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Nine Inch Nail's Trent Reznor - photo by Adam Bielawski

Nine Inch Nails

by Paul Gargano
October 2005

It’s been six years since Trent Reznor released The Fragile, and a lot has changed in Reznor’s world. Nowhere is that more present than in new release With Teeth. Less epic in its structure than The Fragile double-disc, With Teeth is Reznor refined to a songwriting sheen, rather than navigating a colossal musical landscape. The songs still radiate with the thrust and tenacity inherent in Nine Inch Nails, but they do so with a bounce and vibrancy that breathes new life into the band, now featuring former Marilyn Manson bassist Jeordie White, Icarus Line guitarist Aaron North, returning drummer Jerome Dillon, and keyboardist Alessandro Cortini. At their heaviest, they’re industrial-fueled with a metallic surge, but there’s also an adherence to structural simplicity that harkens back to Reznor’s Pretty Hate Machine. With Teeth isn’t as pissed-off and dark as The Downward Spiral, or as emotionally bogged-down and cumbersome as The Fragile . And rightfully so neither is Reznor.

Maximum Ink sat down with the Nine Inch Nails mastermind to discuss the changes in the new album, as well as the changes in his life… 

MAXIMUM INK: Was With Teeth approached with a different direction in mind than previous albums?

TRENT REZNOR: Well, I went about writing in a different way. The last couple records, Downward Spiral and The Fragile, I realized I had written in the studio. Being that I don’t have a band to rehearse songs with, the studio becomes my instrument, and I had finally gotten a really nice place with everything I needed in it. I was realizing that the writing process was starting to become the same as the arranging and production process. It was all happening at the same time, there weren’t any demos anymoreI’d just go in the studio and come out with the songs finished, pretty much. This time around, for whatever reason, I wanted to get back to doing demos and start from a different place. Instead of starting with sounds and textures and that sort of thing, I started with words and melodies. So I moved out to L.A. and set up a place that purposely didn’t have much in it, just a piano and a drum machine, and a computer to record into. I set an every-week-and-a-half kind of deadline that didn’t allow me any time to really go off on a tangent, and let me just focus on the core of the song, then go back later and flush things out. And I think working that way made the record turn out more song-based, and less soundscape. I don’t think that’s better or worse, it’s just a different way of working that seemed like the right thing to do.


Ninja Sex Party on Conan - photo by #teamcoco

Ninja Sex Party

An interview with Dan Avidan and Brian Wecht of comedy rock band, Ninja Sex Party
by Mike Huberty
October 2018

Dan Avidan and Brian Wecht dial up the ridiculousness with their comedy rock band, NINJA SEX PARTY. Influenced by other musical humor acts like Jack Black’s TENACIOUS D and Andy Samberg’s THE LONELY ISLAND, their personas of a Teller-eqsue silent ninja musician and nebbish-y horny unitard-sporting wannabe rockstar Danny Sexbang form a comedy duo that takes inspiration from 80s rock and synth pop classics and sings songs with titles like “If We Were Gay” and “Heart Boner”. Their latest single, “Danny Don’t You Know” is a straight up “Sister Christian”-style ballad where young Danny Sexbang is portrayed by Stranger Things’ Finn Wolfhard as he is visited by the older version of himself that regales him with tales of the rock stardom that awaits if he just makes it through his awkward teenage years.


The Nod from Madison, Wisconsin

The Nod

by Mike Huberty
March 2010

As one of the acts making the most noise from the University of Wisconsin, THE NOD, takes influences from Barenaked Ladies to Weezer to come up with unconventional and fun alternative rock. All the members hail from around Midwest and met here in Madison, a place they refer to as “College Disneyland”. They’re playing a special free show on March 12th at the heart of State Street at The Pub. Last year, they released an EP, Shoddy Heart to the masses and since then, graduated, and are now entering the post-college music scene. We took some time to talk about the band with Brett Newski, the band’s lead singer and rhythm guitarist.

Explaining what people can expect to hear from THE NOD, Brett describes the band, “We’ve always tried to explain the music as the quirkiness of Cake, with the drive of The Strokes, meshed with the early Weezer guitar sound”, he says. “We’ve been told we’re poppy and accessible. The hook brings you back, as John Popper once said. Lyrically, I’ve listened to a ton of Cake and Barenaked Ladies, I work hard on lyrics but don’t want it to be too abstract. I’m not afraid of pop culture, and I despise cliche lyrics. For examples, how many times have we heard ‘save me from myself’? C’mon. It’s my ultimate goal to be interesting.”


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by Michelle Harper
December 2000

Imagine you’re taking a journey through various realms of reality.  The only specific destination being emotional vitality, you’re sped through black tunnels, hurled into vast spaces of echoes and set to drift on a winding stream of grinding utopia.  Where are you?  You’re listening to the debut CD of Nonpoint.

