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Steez - photo by THARAPHOTO

Steez

An Invitation To The Fifth Annual Mustache Bash
by Troy Johnson
December 2010

After gracing the pages of Maximum Ink over a year ago the creepfunk crusaders from Madison, Steez have continued to develop their unique cryptc, electronic, dance sound and are preparing for their fifth annual mustache bash. Some of their jams in 2010 push the envelope on communicating with life on other planets. It’s funky and dark. I caught up with guitar player and vocalist Steve Neary for some info about his process of finding music, a legends of mustache past story, and Steez’s hope for a dance party success on December 10th.

Maximum Ink: Describe how creepfunk changes when the band and audience have mustaches?
Steve Neary: It only gets creepier. One could say it channels our inner Michael Jackson, so to speak.

MI: The American Mustache Institute lists about 15 styles to wear a mustache. Is this all I really have to choose from?
SN: They pretty much cover the entire gamut of styles, but there is one ‘stache that i think really takes the cake as far as we’ve seen. It was the first year we did the ‘stache bash, and it was held at the King Club. Our good friend, David Graves, was known to rock a pretty burly beard from time to time and he showed up pretty unassumingly sporting some nice thick chops that connected to his sideburns, adorned with a bright red hat. When it came time to do the crowd voting for the best ‘stache, he jumped right up on stage. He was looking pretty good up there but there was some solid competition, including a Chaplin and some other pretty burly chops. As we went through the contestants, it came to be Dave’s turn. As soon as our MC called out his name, he ripped off his hat and revealed the most epic facial sculpting I have ever seen. He had shaved his entire head, except for two small strips that curled behind his ear that were connected to his sideburns/chops. The best part about the entire thing was that he didnt tell a soul the entire night, so when he ripped off his hat the crowd went berserk. To this day, I have never seen another person attempt the “ram’s horns,” and I dont know if I will.

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Steve Palmer

Steve Palmer Band

an interview with Steve Palmer
by Tina Hall
January 2011

Singer/songwriter/ guitarist Steve Palmer worked for his Blackbird session with Bryan Ewald on lead guitar, Anthony Setola with bass(who is now replaced by Mario Sangermano), Tony Morra provides drums, Larry Hall offers up keyboards and Hammond B3 organ, and Vicki Hampton can be heard on background vocals. The band can be found touring with Blues Traveler and has opened for Sister Hazel and Bob Schneider. With Palmer also playing solo shows. He can be found where he now resides in Nashville, TN where his latest album Apparition was recorded.

Maximum Ink: Since there isn’t much out there on you yet, can you tell our readers a little about where you are from? How has your background influenced your musical stylings? How have you changed most since your early days?
Steve Palmer: The early days are real easy for me to describe. I started playing in Connecticut – I’d pick up a guitar and a pick, open my song book of the sixties and seventies (compiled by the New York Times) – and I played and sang. I sang a lot of different stuff from John Denver, Peter Frampton, Harry Chapin, Rolling Stones to James Taylor. And I listened to Jazz, Oscar Peterson, Joe Sample, Weather Report and John Coltrane. I think that’s where everything starts-the theory and feel of music and minor and major keys.  Jazz is a huge influence for me but so are the greats including Bruce Springsteen, Doobie Brothers, Bob Dylan, Cat Stevens who I played till the book wore out. Classical also opened up my musical mind.

Then after a year of that, I started performing in sixth grade and whenever anyone wanted to hear a tune. I played at talent shows, did some musicals, played at a few bars and restaurants but nothing with a band. My first song went something like, “Five Foot Two, Eyes of Blue and . . .”  Now you know that’s probably a fifties jazz number.  Later, I spent a year in England my senior year in High School and started recording. First, it was with a good friend, Paul Hussell, on piano, guitar or even cello and then I came back and went into full-fledged recording sessions with first call New York City musicians at age eighteen. I played with some awesome guys but I never could find anyone who wanted to help me make a contact or sign me. So I just kept writing and writing even in college where I did two more recording projects. 

In 2004-5, I recorded four records with a producer in Virginia but things got finally rolling with my current group when I went down to Nashville and I went on the road. I had a lot of problems with studios and engineers and quality but I am happy with “Apparition” now. It just was very difficult to get to this point. I had to take “do it yourself” to the extreme. So that is how “Apparition” came into being. Out of Virginia and Nashville with some great studio musicians.

