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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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Uriah Heep's Mick Box

Uriah Heep - Mick Box


by Jeff Muendel
November 2008

Mick Box has been the lead guitarist of Uriah Heep since the band’s founding in 1969. If my math is correct, that’s 39 years ago. The group, rightfully referred to as both classic rock and heavy metal pioneers, was one of the first to use overdriven Hammond organ as part of their big sound. Box’s guitar was the heaviness on the other side of the stage, however, and mixed with singer David Byron’s distinctive lyrics celebrating all things wizards and unicorns, the group attracted a large audience quickly.

Despite Uriah Heep’s progressive rock experiments, the group is perhaps best known today for the song “Easy Livin,” a straight-up hard rock song that became a biker anthem in the United States. The band (whose name, by the way, was taken from a Charles Dickens character in the book David Copperfield) has never ceased being in existence despite the death of David Byron and many lineup changes along the way. Now, almost 40 years later, the group has released its twenty-first studio album entitled Wake The Sleeper. It is true to its musical roots with chunky Hammond organ riffs, loud guitars, and fanciful lyrics. Maximum Ink recently spoke to Mick Box about the album and all things Uriah Heep:

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Vello Virkhaus

V-Squared Labs elevates concert experience with multimedia creations


by Andrew Frey
November 2011

A visual revolution has been brewing in the image rendering and video projection realms transforming musical events into an entirely new multi-level experience. On Oct. 19, I was fortunate enough to attend a sold out Amon Tobin show in Denver at the Ogden Theater during the highly acclaimed ISAM tour and witness one such multimedia experience.

Objects resembling giant, white Tetris blocks on the stage were suddenly transformed into living video art that throbbed and pulsed along with the music. Audience members visited outer space when we saw spaceships fly by and explode in amazing high definition imagery. We saw cyber machines chug and churn before morphing into green blocks of electric contemplation and much, much more.

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Madison's Vanishing Kids

Vanishing Kids


by Mike Huberty
June 2009

Keeping alive the torch of post-punk and new-wave, VANISHING KIDS started making noise when guitarist Jason Hartman and vocalist Nikki Nads met in Madison in 2000 and decided to form a band the following year where they could indulge in their love of artists like The Cure and Siouxsie and The Banshees. That path has since taken them to Seattle, back to Madison, and finally back to the West Coast to Portland, Oregon. They’ve achieved a good deal of success along the way, signing a distribution deal with Rykodisc and having industrial pioneer Martin Atkins take the producing reins on one of their albums.  This summer, they’ve released a brand new single, “Mother Earth”, and are hitting the road on a tour that will take them through the Western and Midwestern states.

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Vanishing Kids

Vanishing Kids

An interview with Nikki from Vanishing Kids
by Mike Huberty
September 2013

It’s been a long road for post-punk outfit VANISHING KIDS’ new album, “Spirit Visions”. Band founders and married partners, Nikki Drohomyreky (stage name: Nikki Nads) and Jason Hartman, have been recording and playing with different lineups since founding the band in 2000. Their 2005 album, “Selfish Mirror”, was a dark and brooding piece of New Millennium reflection on 80’s nostalgia produced by Invisible Records’ Martin Atkins and it gained the band some serious media attention on release. They moved from Madison to Portland in 2006, released a single in 2009, and have since returned to the Midwest. Their new album drops this month and we took some time to talk to them about the release.

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Vanishing Kids

Vanishing Kids

interview with Jason Hartman
by Theron Moore
December 2016

Vanishing Kid’s music is best described as heavy yet ethereal, complex and textured but always accessible, and more so than not—a massive, mountain of sound. A juggernaut in their own right.

I spoke with guitarist Jason Hartman to really dig into the story of Vanishing Kids, what makes up their overall sound, and what to expect from the band in the near future.

Maximum Ink: How did Vanishing Kids come together?
Jason Hartman:
Nikki Drohomyreky (Vocals, Organ, Synth, Percussion) and I started the band in 2000. Jerry Sofran (Bass, former Fluid Oz.) has been playing with us for 3 years now and was an idol of mine as a teenager. I would go to see his thrash metal bands Mirrored Image and For Christ Sake in the early 90’s. So intense! Drummer Hart Allen Miller has been with us for a year and a half. I played some shows with Hart in the past and was always impressed with his heavy, solid style. Nik and I were in the same scenes in the late 90’s in Madison and had similar musical tastes and passions. It was easy to put music together right away.

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