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Die Kreuzen

Die Kreuzen

“Gone Away” But Not Forgotten, Back For A Limited Time Only
by Sal Serio
May 2013

I turned 18 in 1981. Like many others who transformed from boys to young men in the early 80s, it was a time of confusion, but also one of excitement. America’s socio- political landscape had radically changed to one of conservatism and military intervention during the Reagan regime, and equally as turbulent was the beloved institution of rock and roll. Mainstays of arena rock were suddenly seen as antiquated… out of touch with a new look and attitude. Punk had taken over, and given the agitation of the times, it’s no wonder.

Much appreciated about the punk movement was how the barrier between musician and audience was broken down. In the 70s, chances were unlikely that a pimply-faced young dude would get to hang out with one of his heroes. This privilege was almost exclusively reserved for pretty girls. Likewise, to become a popular rocker seemed a nearly unobtainable quest. With punk, the fans all had their own bands, and many times the venues did not even have stages. We all stood on the same ground, and we all drank from the same keg when the show was over.

Which is not to say we didn’t have bands to look up to. When I joined my first punk band in 1983, we all brought a lot of influences to the table, but our commonality was that we wanted to be like Black Flag and Die Kreuzen.


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Sexy Ester on the cover of Maximum Ink in April 2013 - photo by Nick Berard

Sexy Ester

An interview with Sexy Ester lead vocalist, Lyndsay Evans
by Mike Huberty
April 2013

Firmly establishing themselves in the Southern Wisconsin scene since forming in 2009, Sexy Ester is a Midwestern PoMo Blondie, mixing classic rock and New Wave into poppy melodies with synth hooks and a relentless beat. They cleaned up at last year’s Madison Area Music Awards, taking home eight trophies including Artist of the Year, Vocalist (Lyndsay Evans), and instrumentalist (Keyboardist Roscoe Evans). Their new release, “Monomania”, is came out last month. We took a few minutes to talk with Lyndsay about the new album,  .

MI: So, tell me a little bit about how you guys all met?
LE: We all knew each other in our town before we came to Madison. I’m from Gratiot, Wisconsin. A tiny town. Adam (Eder, guitarist) and Brad (Schubert on bass) are from a town right over the border in Illinois. We met while he was in a goth/electronica band in high school. We just started writing songs together for ten years after that. We moved to Madison in 2002. We did acoustic stuff together and decided to start playing out live. We originally had a harmonica player and it veered towards classic rock. We’d already been in Madison for 7 years when we started Sexy Ester. But when we added the keyboardist (Roscoe, Lyndsay’s brother) it really pushed us in a New Wave direction. A little over a year and a half ago, our original drummer left to run for office and is now a District Attorney in Northern Illinois. Our new drummer, Jenna (Joanis), well, Adam describes her as adding an element of danger

.

MI: What were the bands that you connected on?
LE: We were huge Beatles fans, Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd, The Who. It was later that we started to love the New Wave bands and we started getting compared to them a lot. Roscoe listens to the unknown bands and Ween, Brad likes Metallica. Everyone brings in different sorts of styles. We never set out to be a New Wave band, it just sort’ve happened. People started comparing us to Siouxsie, but I hadn’t really known those bands beforehand, so it really evolved without me even knowing.

MI: How did you get involved with Girls Rock Camp, and what does it mean to you?
LE: Beth Kille contacted me about GRC and asked if I’d be willing to be a coach. The first camp I coached a was a Ladies’ Rock Camp, and it was a blast! I couldn’t believe that these fearless ladies formed a band, wrote a song, and performed it in three days! It was magical for me. And GRC is that times 10. These young girls do the same thing in a week. It is so inspirational and motivational for me. I love every minute of it.

MI: In what ways has providing that instruction through GRC influenced you personally and professionally?
LE:  I’ve met a lot of amazing women and girls. We’re sort of a community. I believe this is my third year with GRC and I had no idea how many great female musicians there were in Madison before that. That networking has opened doors for all of us, I’m sure.

MI: As an instructor for GRC, what advice do you have for aspiring young musicians?
LE: Don’t give up. Be yourself. Give it your all. And put on a show. Also, we are all here and willing to give advice. Anyone can contact me with questions. I’d be happy to share my knowledge and experience.

