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311 release their 12th studio album this summer titled Universal Pulse

311 (Three Eleven)

An interview with Singer/Guitarist Nick Hexum
by Aaron Manogue
May 2011

“Stay positive and love your life.” These words, spoken at the end of each concert by lead singer/guitarist Nick Hexum, exemplify what the band 311 is all about. For the past 21 years, their music has not belonged to any one genre or type. It’s merely been what it was always intended to be: 311 music. With 8.5 million units sold in the U.S., six albums reaching the Top 10 on Billboard’s Top 200 Sales Chart and eight singles reaching the Top 10 on Billboard’s U.S. Alternative Chart, it seems fans have received their message loud and clear. Maximum Ink’s Aaron Manogue sat down with lead singer/guitarist Nick Hexum to talk about their upcoming Summerfest appearance, what Summerfest has been like for them over the years, and the upcoming twelfth studio album Universal Pulse.

Maximum Ink: 311 has been touring for the better part of 20 years now and gone around the world. What is it that makes Summerfest in Milwaukee, WI such a great place to perform?
Nick Hexum: There is a special vibe at Summerfest. I like the way it caters to all kinds of different tastes in music and culture. There is such a wide mix of ages and types of people partying together. It’s a pretty unique happening.

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36 Crazyfists from Kenai, Alaska - photo by Brian Lee

36 Crazyfists


by Chris Fox
December 2008

The Alaskan-based heavy metal thrashers, 36 CRAZYFISTS, have taken a unique approach to their music and their performance. As Brock Lindow (vocals) explains, they have a very raw attitude, and admittedly are often too close to their music to fully understand what they are creating. Avoiding the negativity and anger that often surrounds the musical term “metal” and, rather, creating a positive ideal with a heavy sound. Their surprising rise to the heavy metal circuit is not that shocking, explains Lindow, “metal is the number one resource up there, nobody looks to Alaska as a musical hotbed, but that is what makes it the best place.” Lindow credits a lot of their inspirational drive to the small but thriving music scene in our nation’s largest state. Lindow compared the passion and energy of Alaskans to metal fans in Texas, and says, “Texas has got nothing on Alaska, the people are what make the music and the scene.”

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4 Aspirin Morning

4 Aspirin Morning

An interview with Madison ska-punkers 4 Aspirin Morning
by Mike Huberty
November 2012

As one of the busiest bands in Madison, 4 ASPIRIN MORNING has been kicking around the scene since 2009 as a mobile party unit unloading their classic ska-punk for a rabid and expanding fanbase far beyond the rude boys and girls traditionally associated with the genre. They’ve shared the stage with Third Wave Ska stalwarts like MUSTARD PLUG and DEAL’S GONE BAD, all the while integrating elements of metal and hard rock to put their own spin on the genre into a head-banging, fist-pumping, skanking buck wild cocktail. Their new release, “Skanks 4: The Memories”, will be unleashed on November 24th at a special release party called “Skanksgiving” at The Brink Lounge in Madison. Max Ink took some time to talk to singer Chandon Vicarious, bassist Drew Ferguson, sax player Mooney Soho, trombonist Stranger D. Davenport, trumpet man Joey Underfuck, and guitarist LeX, in anticipation for the new collection of tracks.

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Demetrius Wainwright of Natty Nation

46th Annual Harvest Fest

A Preview of Madison's 46th Annual Midwest Marijuana Harvest Festival
by Mike Huberty
September 2016

The first time I attended Harvest Fest was during my Freshman year of college at UW-Madison. I was walking down State Street when I noticed way more hippies and much more marijuana smell in the air than usual. In 1995 and my first year of living in Madison, hippies and open pot smoking was still kind of a novelty for me, so I figured it was some kind of holiday. People were marching down State Street just toking in the streets while police watched. I had to ask one of the passersby what the Hell was going on, did I walk into some kind of universe where the Drug War never existed?

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Last Crack at the Blue Lagoon in Iceland, on the cover of Maximum Ink in May 2005 - photo by Rökker

48 Hours in Iceland with Last Crack


by Rökker
May 2005

March 30 1800 Central Standard Time: Last Crack and crew await boarding an Icelandair 757 at Minneapolis International Airport. To settle nerves some of the boys have taken to the bar and shot glass. Happy flights, next stop Iceland!

0630 Atlantic Standard Time: That’s midnight for us Wisconsinites. Our day starts waking up at Iceland’s Keflavik airport in need of transportation for our crew of nine plus gear to Reykjavik, Iceland’s capitol forty-nine kilometers to the west. Reykjavik is about the size of Madison and harbors two thirds of the island nation’s population.

An attempt was made to find the difference in cost between the bus and a rental car at the Hertz window when along comes a cab driver with an idea. Olafsson, the world’s only Porsche taxi driver, tells us he’s going to Reykjavik anyway so he’ll give us a good deal. He also suggested we rent a one-way car for the rest of the gear and guys and just drop off the car in the city. Brilliant idea! He saved us some money right off the bat.

0800 AST: After an intense drive past kilometer after kilometer of moss covered lava, mountains and volcanoes, Olafsson drops us off at the club we’re playing that night, The Grand Rokk.

Kalli, the owner, and his associate Jon (pronounced like yan but with a little yone in it) meet us and dole out cups of espresso by the dozens to the weary set of travelers, trapped in their lair. They tell us of Vikings, celtic lore and Icelandic customs, then take us to the guest rooms at the hotel Adam to meet host Ragnar and get some rest.

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500 Miles to Memphis

500 Miles To Memphis


by Mike Huberty
April 2010

Continuing in the great Ohio cowpunk tradition of artists like TWO COW GARAGE and DAVID ALLEN COE, Cincinnati’s 500 MILES TO MEMPHIS (named after the distance from their home city to the birthplace of rock n’ roll)  blends roots, punk, and country with influences like Green Day and Ben Folds to Waylon Jennings and Merle Haggard. They just released their newest record, We’ve Built Up To Nothing on Valentine’s Day and are touring the country to support the release.

“It was Bohemian Rhapsody by Queen”, says main songwriter and frontman, Ryan Mallot, is the first song that inspired him to be a musician. “I had a fake microphone and would sing Queen all day long and it just grew from there.” So he got the bombastic rock in right away, but started into Americana early as well. “When I listen to country it’s a lot of older stuff. When you first learn to play guitar it’s just way easier to play.”

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7 Seasons Deep

7 Seasons Deep

An interview with Shawn Anthony Brown
by Teri Barr
March 2014

If the bands “Last Crack,” “Faces for Radio,” or “The Viskus Circle” sound familiar; then the recent combination of some of the groups various members ensures their new project, “7 Seasons Deep,”won’t be a stranger for long.

Four well-known, well-honed Madison-based musicians—lead singer Shawn Anthony Brown, along with Jayme Poster on lead guitar, Denny Carney playing bass, and Tim Schmitt on drums—are the heart and soul of what’s described as the straight forward, bluesy, hard rock sound of “7 Seasons Deep.”

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