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Monster Magnet on the cover of Maximum Ink in September 1998

Monster Magnet

by Paul Gargano
September 1998

Monster Magnet may unleash the most bombastic arena rock this side of the Reagan administration, but frontman Dave Wyndorf is as misplaced today as he would have been in 1988. His music glows with flash and fire, a hard rock amalgamation of everything guitar-driven and melody-laced, and onstage he plays equal parts Paul Stanley, badass biker, and teenager enchanted by the allure of sex, drugs and rock ‘n roll. With a brilliant new release, Powertrip, that rivals Guns ‘N’ Roses’ Appetite for Destruction in sheer audacity, tenacity, and musical virtuosity, he is currently wrapping a month of amphitheater dates with Aerosmith before kicking off a blockbuster tour with Rob Zombie and Fear Factory in October. ``In 1998, there is no alternative but to just physically get out there and pound people over the fucking heads and celebrate excess,” Wyndorf said over lunch recently at a New York City tavern. “Fuck this symphonic turntable going ‘wacka wacka wacka,’ it’s time to fuck people!”


Madison's Moodtrain - photo by Sam Antha


An interview with Verge Manyen and Travis Ziegler of improvisational rock duo, MoodTrain
by Mike Huberty
July 2018

Making up songs on the fly is hard, but improvisation is in the soul of live music. It’s what brought GRATEFUL DEAD fans back show after show because they didn’t know what to expect from night to night. If music is emotion made sound, then improvisation is what happens when you explore those emotions intuitively and in depth. That’s what Madison drummer Verge Manyen and guitarist Travis Ziegler do in MOODTRAIN. It’s improvisational instrumental rock where Verge and Travis feed off each other to create something unique every single time. They just released their first album, “Great Lakes Airlines volume 1”, an entirely off-the-cuff 30-minute jam. They’ll be playing outside at the Cheba Hut in downtown Madison on September 7th for a free show at 4:30pm. I talked with Verge and Travis about the new record and the band.


222 ViewsPermalinkMoodTrain Website
Wisconsin's Mother Orchis

Mother Orchis

by Joshua Miller
May 2009

Loudly making an entrance with a wave of raw emotion, MOTHER ORCHIS roams Milwaukee bars and clubs, looking to produce like minded beings that absorb her trance-inducing musical waves. 

Approaching this mysterious being reveals the elements that drive her: a band by the same name, which effortlessly blends classic rock, psychedelic rock and metal.  Laying down the beat of her footsteps and heart beat is Jesus, who keeps time her epic like movements.  Rochelle (often shortened to Roach) adds bass in rhythm with her heart beat while Kevin chugs away fiercely on his guitar.  Hallowing, somewhat growling, with an Ozzy Osbourne-like darkly tone, Matt Leece provides the final elements with his voice and guitar.

“I think we all kind of were on the same page from the get go,” Leece says of his band’s ability to merge their sounds together.


3295 ViewsPermalinkMother Orchis MySpace
Motherhive of Madison, Wisconsin


An interview with singer Michael Kerwin
by Mike Huberty
April 2016

With a performance coming up at Maximum Ink’s 20th Anniversary Celebration, Bomblastica, Madison’s MOTHERHIVE is bringing classic heavy metal thunder and aggression magnified through a funky lens to the party.  If you get down to FAITH NO MORE, TOOL, or LED ZEPPELIN, then your head will bang to MOTHERHIVE. After several years of blasting their way around the Madison area in the first decade of this century as THE MOTHERHIVE SYNDICATE, guitarist Sven Hansen and singer Michael Kerwin found a new rhythm section in drummer Scott Chazan and bassist Matt Acker. With the new lineup, they re-christened themselves to simply MOTHERHIVE.  We talked with Kerwin about what their music is all about and what they’ve got planned for the big show at the Frequency on April 16th.


1413 ViewsPermalinkMotherhive Website
Motley Crue

Motley Crue

by Thom Hazaert
February 2009

In 1981 when an underdog LA Rock band released an independent LP called Too Fast For Love, no one could have predicted that they would follow up with a string of hit albums (Shout At The Devil, Theatre of Pain, Girls, Girls, Girls, and Dr. Feelgood), that would go on to sell over 80 million copies, and, almost singlehandedly, usher in a new era of American Hard Rock.

Nearly 3 decades (of decadence) later, Mötley Crüe is still going strong with their original line-up Vince Neil, Nikki Sixx, Tommy Lee, and Mick Mars- with their latest album The Saints of Los Angeles, debuting at #4 on the Billboard charts and a series of hugely successful “reunion” tours.


Tony Dolan

Mpire Of Evil

interview with former Venom vocalist Tony "Demolition Man" Dolan
by Joe Matera
August 2011

The land down under’s Joe Matera caught up with former Venom and Atomkraft bassist and frontman Tony Dolan to answer questions on post-Venom band Mpire of Evil.

