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Default in 2001 - photo by Phil Hunt

Default

by Sarah Klosterbuer
December 2001

When Dallas Smith auditioned for drummer Danny Craig and guitarist Jeremy Hora only two years ago, it was a new experience for him.  Before that, Smith’s vocal performances had been limited to singing along with the radio, but a decision that it was time to try it for real lead him to vie for the position of lead singer in Hora and Smith’s band.  It went well.

Today, the three of them, along with bassist Dave Benedict, are collectively known as Default, a Vancouver rock band whose buzz just keeps growing.  When asked if he had any idea back in 1999 that the band would have gained this level of success and notoriety so quickly, Smith replied, “Not even a .1% chance.  It’s like winning the lottery, really.  We can’t believe it.”


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Jack Bruce

Jack Bruce

by Mario Martin
December 2001

The 1960’s British music scene afforded one of the greatest bands the world would ever see, Cream. Jack Bruce provided the rhythm for which to do it.

Jack Bruce On His Current Project:
Jack Bruce has played with some of the most diverse musicians in the business, none more diverse than his current project that was turned into a band for the sheer enjoyment of the music. Jack said, “I’ve enjoyed playing with so many musicians through the years, but my favorite is my band right now.” [Jack’s current band is comprised of Vernon Reid on guitar; Bernie Worrel on Hammond organ; El Negro Horacio Hernandez from Cuba, Robbie Ameen and Richi Flores, all on drums.]  “When we were making the record, we decided to continue and make a band out of it.”

Jack Bruce on the Music Industry:
Jack Bruce is one that sees the melting pot of music as a blessing. “Music has always been, it just got bigger. There are so many more kinds of music today but their roots were always there. Me, I consider myself a non-celebrity and play music because I love music…all of it.”  When asked about what types of music he listens to, Jack said, “I listen to everything. I’m very open to what’s out there. From Limp Bizkit to whatever gangster rap is around.”


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Ozzy on the cover of Maximum Ink in December 2001 - photo by Paul Gargano

Ozzy Osbourne

by Paul Gargano
December 2001

Sitting across from Ozzy Osbourne in his Tucson, AZ hotel suite the night before he would kick off his year-ending Merry Mayhem tour with Rob Zombie and Soil, you can’t help but feel a sense of awe—It’s Ozzy Osbourne. Ozzy fucking Osbourne. And now, in the midst of the most widespread success of his career, he’s released Down To Earth—his most impressive album in practically a decade and is backed by what is arguable his most talented band to date—returning guitarist Zakk Wylde [Black Label Society], bassist Robert Trujillo [ex-Suicidal Tendencies] and drummer Mike Bordin [ex-Faith No More]. Less than 24-hours before embarking on the tour that would change the way we all look at the holidays, Ozzy was in rare form—Every part the heavy metal legend he’s cracked up to be, and more human than most of us ever imagined…


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Drowning Pool on the cover of Maximum Ink in November 2001 RIP Dave!

Drowning Pool

by Paul Gargano
November 2001

Don’t let their casual charm and effervescent personalities fool you, on the package tour dubbed Music As A Weapon, Drowning Pool ‘s performance is the equivalent of stumbling into the ammunition hold and dropping a lit stick of dynamite. Sure, Disturbed have earned their stripes and deserve their place atop the tour they assembled, but if the headliners are the United States Navy, Drowning Pool are the Navy Seals, sneaking up on the unsuspecting crowd with stealth, and attacking with a sonic spray that numbs the senses.

Granted, it’s getting harder for Drowning Pool to “sneak up” on anyone, especially given the breakthrough success of their debut single “Bodies,” one of the most potent metal hits this side of Pantera ‘s “Walk.” The song is a smash even becoming the theme music for the World Wrestling Federation’s recent plotlines, but the acclaim it’s brought with it isn’t all it’s cracked up to be.