Nonpoint, whose home base is Fort Lauderdale, Florida, formed in 1997, and are currently on tour with the female metal band Kitty.  As a new reporter, I was given the assignment to interview the band’s drummer, Robb Rivera.  I went out and purchased a copy of Nonpoint’s debut CD “Statement” and waited for my phone to ring.  As I sat by my cordless, I thumbed through the CD insert.  There in the center layout, was a picture of the band.  I saw Robb Rivera’s looming presence among his fellow band mates.  I was interviewing him?  Me?  A small town fan from Madison, Wisconsin?  What does one say to a famous musician?


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by Sal Serio
March 2010

Fort Lauderdale based Nonpoint are true survivors of today’s competitive hard rock scene, having recently parted with their original guitarist, and experienced label change trauma. Not a band to dwell on adversity, Nonpoint are emphatically BACK with a new digital download acoustic EP, Cut the Cord, and their new full length CD Miracle is due out April 27. The current line-up is vocalist Elias Soriano, drummer Robb Rivera, Ken “Bastard” MacMillan on bass, and new guitarist Zach Broderick. Catch Nonpoint on tour March 5 in Minneapolis, March 6 at The Rave in Milwaukee, and March 7 at Appleton’s new club Revolution. I had the pleasure of talking to Elias and Robb recently - here are the highlights of our conversation.

MAXIMUM INK:  When you chose the five songs to record unplugged for Cut The Cord, was it the popularity of those songs that made you want to put a new spin on them, or did (they) lend themselves to that kind of arrangement?
ELIAS SORIANO:  Both. We’re the type of band that doesn’t like to cover songs as they are. Other than “Five Minutes Alone”, that we just did for the Dimebag tribute, if it’s rock you kinda got to keep it as rockin’ as possible, but taking a song like “In The Air Tonight” that really wasn’t rock, we elevated it to that genre. We try to do the same thing to our acoustic stuff, take our songs and change (them).

MI:  Was “In The Air Tonight” the biggest single you’ve had?
ROBB RIVERA:  I think “Bullet With A Name On It” was.
ELIAS:  But “In The Air Tonight” was so many years prior to when everybody got an ear of it. We had done that in 2004, and “Miami Vice” didn’t come out until 2006 or ‘07, so it gained new respect and got a little bit of momentum later on.
ROBB:  “Bullet” live has been the most (popular), but as far as use in TV shows it’s been “In The Air Tonight”. It’s been in the Olympics, movie trailers, and stuff like that.
ELIAS:  It’s helped us stay in the eye of the industry.




interview with bassist & vocalist Ken MacMillan
by Tina Hall
September 2010

The new Nonpoint album “Miracle” is out now on the band’s own 954 Records.The album was produced by Chad Gray and Greg Tribbett of Mudvayne/HELL YEAH. Nonpoint is comprised of three original members, Elias Soriano (vocals), Ken MacMillian (bass), Robb Rivera (drums), along with axeman Zach Broderick who makes his debut on the new album.

Maximum Ink: What were some of your earliest influences?
Ken MacMillian: Musically I’d have to say that Iron Maiden and Suicidal Tendencies really helped jump start my true appreciation for music. Before that I didn’t really look at music as ‘influential’. Just stuff to jam to.

MI: When did you first know you wanted to be a musician? And why?
KM: I was introduced to music by way of a bass guitar given to me as payment for mowing my neighbor’s lawn. A week later, a buddy of mine said he was putting a band together and asked if I played any instruments. I told him “yeah, I play bass.” I was happy to find out that when I showed up, they were all just as bad as I was. It was a hell of a twist of fate in my favor, but I couldn’t be happier with the way it turned out!


Nonpoint on the cover August 2013


an interview with Elias Sorano
by Aaron Manogue
August 2013

It seems like every band I have the honor to talk to, can’t say enough about Madison. How the venues are unique and intimate, how the festivals are packed with energy like they’ve never seen before, but most of all, how the fans quickly become like family by the end of each performance. Every single person that reads this article should feel proud to be part of the Madison hard rock and metal scene, because there isn’t a single musician that wouldn’t admit, we’re just a little more intense, we’re just a little louder and we’re a hell of a lot more crazy than those other stops on tour.

There there isn’t a band around that transcends the list of Madison’s favorite quite like the boys in Nonpoint. They’ve thrived off of their second to the north for over a decade now and every chance they get, they turn their dials up just one more notch for their Madison brothers and sisters. If there’s a band that fans of hard rock bleed for, it’s Nonpoint, after all, the band calls Madison ‘Nonpoint Nation’. As a matter of fact, their vocalist loves the city so much, he wants it to be his final resting place. Maximum Ink’s Aaron Manogue had a chance to ask their vocalist Elias Soriano about their latest single ‘That Day’ and their return to WJJO’s Band Camp on August 17th.

Maximum Ink: Your latest single ‘That Day’ continues to climb the charts. Talk to me about what the song means to you and the band.
Elias Soriano: That song has a lot of meaning for me and the band. The 2 years leading up to the release of our self-titled record was a bit of a struggle. Attitude and execution are everything when it comes to this band. When we made the changes we did in our camp it just seemed like things all if a sudden came together overnight. Music was fun again and our path was clearer than it had ever been. With our changes, everything changed. With one phone call, all of a sudden, things felt that way. So I truly remember that day that everything changed.


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