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Art Of Dying - photo by Michael Hurcomb

Art of Dying

An interview with Singer Jonny Hetherington and drummer Jeff Brown
by Kimberly E. McDaniel
April 2010

Art of Dying began in Canada, building an international following since releasing their breakout hit, Get Through This, in November of 2006.  The band, Jonny Hetherington on vocals, Jeff Brown on drums, Cale Gontier on bass and guitarists Greg Bradley and Tavis Stanley, found themselves beginning their whirlwind ride when Get Through This was selected for the World Wrestling Entertainment’s Pay Per View Survivor Series and used in a trailer to promote a podcast of “Port City P.D.”  The song is one of the official theme songs of the WWE NXT.  The band released their self-titled debut in February of 2007, and although the band has claimed that they will not release any more copies of the debut, the album is available as an import at Amazon.com.


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Ogre of Skinny Puppy

Skinny Puppy

by Kimberly E. McDaniel
December 2009

Twenty-six years ago, Skinny Puppy released their first recording, Remission, on an unsuspecting public and redefined industrial music.  They had help from Ministry, as both bands would eventually become the godfathers of this heavy, strange and danceable sound that emerged in the early 80’s.  Twenty-five albums later, Skinny Puppy is still going strong which isn’t bad for a band that was apparently initially supposed to be a side project for cEvin Key (born Kevin Crompton).  When Nivek Ogre (born Kevin Ogilvie) joined soon after, the band became a full-time project.  Dwayne Goettel joined the band from 1986-1995, and the band has had various other members, including Bill Leeb of Frontline Assembly and Al Jourgensen, over the years as well.

In 1993, tensions between band members and rumors of drug abuse plagued Skinny Puppy, culminating in the death of Goettel and Ogre leaving in June of 1995.  Ogre and Key reunited in 2000 for a Skinny Puppy show in Germany and then finally reformed in 2003.  Currently, Justin Bennett (formerly of Professional Murder Music) is the drummer and had a key role in choosing the band’s set list for their recent “In Solvent See” tour, which ends December 10th, 2009 in Los Angeles.

Recently, Nivek Ogre chatted with Maximum Ink about the dangers of touring with no album to support, animal rights, politics and his burgeoning film career.


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AFI - photo by Matthew Welch

A.F.I.

by Kimberly E. McDaniel
December 2009

In every generation, there are bands that generate either much adoration from fans or much hatred, but rarely is there any middle ground.  AFI is just such a band.  Love them or hate them, their sound is ever-evolving and fans are heatedly debating whether their latest offering, CRASH LOVE, is their best or worst album to date. 

Beginning in Ukiah, California eighteen years ago, the band gained a following with their hardcore punk sound.  After some personnel changes that were finalized with the release of BLACK SAILS IN THE SUNSET in 1999, the band, Davey Havok, vocals, Jade Puget, guitar and vocals, Hunter Burgan, bass and vocals and Adam Carson, drums and vocals, geared up to release their what would become their life-changing record.  With the release of 2003’s SING THE SORROW, AFI enjoyed their first mainstream success, winning an MTV2 award for the single Girl’s Not Grey and selling over one million copies.  They took three years to deliver 2006’s DECEMBERUNDERGROUND, which featured the rousing anthem, Miss Murder, and in September of this year, CRASH LOVE hit store shelves, seemingly cementing AFI’s mainstream following.  The first single from CRASH LOVE, Medicate, is currently enjoying heavy rotation on many national FM stations and the video is garnering them attention on MTV.

AFI guitarist, Jade Puget, took time out of the band’s hectic touring schedule, which is on a momentary hiatus due to Havok’s bout of swine flu, to talk about CRASH LOVE, his dream of being a novelist and what he can’t live without.


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Ministry's Burton C. Bell

Ministry’s Burton Bell

by Kimberly E. McDaniel
May 2008

What can be said about Ministry that hasn’t been said before?  This is a band that people love or hate, or possibly love to hate, but rarely does the band’s sound inspire any middle-of-the-road feelings.  There is no complacency when discussing Ministry, and one would guess that is just the way the band’s founder and fearless leader, Al Jourgensen, wants it to be.  Love him or hate him, Jourgensen could hardly be described as complacent.

Jourgensen is credited with creating the industrial sound, inspiring multitudes of musicians to follow him down the same dark path of pounding danceable beats and screaming electric guitars.  After twenty-five years of performing and releasing not only Ministry records, but also records from his various side projects, Jourgensen is putting the industrial giant to sleep.  Permanently.

Ministry released two new CD’s this year, “The Last Sucker” and “Cover-Up.”  Currently, Jourgensen is making one last round on his C U Later Tour, which began March 25 in Spokane, Washington and finishes up on May 10 in Chicago, Illinois with the final three dates taking place at Chicago’s House of Blues. 

