Today is: Wednesday June 20, 2018 | Status: Under Re-development | Version 2.99.03

Latest Articles

Latest first back to the beginning of Time

Sort By: Mike Huberty

National Overdrive - photo by Holland Wood

National Overdrive

An interview with Michael Alan, bassist and founder of National Overdrive
by Mike Huberty
October 2011

Hard rock served straight up and dirty, NATIONAL OVERDRIVE, comes straight out of Minneapolis with their debut EP, “Welcome to the Nation”. Bassist and founder, Michael Alan (formerly of Twin Cities’ rock juggernaut, THOUGHTCLOUD) started up a recording project with the idea to form a band around it. And it couldn’t have evolved more serendipitously. “I ran into our engineer when my car broke down”, Alan says. “He was sitting over at a convenience store and I overheard him say he had a studio. Found out his studio was right around the corner from my house and then we just started getting together recording. I put a lineup together and now we’re ready to go out and play. Our record is out there and we’re ready to fire it up and go nuts.”


Blamm-o! Live


An interview with Joel Hooks, Lead Singer of BLAMM-O!
by Mike Huberty
August 2011

Madison hard rock act, BLAMM-O! is celebrating their tenth anniversary this year with their release of their first full-length CD, THE ROAD. Featuring cover art of the lead singer, Joel Hooks’, real wrecked car, THE ROAD represents the band starting to re-emerge after a period of semi-hibernation. “The past three years BlLAMM-O! has been laying kind of low”, Hooks says. “We had not released any new music since our self-titled EP in 2006, so we decided to get off our asses and put out something which represents where we’re at right now musically.”

With a straightforward high-energy hard rock sound, their influences range from Van Halen to Meat Puppets to Joy Division. And you can hear an epic sweep in the vocals, raunchy distorted guitars, and the crashing rhythms. But just because they have a little U2-meets-Three Doors Down vibe going on doesn’t mean they can’t be a little more irreverent than Bono. As Hooks explains the origin of their name, “The name BLAMM-O! actually comes from REN AND STIMPY specifically from one of their mock commercials (remember ‘Log by Blamm-o!’). We tried dozens of names, even playing our first show and radio debut under a different one. BLAMM-O! seems to describe us best, a massive release of sound and energy!”

THE ROAD is the band’s first full-length and for people who aren’t familiar with their sound, Hooks has a suggestion. “Normally, I might answer with one of our full-on, in-your-face rockers,” he says, “but I think ‘Facing Fate’ would be a good first BLAMM-O! experience. I think the song has great dynamics. It demonstrates some of the range and diversity we have as a band and our unique style of rock and pop.” But his favorite song on the record is the title track. “I love ‘Free-Fall Cover-Up’ because of the kick-ass guitar riffs and solo. The guitars have almost a ‘middle eastern’ sound to them which is ironic once you understand the content of the song. However, because of the recent loss of someone dear to me, I’ve been leaning towards the title track ‘The Road’ lately. It speaks of the struggle, hardships, and tragedy of the path we all must travel, yet the strength we must maintain to get to our individual destinations. “

And Hooks hopes that BLAMM-O!’s re-emergence in the Madison music scene will last for awhile. He says confidently, “We just keep chugging along like the ‘little engine that thinks it can’, striving to write interesting music.  No one freaks out and has a hissy-fit if someone says, ‘Hey that lick or melody sucks, try something else.’ We all understand it’s the constructive criticism which forces us to write better songs. Plus we all like to spend time together outside of BLAMM-O! when we can. We’ve been in each others’ weddings, seen families grow, and have had good times the past five years… With the new album we’d like to get out and play more shows in Madison and beyond, perhaps doing some more work with charities. We’ll focus on writing new material and recording some singles. We already have one new song completed with several more in the works… I feel our personal relationships help stimulate creativity and our best songs are yet to come.”

BLAMM-O! is going to be celebrating their CD Release Party at The High Noon Saloon on Friday August 12th and it’s the next event on The Rökker Vodka Tour. As Hooks explains, “There will obviously be some awesome vodka to throw back!  The release party should be an interesting multi-media event. We’re having Madison artist, Everett Kitts, paint while we play. He’s going to tie the painting in with a T-shirt design he did for us. After the show, we’ll auction off the painting and give a portion of our sales from the evening as a donation to Porchlight, Inc. a local charity helping the homeless… Expect a tight, energetic, and entertaining show. One hell of an audio-visual, tasty Happy Hour to start the weekend. What else would you want to do?” And then he adds with his tongue firmly in his cheek, “If you’ve never experienced a BLAMM-O! show, come check us out.  You’ll be glad you did.  We’re way better than reality TV!”