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Stone Sour on the cover of Maximum Ink in August 2006

Stone Sour


by Paul Gargano
August 2006

Consider Stone Sour the yin to Slipknot’s yang. While frontman Corey Taylor and guitarist Jim Root raise hell on earth with the depraved metal anthems that have become Slipknot’s trademark, in Stone Sour they opt for a more level-headed approach to the sonic spectrum. They color that spectrum brilliantly on sophomore release “Come What(ever) May,” banging with the best of them on breakneck opener “30/30-150,” and closing the album with “Zzyzx Rd,” a piano-paced introspective meltdown that bellies Bob Seger’s epic “Turn the Page” up against Lynyrd Skynyrd’s “Free Bird.” The album is one of the year’s standout efforts, and the band – Taylor, Root, guitarist Josh Rand, bassist Shawn Economaki and drummer Roy Mayorga – will be unveiling the material on this summer’s Family Values tour, sharing a stage with Korn, the Deftones, Flyleaf and Dir En Gray. The tour stops in East Troy at the Alpine Valley Music Theater Aug. 26 – Jim Root offered Maximum Ink this exclusive interview to help pass the time…

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Josh Rand of Stone Sour - photo by Tricia Starr - Tstarr Photography

Stone Sour

An interview with Josh Rand of Stone Sour
by Al Brzostowski
May 2018

Stone Sour, with April’s release of “Hydrograd Acoustic Sessions” is a vinyl EP of acoustic versions of STONE SOUR’s 2017 album, “Hydrograd”. The effort, made available on solid silver vinyl accompanied by digital download at select record stores, is just a prelude of the raw, diverse, in your face, musicianship that they carry to every show. The journeymen from Iowa infuses elements of punk and thrash metal, with frontman Corey Taylor often switching between his guttural screams and melody. Incorporating sarcasm into their music, “Rose Red Violent Blue (This Song Is Dumb & So Am I)”, they can also have a distinctly dark side.

Stone Sour will support Ozzy Osbourne on the initial North American leg of the legendary vocalist’s “No More Tours 2” tour, which kicks off August 30 in Allentown, Pennsylvania.
At the show at the Orpheum Theater, I had a chance to talk to Josh Rand, Guitarist of Stone Sour:

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Stone Temple Pilots on the cover of Maximum Ink October 2000

Stone Temple Pilots


by Paul Gargano
October 2000

an interview with Stone Temple Pilots’ vocalist Scott Weiland who talks about touring, Pearl Jam similarities from their early days, Bad-asses, porn stars, strippers, Limp Bizkit and the Doors

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Straight Line Stitch

Straight Line Stitch

An interview with singer Alexis Brown
by Tina Hall
February 2011

The rock band Straight Line Stitch has come a long way from their homes in Knoxville, Tennessee. Recently touring with Hatebreed, they will also be taking the road with 36 Crazyfists and Taking Dawn. Following that tour, they will be opening for Soulfly and Incite. The members include Alexis Brown for vocals, Seth Thacker and Pat Pattison on guitar, Jason White on bass, and Kanky Lora on drums. Their latest album is now available, from E1/Raging Nation Records and is named The Fight of Our Lives .

Maximum Ink : Knoxville, TN isn’t far from where I am located. Do you all still reside there? There doesn’t seem to be much of a music scene in East TN. Do you ever play Knoxville? What is it like to come from there and end up touring all over the U.S and Canada?
Alexis Brown : We all hail from different places but TN is the band’s home base. Only our guitarist Seth and I actually live in Knoxville. My drummer Kanky stays in Chicago and our bassist Jason lives in Georgia. But Knoxville has definitely become home to me. It has grown on me that’s for sure. As for the music scene there, it’s actually not too shabby. There have been really big bands that have come out of East TN such as 10 Years, Whitechapel, and The Showdown. We try to play our hometown as much as possible, but our routing never seems to take us there. To travel all over and then come home is a blessing because it makes you appreciate everything, especially friends, family, and loved ones.

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Straight Line Stitch

An interview with lead singer Alexis Brown of Straight Line Stitch
by Aaron Manogue
April 2011

There really seems to be a trend happening of having females as lead vocalists in the hard rock and the metal scene. This trend makes perfect sense considering the industry is completely saturated with males. Therefore, put a pretty face on stage for all the fans to enjoy, and if she can sing a little, that’s a bonus. Luckily, there are also a select few that just bring it. It doesn’t matter if they are a male or female because they are going to bring it night in and night out. After all is said and done, no one will be left questioning their talent. Straight Line Stitch is one of the lucky few that have a female vocalist, Alexis Brown, who breaks hearts with her smile and impresses with her voice. She definitely has the pretty face, but she also has a vocal range that hangs with the best of the best on the scene today. She has pushed the bar higher for vocalists, male or female.

Maximum Ink: Tell us a little about where you’re from and where you grew up. What type of family did you have growing up?
Alexis Brown: Basically, my family comes from a military background, so I was always here and there. My family was definitely from a musical background. My dad played saxophone, my mom sang in church, and I always knew I wanted to sing.

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