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Michael Alexander of Sand

SAND

An interview with SAND lead singer, Michael Alexander
by Mike Huberty
December 2012

Originally founded by vocalist and rhythm guitarist, Michael Alexander, and drummer, Paul Zander, Madison’s SAND has been kicking around in various forms since 2003. With a regular regional touring schedule and a consistent sound that’s a solid mix of the theatrics of arena rock, driving modern guitars, and the earnestness of the best of country music, they’ve solidified their lineup with bassist Wade Radtke and new guitarist Dain Di Mattia, and have become a fixture of the scene over the past decade. Their latest EP was released this year on Halloween. Entitled “Load Your Guns”, it’s three songs recorded and engineered by Jeff Tomei, whose resume includes everyone from MATCHBOX TWENTY to SMASHING PUMPKINS to JERRY CANTRELL.


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The Black Saints

The Black Saints

An interview with Mlwaukee's ode to classic hard rock, The Black Saints
by Mike Huberty
December 2012

Dirty, nasty, and incredibly fun, sometimes you just gotta go for that classic hard rock sound and Milwaukee’s THE BLACK SAINTS has been delivering the goods since 2009 in the vein of the genre’s 70’s and 80’s progenitors, GUNS N’ ROSES, MÖTLEY CRÜE, AC/DC, and AEROSMITH. Delivered without the smug irony and gimmicky attitudes that plague a lot of modern hard rock acts that callback to the Sunset Strip, THE BLACK SAINTS are coming out with their new record, “Hellbent & Heartless” on December 7th at Racine’s Route 20 Outhouse. We talked with vocalist, Drew Herdegen, and guitarist, Blackie Bishop, about the new record and their upcoming performances.


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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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Moloko Shivers Live

Moloko Shivers

An interview with Milwaukee's Moloko Shivers
by Mike Huberty
October 2012

If you lived and breathed rock music in Southeastern Wisconsin in the early 1990’s, then you saw MOLOKO SHIVERS. Shirtless rock stars with cutoff jean shorts in the RED HOT CHILI PEPPERS vein, they were the leading edge of The Dairy State’s little corner of the Alternative Nation. With a killer mix of grooves, heavy riffs, and good ol’ showmanship, they dominated the live rock scene for several years until disbanding in 1997. After taking over a decade off, they reformed with a new lead singer, Craig Baumann from Milwaukee jam-rockers, FAT MAWROONEY and have emerged back on the scene with a brand new self-titled album. We talked with drummer, Dave Schoepke, and vocalist Baumann about the new album and the direction of the band as they enter their third decade.


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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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3097 ViewsPermalinkHewn MySpace
Kicksville Live - photo by Mystique Imagery

Kicksville

An Interview with Music Collective, Kicksville
by Mike Huberty
August 2012

As a mixture of performance art, music, and live multimedia show, Madison’s KICKSVILLE began as a recording studio experiment that turned into something completely unexpected. Now a musicians collective with seventy-three different contributing members, KICKSVILLE is an artistic statement more than a band with a sound that can range from jamband-eqsue guitar solos to electronic grooves to Afro-drum beats and soaring vocals. In anticipation of their August 18th show at the Barrymore, we talked to original founders Conrad St. Clair and Mike Stehr, as well as vocalist Georgina McKee, artists Tone Deaf and Andy Ewen, drummer Lou Caldarola, and multi-instrumentalist Biff Blumfumgagnge.


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Enemy Star - photo by F Fischer

Metal Girl Fest

A Preview of Metal Girl Fest - A Female-Fronted Hard Rock Concert in Madison and Milwaukee
by Mike Huberty
August 2012

Milwaukee’s ENEMY STAR has been headbanging their way throughout the Midwest for the past two years with vocalist Kassy Gruszkowski and guitarist Paris Ortiz finally solidifying their lineup with two Brew City veterans, Dan Kubinski on bass (but best knows as the singer for real-deal punk pioneers, DIE KREUZEN) and Mike Olson (drummer for one of the town’s finest metal bands, the mighty REALM.) They’re rocking a two-day two-city showcase in September called Metal Girl Fest that will not only feature ENEMY STAR but also female-fronted bands CANDLELIT from Chicago, COLORPHASE from Madison, DYVIDED from Madison, and ONSET OBLIVION from Sheboygan. We talked with Paris and Kassy about the inspiration for the fest and what fans can expect.


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Outnumbered and Outgunned Live Album Cover

Meantooth Grin

An interview with Meantooth Grin's Tom Jordan
by Mike Huberty
July 2012

While their roots are in Wisconsin’s Northwoods, the three guys that make up MEANTOOTH GRIN can more often be found on the road, constantly touring and performing, delivering blues-based rock to audiences across the Midwest. Fueled by frontman Tom Jordan’s low bellow and screaming guitar lines and backed by bassist Seth Heffner and drummer Mitch Ostrowski, MEANTOOTH GRIN is a tight blues-rock machine that is at their best during their well-honed live performances. Their brand new album, “Outnumbered and Outgunned”, showcases their stage chops to full effect as a live concert record just released on July 3rd.


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