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Marilyn Manson on the cover of Maximum Ink in November 2000

Marilyn Manson

by Paul Gargano
November 2000

Marilyn Manson knows a thing or two about fire and brimstone. His music scorches the earth like flames from the fingertips of an angry God, blazing through anything in its path and pulsing with an industrial-strength rage and heavy metal-inspired bravado, offering the perfect rough-and-tumble accompaniment to vocals that spray from the speakers like a hailstorm unleashed from the heavens, pelting the skin and piercing the psyche. Driven by equal parts rebellious fervor and spiritually charged dogma, he knows no path other than that of the philosophically profound and socially rehabilitative, but to hear his critics offer their take on his rock ‘n’ roll tantrums, he’s a disease in which every one of society’s self-serving watchdogs has a cure. His Portrait Of An American Family debut laid the groundwork for a band that would revolutionize the face of modern music with Antichrist Superstar, a release that gave the American youth a figure to rally behind, and American powers-that-be a figure to rally against. Manson shifted outward gears from religiously tempered to sexually shape-changing with Mechanical Animals, but his message stayed the same within music that took on a more refined and high-polished sheen. He’s been one of the most chronicled artists of the past decade, but consider it all the calm before the storm. Holy Wood (In the Shadow of the Valley of Death) is his outfit’s most ambitious outing yet, swirling their heaviest music to date within a soundscape that turns the hypocrisy of an American culture on end. His physical image is eerie enough to scare his Omega character into submission, and the music has hooks that scrape the skin with an infectious blend of heavy metal thunder and punk rock lightning. Marilyn Manson offered this exclusive look at the vast array of forces that shaped his entertainment Eden Holy Wood and its shadow-filled photo negative Death Valley. Welcome to Holy Wood…


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Stone Temple Pilots on the cover of Maximum Ink October 2000

Stone Temple Pilots

by Paul Gargano
October 2000

an interview with Stone Temple Pilots’ vocalist Scott Weiland who talks about touring, Pearl Jam similarities from their early days, Bad-asses, porn stars, strippers, Limp Bizkit and the Doors


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Disturbed on the cover of Maximum Ink in August 2000

Disturbed

by Paul Gargano
August 2000

It takes all musical shapes and styles to fill out an OZZfest lineup, and this summer’s run is no exception—The hip-hop stylings of Tommy Lee’s post Mötley Crüe/Methods of Mayhem bounce into the industrial-metal synchopations of Static-X, which clamor into the hard rocking depths of Godsmack . And then there’s the full-on metal bombast of Pantera.

If you have the stamina, that offers a hell of a day at the mainstage, but this is America in the year 2000. In an age of instant gratification, why settle for four bands when there’s a band on the sidestage that offers everything each of those bands has to offer, and more. That’s big talk about a band that’s not even halfway to a gold record (selling 500,000 copies) with their Giant Records debut The Sickness, especially when comparing them to four bands that have sold more than 10.0 million albums between them. But Disturbed are that good. Quite honestly, they’re even better.


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the back of Zakk Wylde, Black Label Society on cover of Maximum Ink

Black Label Society

by Paul Gargano
July 2000

There’s nothing subtle about Zakk Wylde. He’s the guitar demon that laid the sinister soundtrack to Ozzy Osbourne’s No Rest for the Wicked and No More Tears, breathing insanity into “Crazy Babies,” ripping through “Demon Alcohol” and raising hell on earth with “Tattooed Dancer.” He wore his Southern pride on his sleeve with Pride & Glory, enjoying fleeting success with the project, but not completely satisfying his hunger to rock with reckless abandonment. From there he split songwriting time between Osbourne’s Ozzmosis album and Guns N’ Roses, in the process, recording his solo-acoustic Book of Shadows, an album that made for an interesting sidebar for the shredding metal phenom, but only intensified his desire to raise Caine with six-string, Sabbath-inspired salutations.

When writing with GN’R seemed a dead-end road, Wylde had a revelation—he’d sing the songs himself, give them his own voice, and create a band that fulfilled his vision of rock’s most brutal attributes. He dubbed the band Black Label Society


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Slipknot on the cover of Maximum Ink in May 2000 - photo by Paul Gargano

Slipknot

by Paul Gargano
May 2000

Ten years ago, the Limelight was a landmark for bands who performed in New York City. Women danced in cages suspended from vaulted ceilings, stained glass surrounded a stage elevated on what used to be an altar, and men and women mingled in lines for unisex bathrooms. Built as a church decades earlier, the site had since been deconsecrated, converted to a nightclub, and angel-shaped disco balls hung where a crucifix was once suspended. It was the perfect not to mention haunting and eerie setting for the inspired debauchery of sex, drugs and rock ‘n’ roll that made the late ‘80s and early ‘90s such revered times.

And almost a decade later, recently reopened, it was the perfect venue to host the live chaos that is Slipknot.


