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Erick Thomas

An interview with guitarist Erick Thomas
by Tina Ayres
February 2015

Erick Thomas is the founder of and lead guitarist for Harlen Simple. The four piece band out of Virginia also features Travis Williams (vocals), Kenny Morrow (bass), and Ricky Coleman (drums). Their album Pay Up Charlie from Potomac Records mixes rock, funk, blues, and soul in delightfully eclectic fashion.

Maximum Ink: Since there isn’t a lot known of you yet, can you tell us a little about yourself?

Erick Thomas: I’m a pretty laid back guy, or at least I think so. I’m a big music junkie so my nights off from playing are spent checking out friends of mine who play and sitting in if they’ll have me. When I’m not doing that, I’m in my backyard with friends smoking racks of ribs, arguing about sports and talking about music while my dogs run around.

I’m also pretty sure I’ve got the world’s most patient wife, Aimee, who puts up with all of the craziness that comes with being married to a guy in a band. It’s late nights, crazy schedules and the general drama that comes with the music business. It’s not the go to Ikea and the farmers market on Saturday’s kind of lifestyle. It’s the “let’s go get tattoos and go run with bulls or something” kind of life.

I’ve also got an amazingly smart and beautiful daughter who has the music bug already. Her name is Jasmine and she’s playing drums now. I told her to pick an instrument where she doesn’t have to lug so much gear around but her heart was set, kind of like mine. Aimee is also pregnant with our son. The little butterball will be out in the world in a few months.

MI: What did you enjoy most about growing up in Virginia?
ET: I’m actually a Maryland boy. I was born in Takoma Park and lived in Langley Park and Silver Spring before moving to Virginia when I was a teenager. At first I wasn’t a big fan, Manassas was one of those towns where you took the bus to school and your mom drove you to the mall. It was WAY different from hopping on the bus or taking the metro somewhere with your friends. Those teenage years are tough for anybody. Throw in moving away from everything you know and you get a kid that can be a little “rambunctious.” My mom was a saint! Eventually, I made a couple friends. One of the first ones was Travis (Williams). Now Virginia is home though. I can’t see myself leaving. I’ve got my little family and home life Aimee and I are building here. It’s somewhere you absolutely have to get back to no matter where you are in the world. That’s home to me.

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 - photo by Dave Leucinger

Hank Thomas and the Western Starlanders


by Dave Leucinger
February 2003

Interview with Milwaukee alt-country rocker Hank Thomas of Hank Thomas and the Western Starlanders

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Dj Harry Towers

Harry Towers

An interview with Dj/author Harry Towers
by Tina Hall
April 2011

From 1983 to 1991, Harry Towers was the buyer and Billboard Reporter for Our Music Center on Staten Island. At the same time, he was a DJ, spinning at clubs such as Abracadabra on Staten Island, The China Club in Manhattan, Casablanca in New Jersey, and The Spectrum in Brooklyn (better known as 2001 where Saturday Night Fever was filmed). Harry was briefly a music reviewer for the Underground News and later for Dance Music Report Magazine and then Dance Music Authority Magazine. He is also well known for breaking Euro Dance Music. Furthermore, Harry also used to have a hot mix show on Saturdays at The Buzz out of Atlantic City and MIX 102.7 in New York. He can currently be heard on over 10 stations, the most notable ones being NRR Radio, Strictly Dance Radio powered by 1 Club FM and iDanceRadio.com. He formed Deet Promotions 10 years ago with a determination to keep dance music alive. Harry is about to release his first book entitled Abracadabra. Maximum Ink caught up with Harry, and the following is what he had to say.

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Birmingham, Alabama's Maria Taylor - photo by Autumn De Wilde

Maria Taylor


by John Noyd
April 2009

MARIA TAYLOR has had a full life. A multi-instrumentalist singer-song-writer born into a musical family Maria has been in bands and on the road for over half her life. Her third solo effort, “LadyLuck,” overflows with moving narratives and self-reflective stories. Performing April 21st at Madison’s High Noon Saloon, Maria was kind enough to answer some questions via email.

