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Ultraspank on the cover of Maximum Ink in July 1998 - photo by Paul Gargano

Ultraspank


by Paul Gargano
July 1998

If OZZfest is any indication, Santa Barbara, CA is the metal capitol of America, represented on the tour by Life of Agony frontman Whitfield Crane, Snot, and newcomers Ultraspank.

“It’s a weird scene,” says Ultraspank lead singer Pete Murray of his hometown. “There are like three colleges there, so you get people coming from all different parts of the country.” That’s the case with Ultraspank, as Murray, guitarist Jerry Oliviera and drummer Tyler Clark migrated to the coastal community for school. “It was either there or Maine,” Murray, a native New Yorker, muses of his choice. But even with a degree in Film, his interests were always aimed at music, as he and his future bandmates spent the better portion of the decade playing in local Santa Barbara outfits before coming together, as Spank, about two years ago.

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Ultrea

Ultrea

Relentlessly Rocking and Forever Ascending
by Sal Serio
June 2015

It’s an exciting time for the Madison-based rock band Ultrea. June 2015 marks the E.P. release of new music titled “Forever Ascending” as well as a video for the song “Through The Ashes”. The world premiere of the new E.P. was broadcast June 2 on maxinkradio.com as a part of The Jimmy K Show, and the release party will be Sat. June 20 at The Red Zone (Annex) with Minneapolis band Gabriel And The Apocalypse, Genotype, Growing, and more. Ultrea also is performing at some large Midwest festival dates. The band, or “family” as they say, is comprised of Jennifer Lecesse-vocals, Jason Wepking-bass, Kyle Rattner and Greg Dellmann-guitars, and Bryan Lawver-drums.

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Umphrey's McGee on the cover of Maximum Ink September 2007

Umphrey’s McGee


by Mike Huberty
September 2007

When first hearing the voice of Joel Cummins, the keyboard player from Chicago jam-band Umphrey’s McGee, one might expect a stoned-out, hippie wasteoid, not the articulate, self-deprecating and passionate music theory graduate that helped found the group in the mid-‘90s at Notre Dame University. But the man’s musicianship is no joke.

Teetering on the edge of the mainstream with their third album, “Safety in Numbers,” the band released a double album of tracks from the “Safety” recording sessions called “The Bottom Half” last April, performed on Lollapalooza, and started opening for the Dave Matthews Band on his latest tour (to which Cummins half-jokes, “One of the goals was to play more tunes for the ladies.”)

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Unearth

Unearth


by Chris Fox
December 2009

East coast hardcore bands are a quickly growing force, and one of the heaviest, UNEARTH, makes their way through Wisconsin. Coming off their previous tour with thrash titans, TESTAMENT, Trevor Phipps (vocals) feels the band is only getting started on their contribution to the heavy metal world. Still out promoting their latest album, “The March,” this quintet thrives on the stylings of their local scene in Massachusetts and the metal influences of the 90’s.

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The Union Underground on the cover of Maximum Ink June 2001

Union Underground


by Michelle Harper
June 2001

It’s 3 o’clock in the afternoon, and Bryan Scott sounds like he’s been up for days. One of the handful of fortunate bands to participate in this year’s blockbuster “Ozzfest” tour, Union Underground’s lead singer is tired, but still going strong. “We’re leaving for Europe for three weeks, then back home for like a day, then we’re doing Ozzfest for like three months”.  Fatigued but eager to talk about his band, Scott begins recounting the life of a hard working musician on his way to the top, and his participation in the festival of the summer—Ozzfest.

For Scott, Union Underground began ten years ago when he met guitarist Patrick Kennison. Scott laughs, saying “Patrick and I have been teaching each other guitar since we were 14. I was the guy in school wearing the Guns-N-Roses T-shirt and he was the guy wearing the Metallica shirt.  We’ve basically been married for 10 years.”  Scott’s love of music began as soon as he purchased Motely Crue’s “Shout at the Devil”, and he’s been singing hard ever since.

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Russell Hall of the United Sons of Toil from Madison

The United Sons Of Toil


by Mike Huberty
May 2008

Describing themselves as “noisy Midwestern math-rock delivered by populist theoreticians,” THE UNITED SONS OF TOIL blend hyper-literate lyrics with pounding instrumentation on their upcoming record. A veritable Madison super-group (even though they’d most definitely hate that appellation), their lineup consists of guitarist/singer, Russell Hall (of POUND WI and P’ELVIS), bassist Bill Borowski (from THE ARGE, ATALANTA, and gorilla-suit wearing surf-rock masters, KNUCKELDRAGER) and drummer Chad Burnett (who doubles in guitar for COLONY OF WATTS.)

According to Hall, it started because he “was a huge fan of Colony of Watts and would go to all the shows”, he says. “With their guitarist, I found a shared love of mid-to-late 90’s Touch and Go, AmRep, and Dischord bands.” He describes their influences as “Stripped-down, aggressive, indie-rock post-punk Chicago sound. Like a Big Black, Jesus Lizard and Tar vibe. Chad and I became friends because we shared similar aesthetics. I asked him if he was interested in playing in a noisy, math-rock band”.

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Unity on the cover of the July 2011 Maximum Ink

Unity The Band

From Fiji to the Fox Valley
by Mike Huberty
July 2011

Bringing some of that tropical feeling to the Fox Valley, a region famously called “The Frozen Tundra”, UNITY THE BAND, plays their roots-rock reggae music for fans all over the state and they’re working on the world. Frontman Pita Kotobalavu (better known to fans by his nickname, Kai) formed UNITY in 2003 after moving to Oshkosh. But here’s the kicker, he moved from Hawaii, where he’d previously moved from his homeland of Fiji. What can make a man leave paradise?

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