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Uriah Heep's Mick Box

Uriah Heep - Mick Box

by Jeff Muendel
November 2008

Mick Box has been the lead guitarist of Uriah Heep since the band’s founding in 1969. If my math is correct, that’s 39 years ago. The group, rightfully referred to as both classic rock and heavy metal pioneers, was one of the first to use overdriven Hammond organ as part of their big sound. Box’s guitar was the heaviness on the other side of the stage, however, and mixed with singer David Byron’s distinctive lyrics celebrating all things wizards and unicorns, the group attracted a large audience quickly.

Despite Uriah Heep’s progressive rock experiments, the group is perhaps best known today for the song “Easy Livin,” a straight-up hard rock song that became a biker anthem in the United States. The band (whose name, by the way, was taken from a Charles Dickens character in the book David Copperfield) has never ceased being in existence despite the death of David Byron and many lineup changes along the way. Now, almost 40 years later, the group has released its twenty-first studio album entitled Wake The Sleeper. It is true to its musical roots with chunky Hammond organ riffs, loud guitars, and fanciful lyrics. Maximum Ink recently spoke to Mick Box about the album and all things Uriah Heep:


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Chicago's Cameron McGill

Cameron McGill And What Army

by Dan Vierck
November 2008

Cameron McGill is a pop-fectionist. What should be needless to say, is that this has nothing to do with aesthetic, marketing or sales. Be it McGill solo or with his Chicago-based band What Army, the music doesn’t just take center stage, it’s the only thing meaningful thing on the stage.

McGill’s music is the new smooth voice of the Midwest. People like Bright Eyes, Devandra Banhart, Margot and the Nuclear So and So’s, Jentri Colello and Madison’s whole alt-country scene plus so many more have started or taken on this quest of giving our green plains an audible, distinct, interesting and unique musical pulse. McGill’s place in this line up is on the radio.


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Chicago's Alkaline Trio

Alkaline Trio

by Chris Fox
November 2008

Riding the release of their latest album, “Agony & Irony,” ALKALINE TRIO has hit the road. The band started in late ‘96 with an upbeat, melodic sound with dark, realistic lyrics that slowly but strongly developed a dedicated following. Though big on the punk scene, the band strives to cross barriers and bring in fans from all walks of life.

Derek Grant (drums) said the new album is “getting back to the basics” as they put more concentration on content rather than layering and perfecting instrumentations. Through several previous albums, the writing fashion had become monotonous, so they took a stripped down, more natural approach to the production of “Agony & Irony.” The essence of their songs has remained the same and as the fan base continues to grow, the songs remain relatable and tend to touch a nerve that most bands avoid. Grant says, “we’ve never taken the easy route in any shape or form, we aren’t a band that is born out of convenience,” and this, he explains, is why their following remains strong.


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Saving Abel is an American rock band formed by Jared Weeks and Jason Null in 2004

Saving Abel

by Chris Fox
November 2008

On tour with their debut self-titled release from Virgin Records, SAVING ABEL is looking to give crowds a “straight up rock show,” according to bass player Eric Taylor.  The band has been playing since 2004 and are currently touring with AVENGED SEVENFOLD, BUCKCHERRY, and SHINEDOWN. Southern grown rock, with a whole mess of other influences from the ALLMAN BROTHERS to LYNYRD SKYNYRD to 3 DOORS DOWN, Taylor says the band is ready to show the world what they are made of.


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Kicksville is a multi-influenced collective, largely ignored by the general public, but loved mostly by themselves and a select  - photo by Mystique Imagery

Kicksville

by Mack Dreyfuss
November 2008

The Presidential candidates have shared a motto during this election season: change. On Saturday, Nov. 15, America will have selected its leader, and a new era will be underway. Depending on your belief in what kind of change is needed, you may be looking to celebrate and/or protest. A perfect opportunity to do both awaits you at the Overture Center where a band called Kicksville is scheduled to perform. 

