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Los Angeles' Buckcherry on the cover of Maximum Ink in November 2008

Buckcherry

by Mike Huberty
November 2008

Originally coming on strong at the end of the 90’s with their fists-in-the-air ode to cocaine addiction, “Lit Up”, SoCal hard rockers, BUCKCHERRY, experienced a sophomore slump with their second album, Time Bomb, and the original band broke up.  After flirting with what would eventually become Velvet Revolver, distinctive screamer, Josh Todd, and guitarist-songwriter Keith Nelson reformed the band in 2005 with new members and have led the group to even bigger success in this decade with their biggest single (the ubiquitous “Crazy Bitch”) and two new albums. The second of which, Black Butterfly, was just released in September and the band is hitting the road in November with Avenged Sevenfold to promote their new release.

Keith Nelson is excited when talking about BUCKCHERRY’s resurgence. “We just came home from Japan and before that we were on Cruefest [the Motley Crue summer festival] and it was a lot of fun, a summer camp for the criminally insane and a rolling circus,” Nelson says, “now we start the new tour on November 4th.” That’s Election Day in the United States, so I ask him if there’s any candidate they’re supporting. “Well, in Japan they call it Erection Day,” he jokes, to which all I can do is groan, but at least he’s got a lot of life in him. “I don’t think any candidate really wants BUCKCHERRY in their corner,” he laughs, “politics is something that we decidedly do not get involved in.”


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Madison's Axiom

Axiom

by Mike Huberty
October 2008

Alternately ridiculous and rocking, Madison rockers AXIOM have been bringing their own concoction of humor-laden grunge-metal for the past several years. Consisting of vocalist/guitarist, Jakob Wheeler, Justin Roettger on bass, and drummer Dan Stoffels, the band mixes influences from Primus to Nirvana to hints of GWAR (without the cartoonishness and fake bodily fluids) and just released their first full-length LP, Philly Phakeout, in June. Wheeler says the inspiration for the name came from “wanting to name the album after a move like ‘The Dirty Sanchez’ or ‘The Cleveland Steamer’ (grossout sex position jokes that became popular on the Internet and on MTV’s former late night sex show, Loveline) and Philly Phakeout seemed like a good name for one (”people will have to Google that one”, Roettger laughs.) As far as the reaction to the album title, Stoffels laughs, “Chicks have a mixed reaction, some are grossed out by it and some are slighty intrigued. Some only act like they’re disgusted so their friends don’t think they’re weird. And some grab you and pull you into the bathroom.”


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Chicago's Blackdog

Blackdog

by Mike Huberty
October 2008

Hailing from Chicago after forming in Madison from two musical soulmates, guitarists Anthony Alban and Sammy Reicher, BLACKDOG fuses influences of early 20th Century Delta Blues, 50’s rock n’ roll, and the Classic Rock Pantheon. Andrew Elbert, their drummer says, “ We all love roots music and have a foundation in blues and rock n’ roll. Our heroes are Jimi Hendrix, Led Zeppelin, Dire Straits, BB King, and Buddy Guy.” After earning their undergraduate degrees from the University of Wisconsin, they decided to take the band to the big city and almost the whole band moved to Chicago (they found a new bassplayer,  Jason Segal, when they got there.)


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Twin Citie's Down Lo on the cover of Maximum Ink September 2008 - Artwork by Cory Harrison

Down Lo

by Mike Huberty
September 2008

Funky, melodic, and heartfelt, DOWN LO from The Twin Cities is combining traditional (and not so traditional) jam band music with hip-hop and traveling all around the country with their latest record, In Our World. Guitarist and vocalist, Mark Grundhoefer, describes it as “a blend of a number of different genres. Passion’s the name of the game. Bluegrass to reggae, jazz, funk, we try to throw a little bit of everything that influences us in there. Plus, we do a lot of improvisation with jams where each musician steps up to take his role, so we try to keep it interesting that way.”


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hip hop reggaeton from Madison/Milwaukee, Lucha Libre

Lucha Libre

by Mike Huberty
July 2008

Madison hip-hop/reggaeton group, LUCHA LIBRE gives a nod to their home turf in their song, “Midwest Bang” on their new album, The Takeover. With a nod to Coolio’s “Sumpin’ New” (quickly followed by a Buffalo Springfield quote), they chant “There ain’t no party like a Midwest party ‘cuz a Midwest party don’t stop.” It’s an interesting statement. After all, this is Madison, where hip-hop is supposed to be controversial and problematic. Amid that, LUCHA LIBRE is creating their own success in a city where hip-hop and rap fans have complained for years that they haven’t gotten the same respect or opportunities. And with their new record, they’re confident and stepping up.