Joining Jourgensen on stage are guitarists Tommy Victor (Prong) and Sin Quirin (Revolting Cocks), keyboardist John Bedchel (Ascension of the Watchers, False Icons, ex-Prong), drummer Jimmy DeGrasso (formerly of Megadeth, Suicidal Tendencies and Alice Cooper) and Static-X’s Tony Campos on bass, filling in for Paul Raven (ex-Ministry and Killing Joke) who died last year.  Also joining the band as a Special Featured Artist is Burton C. Bell (Fear Factory/AotW), who joined Maximum Ink for a chat about the final days of Ministry.


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Enon in Maximum Ink on April 2008

Enon

by Kimberly E. McDaniel
April 2008

The name Enon has the Biblical meaning of “cloud” or “mass of darkness.” Now it also refers to a quirky trio situated in Philadelphia, although the band has been known as part of the New York music scene. Enon was formed by guitarist/vocalist John Schmersal in 1999, and was named not for its Biblical connotation, but for a small town in Ohio, near Schmersal’s hometown of Dayton.

Schmersal was originally part of the legendary 90’s experimental band, Brainiac, with Rick Lee and Steve Calhoun.  When singer Timmy Taylor died, Schmersal formed Enon with Lee and Calhoun. After the release of their first album in 1999, Believo!, Calhoun left the band and was replaced by Toko Yasuda on bass and Matt Schultz on drums. Lee followed Calhoun and left in 2002. The band has continued to make their unique sound heard by touring and releasing their fourth studio album, “Grass Geysers…Carbon Clouds” through Chicago-based Touch and Go Records.


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Bullet For My Valentine on the Cover of Maximum Ink for February 2008

Bullet For My Valentine

by Kimberly E. McDaniel
February 2008

There just may be something in Britain’s water supply that causes the country to produce some of the finest heavy metal bands the world has ever known. Black Sabbath, Cradle of Filth, Iron Maiden, Judas Priest…the list goes on and on. Now, 2008 is shaping up to be the year of the Valentine, as Welsh rockers Bullet For My Valentine unleash “Scream Aim Fire” on an unsuspecting public.


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Marilyn Manson to Rob Zombie, guitarist John 5

John 5

by Kimberly E. McDaniel
December 2007

John 5 is a musician’s musician.  Currently on tour with Rob Zombie, John has played with everyone from k.d. lang to Meat Loaf to Marilyn Manson as well as releasing his many instrumental solo albums. He is known for playing country music as he is shredding with metal bands, and is currently up for two nominations at Guitarworld.com.

The band is now touring with Ozzy Osbourne, in support of the new “ Zombie-Live! ” CD.  In the midst of this tour, John took a few minutes to talk with us at Maximum Ink about his vast body of work and what we can expect from him in the future.


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Chicago's Cealed Kasket featuring Sarsicus and vocalist Mortal Death

Cealed Kasket

by Kimberly E. McDaniel
October 2007

By all accounts, Cealed Kasket puts on one heck of a show.  There are swords, beer, wenches and a self-proclaimed, 553-year-old wizard named Sarsicus, led by the ringleader and vocalist Mortal Death in an effort to entertain the youth of America. The band’s latest album, “Penetration,” was released this past July on Reckless Records. 

The band will appear at Maximum Ink’s Halloween Spooktacular on October 27th, so we thought it fitting to warn…err, inform concert-goers in the Madison area just what they might expect from these medieval metal rockers.  It seems that the traditional sex, drugs and rock and roll is on the menu, and Cealed Kasket knows how to deliver the goods.  After sitting down to chat with Mortal Death, the best warning?  Be afraid…be very afraid.


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Blaq Audio

Blaqk Audio

by Kimberly E. McDaniel
September 2007

Sometime around the year 2000, AFI’s Davey Havok and Jade Puget started to discuss the possibility of making their mutual love of electronic music reality in the form of a side project called BLAQK AUDIO.  Though AFI’s success kept both of them so busy that talking was all they could do, seven months ago, the duo managed to steal away some precious time and record CexCells.  The album has done well, far exceeding the expectations of both Puget and Havok and the single, “Stiff Kittens”, placed as high as number 20 on the rock charts.

Fans of AFI’s hard, rock and roll sound were taken aback by the dynamic dance music that filled the speakers after purchasing CexCells, but it seems that most have since accepted the side project and all it has to offer.  The name BLAQK AUDIO was the brainchild of Puget, who thought the name suited their desire to make dark, electronic music.  He claims that the unusual spelling was a simple twist on the obvious, as well as being a nod to the Aphex Twins song “Drukqs”.

Although the tour officially ended September 27th, with a final show in Los Angeles, Puget and Havok plan to continue to make music as BLAQK AUDIO in between their commitment to AFI.  Now that the two are, hopefully, resting before picking back up with AFI, Puget was able to sit down for a chat about the tour, the sexual content of CexCells and his plans for the future.

Maximum Ink:  Are there any questions that you are tired of answering?
Jade Puget:  I guess the obligatory meaning behind CexCells, all the usual stuff.  I actually don’t mind answering that stuff either, if there’s something you really want to know.  A lot of people aren’t that familiar with Blaqk Audio as a side project.  If you want to cover some basic information, that’s fine.


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