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Ratdog featuring Bob Weir on the cover of Maximum Ink in March 2008

Ratdog

an interview with Bob Weir
by Sarah H. Grant
March 2008

Maggot infested skulls on bony blood-dried bodies, skulking graveyards in midnight mists is how people usually picture the rise of the dead. Bushy-beards and wonky wa-wa waves on a six-string, tie-dye twists and baby boomers lighting up, is however, the reality.

Far from the grave, ex-Grateful Dead frontman Bob Weir and his solo project RatDog, have scoured the sphere, playing over seven hundred shows since 2006. Along with a slew of brilliant musicians such as lead guitarist Mark Karan and keyboardist Jeff Chimenti, RatDog has dug deep into the core of improvisational riffs and melodies, and is safely the most musically comprehensive jam band formed post-sixties. A chunky brew of blues, jazz fusion, progressive bluegrass, and folk, RatDog delivers with an equally diverse palette as the latter day Grateful Dead. Weir channels Garcia in numbers like “Black Muddy River” and “Scarlet Begonias.” Yet the spectacle lies in the audience. The peace-loving, daisy-smelling youth that once swarmed Dead shows have become the stock-broking, suit wearing, SUV-driving dads, moms, and grandparents who come see Bob Weir to remember the days of freedom and hope, if just for a couple songs.


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Milwaukee's The Cocksmiths on the cover of Maximum Ink October 2007

The Cocksmiths

by Sarah H. Grant
October 2007

An interview with The Cocksmiths, a band featuring Milwaukee veterans Ryan Daniels, Matty Gonzalez, Joey Carini, Paris Ortiz and Dave Schoepke.


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Static-X on the cover of Maximum Ink August 2007

Static-X

by Sarah H. Grant
August 2007

An interview with Static-X‘s Wayne Static covering their new album, Ozzfest and the departure of Tripp Eisen


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Def Leppard

Def Leppard

an interview with drummer Rick Allen
by Sarah H. Grant
July 2007

Of all the places you imagine rock stars go, the dog groomer is probably not one of them. Not so for Def Leppard’s thunder man Rick Allen, who woke up at seven o’clock to take his little cairn terrier, Ricky, to get his hair coiffed and paws manicured.

Then again, Rick Allen is no ordinary rock star. Joining the Leppards as a nineteen-year-old pup himself, Allen rode the effervescent wave of Britain’s heavy-metal renaissance on the brink of the eighties. With their trademark trickling vocals and opulent guitar riffs, the multiplatinum, Union-jack clad lads from Sheffield are one of the biggest-selling bands in the world. But their success did not come at a low price. On New Year’s Eve, 1984, Rick Allen walked away from a lethal auto accident with only one arm—a death knell for the career of a drummer. Two years later, Allen miraculously took the stage again, this time playing on a specially customized electronic drum kit which compensates for his handicap.

The resilient Rick Allen spoke to Maximum Ink, in his ever-cheery English accent, before Def Leppard churns the wheels of their unusually long three-year tour towards Summerfest 2007.


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Former Milwaukee Mayor Henry Maier from 1960-1988

Summerfest History - 35 Years

by Rachelle Blair
June 2007

Summerfest

: The world’s largest music festival and it’s right here in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Started in 1972 and in it’s 35th year, here is a brief history of the event.


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Les Paul holding a copy of Maximum Ink backstage at the Iridium Jazz club in New York City - photo by Otto Schamberger

Les Paul

by Sarah H. Grant
May 2007

‘Upgrade’ is a fairly new term in today’s society, yet it has sparked an international obsession. We need our internet faster, our cars bigger, our celebrities skinnier, and our televisions more…defined? Well listen up, Generation Next, because the man responsible for the original upgrade worked for it… Without the cheat codes.

There is no doubt Les Paul is a living legend of the twenty-first century. He not only invented the first electric guitar, but revolutionized the music industry with countless recording breakthroughs. Les Paul has played for kings, queens and presidents, and is revered by musical titans throughout the world. But one Monday night, on the busiest and brightest street in New York City, this legend sat on a moth-eaten, dusty couch, alone in a cramped dressing room, just a door-swing away from his audience.

