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Plastic


by John Noyd
March 2000

Plastic - sturdy, modern, and ubiquitous.  When referring to the musical group Plastic, the same qualities come up - plus adaptable, durable and multi-faceted. With current influences ranging from Radiohead, Bowie and the Cure, the eight-year-old band has dabbled in everything from greaser rock to British pop soul without softening a thing.  The axis on which Plastic turns are original members Joe Price and Joe Williams, the bass and drums, the backbone to any great sound.  Besides sharing first names, Joe and Joe share a telepathic intuition that cut through the rainbow of musical rosaries to move the beast along.  They do so with swift Swiss movements, like a funky Missing Persons meets son of Primus; intricate and propulsive, precise and explosive.

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Milwaukee's Pyschedelicasi on the cover of Maximum Ink September 1997

Psychedelicasi


by Kevin John
September 1997

An interview with Paris Ortiz, then guitarist for the now-defunct Milwaukee band, Psychedelicasi

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Wes Scantlin of Puddle of Mudd on the cover of Maximum Ink in August 2001 - photo by Christopher McCollum

Puddle Of Mudd


by Paul Gargano
August 2001

It all started with a fake backstage pass that got Wes Scantlin backstage at a concert he really didn’t even want to go to. There he was, wandering around Family Values, and he starts talking to one of Fred Durst ‘s security guards. He recalls that Fred Durst just started a record label, and decides to pass his only remaining copy of his demos on to the security guard, hoping they may reach the Limp Bizkit frontman. Scantlin couldn’t write music that sounded any less like rap-rock, but he knows Durst’s a businessman above all, and decides that if there’s an off-chance the phenom would hear his tape, he’d take it… A few weeks later, the phone rings, and it’s Durst. He not only got the tape, but he was impressed by it, and not only agrees to help the guitar-slinging singer/songwriter find a band, but offers to sign the soon-to-be quartet on his Flawless Records, as well.

The results are the brilliant debut Come Clean, an infectious blast of rock ‘n’ roll that swirls high-strung melodies around a punk rock raciness, serving up an inspired sound that stands head and shoulders above today’s murky musical depths. Album opener and lead single “Control” squirms in it’s own sexual energy, an anthem for anyone that’s been in a relationship for far too long. With the catch phrase lyric, “I love the way you smack my ass,” the track offers the perfect introduction to Puddle of Mudd, diving to bogged-down lyrical depths, kicking around the bottom, then exploding back up to break the surface, the whole experience defining why Puddle of Mudd aren’t your typical turn-of-the-millennium band.

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Puscifer on the cover of Maximum Ink's 14 year anniversary issue!!

Puscifer


by Andrew Frey
March 2010

Recently I was fortunate enough to talk to Maynard James Keenan and get the down low on his most recent happenings. He may be your rock n’ roll hero from his past projects, Tool and A Perfect Circle, but he has a few new tricks up his sleeve. He would like to introduce you to some new adventures in his well of creativity: Puscifer, and Wine Making.

This is the first of a two-part article that will showcase the interview.

Maximum Ink: What is this Puscifer thing and why should you go see and experience it?
Maynard James Keenan: “Puscifer is a troupe, not a band,” he begins. “It’s a performance not a concert. It has more in common with the “Sonny and Cher Show” and “Hee Haw” than Tool or A Perfect Circle.”

