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Tommy Lee on the cover of Maximum Ink in June 2002

Tommy Lee


by Paul Gargano
June 2002

Tommy Lee became synonymous with drumming in the late ‘80s and early ‘90s, his solos setting the standards by which all future drummers would be judged, and his presence one of unparalleled rock ‘n’ roll excess. Since those heralded days in Mötley Crüe, a lot has happened, but Lee’s focus hasn’t shifted. Through tabloid headline after tabloid headline, he’s kept his music close to his heart, all the while, his personal life being run through the American psyche as if it were made for prime time television. And while the hooplah may have been more than most men could handle, in sitting down with Tommy Lee as the release of his sophomore solo effort approaches (this time the project is simply called Tommy Lee, and the album, appropriately, Never A Dull Moment), it’s practically chilling how sound both in mind and body the international superstar has become. It’s as if the more he’s been through, the more he’s learned, and Lee savors the newfound knowledge with an enviable zest for life. The same zest that he applies to his music. On the eve of the band’s departure for the road in support of Lee’s latest solo outing, Maximum Ink sat down with the drummer-turned-frontman to discuss life as an icon, and the albums that have come as a result…

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Tool on the cover of Maximum Ink September 2006 art by Peter Westermann

Tool

an interview with Maynard James Keenan
by Paul Gargano
September 2006

Maynard James Keenan doesn’t want Tool to change the way you think, he wants you to change the way you think. To that end, new release “10,000 Days” is as profound as any statement in Tool’s five album catalog, sculpting a grisly and garish sonic landscape of a world run astray. Never ones to paint an explicit picture, Tool – frontman Keenan, guitarist Adam Jones, drummer Danny Carey and bassist Justin Chancellor – paint in broad strokes, blurring acute angles with more obtuse symmetry, and making their music a truly interactive experience. It’s about asking the questions that aren’t supposed to be asked, and finding the answers that aren’t supposed to be found. It’s about finding inspiration where others may see desolation. It’s about opening a third eye and making the pieces fit. It was in that spirit of self-discovery and realization that Maximum Ink sat down with Maynard James Keenan for this exclusive interview…

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Whorrorcore from Madison's Tormentula featuring Cathy Detmers of the High Noon Saloon - photo by Rokker

Tormentula


by David A. Kulczyk
April 2000

“Whorrorcore,” was the reply that I got from Tormentula drummer / vocalist Alice Bludgeon when I asked her to describe Tormentula’s music. I’ve wanted to do a story on Tormentula ever since their CD, Submit You Unworthy Soul, came out last summer. Not a pretty record and occasionally not easy to listen to, but nonetheless a superior record of enraged estrogen recorded for all of the world to hear and one of the best hard rock CD’s to come out of Wisconsin. So impressive is Submit Your Unworthy Soul, that the CD was stolen from my office while I was setting up this article.

I wasn’t sure what to expect from these women with faces made up better than KISS, playing music to stomp gonads to. What I did find was an intelligent and articulate woman (drummer / vocalist Alice Bludgeon) whose love for rock and roll music is as passionate as Angus Young. “I think that music should be challenging to the musician and to the listener,” said Bludgeon.

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Trans Siberian Orchestra on cover of Maximum Ink in December 2005

Trans Siberian Orchestra


by Paul Gargano
December 2005

It’s the day before Thanksgiving, and while the rest of us are worrying about what time we should start roasting our turkeys, Paul O’Neill has a different set of concerns: The 18 semis and 16 tour busses that are transporting his Trans-Siberian Orchestra spectacles across America.

Yes, spectacles.

In seven years, Trans-Siberian Orchestra has not only become the holiday season’s main concert attraction, but also one of the year’s top ticket-sellers. And they accomplish this in less than six weeks on the road, splitting their ensemble into two equally impressive and awe-inspiring bands, each of which is responsible for performing in front of a different half of America in the final weeks of each year. Sound confusing? Try spearheading the whole operation, which O’Neill has done since he conceived the idea that would become the band’s now multi-platinum debut, Christmas Eve And Other Stories, nearly a decade ago. 

Yet in the face of it all, he remains as calm and composed as a freshly fallen Christmas snow.

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Ultraspank on the cover of Maximum Ink in July 1998 - photo by Paul Gargano

Ultraspank


by Paul Gargano
July 1998

If OZZfest is any indication, Santa Barbara, CA is the metal capitol of America, represented on the tour by Life of Agony frontman Whitfield Crane, Snot, and newcomers Ultraspank.

“It’s a weird scene,” says Ultraspank lead singer Pete Murray of his hometown. “There are like three colleges there, so you get people coming from all different parts of the country.” That’s the case with Ultraspank, as Murray, guitarist Jerry Oliviera and drummer Tyler Clark migrated to the coastal community for school. “It was either there or Maine,” Murray, a native New Yorker, muses of his choice. But even with a degree in Film, his interests were always aimed at music, as he and his future bandmates spent the better portion of the decade playing in local Santa Barbara outfits before coming together, as Spank, about two years ago.

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Ultrea

Ultrea

Relentlessly Rocking and Forever Ascending
by Sal Serio
June 2015

It’s an exciting time for the Madison-based rock band Ultrea. June 2015 marks the E.P. release of new music titled “Forever Ascending” as well as a video for the song “Through The Ashes”. The world premiere of the new E.P. was broadcast June 2 on maxinkradio.com as a part of The Jimmy K Show, and the release party will be Sat. June 20 at The Red Zone (Annex) with Minneapolis band Gabriel And The Apocalypse, Genotype, Growing, and more. Ultrea also is performing at some large Midwest festival dates. The band, or “family” as they say, is comprised of Jennifer Lecesse-vocals, Jason Wepking-bass, Kyle Rattner and Greg Dellmann-guitars, and Bryan Lawver-drums.

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Umphrey's McGee on the cover of Maximum Ink September 2007

Umphrey’s McGee


by Mike Huberty
September 2007

When first hearing the voice of Joel Cummins, the keyboard player from Chicago jam-band Umphrey’s McGee, one might expect a stoned-out, hippie wasteoid, not the articulate, self-deprecating and passionate music theory graduate that helped found the group in the mid-‘90s at Notre Dame University. But the man’s musicianship is no joke.

Teetering on the edge of the mainstream with their third album, “Safety in Numbers,” the band released a double album of tracks from the “Safety” recording sessions called “The Bottom Half” last April, performed on Lollapalooza, and started opening for the Dave Matthews Band on his latest tour (to which Cummins half-jokes, “One of the goals was to play more tunes for the ladies.”)

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