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An interview with Anthrax Guitarist Rob Caggiano
by Aaron Manogue
November 2011

Metallica, Slayer, and Megadeath. Imagine sharing the stage with these three metal icons for some of the most killer metal shows of all time. Amazing right? It’s all in a day’s work for guitarist Rob Caggiano and the boys in Anthrax. The legendary metal band was part of one of the most incredible lineups and concerts metal has ever seen. Out on the road in support of their latest album “Worship Music,” Anthrax is hotter than ever and is out to prove it to each and every metalhead. Rob was nice enough to talk to Maximum Ink’s Aaron Manogue about the new record, the Big Four show for the ages at Yankee Stadium, his experiences in producing and how Anthrax has transcended the ages to stay on top, where they belong.

Maximum Ink: You started tracking the record about four years ago in 2007and it was released in 2011. That’s quite a long time for a record to be built. How did the album change over the years from when it first started?
Rob Caggiano: Well, like you said, we started in 2007 and we got pretty far. We got all the way up to the mixing stage but unfortunately the lineup wasn’t exactly stable at the time and things got a little crazy. We basically had to put the record on ice for a while until we figured out what we were doing and who was going to be singing for the band. Fast forward a few years and Joey Belladonna comes back for these Big Four shows and one thing led to another and he finally felt comfortable enough to want to sing on the record. So we went and opened the books again, so to speak, worked on what we had and made the changes to what we needed to fix. One of the cool things that resulted in having this much time with the songs is we basically pushed these songs as far as we could push them. You know what I mean? It wasn’t trying to beat the gun or whatever or be on schedule. It was kind of like, let’s take these songs and make them as good as they can possible be and that’s what we did.




An interview with Charlie Benante
by Tommy Rage
July 2017

Anthrax drummer and song writer Charlie Benante talks about the new Anthrax album, his South American travel secrets, and his other true passion in life….


1347 ViewsPermalinkAnthrax WebsiteAnthrax Wiki


An Interview with Lead Singer/Guitar player Steve “Lips” Kudlow
by Teri Barr
May 2014

They’re referred to as one of the pioneers of heavy metal, yet many people only discovered the hard-driving music of Anvil through the documentary, “The Story of Anvil”, a few years ago. The Canadian-based band hit the scene in the late-1970’s with names like Dokken and Whitesnake, yet almost as quickly disappeared. Grit, determination, and their pure love of metal music kept them on the road and in the studio throughout the 80’s and 90’s. But the documentary created the cult-like following of fans, old and new, and the band released its 15th album to rave reviews last year.

Now Anvil, made up of lead singer and guitar player Steve “Lips” Kudlow, drummer Robb Reiner, and new bass player Sal Italiano, are on the road in support of their new music, including May shows in Milwaukee, St. Paul, and Chicago. Just before they hit the Midwest, Steve “Lips” Kudlow talked to me by phone, answering questions about the music business, the band’s “never say die” attitude, and why he still thinks the most important thing he can do is connect with fans, one-on-one.

Maximum Ink: You’re in the midst of a pretty aggressive tour; first across Europe, now the U.S. How’s it going?
Steve “Lips” Kudlow with Anvil: Well, this is our biggest tour of the U.S., ever! And it’s taking a lot of strength. I mean, we aren’t 20 years old anymore (laughs), but luckily for us there aren’t any vices, plus we’re all healthy. Still, even after 37 years of Anvil, we are a new band to some who come out to see us. So we consider this an incredible achievement. And there’s something to be said for still living the dream!

MI: So, you don’t have your regular job anymore? I recall seeing you in “The Story of Anvil” documentary trying a few different things, including delivering food for a school to support your family. 
Lips: Nope. We are a full-time band. And we are going to work hard to keep it that way. Anvil has a lot of self-belief and confidence and we feel the hoopla is just building all over again, so we need to keep creating opportunities for the band and our music. Plus, we still think we have something special to share with our fans.


1672 ViewsPermalinkAnvil WebsiteAnvil MySpaceAnvil Wiki
Chris Shanafelt and Megan Mehl - photo by James Pederson Photography

The Apollo Affair

An interview with Chris Shanafelt and Megan Mehl
by Laura Sorensen
May 2016

Founded in the winter of 2013 the rock music duo The Apollo Affair is not your typical acoustic music experience. Comprised of guitarist Chris Shanafelt and vocalist and frontwoman Megan Mehl, the duo have been establishing themselves throughout the Midwest with their intense music and energetic performances. The Apollo Affair possesses an undeniable drive that borderlines upon obsession. I recently sat down with Chris and Megan to discuss their musical journey.

Maximum Ink: I read on your Facebook profile that you met at school. Tell me about the name of your duo and how you ended up playing together.
Chris Shanafelt:
Ultimately our band name comes from the Greek god Apollo, the god of music.


957 ViewsPermalinkApollo Affair Website
Ari Herstand

Ari Herstand

Minneapolis songwriter from Madison
by Mike Huberty
August 2010

A Madison native that’s now based in Minneapolis, musician and songwriter, ARI HERSTAND, has been making his musical name touring on a remarkable solo live show that mixes the classic singer-songwriter elements of guitar and voice, that is infused with trumpets, live looping, and orchestration. His latest project is not only performing, but also conducting seminars in high schools where he discusses musical careers with students. To him, music education in school was key in creating his artistic identity and he wants to get that message across to the next generation.

He picked up the guitar for the same reason most guys do. “I’ve been playing the piano for as long as I can remember and I picked up the trumpet in the 5th grade for band class.”, Ari says. “The summer before my freshman year of college I was sitting around a living room with a few friends and my friend Danny came into the room with his guitar and played the room a song. When he finished, he set the guitar down and left the room. Two girls looked at each other - one of them my girlfriend at the time - and they said ‘guys who play guitar are so hot.’ And here we are.”


Ari Mihalopoulos

Ari Mihalopoulos

An interview with Singer/Songwriter Ari Mihalopoulos
by Aaron Manogue
March 2011

It seems like Iowa is good at producing two things: Tons and tons of corn, and kick-ass metal bands. Maximum Ink has come across yet another of the latter in the band Destrophy. The Iowan quartet based out of Des Moines started all the way back in 2002 by highly-respected and enormously talented producer and singer/songwriter Ari Mihalopoulos. At the time Ari scouted the entire state in search of his perfect combination of musicians. After all was said and done, Ari had found Joe Fox (Drums), Eric Tisinger (Guitar), and Phil T (Bass) to complete his musical war party. Nine years, three albums and one EP later, Destrophy prepares for their second release under Victory Records titled Cry Havoc. Maximum Ink took some time to sit down with Ari and talk about their upcoming album.


Art Of Dying - photo by Michael Hurcomb

Art of Dying

An interview with Singer Jonny Hetherington and drummer Jeff Brown
by Kimberly E. McDaniel
April 2010

Art of Dying began in Canada, building an international following since releasing their breakout hit, Get Through This, in November of 2006.  The band, Jonny Hetherington on vocals, Jeff Brown on drums, Cale Gontier on bass and guitarists Greg Bradley and Tavis Stanley, found themselves beginning their whirlwind ride when Get Through This was selected for the World Wrestling Entertainment’s Pay Per View Survivor Series and used in a trailer to promote a podcast of “Port City P.D.”  The song is one of the official theme songs of the WWE NXT.  The band released their self-titled debut in February of 2007, and although the band has claimed that they will not release any more copies of the debut, the album is available as an import at


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