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Rammstein on the cover of Maximum Ink in November 1998  - photo by Paul Gargano

Rammstein


by Paul Gargano
November 1998

Just how far should a band go to win over a crowd? Rammstein go further. Some musicians breathe flames, Till Lindemann sings while engulfed in them. And that’s just to open the show. With only a handful of American dates under their belts, the buzz surrounding German industrial metal giants Rammstein is spreading like wildfire, propelling their Sehnsucht debut to gold status only six months after its release, and earning them the second headliner’s position on Korn’s Family Values tour. That may seem a bit ironic for a band whose lyrics hammer from brazen metal imagery to treading a fine line between sweetly erotic and disturbing sexual extremes. Then again, when the song titles in question are smash single and MTV Buzz Clip “Du Hast”-which translates to English, “You Hate”-and the more provocatively penned “Küss Mich,” “Tier” and “Spiel Mit Mir”-“Kiss Me,” “Beast” and “Play With Me,” respectively-the risk of being too risqué is lost. Rammstein are from Germany, sing entirely in German, and according to guitarist Richard Kruspe, who joined me on the phone from his homeland with a translator, they write their music in German, as well. Whether listening to their pair of tracks on David Lynch’s Lost Highway soundtrack-edits of ``Rammstein” and ``Hierate Mich,” their American unveilings-or any of the tracks on Sehnsucht, they slam with all the eerie forboding of a militant strike, twisting American metal and industrial with their foreign flair for results that crash between hollow hauntings and throbbing mayhem. Then there’s the performance. Live, the six imports from the other side of the crumbled Iron Curtain detonate more explosions than an air raid, and spew enough sexual imagery to dement even the sickest set of Family Values. Behold, America, the wrath of Rammstein is upon us…

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Ratdog featuring Bob Weir on the cover of Maximum Ink in March 2008

Ratdog

an interview with Bob Weir
by Sarah H. Grant
March 2008

Maggot infested skulls on bony blood-dried bodies, skulking graveyards in midnight mists is how people usually picture the rise of the dead. Bushy-beards and wonky wa-wa waves on a six-string, tie-dye twists and baby boomers lighting up, is however, the reality.

Far from the grave, ex-Grateful Dead frontman Bob Weir and his solo project RatDog, have scoured the sphere, playing over seven hundred shows since 2006. Along with a slew of brilliant musicians such as lead guitarist Mark Karan and keyboardist Jeff Chimenti, RatDog has dug deep into the core of improvisational riffs and melodies, and is safely the most musically comprehensive jam band formed post-sixties. A chunky brew of blues, jazz fusion, progressive bluegrass, and folk, RatDog delivers with an equally diverse palette as the latter day Grateful Dead. Weir channels Garcia in numbers like “Black Muddy River” and “Scarlet Begonias.” Yet the spectacle lies in the audience. The peace-loving, daisy-smelling youth that once swarmed Dead shows have become the stock-broking, suit wearing, SUV-driving dads, moms, and grandparents who come see Bob Weir to remember the days of freedom and hope, if just for a couple songs.

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Ray Condo and his Ricochets on the cover of Maximum Ink in May 2000 - photo by Dan Zubkoff

Ray Condo And His Ricochets


by Dave Leucinger
May 2000

He’s 46 - well past living the life of your typical traveling musician, complete with vans, hotels, late nights, and lots of driving. But Ray Condo isn’t your typical anything. So he’s able to fit in quite nicely - lead the pack, actually - when the usually independent rockabilly world unites at festivals, such as last month’s Viva Las Vegas. “They’re pretty special,” he said of VLV and its kin. “It’s a ‘meeting of the tribes’ where the culture comes together once or twice a year.”

Amongst those tribes, Condo certainly rates as chief - or at least elder medicine man. The potions he mixes are old recipes - first blended in the 1930s at dance halls between Tulsa and Austin. It’s a concoction known as western swing - a blend of instrumentation and rhythm uniting the Kansas City swing of the era and early electrified country, complete with singing pedal steel guitars. “The draw of western swing is that it has so many modern elements - like speeded-up guitar and a tough rhythm section. These were the elements that formed early rockabilly and rock & roll.” Through the 1940s, artists such as Bob Wills & the Texas Playboys and the Light Crust Doughboys sent many boot heels tapping. “By the late ‘40s, Hank Williams and Lefty Frizzell stripped the music into smaller combos - they were the Louis Jordans of the western scene. They put an end to those bands.”

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