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A Perfect Circle on the cover of Maximum Ink in April 2000

A Perfect Circle

by Paul Gargano
April 2000

When Billy Howerdel was writing the songs that would later become A Perfect Circle’s debut, he had a very specific vision. It involved a female singer, lending her soft caress to songs that would be ambient, ethereal, and heavy. “I wanted to do soundtracks,” recalls the guitarist, “I literally wanted to do a song, a 40 minute song that can be a score to a movie.” And he adjusted more than a decade of songwriting accordingly, padding out songs and stretching them from four-minute pop, to textured voyages ten times their original length.

Then, while doing production work during the recording of Tool’s Aenima epic, Howerdel met the band’s frontman, Maynard James Keenan. Keenan liked what he heard of the guitarist’s works in progress, and asked if he could contribute vocals. “I was thrilled,” Howerdel laughs, sitting in a Los Angeles rehearsal studio where A Perfect Circle were preparing for their current tour with Nine Inch Nails. “I quickly got over the female voice thing! From there, things changed.”


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Kid Rock on the cover of Maximum Ink in December 1999 (oh no, the millenium bug!!) - photo by Paul Gargano

Kid Rock

by Paul Gargano
December 1999

If there’s a single artist that best signifies America as we bum-rush the millennium, it’s Kid Rock. He oozes white trash and he’s proud of it, blazing across the country and winning audiences over with a devilish charm and coy irreverence to anything that gets in the way of his pimpin’ ain’t easy persona. He’s as smooth as a frosty cold one, but kicks back with the sting of a warm malt liquor. He’s rock, he’s rap, he’s country, and he’s blues. He probably smokes bluegrass, and his stage show rolls with the rocking and rolling curves of female dancers and big-bottomed bootieful backdrops. He’s impishly sexy, yet slyly chauvinistic, something his female hordes of fans are ready to lap up with a tease me, please me grin and an enthusiastic baring of their chests to get backstage. Call it all what you will, but it’s rock ‘n’ roll, and it’s something mainstream music has been without for too damn long-Kid Rock’s a superstar, the likes of which American audiences haven’t had since ‘80s hair bands left women wanting to be sexy, and made it fashionable for men to be sexist. It’s all about living in the U.S. of A., and Kid Rock is here to make it fun again. “I just call it true, red-boned, American music. That’s exactly what it is,” says Rock of the rock ‘n’ roll hybrid that has pushed his Atlantic Records debut, Devil Without A Cause, beyond quadruple platinum status. That’s more than four million records sold, and counting. “It’s just American music to the fullest, right here. People like Willie Nelson and Johnny Cash did it in their day. My hang up was always with The Stones and The Who, and a lot of the bands like that who just mimic blues music and stuff, and are probably some of the greatest rock bands in the world-They are nothing compared to Lynyrd Skynyrd or Marshall Tucker. Those were the only bands that could get onstage and blow them off. So what I’m doing is just a hybrid of true American music, everything from blues to rock ‘n’ roll to metal to hip-hop to jazz. Anything that sounds good-rockabilly, country, anything-I put it in there.”

The results-while they can be confusing to fans of traditional, straight-forward styles that don’t span competing genres-are infectious in their musical energy and primal enthusiasm.


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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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Sevendust's second time on the cover of Maximum Ink in August 1999 - photo by Paul Gargano

Sevendust 1999

by Paul Gargano
August 1999

Sevendust have performed 462 shows over a 21 month span, spending their first few months on the road in a van, graduating to an RV, and not relocating to their first tour bus until their second year of touring. Show No. 462 was followed by a much-deserved three week break, which immediately segued into three months of writing, two months of recording, two more weeks off, a week of rehearsal, then a return to the road for a recently completed run as a headliner of the Vans Warped Tour. Did we mention their prime billing at Woodstock ‘99? Now, with the August 24 release of sophomore effort Home and their current tour with support acts Powerman 5000, Staind and Skunk Anansie, they’re ready to start the cycle all over again.

Yes, the Atlanta quintet have come a long way since appearing on the cover of Maximum Ink back in April ‘97. It was then, little more than two years ago, that hard rock and heavy metal were struggling to regain a foothold in a scene ruled by alterna-rock radio. But times have changed. Case in point, Madison’s 94.1. WJJO made the conversion to a hard rock format just as Sevendust entered the scene. It’s clear that they’ve helped each other with the success both have achieved.


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Seattle's Second Coming on the cover of Maximum Ink in May 1999

Second Coming

by Paul Gargano
May 1999

Few will argue the fact that rock music has fallen on bad times. Sure, the music’s out there, but by the time you’ve sorted through the bands whose pants are the only thing drooping lower than their guitar tunings, and ruled out the carefree world of men wearing mascara and lipliner, whose got the energy to look for it? For most, it’s just easier to stick to the classics, relying on Led Zeppelin for all-out rock virtuosity, counting on The Doors for a mature spin on the outlandish element, and looking to Jimi Hendrix for a guitar solo worth writing home about.

From the throbbing rock of the band’s classically-tinted sound, it’s obvious that they share that sentiment. And have targeted their efforts on doing something to fill that void. Clocking in at over seven minutes in length, “Confessional” might not be the most commercially viable cut on their self-titled, Capitol Records debut, but it’s definitely the most telling. The most telling of their sound, style, roots and direction.


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