MI: What are the themes behind “Monomania”? Is there something that really connects the release together?
LE: A lot of the songs are about uniqueness and who you are and not being afraid of that. About finding yourself. One of the songs was inspired by a drag queen that I know. I did a call on Facebook asking people to message me about something that they always wanted to do, but never did. In the choruses, I list off all the different things that people wrote me. “Silver Shoes” is the name of it.

MI: What’s the title mean?
LE: It’s about being infatuated with one thing. One of the songs on the album is “Spotlight”, and the title comes from the lyrics of the song, which was inspired by the Local Sounds web story by Rick Tvedt from when we first started playing out. It’s about someone who’s quiet and unassuming in person, but transforms into a rock star onstage. And I hear that from people all the time, that I’m shy and introverted when I meet people, but when they see me onstage it’s a different person.

MI: What are you guys looking forward to over the next year?
LE: We’re going to play the WAMIs (Wisconsin Area Music Awards) at Turner Hall on April 14th. We’re really busy right now, which is awesome, playing every weekend and trying to get out of the city more. We played Chicago, Milwaukee, La Crosse, and trying to get into The Cities. This last year after our MAMA wins, people started to pay more attention to us and doors are opening up for us more.

Catch Sexy Ester on April 7th at the High Noon Saloon in Madison and find them in May at Bratfest.

 

 


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Carbellion

by Chris Fox
March 2013

Raunchy, heavy, and made for your rebellious intellect, Carbellion brings a new brand of hard rock to the scene. A band of five musical veterans with a guttural passion for their music, this quintet knows their crowd, knows their roots, and they’re staying true to their fiery sound.


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Hanging Out with Masked Intruder

Masked Intruder

An interview with Guitarist/Criminal Intruder Green from Masked Intruder
by Mike Huberty
February 2013

Upbeat pop-punk that’s fast, catchy, and clever, Madison’s MASKED INTRUDER has made a massive impact on the Midwestern punk scene in just a short time. Doo-wop harmonies meet beefy guitars meet memorable songs that you can sing and clap along to. These four alleged hoodlums’ real identities are kept secret to keep the fuzz off their backs and you can only tell them apart by the color of their face masks. With Orange on bass, Red on drums, Blue sings, and Green on guitar, they released their self-titled debut on Chicago’s Red Scare punk label just last August and were quickly picked up by Fat Wreck Chords (NOFX, DESCENDENTS, SCREECHING WEASEL), hitched on a tour with TEENAGE BOTTLEROCKET, and are preparing for a huge 2013. The guard let us have 15 minutes through the glass with Intruder Green and we talked about what’s coming up for the band this year.


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Dark Star Orchestra - photo by Bob Minkin

Dark Star Orchestra

An interview with guitarist Jeff Mattson
by Sal Serio
January 2013

One of the true originals in the history of American music remains the Grateful Dead, and even though the group disbanded in 1995 after the death of lead guitarist, vocalist, and co-founder Jerry Garcia, the Dead phenomenon continues full force. Among the strongest contingencies involved in keeping the vibe of the Dead authentic, and turning on new fans to the GD concert experience is Dark Star Orchestra, who formed in Chicago in 1997 when guitarist John Kadlecik and keyboardist Scott Larned shared the concept of starting a band that recreated entire Grateful Dead concerts from the past. Over the years, Dark Star’s legacy has grown, and a few line-up changes have occurred, including the shocking passing of Scott Larned in 2005. In 2009, Kadlecik was asked to join the band Furthur with original Grateful Dead members Bob Weir and Phil Lesh, and at that point Jeff Mattson, of Zen Tricksters and Donna Jean Godchaux Band fame, was logically asked to fill the Jerry Garcia role in Dark Star. In anticipation of DSO’s approaching upper Midwest dates (Jan 30 at First Avenue in Minneapolis, Jan 31 at the Barrymore Theatre in Madison WI, Feb 1 at the Pabst Theatre in Milwaukee, and Feb 2 at the Vic Theater in Chicago) I had the opportunity to speak to Jeff Mattson by phone while he was enjoying some time off at his home in New York state.


