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System Of A Down on the cover of Maximum Ink in November 1999 - photo by Paul Gargano

System Of A Down


by Paul Gargano
November 1999

There’s no shortage of bands raising their pitchforks in the name of Lucifer, raping and pillaging in the spirit and disorder of chaos, and redefining battle lines with a flammable spray of piss and gasoline for the entertainment of their audiences. But when it comes time to walk the walk, too many are too busy fumbling over their own absurdity to matter for more than a sweaty night of mosh-pit mayhem. System Of A Down spare us the verbal diatribes, and when it comes time to lead by example, they aren’t satisfied with simply walking the walk. They power the pits, give the masses metal worth mulling over, and provide a rainbow of musical colors in a scene forever dominated by black.

It takes little more than a cursory listen to their self-titled American/Columbia Records debut to realize that there’s more to System Of A Down than your run-of-the-mill metal-thrashing-mad quartet. Building on the artistic foundation of their Armenian heritage with finger-flickin’ guitar licks, crunching bass riffs, and drums that punch, pop and pierce the unflinching darkness of their sound, frontman Serj Tankian snaps lyrics like a mad genius-calculated in their delivery and impact, yet presented in the manic and crazed ilk of a manifesto.

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Tantric cover design and illustration by Ian Chalgren

Tantric

an interview with Hugo Ferreira
by Troy Johnson
September 2010

Tantric first hit the music scene with a self-titled debut in 2001 that topped the charts with swaggering, grungy singles like “Breakdown” and “Astounded” that fit right into the New Metal mode that has been a staple of rock radio giants like Nickelback, Staind, and Creed since the late 1990’s.“Tantric” went on to be certified platinum but the band’s follow up albums have seen the band cultivate a more selective audience. In the decade since their debut, the band has completely changed its lineup. Only front man Hugo Ferreira remains of the original members of the group. Tantric released its fourth studio album “Mind Control” in August 2009 and has been on tour regularly since then. On stage, Ferreira’s grave vocals are his most distinguishing characteristic, but off the stage Ferreira’s work in the rock industry has brought him a great deal of insight to the many sides of the music industry. From the creative aspect of writing music and producing videos to the business end of promoting a product that people want to experience. I caught Ferreira the night before a show in Santa Rosa, California on a brief break during their summer tour.

MAXIMUM INK: I just got done watching the “Mind Control” video. You get a chance to do some zombie acting and television smashing. What is it like to film a video like that?
HUGO FERREIRA: We filmed the ‘Mind Control’ at an old warehouse in Nashville. We made it look like a ward with props and a lot of creative ideas. I wanted to do something a little darker and edgier and I was given some reign for creative choices. We were pleased with the end result.

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Tenacious D on the cover of Maximum Ink in April 2002

Tenacious D


by Michelle Harper
April 2002

Yes! Finally, an original and innovative musical group pierces the rerun neo-metal trend of the new millennium. Of course, musical geniuses such as Brittany Spears and the Backstreet Boys (pre-rehab visits) have made it almost impossible for anyone to look good, or even competent, in comparison. But, the hilarious sarcasm of Jack Black and Kyle Gass are making a run for glory despite the uphill trek, riding their mighty steeds with a guitar in one hand and a scepter in the other. Their mission? Tenacious D wants to kick some ass, rock your face off, and allow you the privilege of witnessing the “greatest band that ever was”.

It all began in 1996 when Gass and Black met in the L.A-based theater group, The Actor’s Gang. Gass instructed Black on some guitar techniques, and the two became fast friends. The duo has made cameo appearances in such flicks as Bio-Dome, Cradle Will Rock, and more recently, an HBO short documenting the hilariously intense rise to ass-kicking stardom - Tenacious D-style.  Black has made a name for himself as an actor as well, appearing as a clerk in John Cusak’s record store in High Fidelity, and the Farley Brothers’ flick Shallow Hal with Gwynneth Paltrow.  Finally, after six years, with the help of Dave Grohl of the Foo Fighters and production team The Dust Brothers , Tenacious D is on their way to selling 11 million records, just as Black so grandiosely predicted.

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Tesla on the cover of Maximum Ink July 2007

Tesla


by Paul Gargano
July 2007

An interview with members of Sacramento’s legendary Tesla

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That One Guy on the cover of Maximum Ink in May 2008

That 1 Guy


by Andrew Frey
May 2008

The world of one man bands is an eclectic and beguiling one indeed. In the past, they have been a whirlwind of instruments strapped to a person’s body with arms and legs quivering and flailing to produce rhythms and sounds that forged into music. That 1 Guy (aka Mike Silverman) is a one man band for the cyber age. His hands, arms and feet are strumming, plucking, smacking and caressing his unique instrument dubbed, “The Magic Pipe” while inserting in clever sound snippets and samples. It is a sight to behold!
I caught That 1 Guy’s last tour through Madison at the Annex and had a blast. It is a unique, absurd and elegant performance.

Recently I managed to squeeze in an e-mail interview with the man behind the GUY. He’s a busy guy. In fact due to an unexplained delay with the e-mail interview, I thought I had lost my interview possibility. He begins by recanting, “So sorry to be M.I.A.  I jumped out of my last tour into a very intense recording project that finished yesterday.”

Since his music is created via his own concocted instruments, I decided to start off by having him describe the focal point of his stage show and musical production, The Magic Pipe.

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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.

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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
MARK FAIRCHILD:
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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