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Shot To Hell on the cover of Maximum Ink in September 2002

Shot To Hell

by David A. Kulczyk
September 2002

It is not everyday that you see a band fly out of the starting blocks like Shot To Hell.  Their enthralling version of Psychobilly has been burning the boards throughout the Midwest, uniting fans of multiply genres and age groups.

After a trying year that included three different drummers and a van fire, Shot To Hell has finally (hopefully) put their bad luck behind them with the addition of permanent drummer by the name of Daphna Ron, who also contributes backing vocals.

Shot To Hell has two full albums worth of songs to release, which they will record at their own Psyclops studio in La Crosse. Next month they are going to have a remix version of their song (If you) Think I’m Dumb on the Georgia based Illbilly Records compilation “Dropped On The Head - Vol. 2”


Sick Puppies

Sick Puppies

An interview with bassist of Sick Puppies Emma Anzai
by Aaron Manogue
June 2011

Perhaps the biggest compliment that you can pay to a festival such as Summerfest isn’t mentioning that it’s the largest music festival in the entire world. Yes, this is a huge feat considering the size of the festivals in Europe, but it’s still not the biggest compliment. The biggest compliment must be that every musician we seem to talk to views playing Summerfest as one of the highest honors that a band can receive. This idea is no different for Emma Anzai of Sick Puppies. Maximum Ink spoke with Emma about what an honor it is to play Summerfest, her past experiences there, and what’s next for the Australian rock ‘n’ rollers.

Maximum Ink: You guys are slated to play Summerfest on July 6. What’s it like to be able to play the at world’s largest music festival and play on the same stage as some of music’s most talented musicians?
Emma Anzai: It’s pretty surreal and I don’t think it’ll ever stop being that way for us. We can’t wait to check out the artists on this year’s lineup.


The Siegel-Schwall Band - originally from Madison, WI

The Siegel-Schwall Band

by Brett Lemke
January 2006

The Siegel-Schwall Band first emerged in 1966 on Vanguard Records in the height of the Summer Of Love blues boomlet. Young Corky & Jim were students of the Chicago Blues and could be found cutting their chops in the Windy City’s clubs with legends like Muddy Waters, Willie Dixon and Hubert Sumlin on an average Thursday evening. Siegel-Schwall released nine studio albums and collaborated with conductor Seiji Ozawa and the San Francisco Symphony Orchestra before parting ways in 1974. Their traditional routine of yearly reunion shows since their 1988 Reunion Concert album on Alligator Records has finally been broken, and the group has released Flash Forward, their first studio record in 32 years featuring all originals, and their most polished effort to date. Maximum Ink spoke with Jim Schwall and drummer Sam Lay about what lies ahead for them.

Originally starting out as a duo for small club gigs, Jim would play guitar, Corky would play piano, harp, and percussion, and they both would sing. A rotating rhythm section was added when bookings for larger gigs became standard. When they were signed to Vanguard Records, Siegel-Schwall released four records: The Siegel-Schwall Band, Say Siegel-Schwall, Shake and Siegel-Schwall 70. The group moved to RCA/Wooden Nickel in 1971 and released Sleepy Hollow, 953 West, Last Summer and the aptly titled R.I.P. before breaking up in 1974. Siegel went on to pursue a solo career intertwined with a fusion of classical music and blues and Jim Schwall earned a PhD in Music.


Silence is Broken

An interview with vocalist Aaron Fishel and drummer Kyle Urbanik of Silence is Broken
by Aaron Manogue
December 2010

We all constantly hear people talking about their favorite local band. You know, the one that your best friend’s cousin’s brother-in-law is in and “they’re the next big thing!” It’s almost by default when we go to local shows nowadays that you’ll hear a few locals telling you you’re going to be blown away by their performance and music. And also as we all know, this is very rarely true. Then we ran into a band called Silence is Broken, and all those things we had heard were true. Maximum Ink Magazine sat down with vocalist Aaron Fishel and Drummer Kyle Urbanik to talk about where they came from, and where they’re going.

Maximum Ink: So how did you guys get your start?