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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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4 Aspirin Morning

4 Aspirin Morning

An interview with Madison ska-punkers 4 Aspirin Morning
by Mike Huberty
November 2012

As one of the busiest bands in Madison, 4 ASPIRIN MORNING has been kicking around the scene since 2009 as a mobile party unit unloading their classic ska-punk for a rabid and expanding fanbase far beyond the rude boys and girls traditionally associated with the genre. They’ve shared the stage with Third Wave Ska stalwarts like MUSTARD PLUG and DEAL’S GONE BAD, all the while integrating elements of metal and hard rock to put their own spin on the genre into a head-banging, fist-pumping, skanking buck wild cocktail. Their new release, “Skanks 4: The Memories”, will be unleashed on November 24th at a special release party called “Skanksgiving” at The Brink Lounge in Madison. Max Ink took some time to talk to singer Chandon Vicarious, bassist Drew Ferguson, sax player Mooney Soho, trombonist Stranger D. Davenport, trumpet man Joey Underfuck, and guitarist LeX, in anticipation for the new collection of tracks.


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Mr. Gnome on the cover of Oct. 2012 Maximum Ink

Mr. Gnome

An interview with Mr. Gnome's Nicole Barille
by Mike Huberty
October 2012

Atmospheric and beautiful, Cleveland’s psychedelic indie-rock duo, MR. GNOME has been touring the United States for the past few years delivering haunting art-rock. Drummer/keyboardist, Sam Meister, and singer/guitarist, Nicole Barille (think a voice like Florence + The Machine but moving between extra edge and ghostly melodies) are high-school friends who’ve gone the distance in creating intelligent and powerful post-rock songs over the course of three full albums, the latest of which is the charmingly alliteratively titled “Madness in Miniature”. Earnest and effortlessly likable, vocalist Barille took a few moments to talk with us in anticipation of their Madison show on October 26th.


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Second Soul

Second Soul

An interview with Troy Stetina of Second Soul
by Mike Huberty
September 2012

Shredder. While some cubicle drones might immediately think about office equipment and geeks might conjure up images of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles’ greatest foe, headbangers think of dudes that can play the guitar. No, not just rhythm, but real guitar. Lotsa sweaty dudes can power chord their way through a set. We think of leads. And not just octaved melody lines that pass for “solos”, but guitar histrionics that melt your goddamn face. Licks and runs that make long-haired high schoolers run back to their Mom’s basements to practice their scales. SECOND SOUL is the Wisconsin band that’s taking the kids back to school. It’s hard rock with a modern sound, as comfortable next to HINDER (And who the Hell named that band?) as they would be next to RANDY RHOADS-era OZZY OSBOURNE. This Milwaukee-Madison based group has an album that’s ready to hit. With a recording that’s ready for radio, a full-throated lead singer in Scott Yanke, and a shredder’s shredder in Troy Stetina, SECOND SOUL was a long-time coming. Dues paid. Songs written. Stetina has sold over a million copies of educational guitar materials. Now, it’s time for the teacher to become the artist.


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Hewn from Madison, WI - photo by Nick Berard

Hewn

by Andrew Frey
August 2012

Hewn. A short and simple name for a band that is neither simple nor small nor easily explained.

“When Sam Spotts (Acoustic Guitar, Growls & Such) and I first got together I had no idea what kind of music he was playing,” begins Ben Lisser (Pots and Pans, Piano, Guitar, Vocals, Head Chef). “All I knew was that I loved it and had to be a part of it. We both wrote a lot together and never really tried to produce a certain kind of music. Sam would present a song and I would record it and add drums, and piano and anything else we felt was necessary.”

However, the duo ran into a dilemma early on. Sam recalls, “When Ben and I started recording we quickly realized that unless we both grew four more arms and an extra head we couldn’t recreate the sound
that we made on the recording.”

Thus the ranks of Hewn swelled to 7 when Sam and Ben enlisted the aid of musical cohorts, Forrester Barry (Djembe, Vocals, Rabble Rouser), Nathan Bowie (Bass, Vocals, Cool Hand Luke), Jake Blumer (Electric Guitar, Plucko), Adam Bluhm (Pots and Pans, Accordion, Vocals, Whistles/Kazoo, Thrower of Stuffs) and Christian Lisser (Drums & percussion, Motor Man).


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