2073 ViewsPermalinkBLAMM-O! Website

Diamond Head

First American Tour.... ever!
by Mike Huberty
August 2011

As the Seventies snorted on, the hard rock genre started bloating into the drug-fueled excesses of classic rock. Punk rock came in with its simple chords and snotty attitude to threaten metal into an early oblivion. Rockers that were into guitar solos and liked listening to men that scream like women needed a louder and faster reponse in order to save metal. Riding in like knights in leather armor, The New Wave of British Heavy Metal was that response. Bands like Iron Maiden, Mötorhead, and Judas Priest were at the forefront of the genre, eventually even gaining acceptance from the mainstream which had previously shunned the biker and fetish gear(for God’s sakes, you can buy Maiden t-shirts at Kohl’s!)

One of the most influential and important bands of the NWOBHM (as it is usually abbreviated as) was Diamond Head. Even casual metal fans have heard Metallica’s version of “Am I Evil?” (and if you haven’t, get thee to iTunes now!) and that’s probably their most famous song.


Unity on the cover of the July 2011 Maximum Ink

Unity The Band

From Fiji to the Fox Valley
by Mike Huberty
July 2011

Bringing some of that tropical feeling to the Fox Valley, a region famously called “The Frozen Tundra”, UNITY THE BAND, plays their roots-rock reggae music for fans all over the state and they’re working on the world. Frontman Pita Kotobalavu (better known to fans by his nickname, Kai) formed UNITY in 2003 after moving to Oshkosh. But here’s the kicker, he moved from Hawaii, where he’d previously moved from his homeland of Fiji. What can make a man leave paradise?


5223 ViewsPermalinkUnity The Band Website
Elicia Rocker

The Cervical Rock 2011

interview with Elicia Rocker
by Mike Huberty
June 2011

New Cervical cancer diagnoses occur in the United States over twelve thousand times a year and almost four thousand women die from the disease. Yet, it’s one of the most preventable cancers and death rates are declining due to ladies getting earlier and more regular testing. On Wednesday, August 3rd, the High Noon in Madison will host The Cervical Rock 2011, a benefit to make a difference someone personally affected by this disease. Featuring an all-star lineup of Madison hard rock, metal, punk, and indie bands, we talked to the benefit’s creator, Elicia Rocker of Extremely Rockin’ Photography about why she was inspired to get this thing going.

MI:What about your friends’ situation made you decide that you needed to help?

A: We have known each other our whole lives and she is one of the sweetest people I know and if it were me who ended up in this situation she would do the same thing. She is only 25 and works at a retail store where she does have insurance but it hasn’t covered much of her bills. She is very far in debt and scrapping by. When she came to me and told me about the bills in collections and needed some extra money to help get her car repaired, I decided enough is enough, you can’t heal when you are stressed about money or stressed at all. So I did what anyone in my position would do, I started putting together a benefit show.



Plain White T’s

An interview with Plain White T's frontman, Tom Higgenson
by Mike Huberty
May 2011

Plain White T’s started in the Chicago area in 1997 when vocalist and guitarist Tom Higgenson, who had been a drummer previously in local high school bands, decided to get out from behind the drum set and take the foreground as a front man and songwriter. After spending years developing their following in the underground scene, they exploded with their 2007 Grammy-nominated Number One single, “Hey There, Delilah.” This winter, they released their latest record, Wonders of the Younger, and have been touring on it since. They’re headlining a free music festival, The Journeys Backyard Barbecue, in Minneapolis over Memorial Day Weekend. We talked to Higgenson about the new record and the tour.


Thoughts For Food

Thoughts for Food

by Mike Huberty
February 2011

Easily the largest benefit concert in Wisconsin, Thoughts for Food gets all the music venues of Racine to party for a cause every year on the first Saturday of March. That cause is the Racine County Food Bank, an organization dedicated to helping the area’s people who are having trouble with the bottom and most basic rung of Maslow’s Hierarchy. Currently on its 19th year (its longevity a minor miracle in itself), the benefit spans nine Racine clubs as well as over 40 bands. That’s something that Racine County Food Bank Director Dan Taivalkoski doesn’t take for granted. He states, “Our budget is around a million dollars when you factor in the value of food. Our cash budget is about a third of that and Thoughts for Food is about a tenth of that, so it’s a very important fundraiser for us.”