A chill ran up my spine. I tried to imagine all the influential people that had gazed into those misty blue eyes, as I was doing. Every inch of his face was brimming with eagerness to talk about the past, perhaps wondering which stories I would conjure. He gently twisted the top of his cane as his eyes darted around before settling on an object across the room, and then back at me.


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Les Ballets Africain's Director Hamidou Bangoura - photo by Matthew Mueller

Les Ballets Africains

an interview with Hamidou Bangoura
by Sarah H. Grant
March 2007

Sarah went to the show to interview Hamidou and he tells her, “I don’t speak English”. Luckily, Sarah speaks fluent French, so she still got the interview, now that’s journalism!


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30 Seconds To Mars on the cover of Maximum Ink - March 2005 - photo by Jenn Dohner

30 Seconds To Mars

by Sarah H. Grant
March 2007

Escape. It’s why we crank the volume up to ungodly decibels when driving alone late at night. It’s why we have iTunes programmed onto every useless gadget that we lug around 24/7. It’s why we reach for the headphones, even when we’re about to pass out, just to listen to that song. Music is the lung of our spirit. It gives us a break from the Earth so we can breathe in the Milky Way. Four guys named Jared, Shannon, Tomo, and Matt are already there.

30 Seconds to Mars is a novelty of modern rock. Their self-titled 2002 album settled rumors that lead singer/guitarist, Jared Leto, was not some bored wash-up from Fight Club, but a multi-talented rock titan on the stage. With the blood-thirsty critics at bay, the group as a whole perfected their musicianship on 30STM’s sophomore album, A Beautiful Lie. The band does an impeccable job of keeping what their fans lovethe swirling, intricate guitar solos and a far-out rock vibewhile not shying away from deeper material.


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Aerosmith on the cover of Maximum Ink January 2007

Aerosmith

An exclusive interview with guitarist Joe Perry between tours...
by Sarah H. Grant
January 2007

Try to define rock n’ roll without Aerosmith and you’re not going to get very far. After nearly four turbulent decades of breaking musical modes while struggling with severe addictions and internal dissent, the boys from Boston have proven themselves to be the quintessential American rock band. If there is any band that deserves to coast a little bit on their reputation, Aerosmith are certainly qualified. That said, legendary guitarist Joe Perry explains why it’s going to be awhile before Aerosmith put their feet up in this exclusive interview with Maximum Ink…

MAXIMUM INK: It must be interesting to experience the nature of your audiences changing over time.
JOE PERRY: Oh yeah. It’s not quite at drastic as it was 20 or 30 years ago. America has become more homogenized with all the malls and different things, national television stations and that kind of thing, so you have to dig a little further to see those kind of idiosyncrasies in each part of the country. That’s one of the reasons we stopped touring by plane and started touring by bus: You get more out of it, and it’s just amazing.

MAX INK: What is the best part of going on the road?
PERRY: Well, this is the most amazing country on the planet, and if you get to travel by bus, which we do, you get to see a lot of it, so we take advantage of that. I love all different parts of the country, because they’re just so unique because of the weather and the people, it’s just amazing. It’s never boring.


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Endeverafter's Michael Grant - photo by Sarah H. Grant

Endeverafter

by Sarah H. Grant
September 2006

Get up. Wipe off the eighteen layers of black eyeliner, stop whining about life, and F.Y.I., duct tape was not meant for clothes. It’s time to rock n’ roll.

Despite the assembly line of performing drones that are currently pervading the air waves, there is one band that has been stealthily building momentum in the background. Endeverafter holds the match to the gasoline of hard rock—and these boys are not afraid to ignite the fire.

The band Endeverafter was birthed two years ago in Sacramento, CA, where front man and lead guitarist Michael Grant, rhythm guitarist Kristan Mallory, bassist Tommi Andrews, and former drummer Austin Sinclaire decided that they wanted to go down in music history. However, the magic happened long before that, as Michael Grant explains, “I’ve been friends with Kristan for five years, with Tommi for three years, and [current drummer] Eric is one of my best friends.” Yet friendship is only part of the foundation that these band mates share. Perhaps learning a lesson from past legends, Endeverafter stands by similar musical fronts, “Our influences are in the deeper 60s, 70s hard rock,” Grant explicates the departure of former drummer Sinclaire, “We had a lot of creative differences, he was more into the glam aspects of rock. A band grows, and sometimes people don’t grow along with you, and you fall apart.”


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