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American Headcharge on the cover of Maximum Ink one month after 9/11 - photo by Christopher McCollum

American Headcharge

by Paul Gargano
October 2001

When the name of your band is American Headcharge , and your album cover for debut release The War Of Art depicts a black-eyed Uncle Sam pointing a gun at the listener, you’ve got to excuse people for assuming you might have a political slant. But according to bassist/guitarist/all-around-American Headcharge -musical force Chad Hanks, that’s just the problem.

“There’s absolutely no tie in at all,” Hanks says of his band and politics. A logical question though, especially in light of the recent terrorist attacks on America, and Headcharge’s ironically appropriate Uncle Sam imagery. “That imagery is the funniest part of the whole thing. It’s like Andy Kaufman shit! It has nothing to do with anything, it was just great imagery, especially considering that we’ve got American in our name.


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Beautiful Creatures, the band on the cover during 9/11, September 2001

Beautiful Creatures

by Paul Gargano
September 2001

There was a time when rock ‘n’ roll roamed the earth like a tattooed titan, a fire-breathing monster that made mothers cringe in horror, and their daughters creep closer to feel the heat. It was the music that separated the men from the boys, transforming guitars into an electrical storm, vocals into a maelstrom of piss and vinegar, and blasting a bottom end that made the walls shake. It meant more than just songs on the radio, it was a lifestyle.

Well, if the haze of the late-‘90s has left us convinced that excitement has left the building, Beautiful Creatures kick the door back down, stampeding onto the scene with their self-titled debut. Inspired by the same bands that spawned everyone from Alice in Chains to Pantera, they strike a paralyzing blow to the complacent chords and ridiculous excuses for rock stars that inundate the modern music scene. Paying homage to their roots and with their sites set on the future, its monster hooks and sleazed-out looks that make the Beautiful Creatures the most electrifying new band in years.


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Driver 13

by John Noyd
September 2001

When Shawn Anthony Brown returned to Wisconsin last fall, he had a long drive to contemplate his future.  His first time to Wisconsin was nearly ten years ago when Last Crack recruited him as their new lead singer. That road led to a European record deal, playing before tens of thousands of people and munching on sandwiches back stage with Ozzy and Sepultura. Splitting from Last Crack to form Spiritus, Shawn eventually grew tired of low wages and indifferent response from local radio. Returning to his native North Carolina, he dabbled in bands and jams that honed his awesome voice and brought him in contact with the woman who eventually became his wife. Still, something was missing. So, encouraged by his Madison friends who spun tales of Spiritus getting airplay and a renewed interest from radio for the local scene, Shawn packed his bags, kissed his wife goodbye and came back to seek his musical destiny. Thirteen hours later he got out of the car with his dreams intact and a name for his new band Driver (now Driver 13).

Hooking up with some of his old bandmates, Shawn actually came back to form two bands, Grip and Driver. While Grip fell to the wayside, Driver flourished, fronted by Shawn and piloted by Kerry Koppen, Mike Hagen and John Stone (Smolak). Pooling their experience in countless local bands and a profound love for Tool and Led Zeppelin, Driver creates a swampy, low end mix of industrial strength rock and spooked-out metal with traces of Middle Eastern warbling and iron-fisted rap. Shawn describes it as a chunkier, more evolved Spiritus .

Settled into the area with his wife, dog Tyler and steady employment, Shawn sees Driver’s future not as a breakout act to be courted by the industry, but rather a solid live band looking for local notoriety.  While they are cutting a single at Sleepless Nights later this year, there are no plans for CDs and national exposure. It doesn’t matter, Shawn says, how talented you are, the music industry is only interested in a look, a gimmick, the latest trend. Following their own muse, Driver shows samurai grace under extreme pressure, screaming when the spirit moves them, and shaking out the demons at the drop of a hat. Appearing at Bomblastica 2001 on September 22nd, they are sure to seize the night with their particular brand of feverish metal.