While it’s essential for the Food Bank, it’s also a no-brainer for the venues involved. Taivalkoski states, “Most years you can guarantee a packed house the entire evening. And most of the bars give back their proceeds in the form of a donation to the food bank. It’s positive all the way around.”


Lyden Moon

Lyden Moon

An Interview with Instrumental Rock Guitarist, Lyden Moon
by Mike Huberty
January 2011

When it comes to his new CD, “It’s What’s Inside That Rocks”, guitarist LYDEN MOON, explains his process when it comes to creating music. “I’m always trying to write a better song,” he says, “a lot of instrumental guitar players go strictly for the technical showcase kind of record. And that’s not what I want to do.” The Wisconsin-based guitarist is letting me know that he doesn’t want to be perceived as what other musicians often unaffectionately call guitar soloists, a “wanker”. You don’t have to use much of an imagination to realize what that term refers to, or to imagine the big-haired guitar slingers with the magic fingers that it describes. “ I think it’s harder to play a slow meaningful passage,” he continues, “to milk a note correctly, as opposed to just tearing it up. Once you develop the speed, you’ve got it, but in terms of delivering the song, it’s a never-ending accomplishment because I always feel that I can play it better and express myself better. And technique is not just speed, it’s how to play the note correctly, it’s how to attack the note correctly. When I go into the studio I try to play as clean I can and just really make sure that the point is coming across.”


L-R: Louie, Jimmy K, E-Dub, Bachness Monster, SlamminAlvin

Infernal Rock Radio

An interview with the Madison deejays of Infernal Rock Radio
by Mike Huberty
December 2010

Internet radio has come a long way from the technological wasteland of the 1990’s when you were tied to a desktop machine with a wired Ethernet connection and then you could listen to a low-bitrate stream that sounded like an AM radio station from 200 miles away over tinny crapola speakers. At the time, just the idea of listening on the Internet untethered by the rules and corporate economics of terrestrial radio was invigorating. Everyone could be a pirate because it was radio without limits. Deejays that didn’t have to spin the same Top Forty songs that only your little sister likes or the same tired classic rock songs that haven’t left the airwaves since 1975. It was going to be the great equalizer, because everyone could listen to you. But an idea is all it was. It was usually more of a pain to figure out than it was an actual joy to listen to. Today, in the second decade of the new Millennium, it’s a completely different story. Everyone has Broadband and for many, it’s mobile. Computers are starting to become the foundation for home entertainment. Internet radio broadcasts in crystal-clear quality, sounding better than FM when you’re next to the antenna. People are listening to radio over the Internet in their cars, on their iPods, and wherever there’s a cell phone signal. One of this new breed of Internet radio stations that’s making waves in Madison is Infernal Rock Radio, a station devoted to hard rock and heavy music.

Started by Dread Pirate Vane, a veteran webcaster who takes the “pirate radio” symbolism all the way, even into his moniker, Infernal Rock Radio’s motto became “The station built by the bands, for the fans”.


M.A.Xmas Logo - photo by James Pederson


2010 Madison Area Christmas Compilation CD
by Mike Huberty
November 2010

Christmas albums can often be a fairly staid affair, usually a little too willing to play it safe and mostly too reverent to have much fun. The new “Madison Area Christmas Compilation” (nicknamed “M.A.XMas”), however, isn’t afraid to grab Santa by his jollies and roast his chestnuts on an open fire. With bands running the gamut from rap to punk to metal, they’re fully embracing a hard rock holiday where nothing is sacred.

Madison rockers Jeremy Gehler and Jon Kussow of Kuhler Music (whose title is a mashup of their names) were hanging out talking about the Ringo Starr Christmas Album Gehler had just obtained (a kitsch purchase that he’s brave to admit in the first place!) when they realized that the Madison needs one too and definitely in 2010.


2941 ViewsPermalinkMAXmas Website
Page 10 of 16 pages ‹ First  < 8 9 10 11 12 >  Last ›

Search Maximum Ink's Archives

Partners: Rökker Vodka