well with them.” Kelly Maxwell added, “Little Red Wolf with Fleet Foxes would be amazing. I would just die of happiness.”

The four seem to agree that traditional folk music is just a starting point in their quote"collaborative” song writing process. Maxwell said, “Most of the time it starts with something simple and we all add to it: One of us has a riff, we’ll work on it in rehearsal several times with different instruments until it sounds right, then someone will bring lyrics and that person gets to sing it.”


Wayne Nelson

Little River Band

An interview with Singer/Bassist Wayne Nelson
by Tina Ayres
April 2015

Wayne Nelson is best known from his work as the lead singer/bassist for Little River Band. Founded in Australia in 1975, the band has sold over 30 million albums worldwide, and are the first band to achieve the record of having Top 10 hits for 6 consecutive years.

Maximum Ink: When did you first discover your love of music?
Wayne Nelson: My earliest memories are infused with music. My parents constantly had music in playing in our home…Chopin, Beethoven, Tchaikovsky, Mozart, et al from my mom, and marching music from my dad who was a drum major in college. And both loved Broadway music and plays. They also both sang in the church choir, and were active in local theater groups. So I went with them to rehearsals and services. Rhythm, harmony, and composition were in the air on a regular basis.
MI: Who were some of you earliest influences?
WN: Once I was able to choose new music that I wanted to hear, I loved the Four Seasons, The Beach Boys, The Turtles, and Dion…lots of vocal harmonies and great songs. Next came Motown, The Beatles, The Stones, and Cream. Then horn bands like Chicago, BS&T, EWF, and Chase. From there I started listening to jazz and more esoteric music like Yes, Weather Report, Miles Davis, Jaco Pastorius, Pat Metheny, Spyro Gyra, and Michael Walden.
MI: What was it like to have had the chance to hone your musical skills in Chicago? Do you feel privileged to have had the chance to play in an area so rich in rhythm and blues?
WN: Chicago was a great town for seeing bands and soaking up live music. Although there was a lot of blues on Lincoln Ave at the time, it hadn’t become as commercialized and popular as it is now. I spent more time seeing CTA and Styx and Cheap Trick at clubs and college venues. What was very hard for any young band in Chicago was to play R&B, which is what all of my friends and fellow musicians were into…Stevie, Motown, EWF, etc. And it was never an easy town to work in…6 sets a night, loading in and out with wind chills of -10, ice on the pavement and at the doorways. Chicago was boot camp for me.


Livewire in Concert


An interview with Madison rockers, Livewire
by Mike Huberty
March 2015

Hair metal never made the magnificent comeback that some of us were hoping for (Even Disco got a full revival, how is that fair?), but as long as cocaine and hair extensions exist, the spirit of the Sunset Strip can never truly die and Madison’s Livewire is keeping that blues-based classic hard rock alive on campus. Going to college in the 90s, it felt like Alternative inherited the Earth from the dinosaurs of Glam, so seeing UW students coming together to pay homage is a rock n’ roll Jurassic Park . Justin Blair sings and plays guitar, while Ryan Pease is on drums and is also a Nuclear Engineer (Yeah, I know, I couldn’t wrap my head around it either.) Emma Meinholz lays down the bass and Charles Lease plays rhythm guitars and backup vox. They just released a new video, “She’s A Storm”, and I had a chance to talk to the band to preview the release.


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Living Statues on the cover of Maximum Ink for April 2014 - photo by Adrienne D. Williams

The Living Statues

by Mike Huberty
April 2014

Melding a classic garage sound with British Invasion hooks and the straight-up timeless rock n’ roll fashion sense, Milwaukee’s THE LIVING STATUES have been blazing a trail through the Midwest like a hot rod since their formation in 2012. Their first EP, Knockin’, is released on Tuesday April 8th. We took a few minutes to talk to Tommy Shears (guitarist and lead vocals), Chris Morales (drums and vocals), and Alex Thornburg (bass and vocals) about how the group got together, excitement over their new release, and their near-future plans.


1902 ViewsPermalinkLiving Statues Website
Lizard Skynard frontman Erik “Lizardman” Sprague

Lizard Skynard

an interview with Erik “Lizardman” Sprague
by Andrew Frey
May 2011

I totally agree with Erik “Lizardman” Sprague. “The world needs freaks,” he states in our recent e-mail exchange. “We explore the boundaries and show people that most limits are actually false. Freaks challenge society and provide a reflection for growth and exploration.”

The area for our reflection today will be the new band that he is fronting called ‘Lizard Skynard.’ It is sort of an underground supergroup made up of guitarist/songwriter Mossy Vaughn (The Heavils), bassist Russell Gillespie (Mothertrucker), drummer Johnny Baker (Waco Jesus) and Mossy’s brother, Eric Vaughn on keyboards.

Regardless of the others in the band, the focus of the group will always swing back to the renowned freak, comedian, author and vocalist for the band, Lizardman. If you somehow haven’t heard of him, he is easy to spot with his green tattooed scales, his bifurcated (split) tongue(“I have independent control of both tongues and can do some neat little manipulations with it.”), sharply filed teeth, and the teflon ridges implanted sub-dermally above his eyes. Plus he has worked with and been in several sideshow groups, appeared at many” Ripley’s Believe It Or Not” activities and has hosted many events.

After being involved in so many potentially dangerous endeavors I had to wonder if he had ever been permanently injured from a sideshow type performance. He filled me in, “I have some scars but nothing too serious.  One of my nipples is now noticeably different than the other due to a tear while lifting a car battery.


Pete Murray


An interview with vocalist Pete Murray
by Tina Hall
August 2010

Hailing from Southern California, Lo-Pro is comprised of frontman Pete Murray, guitarists Pete Ricci and Neil Godfrey, bassist Jerry Oliviera, and drummer Tommy Stewart (ex Godsmack drummer). Murray and Neil have been writing material together for almost 20 years. The long awaited follow up to the self-titled debut called “The Beautiful Sounds of Revenge” is expected to be released in May 2010.

Maximum Ink: Who are some of your musical influences?
Pete Murray: I grew up on Zeppelin, Pink Floyd, Peter Gabriel, U2. I wanted to sing in a band after seeing Ministry live for the first time but I’d say melody is the biggest influence. I also miss the days when massive bands like that would reinvent themselves every time they released a new record - regardless of how well the last one did. There are too many bands nowadays writing the same record over and over because “it worked the first time.”

MI: It is mentioned during the time between albums you had taken up yoga as a way to deal with anger. How would you say it helped you deal with
PM: Yoga taught me how to breathe again. It’s changed my perspective completely. I don’t take this whole journey of life so seriously anymore.


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