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Baghdad Scuba Review on the cover of Dec. 2009 Maximum Ink - photo by Nick Berard

Baghdad Scuba Review

by Andrew Frey
December 2009

Since their inception Baghdad Scuba Review has been swimming through the sands of creativity and their existence has bloomed and flourished because of it. When their dynamic and thematically charged jam rock debut “Testing The Waters” flowed into our ears in 2007 it was critically acclaimed and nominated for a MAMA award. Since then the band has played numerous shows and events around Madison and the Midwest, highlighted by memorable sets on the Capital steps for the Great Midwest Marijuana Harvest Festival, in Black River Falls at the Grateful Garcia Gathering, and at Milwaukee’s incredible Summerfest.

Recently Chad Thompson (lead guitar/vox) and Justin Gerstner (drums) took a moment to update Maximum Ink about what’s percolating these days for BSR and what their next release (slated for an early 2010 release) holds in store. The rest of the band is composed of Erik Riedasch (bass), Rob Bloch (percussion), and Jason Krueger (keyboard).


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Steve Grimm of Sleighriders

Sleighriders 2009

by Mike Huberty
December 2009

Bringing together an almost ridiculously diverse collection of Milwaukee’s most popular musical talents to perform for charity under one roof for one night is difficult enough, but THE SLEIGHRIDERS have done it every Christmas season for the past twenty-seven years. Combining the expertise of forty performers rotating through the lineup throughout the night and blasting through a musical revue of seasonal Holiday music, R&B, and classic rock, over time, it’s become firmly entrenched as a tradition of the Milwaukee music scene’s Yuletide festivities.


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Unearth

Unearth

by Chris Fox
December 2009

East coast hardcore bands are a quickly growing force, and one of the heaviest, UNEARTH, makes their way through Wisconsin. Coming off their previous tour with thrash titans, TESTAMENT, Trevor Phipps (vocals) feels the band is only getting started on their contribution to the heavy metal world. Still out promoting their latest album, “The March,” this quintet thrives on the stylings of their local scene in Massachusetts and the metal influences of the 90’s.


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Madison's Soul Shaker

Soul Shaker

by Sal Serio
December 2009

I often get asked what’s new and interesting in the Madison music scene, and these days usually the first couple words to roll off my tongue are “Soul Shaker”, a hot new ballsy bluesy rock band in town. Their calling card states “Dirty Blues Rock Fo’ Yo’ Dirty Minds” which sums it up pretty well, and somehow they already knew my mind was usually in the gutter.

The guys on the guitars and drums may look familiar if you were a fan of Trinity James And Big Bad. Guitarist Jason “JP” Peterson, bassist Scott Aumann, and drummer Brent King had backed up singer/songwriter Trinity James for a couple years before Trin moved on to the land of grueling competition Nashville. JP, Scott, and Brent kept writing on their own and eventually joined forces with singer and harmonica player Adam Zierten of Reason For Leaving and Jose And The Sumlimes fame.


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Ogre of Skinny Puppy

Skinny Puppy

by Kimberly E. McDaniel
December 2009

Twenty-six years ago, Skinny Puppy released their first recording, Remission, on an unsuspecting public and redefined industrial music.  They had help from Ministry, as both bands would eventually become the godfathers of this heavy, strange and danceable sound that emerged in the early 80’s.  Twenty-five albums later, Skinny Puppy is still going strong which isn’t bad for a band that was apparently initially supposed to be a side project for cEvin Key (born Kevin Crompton).  When Nivek Ogre (born Kevin Ogilvie) joined soon after, the band became a full-time project.  Dwayne Goettel joined the band from 1986-1995, and the band has had various other members, including Bill Leeb of Frontline Assembly and Al Jourgensen, over the years as well.

In 1993, tensions between band members and rumors of drug abuse plagued Skinny Puppy, culminating in the death of Goettel and Ogre leaving in June of 1995.  Ogre and Key reunited in 2000 for a Skinny Puppy show in Germany and then finally reformed in 2003.  Currently, Justin Bennett (formerly of Professional Murder Music) is the drummer and had a key role in choosing the band’s set list for their recent “In Solvent See” tour, which ends December 10th, 2009 in Los Angeles.

Recently, Nivek Ogre chatted with Maximum Ink about the dangers of touring with no album to support, animal rights, politics and his burgeoning film career.


