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Helen Money - Heavy Cello

Helen Money


by Mike Huberty
November 2009

Listening to the new instrumental record by HELEN MONEY, In Tune, is a completely different kind of instrumental experience. Alison Chesley is a Chicago-based cellist who earned her rock credentials with the 90’s alternative band, Verbow, then started performing with world-rockers, Poi Dog Pondering, and even recorded with nu-metallers, Disturbed. If you’re expecting just cello renditions of rock n’ roll songs, you won’t hear that, but you’ll hear music that’s completely unafraid to reach into dark places and her mixture of pizzicato, heavy bowing, distorted leads over beds of soft strings is a fascinating listen of how to channel rock’s traditionally guitar-oriented aggression through an instrument that gets most of its heavy metal recognition from the bridge section of Whitesnake’s “Still Of The Night”.

For her interesting choice of musical direction, Alison says that it was because the traditional model didn’t appeal to her.“ I grew up in Los Angeles and I spent about ten years after I dropped out of college, where I just wasn’t feeling inspired playing cello.”, she says. “So I started going out to clubs to see bands like The MInutemen and Meat Puppets and Bob Mould

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Meghan Rose and I Saw The Creature on the cover of Max Ink September 2014

I Saw The Creature

An Interview with Meghan Rose
by Teri Barr
September 2014

One woman. Five regular music projects.
Meghan Rose may be one of the busiest artists on the Madison scene right now, and she wouldn’t have it any other way. Meghan writes, sings, plays, records, edits, and teaches all styles of music; and those talents are highlighted in her various bands. I had the chance to ask her how she keeps it all going, and learned which group is getting ready to hit the road soon. 

Maximum Ink: Do you remember when you started your musical journey?
Meghan Rose: My mom taught me piano when I was 4, and then I started classical lessons when I was 5. First thing I remember learning to play was “Beauty and the Beast”, of all things. My dad bought me a nylon string classical guitar from an antique shop when I was 14 and I taught myself some chords then learned the church songs for bible day camp, which was one of my summer jobs. I played piano for the early church service for years. I still love hymns and I use some of the ideas to write about God in my lyrics, though I certainly don’t write what anyone would call Christian music. But once that type of music is in you, you can’t shake it. My mom also had tapes of musicals, and Broadway is still an obsession for me. I was 8 when my parents divorced, and one of the coping methods I developed was to steal my dad’s C.D.‘s. He collected the newest “alternative” music—a lot of female-fronted 90’s stuff. Bjork, Sheryl Crow, Sleater-Kinney, Liz Phair, Fiona Apple. Fiona and Liz were really powerful to me.

MI: Your current projects are all led by women; some bands don’t like the reference to women or men in the band, but would rather just be called musicians, in a general sense. What about you?

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J Marsden

J MARSDEN

An Interview with Singer/Songwriter J. Marsden
by Mike Huberty
August 2017

Former WALL OF FUNK leader J. MARSDEN has consistently been one of Madison’s most underrated guitarists. With plenty of technical skill, a great sense of melody and most importantly, a surplus of heart, Joe’s first solo album, Gravity is a mix between ALICE IN CHAINS (Sap and Jar of Flies specifically), DAYS OF THE NEW (lower-register vocal melodies and hooks), and RADIOHEAD (expert guitar work ala The Bends).

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Jim McCarty in Highgate Park London

Jim McCarty

An interview with legendary Yardbirds drummer/solo artist Jim McCarty
by Tina Hall
November 2010

Jim McCarty is credited with helping found, and drumming for, two British rock band; Renaissance and The Yardbirds. The Yardbirds got their big break at the Crawdaddy Club in London when the Rolling Stones decided it was time to move on from their standing gig at the place. They later played the Beatles 1964 Christmas show. The Yardbirds as we all know boasted three of the most influential guitarists of all time, Eric Clapton, Jeff Beck, and Jimmy Page. The Yardbirds were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1992.

In 1982 Jim formed Box of Frogs with early Yardbird companions Samwell Smith and Dreja. Making two albums, the first featured Jeff Beck and the second Jimmy Page. Somewhere in all that he also began his work as a solo artist. His latest offering “Sitting On The Top of Time” is as he calls it, “focusing on the Renaissance side” of his musical stylings. He worked hard to make sure the lyrics were all positive. Jim added, “I kept trying to remain positive, which was difficult in these strange times.” I recently had the chance to question him on what all of these things have been like.

Maximum Ink: When did you first become interested in music?
Jim McCarty:  I’ve always been interested in music, since my grandmother had a stand up piano that I used to “mess around” on! The first magical moment was when I was about 16, and somebody took me round a local house where a live band was rehearsing in the sitting room. They played some Shadows songs, and I was completely blown away!

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Madison's Kelsey Miles on the cover of October 2018 Maximum Ink

Kelsey Miles

Singer/Songwriter Can’t Leave the Madcity
by Teri Barr
October 2018

Music healed me, and I owe it to music to help others heal.” -Kelsey Miles

It’s not just a simple quote from Kelsey Miles. The Ohio-born woman is a beauty, inside and out, and Wisconsin is fortunate she now considers Madison her home. Kelsey’s story, of the way she found music while in the midst of being focused on something very different, may amaze you. But it is also why she believe she can help music, help you, too. Kelsey will be releasing a few new, extended songs, during the next two months. But she has much more planned. And we can’t wait to see it happen.

Maximum Ink: Your decision to create your own music just started a few years ago which is amazing to me!
Kelsey Miles:
I’ve always liked to sing. I would make up little songs and such when I was younger, but it wasn’t until I moved to Wisconsin in 2013, I actually got involved with music. I picked up the guitar because I was going through a really rough time in my life. A friend of mine knew I liked to sing, and thought I might like learning how to play guitar, so she suggested I borrow hers and take a class. After some group lessons, we had learned a couple of chords. and I immediately began to write songs. It was a healing process for me. For the first time in my life

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Lyden Moon

Lyden Moon

An Interview with Instrumental Rock Guitarist, Lyden Moon
by Mike Huberty
January 2011

When it comes to his new CD, “It’s What’s Inside That Rocks”, guitarist LYDEN MOON, explains his process when it comes to creating music. “I’m always trying to write a better song,” he says, “a lot of instrumental guitar players go strictly for the technical showcase kind of record. And that’s not what I want to do.” The Wisconsin-based guitarist is letting me know that he doesn’t want to be perceived as what other musicians often unaffectionately call guitar soloists, a “wanker”. You don’t have to use much of an imagination to realize what that term refers to, or to imagine the big-haired guitar slingers with the magic fingers that it describes. “ I think it’s harder to play a slow meaningful passage,” he continues, “to milk a note correctly, as opposed to just tearing it up. Once you develop the speed, you’ve got it, but in terms of delivering the song, it’s a never-ending accomplishment because I always feel that I can play it better and express myself better. And technique is not just speed, it’s how to play the note correctly, it’s how to attack the note correctly. When I go into the studio I try to play as clean I can and just really make sure that the point is coming across.”

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M.A.X.-mas Volume II

M.A.X.-mas Volume II

M.A.X.-mas Volume II
by Aaron Manogue
November 2011

We’ve all heard the lousy Christmas songs that get beaten into our head over and over every single year since our conception. The one’s that make you go just a tad bit crazy and one more step closer to that breaking point. If you’re from the U.S., you know all about the corporate sponsored shopping spree we as Americans partake in, despite whether or not we have money. Now, I’m no Scrooge. But if I’m going to have to suffer through another year of thousands of meaningless dollars spent and seeing family half of us don’t like as it is, I want some kick ass music to dull the pain.

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