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White Empress cover art by Ian Chalgren

White Empress

An Interview with Paul Allender and Mary Zimmer
by Chris Fox
October 2014

If you’ve heard of CRADLE OF FILTH, COAL CHAMBER, or LUNA MORTIS, you’re already familiar with what the emerging WHITE EMPRESS brings to the table. With the guitar techniques of Paul Allender (formerly of CRADLE OF FILTH), this new six-piece brings some Madison-local flavor with vocals from Mary Zimmer (formerly of LUNA MORTIS) and fellow Madisonian on guitar, Jeremy Kohnmann (Ash Aria).

Allender proclaims that the band is truly one-of-a-kind, as they combine a menagerie of backgrounds and talents. “It sounds like WHITE EMPRESS. It doesn’t sound like anything else,” he explains. Allender says the formation of the band came after CRADLE OF FILTH took a bit of a hiatus. “The whole plan was to take off a couple of years and then come back full station, but that didn’t happen. Basically, that’s when I sort of turned White Empress into not just a project but a full-time band.”

Zimmer says that the band is truly a combination of several ideas melding into a unique sound. “Everybody contributed and wrote their own parts. Paul did the arranging and wrote the core of the music - it was almost done by the time I got it,” she explains. “But I got to write my own vocal parts, which was different for me, and he let me have the freedom to do what I wanted.”

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White Mystery - photo by Diane Alexander White

White Mystery

Live at Mickey’s, Fri. July 5, with The Arge & The Non Travellin’ Band
by Sal Serio
June 2013

Some sound advice from the Salamander: do NOT go totally gonzo-party overboard this 4th of July, because you’ll most definitely want to save some energy for Friday the 5th and the stellar rock ‘n roll triple bill showcased at Mickey’s Tavern in Madison. Headlining (but playing second on the bill) is the garage-rock power-duo from Chicago: White Mystery! This is White Mystery’s first Madison appearance since opening for Shonen Knife at the UW Terrace last August.

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White Zombie

White Zombie


by Mike Huberty
December 2008

Formed in the mid-80’s in New York City, White Zombie would become one of the most popular metal acts through the 90’s. Their sound was heavy but with a groove and songs inspired from horror authors like Richard Matheson (I Am Legend) to classic muscle cars and cult films like Blade Runner and Night of the Living Dead. Their most visible member, Rob Zombie (Robert Cummings, Jr.), was not only a musician, but a filmmaker as well, who over the course of the past two decades would go from directing the band’s videos to being a sought-after horror movie director in Hollywood. Even though the band has been broken up for over a decade, Rob went through the entirety of their old recordings and came up with a new boxed set called Let Sleeping Corpses Lie which is a five-disc collection of everything the band recorded.

You can tell Rob Zombie gets asked about a White Zombie reunion all the time because the first thing he says is how the set has a perfect title, “it’s pretty self-explanatory because I didn’t want everybody to think the box set was the beginning of something. I wanted everyone to realize it was the end of something… I am not big on revisiting the past. I like to move forward all the time. So whenever anything else would come up, this would go in the backburner. I had a little bit of window, and just knocked it out. And I also figured that, if not now, when? By waiting longer, CDs aren’t even going to exist, so there will be no box sets.”

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Peaches Staten

Wild Women of the Blues


by Dave Leucinger
March 2014

Since 2003, the Madison Blues Society has demonstrated commitment to community – both musical and otherwise. While promoting education, awareness, and appreciation of blues music remains at the core of the organization’s mission, MBS has also played a positive role in other ways - such as outreach with the neighborhood centers and the Boys and Girls Club of Dane County. Students who learn from these programs have been featured performers at the MBS’s major summertime event, the Blues Picnic.

MBS added a new annual event seven years ago: the “Wild Women of the Blues” series – a reference to an early blues song written and performed by Ida Cox, and also successfully recorded by Bessie Smith and numerous others in the decades since: “Wild Women Don’t Have The Blues.” While the series was previously intended to help cover the costs of the Picnic, the event organizers have chosen to expand the purpose of this year’s event, with proceeds going to organizations that serve women and families.  This year’s show, which will be held at the High Noon Saloon in Madison on Thursday, March 20, beginning at 7:00 PM, will benefit Dane County’s Domestic Abuse Intervention Services (DAIS).

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Lisa Wenger

Wild Women of the Blues

Madison Blues Society
by Dave Leucinger
February 2015

It’s an unimpeachable fact: the history of recorded blues music started with women.  From Mamie Smith to Ida Cox, Bessie Smith, and the bawdy Lucille Bogan, women’s voices were the mainstay of recorded blues in the 1920’s. It was in that tradition that the Madison Blues Society began its annual “Wild Women of the Blues” seven years ago. Since then, the event has become a showcase for local and regional artists, and one of the largest fundraisers for the organization.

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Wildhoney

Wildhoney - FRZN Fest 2016

A quick check-in with guitarist Joe Trainor of Wildhoney
by John Noyd
December 2015

Labeled lo-fi shoegaze, retro noise-pop and post-modern doo-wop; guitarist Joe Trainor from Baltimore’s WILDHONEY understands how the band’s unique blend of styles defies easy categorization. Citing an eclectic mess of musical influences ranging from the Shangri-La’s to Cocteau Twins and early Madonna, Wildhoney shines most when least predictable, shifting gears and fusing genres to make for an amazing live show. MAXIMUM INK had the opportunity to pose a few questions to Mr. Trainor about their upcoming gig opening up day two of FRZN Fest 2016, January 15th at Madison’s High Noon Saloon and here’s what he had to say.

MAXIMUM INK: What do you think of when you think of Madison, WI?

JOE TRAINOR: Technicolor Teeth, Garbage and a nice coffee shop by The Frequency

MI: What sort of show should Madison expect from the band?

JT: Bring ear plugs for the music, bring acid for the visuals

MI: Nice of you to visit in the middle of winter. How can we make you feel welcome?

JT: Tell the sound guy we are loud, and be nice

MI: How would you describe your sound to somebody not yet tuned into Wildhoney?

JT: The song ” Kiss Me” by Sixpence None The Richer meets Nirvana

For more information check out www.frznfest.com to learn more about Wildhoney and the eleven other bands playing the three day festival.

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Will Hoge

Will Hoge

An interview with Singer/Songwriter Will Hoge
by Tina Hall
February 2014

Will Hoge has produced music ranging from Stones-influenced Rock n’ Roll to Americana, Southern rock, and back roots Country. With his ninth album, “Never Give In”, he offers country music with grit and soul.

Maximum Ink: What was it like growing up in Tennessee? What are some of your most fond recollections from that time in your life?
Will Hoge: Great. My dad played music when I was a kid and getting to be exposed to everything going on in Nashville, I always felt like, was an advantage for me. Music is everywhere.

MI: Do you remember what your very first favorite song was?
WH: Band on The Run - Paul McCartney and Wings. I played the 45 on my Mickey Mouse record player until the needle wore out.

MI: Who were some of your biggest influences musically and personally?
WH: Hank Williams, Ray Charles, The Rolling Stones. I’m reading the new Johnny Cash bio now and love the control he was able to take in the business aspect of his career.

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