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The Union Underground on the cover of Maximum Ink June 2001

Union Underground


by Michelle Harper
June 2001

It’s 3 o’clock in the afternoon, and Bryan Scott sounds like he’s been up for days. One of the handful of fortunate bands to participate in this year’s blockbuster “Ozzfest” tour, Union Underground’s lead singer is tired, but still going strong. “We’re leaving for Europe for three weeks, then back home for like a day, then we’re doing Ozzfest for like three months”.  Fatigued but eager to talk about his band, Scott begins recounting the life of a hard working musician on his way to the top, and his participation in the festival of the summer—Ozzfest.

For Scott, Union Underground began ten years ago when he met guitarist Patrick Kennison. Scott laughs, saying “Patrick and I have been teaching each other guitar since we were 14. I was the guy in school wearing the Guns-N-Roses T-shirt and he was the guy wearing the Metallica shirt.  We’ve basically been married for 10 years.”  Scott’s love of music began as soon as he purchased Motely Crue’s “Shout at the Devil”, and he’s been singing hard ever since.

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Unity on the cover of the July 2011 Maximum Ink

Unity The Band

From Fiji to the Fox Valley
by Mike Huberty
July 2011

Bringing some of that tropical feeling to the Fox Valley, a region famously called “The Frozen Tundra”, UNITY THE BAND, plays their roots-rock reggae music for fans all over the state and they’re working on the world. Frontman Pita Kotobalavu (better known to fans by his nickname, Kai) formed UNITY in 2003 after moving to Oshkosh. But here’s the kicker, he moved from Hawaii, where he’d previously moved from his homeland of Fiji. What can make a man leave paradise?

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Madison't VO5 to end the world! - photo by Nick Berard

VO5

A Party for the End of the World!
by Andrew Frey
December 2012

If you are going to throw an end-of-the-world party, make damn sure it’s full of rollicking music, carnivalesque sex, and otherworldly vibrations. Madison supergroup V05 (www.voh5.com) feels the same way and plans to take these elements and put them into a tight-fitting, glitter-speckled disco dynamite package fitting for the occasion.

To figure out how we are going to get to the end of the world, I asked the well-educated, award winning, and highly experienced members of the band how we got here and where we are going.

Lead hi-jinxstress, vocalist and trumpeter for this decorated outfit, Catherine “Cat” Capellaro starts out, “VO5 is huge, and very sparkly, and we play music that makes people dance. We like to call ourselves ‘The Ambassadors of Love.’  We radiate a positive, powerful vibe. We are 9 musicians that love getting together to play disco and funk classics and some tasty originals—all with the aim of moving people to ecstatic heights of dance bliss.”

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Voivod on the cover of Maximum Ink in April 2003

Voivod


by Andrew Frey
April 2003

Voivod blasted thru the late 80’s and early 90’s with a unique and evolutionary stretch of conceptualized sci-fi progressive thrash metal albums. “Killing Technology,” “Dimension Hatross,” and “Nothingface” are all extremely influential and classic thrash-era albums.

Now after several years of difficult times, harsh realities and semi-obscurity, Voivod has returned, revamped and reenergized, sporting an impressive new band member, Jasonic (Jason Newsted formerly of Metallica). There is also an exciting spring tour with Sepultura and a summer tour with Ozzfest. In fact, it was Jason who performed much of the revamping. The incredible new album, “Voivod Voivod” was recorded at and released on Jason’s own Chophouse Records.

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W.A.S.P. - artwork by Ian Chalgren

W.A.S.P.


by Jeff Muendel
February 2010

Those who have encountered the band W.A.S.P. are not likely to forget the experience. Like them or hate them, their stage antics tend to be memorable. The group almost literally clawed their way out of the early eighties Los Angeles heavy metal scene the same fertile ground that produced the likes of Mötley Crüe, L.A. Guns, and Ratt. These groups paved the way for many more hair bands to come, but W.A.S.P. was a little bit different. While many of the other groups from that era focused on a cross-dressing, bad-boy image, W.A.S.P. was just plain twisted and scary; the group was more Alice Cooper than Rolling Stones. Band members had circular saws sewn into the crotch of their trousers. Raw meat was cut up and thrown into the audience. Blood was a common stage prop. All of this accompanied aggressively sexual lyrics, buzz saw guitar riffs, and pumping double-bass drums.

At the heart of the group, then and now, was Blackie Lawless. In fact, he is the only remaining original member, and for all intents and purposes, W.A.S.P. is his artistic vehicle. Lawless was born Steven Duren on Staten Island, New York. Famously, or perhaps infamously, he got his first break playing with the legendary New York Dolls. The group was in its final death throes, but it introduced Lawless to New York Doll’s guitarist Arthur Kane. After the New York Dolls finally split, Lawless followed Kane to Los Angeles.

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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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Wookiefoot - 2013

An Interview with Wookiefoot Founding Band Member, Mark Murphy
by Andrew Frey
November 2013

Wookiefoot is a conduit of evolving consciousness. “When JoJo and I started WookieFoot fifteen years ago, we weren’t exactly sure what we were creating,” begins Mark Murphy, vocalist, visionary, and guitarist for Wookiefoot. “All we knew is that we wanted to be a large community of people doing ridiculous things and sharing our philosophy.”

However, as they lived their music, their philosophy and message evolved and escalated with each of their recordings. Starting by getting Domesticated (2000) they went on to Make Belief (2001). Then they got Out of the Jar (2003). After leaving the jar, they had to Activate (2006) before they could Be Fearless and Play (2009). Most recently, they challenged us with being Ready Or Not… (2012).

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