Kicksville can’t be constrained by the general conception of what is commonly referred to as a “band.” Kicksville is an entity. Their “Director of Propaganda” describes Kicksville as a political movement, a virtual community, and a musical collective. Madisonians and anyone else hell-bent on a free-thinking mind ought to be licking their chops.

Conrad St. Clair, the “Commissioner” of Kicksville, resists shackling attempts at categorization. “Politically we’re not Marxists, liberals, democrats or any of that.” Kicksville’s music also thwarts categorization. Constantly taking on new forms, collaborating with new artists (who gain “citizen” status), and utilizing new technology, Kicksville is an ever evolving creation that incorporates more than just sound. It assimilates ideas. St. Clair elaborates: “We’re teaming up with Amnesty International’s Small Places Tour 2008 to celebrate the 60th Anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights adopted by the United Nations in 1948. It’s an honor. It’s something we feel strongly about.”


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Tom Morello - The Nightwatchman (Rage Against The Machine, Audioslave)

Tom Morello - The Nightwatchman

by Mack Dreyfuss
November 2008

Music lovers attempting to use their money wisely during these dour economic times may have just found the show of the year to attend. Musico-political titan, Tom Morello, is coming to the Pabst Theater in Milwaukee on Nov. 12 under the moniker, The Nightwatchman. For those who don’t immediately recognize his name, you may be familiar with Rage Against the Machine or Audioslave, bands who have been built with Morello on lead guitar. Rolling Stone rates him 26 on the list of 100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time. His most recent solo project released Sept. 30 is called “The Fabled City.” The Nightwatchman, Morello’s “folk singer alter ego,” transfuses politically charged lyrics into guitar riffs reminiscent of “eighties Dylan + Jimi Hendrix.”

The genesis of The Nightwatchman occurred while playing packed stadium shows with Audioslave. Morello hungered to voice his political views and be more intimate with his audience. Soon after, he released “One Man Revolution.” He states: “…it was absolutely the most fulfilling, artistically as anything I had ever done….There were a few nights where it really felt like in this tiny, dark coffeehouse that everybody’s soul in the room was at stake.”


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Luna Mortis live at the Annex in Madison, Wisconsin - photo by Matt Mommaerts

Luna Mortis

by Rökker
October 2008

Halloween is coming, metal is in the air and Madison will make another mark on the heavy metal map.

Last December you may remember Maximum Ink ran a band called The Ottomon Empire, a Madison metal band featuring the operatic and sometimes brutallic vocals of Mary Zimmer, guitarists Brian Keonig and Cory Scheider, drummer Erik Madsen and bassist Jake Bare, on the front cover.

I had to go back to the Max Ink website to check out the story one more time, seeing how so much had changed in less than a year… but oddly, it was the same.

In July, it was announced that band had signed to Century Media records and that explained to me why they had changed their name to Luna Mortis.


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Guido's Racecar featuring Max Ink's Lane Klozier on Drums (2nd from left)

Guido’s Racecar

by Kristen Winiarski
October 2008

Somewhat on-again off-again band, Guido’s Racecar has been on-again since 2007. Made up of Roni Allwaise on vocals, Mike Hoffman on guitar, Johnny Washday on bass and fellow Max Ink writer, Lane Klozier on drums, this relatively low-key “kinda glam & kinda punk [band]” as Allwaise calls it, had its start back in 1998. I had the opportunity to speak with Roni Allwaise.


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Madison's metal outfit Triibe

Triibe

by Mack Dreyfuss
October 2008

Born from the entrails of Malice in Wonderland is the metal movement called TRIIBE. TRIIBE’s current constitution is centered on its founding members:  Chris Chaos and Nick RIP.  Impeded by disunity and infighting during prior collaborations, the two sought liberation in a cohesive and connective form of musical power. Nick describes: “A tribe is a group of people that live and die together. That is what we are. That is our music.”


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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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