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Randy Travis

Randy Travis

An interview with Singer Randy Travis
by Tina Hall
March 2012

Randy Travis has long been a respected name in country music as well as gospel. With 20 studio albums selling a combined total of 25 million copies and 22 number one hits he has proven it is respect well earned. Travis has an impressive amount of awards with 10 AMA’s, 9 ACM’s, 7 Dove awards, 6 Grammy’s,and 6 CMA awards. Randy has also worked as an actor, appearing on/in Frank & Jesse, Matlock, Hey Arnold, King of the Hill, Lost, and National Treasure: Book of Secrets as well as many others. To mark 25 years in the industry in he most recently released the album Anniversary Celebration featuring appearances by Carrie Underwood, John Anderson, Josh Turner, Gene Watson, Connie Smith and Joe Stampley.

Maximum Ink: Can you tell us a little about your early days? What where you like as a child?
Randy Travis: As a kid, I grew up on a horse. The first pony I had was at 3 years old. There’s one album cover that we did, I don’t remember which one it was, but I’m thinking I was 3 months old and my dad had a palomino kneeling with me sitting in the saddle. My mom may have taken that picture. I grew up as a cowboy. As a really young boy, I was helping my dad move cows, but I was also a brat and I probably had to be punished quite often by him. I’ve been up front and honest about this. We fought a lot and then into the teenage years, I got into a lot of drugs and alcohol.  So, I was not a good kid, not at all.

MI: Do you think you would be where you are now without the encouragement of your father? What would you say is the most important thing he taught you?
RT: No.The most important thing I got from him was that love of music and pursuing that as a career. He and my mom would take all six kids to what was called fiddlers conventions and we’d be playing in the VFW or Moose Lodges after being hired to play at square dances and all kinds of things like that. He would push us kids to continue learning to play instruments and learning music. I’d love to know how many songs I knew, at this point in life, because it would sure be a lot.That was the most important thing from him, and of course, he taught me a lot about horses.

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Tantric cover design and illustration by Ian Chalgren

Tantric

an interview with Hugo Ferreira
by Troy Johnson
September 2010

Tantric first hit the music scene with a self-titled debut in 2001 that topped the charts with swaggering, grungy singles like “Breakdown” and “Astounded” that fit right into the New Metal mode that has been a staple of rock radio giants like Nickelback, Staind, and Creed since the late 1990’s.“Tantric” went on to be certified platinum but the band’s follow up albums have seen the band cultivate a more selective audience. In the decade since their debut, the band has completely changed its lineup. Only front man Hugo Ferreira remains of the original members of the group. Tantric released its fourth studio album “Mind Control” in August 2009 and has been on tour regularly since then. On stage, Ferreira’s grave vocals are his most distinguishing characteristic, but off the stage Ferreira’s work in the rock industry has brought him a great deal of insight to the many sides of the music industry. From the creative aspect of writing music and producing videos to the business end of promoting a product that people want to experience. I caught Ferreira the night before a show in Santa Rosa, California on a brief break during their summer tour.

MAXIMUM INK: I just got done watching the “Mind Control” video. You get a chance to do some zombie acting and television smashing. What is it like to film a video like that?
HUGO FERREIRA: We filmed the ‘Mind Control’ at an old warehouse in Nashville. We made it look like a ward with props and a lot of creative ideas. I wanted to do something a little darker and edgier and I was given some reign for creative choices. We were pleased with the end result.

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2421 ViewsPermalinkTantric MySpaceTantric Wiki
Taproot

Taproot

An interview with bassist Phil Lipscomb
by Aaron Manogue
May 2011

Fourteen years, seven albums, and hundreds and thousands of tour miles traveled, they are a band of many fortunes; Bad fortunes such as lineup changes and losing record labels, and good fortunes including touring with Deftones, Incubus, Mudvayne, as well as having multiple Top 20 singles off of various albums. Resilience is key when considering Taproot. Bassist Phil Lipscomb tells Maximum Ink a little about where he came from musically, and what sets Taproot and their fans apart.

Maximum Ink: Where did you get your start with music?
Phil Lipscomb: For me personally, my start was with my brother. I got my first bass off of him, and he had been playing guitar for years. I just going from there.

MI: You have been touring a lot in the past year or two. What do you do to stay sane when you’re on the road for months at a time?
PL: Well, my dad was in the Air Force, and I’ve moved around all my life, so I really enjoy traveling. I love being on the road. Two or three months is a long time to be on the road. By the end of the tour, I get that, “I need to be home, and I need to be able to relax for a little bit,” feeling. For the most part, we’re all friends, we’ve been friends for years and we get along pretty well. That helps tremendously.

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