Aaron Fishel (Vocals): Me, Jamison (Parker), the guitar player, and Shawn Wade, our bassist, started this band five years ago. We had just gotten tired of the scene around our hometown of Rockford (Illinois). Same bands, same people; like regurgitated everything. We’ve been doing nothing but shows. We’ve toured with Dope and Anew Revolution, 12 stones, played (WJJO) Band Camp this year, which was a major highlight for us. Pushing and pushing and pushing.


SIMO on the cover of Maximum Ink music magazine


SIMO comes back to play AtwoodFest 2017
by Teri Barr
July 2017

The bluesy tunes of J.D. Simo have hit a new high. He has written hundreds of songs, traveled the world, and J.D. has even cut his trademark shoulder-length hair since the last time we talked with him for Maximum Ink just after a successful performance at AtwoodFest a few years ago. But his history in music remains the same; he grew up in Chicago, quit high school, and moved to Nashville. He became a young studio musician and played on more than 500 albums. He says many were popular names we may recognize which made him recognize he didn’t want to play sessions the rest of his life. He formed the SIMO trio, and this second chapter of his music history is still being written.

Here’s an update on some of the things we talked about during our first interview:

Maximum Ink: You’ll be back for a second AtwoodFest show in July, but you’ve played Madison a couple of times since your first AtwoodFest show. What is it about playing here that draws you back?
J.D. Simo: We try not to have expectations of a place when we play there, but Madison is beautiful, and I felt a creative contingent of people, similar to Boulder or Asheville. That’s a feeling that sustains you as you get on stage, and it helps you get into a rhythm. It’s what I did at the first AtwoodFest show, and after a few songs I looked out to see the place was packed. It’s something I want to remember! I’ve actually had people tell me, sometimes as a band is climbing, you forget to live in the moment, so you have to enjoy it. It really was a show we’ll never forget, and I’m looking forward to playing AtwoodFest again!

MI: SIMO is a three piece, but you have always sounded so much bigger. Not louder, but bigger. I saw you recently, and the sound is so consistent.
JD: I am so very proud of the three of us! We are so conscientious of our sound, and it’s why we use vintage gear, in the context of our heros like the James Gang or the Jeff Beck Group. We want to earn a stake in that lineage. Plus, as a trio, you have to give 100% of your talent, and energy. You have to be completely committed to the music, and we aim to do that every night, so we know not one of us can slack off on it.


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Sky Road Fly Band Photo by Nick Berard - photo by Nick Berard

The Sky Road Fly

An Interview with Sky Road Fly
by Max Ink
June 2013

After a brief sample of the early mixes, I sat down with the guys to discuss the new album, their creative energy, and what the future holds.  Sky Road Fly has crafted an effort that establishes them as a musical force to be reckoned with in the Madison scene, and they were happy to share their thoughts and ambitions.

What has the recording process been like?  How was it different than “Pure Danger”?
RH: Its safe to say that we’re at the quality of Smart Studios, if not beating it.  At Smart, we had to work around somewhat of a schedule, so it took a long time because we had to hop in whenever it was available. 
BJ: Here there’s an opportunity everyday to work.  We can really look at things closer here.


Slash - artwork and design by Ian Chalgren - photo by Paul Brown


An interview with Guitar Legend Slash
by Tina Hall
April 2011

Slash, a household name because of Guns N’ Roses, is without a doubt one of the most legendary guitarists of our time. His work with Snakepit, Velvet Revolver, and as a solo artist has shown time and time again that he is one of the best in his field. As a session artist, he has worked to enhance the music of some of the biggest names in the business and has influenced guitarists of all ages with his solid and timeless playing style. He recently embarked on a five week North American tour, opening for Ozzy Osbourne, in support of his latest self-titled solo album. It was truly an honor to have the chance to bring his fans this small glimpse of one of rock’s finest.

Maximum Ink: How do you think the music industry has changed since your early days? How would you like to see it change next?
Slash: It’s been going through some massive changes. The most important being the advent of the Internet and file sharing and also digital. We are still adapting to that, but that’s a major change.  It’s hard to say where it is headed in the not too distant future.


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