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bassist Kasim Sulton

Kasim Sulton

by David A. Kulczyk
August 2001

Kasim Sulton has had quite a career.  He’s played bass with Todd Rundgren (both solo and with Utopia) for over a decade, recorded on Meatloaf’s “Bat Out of Hell” and on the critically acclaimed 1976 album release by Steve Hillage “L”, which is a favorite with English ravers 25 years after it’s release. A multi-instrumentalist, Sulton has also recorded or performed with The Tom Robinson Band, Rick Derringer, Frankie Eldorado, Shaun Cassidy, Joan Jett, Patti Smith, Akiko Yano, The Ricky Byrd Trio,  Blue Oyster Cult, Jackie DeShannon, Eileen Ivers, Celine Dion, The Indigo Girls, Steve Stevens, Mick Jagger, Jim Steinman and Daryl Hall and John Oates. To make a long discography short, Sulton has played on 102 albums. 

Kasim also has 3 Solo albums, “Kasim,” “The Bassment Tapes” and “Lights On” with Thommy Price. I interviewed Kasim on July 30th, 2001.

Maximum Ink: How did you start playing music?
Kasim Sulton: Staten Island, NY…. first band was Kastle. My fate was decided when I saw the Beatles on Ed Sullivan in 1964.


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Wes Scantlin of Puddle of Mudd on the cover of Maximum Ink in August 2001 - photo by Christopher McCollum

Puddle Of Mudd

by Paul Gargano
August 2001

It all started with a fake backstage pass that got Wes Scantlin backstage at a concert he really didn’t even want to go to. There he was, wandering around Family Values, and he starts talking to one of Fred Durst ‘s security guards. He recalls that Fred Durst just started a record label, and decides to pass his only remaining copy of his demos on to the security guard, hoping they may reach the Limp Bizkit frontman. Scantlin couldn’t write music that sounded any less like rap-rock, but he knows Durst’s a businessman above all, and decides that if there’s an off-chance the phenom would hear his tape, he’d take it… A few weeks later, the phone rings, and it’s Durst. He not only got the tape, but he was impressed by it, and not only agrees to help the guitar-slinging singer/songwriter find a band, but offers to sign the soon-to-be quartet on his Flawless Records, as well.

The results are the brilliant debut Come Clean, an infectious blast of rock ‘n’ roll that swirls high-strung melodies around a punk rock raciness, serving up an inspired sound that stands head and shoulders above today’s murky musical depths. Album opener and lead single “Control” squirms in it’s own sexual energy, an anthem for anyone that’s been in a relationship for far too long. With the catch phrase lyric, “I love the way you smack my ass,” the track offers the perfect introduction to Puddle of Mudd, diving to bogged-down lyrical depths, kicking around the bottom, then exploding back up to break the surface, the whole experience defining why Puddle of Mudd aren’t your typical turn-of-the-millennium band.


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Fear Factory on the cover of Maximum Ink in July 2001

Fear Factory

by Michelle Harper
July 2001

When a friend told me last month that she heard of some band called “Fear Factory” playing the House Of Blues in Chicago, I thought to myself, “That sounds odd.  A metal band playing the House of Blues?”  Then, when I heard that Fear Factory was to be one of the only non-Country bands to headline the Wisconsin Dane County Junior Fair since I was in Middle School, I became intrigued.  I called my publisher almost the same day requesting to do a piece on the popular hard core, leather-wearing band performing in such unusual venues. 

Fear Factory’s fourth LP entitled “Digimortal” is a blend of cyber-metal screams describing in detail the unification of man and machine.  Burton C. Bell sings of an apocalyptic vision in which cloning and memory implants hold the potential of sustaining human life forever, while guitarist Dino Cazares, bassist Christian Olde Wolbers and drummer Raymond Herrera fuel the raging and powerful nightmare.  This latest project exemplifies a progressive effort for the band that originated back in 1992. 

Some facts about the fearless foursome—ten years on the road, four LPs and an EP, a gold record for their third LP “Obsolete”, a black T-shirt, long-haired appearance reminiscent of early Sepultura or Slayer and live shows that are said to radiate phenomenal energy and emotion.  Success of such a band is no small feat, especially given the growing popularity of generically formatted Slipknot/Limp Bizkit imitations.


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