An interview with Geeter of Madison’s punk-hillbilly outfit The Schwillbillies
An interview with Geeter of Madison’s punk-hillbilly outfit The Schwillbillies
It started just like any other local hard-rock band. A couple of guys from an unheard-of band hooked up with some other guys in another unheard-of band through a billboard at a local music store. They had a practice space, a PA, a following (well, plenty of friends), two guitar wiz’s, a dynamite rhythm section… what they needed was a singer. So back to the billboard they went, in search of a vocalist that could compliment their intricate rhythms, blend with their mysterious melodies and cut in through the intense guitar solos of a metal band.
And there it was, a poster for an available singer. It was Buddo, of the Snotrockets. They ripped all of the tags from the poster and went home to call him. It was the summer of 1987.
Buddo showed up to the storage facility in McFarland that was the band’s rehearsal space. “I’m Paul” proclaims guitarist Paul Schluter. “ahh… Pablo” replied Buddo. “I’m Todd,” says bassist Todd Winger. “Toddereno,” remarked Buddo. “Phil ,” mutters original drummer Phil Buerstatte. “Philo,” again replied Buddo. Somehow, guitarist Don Bakken remained “Don,” but together they would become Last Crack.
He’s staking his position as Pied Piper of the Proletariat. Ed Thompson, Libertarian candidate for governor, added politics to his lengthy and colorful resume of working-man jobs - from boxer to gambler to prison guard to bar owner. He easily won election as mayor of Tomah. So is the Ed Thompson mystique genuine, or is the reality best reflected in the Libertarian party line?
The truth is that Thompson has the ability to sound convincing in both contexts. Thompson is a “people person,” as reflected by long-standing friendships and warm interaction with strangers. His former boxing coach (and current driver), Jim Meckstroth, has been through many of Thompson ‘s previous battles. “He fought as a heavyweight professionally until he was 40,” Meckstroth said. “He won his last fight, but when I asked ‘how many fingers,’ he said he couldn’t even see my hand.” Thompson translated that scrappiness to his bar business. “Anyone who got out of hand, he’d literally pick ‘em up and throw ‘em out,” Meckstroth said. Thompson has also been winning another well-publicized battle. “He’s been sober for eight years now.” But perhaps Meckstroth’s most telling observation of Thompson was from the boxing ring. “Ed was the kind of boxer who would take three punches to land one good one.”
It is not everyday that you see a band fly out of the starting blocks like Shot To Hell. Their enthralling version of Psychobilly has been burning the boards throughout the Midwest, uniting fans of multiply genres and age groups.
After a trying year that included three different drummers and a van fire, Shot To Hell has finally (hopefully) put their bad luck behind them with the addition of permanent drummer by the name of Daphna Ron, who also contributes backing vocals.
Shot To Hell has two full albums worth of songs to release, which they will record at their own Psyclops studio in La Crosse. Next month they are going to have a remix version of their song (If you) Think I’m Dumb on the Georgia based Illbilly Records compilation “Dropped On The Head - Vol. 2”
“We just wanted to kinda get back to rock.” The phrase may be a bit of a cliché, but is the perfect description of what The Buzzhorn is all about.
Recently signing with Atlantic Records, the Milwaukee-based band is taking its first steps into the national limelight, with high hopes and realistic expectations. “As far as the national level and everything, you can keep your fingers crossed and hope that it all goes well. We just want to keep playing, and that’s really it,” reflects vocalist Ryan Mueller.
The Buzzhorn are one of Milwaukee’s hottest bands, but were relatively unheard of outside of the city until recently. Advertising extensively and barely getting by financially, The Buzzhorn developed a strong, energetic fan base in the Milwaukee area. Ultimately, this, in combination with the band’s musical talent, caught the eyes and ears of Atlantic Records, offering The Buzzhorn the opportunity every band dreams of. On August 6 of this year, “Disconnected” hits stores, with the first single, “Ordinary” currently being added to radio play lists nationwide.
Midnight Oil has been playing their own kind of music for twenty-seven years now with only two changes in personnel. They actually started in 1971 as The Farm. That says a lot when you think about it and think is what Midnight Oil does. Throughout their thirteen releases Midnight Oil has never let up on their causes of social awareness, inequalities and environmental justice. They have also never let up on their hard rocking and sing-along passionate music.
