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Joey Santiago

The Pixies’ Joey Santiago

A brief chat with Pixies guitarist Joey Santiago
by John Noyd
September 2014

A self-proclaimed quiet thinker, self-taught guitarist and sonic architect, Joey Santiago would much prefer to talk about how producer Roy Thomas Baker brought his unique skills to shape both Queen and the Cars than about himself or his substantial contribution to creating the Pixies’ now classic loud quiet loud dynamic. The third of six sons, Joey remembers his mom calling up to his room asking if everything was alright. Santiago refers to being “stuck in the middle” growing up, but his youthful strategy to fly solo and let his curiosity lead the way brought an early discovery that the public library lets you check out vinyl. With the world at your feet Santiago says, “you’re not afraid to go check out riskier stuff,” and he soon became an avid reader of liner notes educating himself on everything from cool jazz to hot punk; a knowledge that tuned his college roommate Charles Thompson into sounds that eventually prompted them to drop out and form a band.

In preparation for their October 12th concert at Madison’s Orpheum Theater with up and coming rockers ROYAL BLOOD, MAXIMUM INK talked to Joey; which was not all that different from the music he is best known for; elusive then emphatic, he dodged questions with stories as revealing as any answer. Asked about his guitar playing and educating himself on Pro Tools, Santiago begins by saying he embraces his limitations, calling himself a “stress case” when it comes to getting the sounds in his head on to tape or more likely computer file. At the same time Santiago says, “Charles (Frank Black) and Gil (long-time producer Gil Norton) hand it over to me and let me run with it.” Joey admits that no matter what guitar he picks up it always sounds like him. He stumbles at trying to describe his style, referring to it as a “pointy thing,” then recalls former Pixies bassist Kim Deal calling him up after she watched an episode from the first season of Weeds, instinctively recognizing Joey’s sound in the incidental music.



Lacrosse, WI's The Songs For

The Songs For

by Mike Huberty
January 2010

With their first full-length CD, On The Fence, La Crosse, Wiscosnin’s THE SONGS FOR have created a catchy indie pop record earnest and simple in its themes of affection and redemption. At its core, the group consists of Ross Lueckar and David Bashaw who share guitar and vocal duties while bringing in guest performers to fill out the band’s sound.

As Lueckar puts it, he and Bashaw share a love of “90’s modern rock which is our common ground.” Lueckar describes his first and greatest influences as Weezer and Ash, which inspired him to first pick up a guitar, while Bashaw “went through a music program in college so he has a lot more of the traditional framing and background, where I just have the desire to make noise.” As for the name, Lueckar straightforwardly says, “The band name comes from the fact that I like incomplete sentences. Travis had an album called The Man Who and that was an incomplete sentence. I just thought it was a cool idea for a band name. The first time I tried the name I ended up doing something else because the drummer thought that it made us sound like a bunch of sissies. So it got shelved for awhile.”


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Theory of a DeadMan

Theory Of A DeadMan

by Chris Fox
January 2010

Interview with Tyler Connolly (vocals and guitars)

Canadian rockers THEORY OF A DEADMAN roll through Wisconsin in support of their special edition release of “Scars and Souvenirs.” After lots of success in the states both touring and through various compilation albums the band has developed as musicians, and find themselves “growing on all sides,” according to Tyler Connolly (vocals and guitars). Several video game appearances, work with the WWE, and showcases in movies, such as Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen, has launched THEORY OF A DEADMAN to chart topping success.

Their most recent album has presented a more mature writing style. Connolly explains, “it is now a more thought out process… before it was just whatever came out first.” The evidence is apparent as Connolly’s lyrics delve into broader terrain, and it exposes the musical talents of THEORY OF A DEADMAN. They effectively step away from angrier content and create songs that are very dark as well as songs that are just for fun. As the band matures they are devoted to “maturing without getting grey,” and they have learned the value of a great album with lots of promotion. “Simplicity is what we do,” explains Connolly, “we simply want to make playing (for us) and listening (for the crowd) a good night out.” They plan to break the cycle of their 3 years, one album trend, and hope to put out a new record within the next year.


Theory of a Deaman

Theory of a Deadman

An interview with lead singer Tyler Connolly of Theory of a Deadman
by Aaron Manogue
August 2011

Humor is a part of most happy people’s lives every single day. It’s one of those things that no matter who you are, where you’re from or how old you are, you can brighten someone’s day by making them laugh. There are all kinds of comedians that make a decent buck off of it, but very few musicians can do it and still be taken seriously. Theory of a Deadman is one of those bands that can make you laugh and cry in the same verse. They write music that anyone can relate to, whether it be about a break up or about life in general, when you listen to their music you feel as if you’re a part of their story, because you are. Vocalist Tyler Connolly spoke with Maximum Ink’s Aaron Manogue about why humor is such a big part of their music, their latest album The Truth Is, and their upcoming appearance headlining The Carnival of Madness 2011 Tour.

Maximum Ink: Your single “Lowlife” has kind of catapulted your new record The Truth Is. Tell me what that song means to you or what you meant it to mean to the fans.
Tyler Connolly: Basically, it’s just one of those “Don’t judge what you don’t know” kinds of things, you know? We’ve done so many festivals and just looking out at the audience and seeing chick fights and kick ass hillbillies. And you know it’s more of a song saying it’s ok to be a hillbilly because a lot of them are our fans. That’s pretty much what it means.