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Filter in Maximum Ink in June 2008

Filter

by Mike Huberty
June 2008

Coming back onto the scene after a six-year hiatus, Richard Patrick (Nine Inch Nails’ original guitarist) has reformed FILTER, who blazed through the late Nineties with hits like “Hey Man, Nice Shot” and “Take a Picture.” They’re back with a new record, Anthems for the Damned and its lead single, “Soldiers of Misfortune,” about the Iraq War. While Patrick plays most the instruments on the new album, bassist John Spiker (Steve Earle, Tenacious D, and Beck) was recruited to join the band in March of 2008. As he puts it, “When I got the audition, I had to do a double take. One of the craziest parts is that Filter’s sort of been disbanded for about six years. I definitely listened to Filter in high school and even covered Filter songs in bands that I’d played in. I’m really excited to be part of this group. We’re kind of calling this tour the ‘Re-Education Tour.’ There’s a whole new generation of fans that don’t know about Filter. We’re getting out to the streets to get the word out again.”


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Slightly Stoopid in Maximum Ink in June 2008

Slightly Stoopid

by Mike Huberty
June 2008

With a laidback attitude and stoner swagger, SLIGHTLY STOOPID, is set to release their seventh album of party music July 22nd with Slightly Not Stoned Enough To Eat Breakfast Yet Stoopid. Hailing from Ocean Beach (a gorgeous surfer enclave near San Diego that perfectly fits their music) and formed in the early Nineties, the band’s two front men, Miles Doughty and Kyle McDonald, have been playing together since their early teens. Discovered by Sublime’s Brad Nowell and signed to his Skunk Records label, the band released their first record in 1996 (a highly sought after collector’s item by Sublime fans because of Nowell’s appearance on a hidden track) and while the duo at the core hasn’t changed, their lineup has shifted in and out over the years. This latest incarnation is the most solid according to drummer, Ryan Moran (affectionately known as RyMo to fans), adding horns and congas to the mix. With diverse instrumentation like that, they fit their music to whatever suits their mood, according to Moran, “We play a lot of different styles and throw them into the pot. We might play 3 or 4 punk tunes, 5 or 6 reggae tunes, blues-rock, 1 or 2 hip-hop feel or ska feel. We just kind of wing it; don’t write a set list or anything, we just go with the moment and the energy of the crowd.


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Russell Hall of the United Sons of Toil from Madison

The United Sons Of Toil

by Mike Huberty
May 2008

Describing themselves as “noisy Midwestern math-rock delivered by populist theoreticians,” THE UNITED SONS OF TOIL blend hyper-literate lyrics with pounding instrumentation on their upcoming record. A veritable Madison super-group (even though they’d most definitely hate that appellation), their lineup consists of guitarist/singer, Russell Hall (of POUND WI and P’ELVIS), bassist Bill Borowski (from THE ARGE, ATALANTA, and gorilla-suit wearing surf-rock masters, KNUCKELDRAGER) and drummer Chad Burnett (who doubles in guitar for COLONY OF WATTS.)

According to Hall, it started because he “was a huge fan of Colony of Watts and would go to all the shows”, he says. “With their guitarist, I found a shared love of mid-to-late 90’s Touch and Go, AmRep, and Dischord bands.” He describes their influences as “Stripped-down, aggressive, indie-rock post-punk Chicago sound. Like a Big Black, Jesus Lizard and Tar vibe. Chad and I became friends because we shared similar aesthetics. I asked him if he was interested in playing in a noisy, math-rock band”.


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Detroit's Von Bondies in Maximum Ink in May 2008

The Von Bondies

by Mike Huberty
May 2008

Hitting the mainstream with their single, “C’mon C’mon” in 2004 (used as the theme to Denis Leary’s popular TV show, Rescue Me.) They also appeared in the popular and controversial (due to the actors’ naughty and real sex scenes in a love story set between live-music performances) 9 Songs. THE VON BONDIES rode the Detroit garage rock wave (even getting their first record, Lack of Communication, produced by The White Stripes’ Jack White) to success in the early part of the century. On the way, they lost a few members (the only original ones being vocalist/guitarist Jason Stollsteimer and drummer Don Blum.)  Stollsteimer got in a highly-publicized fistfight with the aforementioned White, and the band went into hibernation. In 2008, with a sans record label they are getting back into touring. They’re self-releasing two EPs in preparation for a full album in the fall. The first, We Are Kamikazes, is only available from the band at their shows.


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Milwaukee's Big Dumb Dick in Maximum Ink in April 2008

Big Dumb Dick

by Mike Huberty
April 2008

Milwaukee hard rockers who’ve shared the stage with metal and heavy bands from Saliva to Disturbed to Motley Crue, BIG DUMB DICK was one of the Brew City’s most reliable rock acts through the late 90’s and early Aughts. They would perform regularly at events like Summerfest and Harley Fest as well as touring nationally. Their shows were known for body-passing, moshing, dancing girls, and pyrotechnics, making them one of the city’s best draws. This also garnered them representation from big players like Kid Rock’s management company and serious interest from major record labels. After being at the center of the maelstrom, lead singer and founding member, Travis Mantsch decided to take some time off from BIG DUMB DICK to clear his head and start a family. Three years later, the songs he had created in his home studio took on a familiar tone and now the band is back and releasing a new record, See You In Hell.


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