Fronted by the seven foot tall, shaven head singer, Peter Garrett, Midnight Oil is loud and energetic in their live performances. They have been known to play guerrilla shows on flatbed trucks, once even in front of Exxon’s New York City headquarters, midday during the week. Garrett, who has a law degree, ran for the Australian Senate on a Nuclear Disarmament ticket, losing by only a small margin. The defeat only strengthened his objective of speaking out on political matters as his conscience saw fit. You can’t really argue with a seven-foot tall bald man, can you?
Selling millions of records all over the world, Midnight Oil broke onto the American scene with 1987’s “Diesel and Dust,” a monumental album with unforgettable songs like “Beds Are Burning,” “Sell My Soul,” “Sometimes” and “Put Down That Weapon.” The follow up, 1990’s “Blue Sky Mining” was just as great with the anti-war song “Forgotten Years” and “Shakers and Movers” being as good as anything recorded in that decade.
Midnight Oil’s new CD is “Capricornia” and they are touring the world in support of it. I interviewed Peter Garrett, via e-mail as he was at his home in Sydney Australia.
“Eh, I’m getting old,” causally remarked Robert Pollard, referring to his recent on-stage back injury from his home in Dayton, Ohio. The 44-year-old, former elementary school teacher is the singer, songwriter, and only permanent member of Guided By Voices, one of the greatest bands that most radio-friendly ears have never even heard of. But once exposed to the Guided By Voices empire, many will become borderline worshipers. Magnet magazine publisher Eric T. Miller has said that Pollard has written more great songs than the Beatles, the Who and the Rolling Stones combined. Last year, San Francisco Mayor Willie Brown went as far as declaring April 3, 2001 “Guided By Voices Day” in the city. In an age of utterly disposable bands like Limp Bizkit selling millions of records, this well-merited praise comes to a band that, after 17 years, finally made it to the billboard top 200 last year, peeking at 168.
Tommy Lee became synonymous with drumming in the late ‘80s and early ‘90s, his solos setting the standards by which all future drummers would be judged, and his presence one of unparalleled rock ‘n’ roll excess. Since those heralded days in Mötley Crüe, a lot has happened, but Lee’s focus hasn’t shifted. Through tabloid headline after tabloid headline, he’s kept his music close to his heart, all the while, his personal life being run through the American psyche as if it were made for prime time television. And while the hooplah may have been more than most men could handle, in sitting down with Tommy Lee as the release of his sophomore solo effort approaches (this time the project is simply called Tommy Lee, and the album, appropriately, Never A Dull Moment), it’s practically chilling how sound both in mind and body the international superstar has become. It’s as if the more he’s been through, the more he’s learned, and Lee savors the newfound knowledge with an enviable zest for life. The same zest that he applies to his music. On the eve of the band’s departure for the road in support of Lee’s latest solo outing, Maximum Ink sat down with the drummer-turned-frontman to discuss life as an icon, and the albums that have come as a result…
There are two types of country music. There’s the whiney, poppy, overproduced dribble, and then there’s the kind produced by the Supersuckers - the good kind.
To say the least, the Supersuckers are a bit bipolar when it comes to musical styles. They’ve opened for White Zombie and Motorhead and also backed country legend Willie Nelson. Producing primarily rock albums, the band also delivered a country disc in 1997, providing the material for their latest live release, “Must’ve Been Live.”
Yes! Finally, an original and innovative musical group pierces the rerun neo-metal trend of the new millennium. Of course, musical geniuses such as Brittany Spears and the Backstreet Boys (pre-rehab visits) have made it almost impossible for anyone to look good, or even competent, in comparison. But, the hilarious sarcasm of Jack Black and Kyle Gass are making a run for glory despite the uphill trek, riding their mighty steeds with a guitar in one hand and a scepter in the other. Their mission? Tenacious D wants to kick some ass, rock your face off, and allow you the privilege of witnessing the “greatest band that ever was”.
It all began in 1996 when Gass and Black met in the L.A-based theater group, The Actor’s Gang. Gass instructed Black on some guitar techniques, and the two became fast friends. The duo has made cameo appearances in such flicks as Bio-Dome, Cradle Will Rock, and more recently, an HBO short documenting the hilariously intense rise to ass-kicking stardom - Tenacious D-style. Black has made a name for himself as an actor as well, appearing as a clerk in John Cusak’s record store in High Fidelity, and the Farley Brothers’ flick Shallow Hal with Gwynneth Paltrow. Finally, after six years, with the help of Dave Grohl of the Foo Fighters and production team The Dust Brothers , Tenacious D is on their way to selling 11 million records, just as Black so grandiosely predicted.
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