Maximum Ink: Can you give us some background to how MPIRE OF EVIL came to be formed?
Tony Dolan: Well MPIRE of EVIL are myself, Mantas and Antton, all former Venom band mates. Mantas was doing his project called Dryll and needed a drummer to fill in as his had broken his ankle and Antton stepped in to lend a hand. They played a local show and did Venom’s Black Metal and people started saying, ‘what if they got Tony in, what would that be like?’ The boys thought that also and then I got a call. I said yes straight away as I have always enjoyed working with Mantas. He is a great player and so tight…it’s a joy to play with him especially live. As for Antton? Well, I’d never had a drummer that good and I loved his playing on the Resurrection album so it was for me a no brainer, we began to write and here we are. Actually what was bizarre was that after a few months of talking and writing, I got up to Newcastle (I live in London) and we thought we should have a rehearsal/jam to see what would happen. We played about 6 or 7 songs, one new and other Venom songs and it was like we’d been playing them as a band for years.

MI: Tell us about the upcoming EP?
TD: Well the thoughts on an EP were that we wanted to release something pre album so we could start doing shows but that hasn’t happened as it’s taken up all our time. But we will still release the EP and then a month or so later the full album. In true Neat/Venom tradition we have placed 2 tracks on the EP that will not appear on the album release initially and we have recorded another 4 tracks for the EP. The title is ’The Creatures of the Black’ and it features 6 tracks, including 4 covers by bands which influenced us to start playing and wanting to be in our own bands:

MI: The Creatures of the Black – Reptile – Motorhead (Motorhead) – Exciter (Judas Priest) – Hell Ain’t a bad Place to Be (ACDC) and God of Thunder (KiSS).
TD: The EP will appear as a special Vinyl release through Iron Pegasus Records and the CD through Scarlet Records. People will ask why we’d do the covers but we wanted to make a statement that we weren’t attempting to be 21 again and to compete. We are what and who we are full stop. It’s not 1980 anymore but what great decades ,70’s,80’s, and what an influence on Metal/Rock?

MI: You’ve mentioned signing with Scarlett Records and a new album in the works…
TD: Yes, we have signed our deal with Scarlet and are very happy to be with Fil and the team. They will be releasing the EP first then the album which is called, ‘Hell To The Holy’ and it will feature that title track…and around 11 more…some titles include…Hellspawn - The 8th Gate – Wake Up Dead – The Circle Pit – Metal Messiah and others not yet defined.

MI: There is a tour also this summer, any plans for US dates?
TD: Yes right now we are planning the full tour for 2012, festival dates as well as 30 dates in Europe then we want to play the US and South America. We are talking to several booking agents right now. But basically we want to play as much as possible in 2012.

MI: And if so, would Madison, Wisconsin be on the schedule?
TD: It is NOW! If they want us?

MI: Will MPIRE OF EVIL be including any Venom material in the set list?
TD: Well we did speak at length about that and we are not Venom, there is a Venom out there but we all feel there are certain songs we would like to play live and why shouldn’t we? They are ones that Mantas, Myself and or Antton wrote, so yes.

MI: What music do you think kicks ass right now?
TD: Well I am into the underground so there are tonnes of acts, the list is too long. I try to help young or upcoming bands as much as possible, maybe one day I shall do the label thing myself. I am still loving Destruction, who are getting even better with age, Slayer, Rammstein but newer stuff I am really still liking some Black Metal and Death metal acts. Antton is still a huge Pantera guy and as Phil is a friend, he loves Down amongst many many others, as he is a HUGE metal fan as he always has been…and Mantas loves Machinehead, Slipknot, Zakk Wilde, As I Lay Dying…and lots more…

MI: Who is your favorite Porn star and why?
TD: Diamond Jackson hands down, why? Are you kidding me? Amazing body, amazing business mind, amazing woman and an Ebony dream - perfect! Can you hook me up? 

MI: If you could take one food item to Wisconsin, what would it be?
TD: Marmite, just to watch peoples faces when I ask them to try some.


Mr. Big - photo by William Hames

Mr. Big

An interview with guitarist Paul Gilbert
by Tina Hall
February 2011

Mr. Big was formed in 1988 by Eric Martin on vocals, Paul Gilbert on guitar, Billy Sheehan on bass, and Pat Torpey on drums. Likely best known for their hit “To Be With You,” they have continued to provide solid rock sounds with a bluesy feel to the delight of their fans for well over 20 years. After a split in 2002, and reuniting in 2009, they released their newest album What if… in 2011. Immensely popular in Japan, Thailand, and South Korea, I recently sat down with Paul Gilbert to find out about the latest happenings with the band. Paul himself has been praised for his playing style being voted number four on the “Top 10 Greatest Guitar Shredders of All Time” on a list found in Guitar One magazine and has a spot on “Guitar World’s 50 Fastest Guitarists of All Time” list as well.

Maximum Ink: Can you tell us a little about your background? What were you like as kid growing up in Illinois?
Paul Gilbert: I was born in Illinois, but my family moved to Pennsylvania when I was around two, so most of memories are from there. Basically, I grew up in a rural area, and my parents were both pretty busy, so I was often bored until I found the guitar. Then there was always something to do. My uncle would visit sometimes, and he was (and still is) a great guitar player. He showed me a few basic things that really helped me out such as muting the strings with the palm of my hand, controlling feedback, how vibrato should sound, and the idea that I should practice all the time. I always loved music and listening to my parents records as much as I could. They had a lot of The Beatles and The Rolling Stones, as well as records by The Who and The Animals, and a lot of classical music too. My dad also had several blues records, such as B.B. King, John Lee Hooker, and Muddy Waters.


2251 ViewsPermalinkMr. Big WebsiteMr. Big Wiki
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