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Driveway Thriftdwellers

The Driveway Thriftdwellers

An Interview with Jon and Ryan Knudson
by Michelle Harper
August 2016

Jon and Ryan Knudson know backwoods country. Wisconsin backwoods, that is.

Influenced by farm life and bands such as The Flying Burrito Brothers, Little Feat and Creedence Clearwater Revival, The Driveway Thriftdwellers sound like a meld of classic bluegrass country fusion and garage music from the 60s and 70s


Faith Hills Have Eyes

The The Faith Hills Have Eyes

by Teri Barr
February 2014

They admit it. The members of The Faith Hills Have Eyes have something new, fresh, and they’re ready to put it in your face. The dynamics of their latest material ranging from a hard ballad, stoner metal, full-throttle, to an even heavier sound (the band calls it the heaviest song so far), will be on full display during their upcoming live show and CD release party.

The fearless leader of The Faith Hills Have Eyes, Aaron Miller, says get to know the songs and you’ll get to know the band.  He even claims they love when someone in the crowd wants to grab a mic and do a part.


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The Haunted Club Tavern in Middleton, WI

The Ghost of Club Tavern

An interview with Moose Werner, owner of the haunted Middleton music venue, Club Tavern
by Mike Huberty
March 2016

Middleton’s Club Tavern has been a mainstay for live music on the west side for decades. The bar itself has been around for a lot longer than that and was even featured in the 1975 book, “Blue-collar Aristocrats: Life-styles at a Working-class Tavern”, a sociological study that looked through the other end of the hippie spectrum during the Vietnam generation, but what excited me the most about the place was the fact that I’ve heard several times from the staff that the Club Tavern was haunted.


The Mad Mad Ones  - photo by Kris Eidnes


An interview with The Mad Mad Ones drummer, Nick Bretl
by Mike Huberty
November 2015

Straight outta Wausau, THE MAD MAD ONES are alternative-style hard rock that will make you think of the big rock anthems of STONE TEMPLE PILOTS’ first record (still their best) and the wails and screams of JANE’S ADDICTION’s groove-metal head bangers. Guitarist/vocalist Ted Fox, drummer Nick Bretl, guitarist Jeff Sandbom, and bassist Ryan Anderson have delivered a monster in the form of Down The Rabbit Hole, their debut album. It’s all belching guitars, piercing vocals, and relentless drums that evoke equal parts ALICE IN CHAINS and WOLFMOTHER. I went down the rabbit hole with Nick to talk about their album and their upcoming Madison show at the Willy Street Pub and Grill (AKA The Wisco) on Friday December 11th.


Joey Santiago

The Pixies’ Joey Santiago

A brief chat with Pixies guitarist Joey Santiago
by John Noyd
September 2014

A self-proclaimed quiet thinker, self-taught guitarist and sonic architect, Joey Santiago would much prefer to talk about how producer Roy Thomas Baker brought his unique skills to shape both Queen and the Cars than about himself or his substantial contribution to creating the Pixies’ now classic loud quiet loud dynamic. The third of six sons, Joey remembers his mom calling up to his room asking if everything was alright. Santiago refers to being “stuck in the middle” growing up, but his youthful strategy to fly solo and let his curiosity lead the way brought an early discovery that the public library lets you check out vinyl. With the world at your feet Santiago says, “you’re not afraid to go check out riskier stuff,” and he soon became an avid reader of liner notes educating himself on everything from cool jazz to hot punk; a knowledge that tuned his college roommate Charles Thompson into sounds that eventually prompted them to drop out and form a band.

In preparation for their October 12th concert at Madison’s Orpheum Theater with up and coming rockers ROYAL BLOOD, MAXIMUM INK talked to Joey; which was not all that different from the music he is best known for; elusive then emphatic, he dodged questions with stories as revealing as any answer. Asked about his guitar playing and educating himself on Pro Tools, Santiago begins by saying he embraces his limitations, calling himself a “stress case” when it comes to getting the sounds in his head on to tape or more likely computer file. At the same time Santiago says, “Charles (Frank Black) and Gil (long-time producer Gil Norton) hand it over to me and let me run with it.” Joey admits that no matter what guitar he picks up it always sounds like him. He stumbles at trying to describe his style, referring to it as a “pointy thing,” then recalls former Pixies bassist Kim Deal calling him up after she watched an episode from the first season of Weeds, instinctively recognizing Joey’s sound in the incidental music.



Lacrosse, WI's The Songs For

The Songs For

by Mike Huberty
January 2010

With their first full-length CD, On The Fence, La Crosse, Wiscosnin’s THE SONGS FOR have created a catchy indie pop record earnest and simple in its themes of affection and redemption. At its core, the group consists of Ross Lueckar and David Bashaw who share guitar and vocal duties while bringing in guest performers to fill out the band’s sound.

As Lueckar puts it, he and Bashaw share a love of “90’s modern rock which is our common ground.” Lueckar describes his first and greatest influences as Weezer and Ash, which inspired him to first pick up a guitar, while Bashaw “went through a music program in college so he has a lot more of the traditional framing and background, where I just have the desire to make noise.” As for the name, Lueckar straightforwardly says, “The band name comes from the fact that I like incomplete sentences. Travis had an album called The Man Who and that was an incomplete sentence. I just thought it was a cool idea for a band name. The first time I tried the name I ended up doing something else because the drummer thought that it made us sound like a bunch of sissies. So it got shelved for awhile.”


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Theory of a DeadMan

Theory Of A DeadMan

by Chris Fox
January 2010

Interview with Tyler Connolly (vocals and guitars)

Canadian rockers THEORY OF A DEADMAN roll through Wisconsin in support of their special edition release of “Scars and Souvenirs.” After lots of success in the states both touring and through various compilation albums the band has developed as musicians, and find themselves “growing on all sides,” according to Tyler Connolly (vocals and guitars). Several video game appearances, work with the WWE, and showcases in movies, such as Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen, has launched THEORY OF A DEADMAN to chart topping success.

Their most recent album has presented a more mature writing style. Connolly explains, “it is now a more thought out process… before it was just whatever came out first.” The evidence is apparent as Connolly’s lyrics delve into broader terrain, and it exposes the musical talents of THEORY OF A DEADMAN. They effectively step away from angrier content and create songs that are very dark as well as songs that are just for fun. As the band matures they are devoted to “maturing without getting grey,” and they have learned the value of a great album with lots of promotion. “Simplicity is what we do,” explains Connolly, “we simply want to make playing (for us) and listening (for the crowd) a good night out.” They plan to break the cycle of their 3 years, one album trend, and hope to put out a new record within the next year.


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