Thirsty Jones on the cover of Maximum Ink in May 2016 - photo by David Luciano

Thirsty Jones

An interview with Mark Fairchild
by Laura Sorensen
May 2016

Thirsty Jones is a four piece contemporary country / rock / blues / funk band from Madison, Wisconsin. Following a change of two of the band members last fall, the group has wasted no time performing live. Their first performance with the new lineup left them with less than a month to prepare. They rose to the occasion and have been busy performing and recording since December 2015. Members include Kirstie Kraus (Lead Vocals), Jacob Vance (Lead Guitar/Vocals), Jeff Root (Bass) and Mark Fairchild (Drums). I recently had an opportunity to talk with Mark about the band and what they are currently up to.

MAXIMUM INK: Tell me about the name of the band
That goes back to before I joined the band. The first part comes from our lead singer’s name, which is Kirstie, i before the r. Everyone would call her Kristie. Apparently she had a nickname at some point “Thirsty Kirstie.” It rhymed and it helped to remember her name. The Jones just sounded good. Together it sounds like a good country band name. So half of it’s a story and half of it just sounds good.


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This Or The Apocalypse

This Or The Apocalypse

by Chris Fox
September 2010

Combine pure aggression, heavy grooves and lots of melodic musings, you have THIS OR THE APOCALYPSE. With their debut record release, “Haunt What’s Left”, released with the production blessing from Chris Adler, drummer of LAMB OF GOD, this band has come out with all guns blazing. Diversity is what drives the metal out of this band even though singer, Ricky Armelino, says, “we’re not exactly hardcore, not exactly metal,” but what they definitely are is heavy.

Being an educated guy, Armelino draws on lots of influences for their music. “The musical diversity in this group is so wide,” he explains, “the most amazing thing, I think, is making five people that listen to completely different genres… we actually make it work.” These guys truly have a passion for the music that they write, and strive to stay true to their unique sound. Armelino explains that he is influenced by “the authors that I respect. Civil rights authors,” but he draws from his wide literary spectrum, “my favorite was early on, when I would use Victorian era poetry and just scream it at these hardcore kids, and they loved it.” The influence of old murky literature and contemporary metal and hardcore artists like EVERY TIME I DIE creates the passionate spectrum that is THIS OR THE APOCALYPSE. “There is a lot of inbreeding in this genre of music,” Armelino explains, “and we just push to really create a new sound. We force ourselves to not rip anybody off and make our own brand.” Using contemporary breakdowns and soaring choruses at first glance these guys could be mistaken for another screamo band until they hit you with their brand of brutality. Driving songs that beg to have a mosh pit, draw you in, and the piercing lyrics will make your chest shake.


Thomas Dolby - The Invisible Lighthouse Tour

Thomas Dolby

Dolby Illuminates Wisconsin with The Invisible Lighthouse Tour
by John Noyd
October 2013

For someone who is likes being on the cusp of things, Thomas Dolby certainly has a strong passion for the past; particularly when it comes to his current tour, a multimedia event that incorporates both the latest in music technology and an old-fashioned Foley artist providing sound effects. “It’s a film with a live soundtrack, which is very different from a concert,” Dolby says, “We do everything live onstage. It’s a very dreamy, atmospheric piece.” Focused on his personal efforts to preserve coastal lighthouses long since outdated by radar and suborbital satellites, but a cherished part of growing up on the north coast of England, Dolby’s Invisible Lighthouse tour is cutting-edge nostalgia. Ever the Renaissance man, Dolby shot the short film himself using remote control drones and high-tech spy cameras when the British government refused to give him permission to document these maritime relics; turning the film from a documentary into a clandestine adventure. “It’s a little bit tongue in cheek,” he explains. “It’s really an exploration of my childhood memories and how they adapted over time. The underlying theme of the film is an examination of our memories and how unreliable they are.”

Beyond his own memories, Dolby also sees his preservationist campaign as a cultural crusade. Citing a Doomsday list that details 46 American lighthouses threatened by erosion or lack of upkeep; Dolby felt obliged to carry his message to America. “Some of these marvelous lighthouses have stood watch over our coasts for centuries, through devastating hurricanes, epic sea battles, daring rescues and thwarted invasions,” Dolby explains. “The U.S. public has a perpetual love affair with the lighthouse, but is probably unaware that many are on the verge of being lost forever. It is so sad to see them crumble. America is still a young country and we should be doing all we can to preserve our historic landmarks for future generations to enjoy.”

Long an advocate of imaginative applications of technology, it should come as no surprise that the man who built a recording studio inside a 1930’s lifeboat that is powered entirely by renewable energy should employ advanced media tools to celebrate abandoned maritime icons. “I think as you get into middle age you tend to look back on your achievements and try and make sense out of all of them,” says Dolby, who at age 55 has achievements ranging from radio hits to videogame designs and Silicone Valley patents. A visionary whose insatiable curiosity creates alternative worlds, Thomas Dolby brings his transmedia event to Madison’s Majestic on November 6th and Milwaukee’s Shank Hall November 7th. For more information check out his website or find The Invisible Lighthouse Tour trailer on YouTube. Seeing is believing.


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