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Milwaukee's 1956, the band..

1956 The Band


by Mario Martin
April 2005

All too often, too much emphasis is put on those who create music rather than the music itself. Jim Morrisson saw it and performed whole concerts with his back to the audience. Trent Reznor saw it and performed most of his last tours’ shows behind a curtain. Slipknot saw it and began only going by band numbers behind masks. 1956 is an interesting paradox: similar, yet different.

Placing all the importance on the music, 1956 has been able to alienate the atypical image of the rock band whose visibility and publicity outshines the mediocrity of the music. That is not so with 1956. An assemblage of three men, all dedicated to the creation of strong rock music since 2001, 1956 enter the venue prepared for an aural, yet visceral, onslaught of sounds, pushed to the limits of conventional musicianship.

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Naked Raygun

Naked Raygun

A candid conversation with singer Jeff Pezzati
by Sal Serio
November 2015

Fans of the regional Upper-Midwest punk rock scene, whether young and still stage-diving in to the mosh pit, or the “senior scenesters” who had been there the first time around and are content to enjoy concerts from the bar stool in the back of the hall, are all quite familiar with the name Naked Raygun. The tuneful but edgy punk rock legends have been at it since 1980, and since reforming in recent years to play Chicago’s premier event Riot Fest, are proving that they haven’t lost any of that energy and electricity. With a new album in the works, singer Jeff Pezzati spoke with Maximum Ink’s Sal Serio about their upcoming December 4th appearance at Milwaukee’s Turner Hall.

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National Overdrive - photo by Holland Wood

National Overdrive

An interview with Michael Alan, bassist and founder of National Overdrive
by Mike Huberty
October 2011

Hard rock served straight up and dirty, NATIONAL OVERDRIVE, comes straight out of Minneapolis with their debut EP, “Welcome to the Nation”. Bassist and founder, Michael Alan (formerly of Twin Cities’ rock juggernaut, THOUGHTCLOUD) started up a recording project with the idea to form a band around it. And it couldn’t have evolved more serendipitously. “I ran into our engineer when my car broke down”, Alan says. “He was sitting over at a convenience store and I overheard him say he had a studio. Found out his studio was right around the corner from my house and then we just started getting together recording. I put a lineup together and now we’re ready to go out and play. Our record is out there and we’re ready to fire it up and go nuts.”

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Negative Example

Negative Example

An interview with Madison hardcore legend, Bucky Pope, and his new band, Negative Example
by Mike Huberty
August 2015

Bucky Pope will always have an established place in the Madison music scene as part of the 80s hardcore movement that birthed his band, the Tar Babies, and took them to SST Records (home of Black Flag, the Minutemen, Hüsker Dü, Sonic Youth, etc…) and national acclaim. After the breakup of that group (and before their *ersatz* reunion as the Bar Tabbies in the early 2000s) , Bucky Pope took time off music, but has now returned with a new band, Negative Example. Their new self-titled release just came out in July and I asked Bucky a few questions about his history, his new band, and their upcoming Madison shows.

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Nevada Backwards on the cover of Maximum Ink in May 2003

Nevada Backwards


by Brett Lemke
May 2003

Nevada Backwards are the hellbillys from Sacramento, California. A quartet of acoustic musicians, their sound is an amalgam of alt-punk and jamband bluegrass. Acoustic to Nevada Backwards, however, does not mean quiet. Their tortured sandpaper vocals and driving mandolin/banjo overtones fill each room with primordial savagery.

Brian Ballantine takes care of the vocals and guitar, Keith Lionetti plays upright bass, Troy Kimura bangs a ¾ size drum set, and Mick Stevenson plays mandolin, banjo, and acoustic guitar. “We’re totally unplugged,” says guitar/singer Brian Ballantine, “That’s it. It’s the only way that it can be done.”

In their spare time the four operate Tortellinni in Sacramento, a printing press and studio where they lease practice space to bands and musicians in the area. They work with each other and they are in a band together. “We have some practice space, and we’re releasing a CD on our own label,” says Keith. If this is in any way reflective of their personalities, then that to me is an assurance is that they won’t break up due to an ego issue.

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Madison Punkers the New Recruits featuring Shinky

The New Recruits


by Mike Huberty
March 2003

Madison Punkers the New Recruits featuring Shinky

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Milwaukee's New Society Of Anarchists - photo by Rokker

New Society Of Anarchists


by David A. Kulczyk
January 2002

The music industry has been full of bullshit since some cavemen (or cavewomen) started pounding two rocks together at the campfire and one of their tribe members started getting them shows at other campfires. Before long, they demanded no pink Auk eggs in the dressing room, ten clay pots of honey beer, and only the best grubs and Mastodon meat. Eventually the band disintegrated. Oog went solo, Gork started another band and Raag, the only original member, resigned to performing with musicians half his age at backwoods Neanderthal camps.

It seems like nothing has changed in all those years, until I interviewed The New Society of Anarchists. A Milwaukee band founded in 1990 by brothers Zakk (Bass), Arlo (guitar), their cousin Jason (guitar) and a revolving door of drummers. “It’s easy to be together when your family is involved”, said Zakk. “The only people that we ever go through are drummers, but we have a pretty solid unit going now. My old man was playing in bands ever since we were young and Jason’s old man too, so it’s in our blood.”

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