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AFI - photo by Matthew Welch

A.F.I.

by Kimberly E. McDaniel
December 2009

In every generation, there are bands that generate either much adoration from fans or much hatred, but rarely is there any middle ground.  AFI is just such a band.  Love them or hate them, their sound is ever-evolving and fans are heatedly debating whether their latest offering, CRASH LOVE, is their best or worst album to date. 

Beginning in Ukiah, California eighteen years ago, the band gained a following with their hardcore punk sound.  After some personnel changes that were finalized with the release of BLACK SAILS IN THE SUNSET in 1999, the band, Davey Havok, vocals, Jade Puget, guitar and vocals, Hunter Burgan, bass and vocals and Adam Carson, drums and vocals, geared up to release their what would become their life-changing record.  With the release of 2003’s SING THE SORROW, AFI enjoyed their first mainstream success, winning an MTV2 award for the single Girl’s Not Grey and selling over one million copies.  They took three years to deliver 2006’s DECEMBERUNDERGROUND, which featured the rousing anthem, Miss Murder, and in September of this year, CRASH LOVE hit store shelves, seemingly cementing AFI’s mainstream following.  The first single from CRASH LOVE, Medicate, is currently enjoying heavy rotation on many national FM stations and the video is garnering them attention on MTV.

AFI guitarist, Jade Puget, took time out of the band’s hectic touring schedule, which is on a momentary hiatus due to Havok’s bout of swine flu, to talk about CRASH LOVE, his dream of being a novelist and what he can’t live without.


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Last Crack's first band photo since breaking up in 1991

Last Crack - Sinister Funkhouse Reunion

by Rökker
November 2009

It started as a dream… to make it to the top. The formula is easy. Start a band, write some songs, get a singer, record a demo, get signed by a major label, put out an album, tour the world. Success.

And that’s exactly the way it started. Last Crack’s rise out of the local music scene in Madison is the thing of legend. Almost every band starts with the same credo in mind, but not many break through. For Last Crack, it was a given.

Many bands make their start from a garage or basement, but for Last Crack it would be a storage facility in Madison on Stoughton Road just off the beltline, and answering a classified ad from the Good n Loud billboard for a singer named Buddo in 1987.


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Rob Zombie

Rob Zombie

by Chris Fox
November 2009

After releasing another masterful horror flick, Halloween II, ROB ZOMBIE is hitting the road again with his band. This tour is in promotion of Zombie’s upcoming album in 2010, Hellbilly Deluxe II. “We bring the heaviness of metal with an underlying groove,” explains Zombie, as the new album is expected to go back to the older ROB ZOMBIE sound as heard in his debut solo release Hellbilly Deluxe, in 1998.

Zombie defines himself and his band as both a studio and live band. He explains, “I’ve been with these guys, touring for years now… we get along, and I’m excited to be working with them.” Previous albums have seen a rotation of musicians and Zombie doing the recording, but he is proud to call the newest album a full band project with the name ROB ZOMBIE. Beyond that, Zombie describes the band as “much more a live band than studio.”


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Helen Money - Heavy Cello

Helen Money

by Mike Huberty
November 2009

Listening to the new instrumental record by HELEN MONEY, In Tune, is a completely different kind of instrumental experience. Alison Chesley is a Chicago-based cellist who earned her rock credentials with the 90’s alternative band, Verbow, then started performing with world-rockers, Poi Dog Pondering, and even recorded with nu-metallers, Disturbed. If you’re expecting just cello renditions of rock n’ roll songs, you won’t hear that, but you’ll hear music that’s completely unafraid to reach into dark places and her mixture of pizzicato, heavy bowing, distorted leads over beds of soft strings is a fascinating listen of how to channel rock’s traditionally guitar-oriented aggression through an instrument that gets most of its heavy metal recognition from the bridge section of Whitesnake’s “Still Of The Night”.

For her interesting choice of musical direction, Alison says that it was because the traditional model didn’t appeal to her.“ I grew up in Los Angeles and I spent about ten years after I dropped out of college, where I just wasn’t feeling inspired playing cello.”, she says. “So I started going out to clubs to see bands like The MInutemen and Meat Puppets and Bob Mould


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Danny Johnson

Danny Johnson

by Mike Huberty
November 2009

Looking at guitarist, DANNY JOHNSON’s musical resume is like reading a syllabus for a course in Classic Rock. Discovered at 18 years old by Rick Derringer (he of the “Rock and Roll Hoochie Koo”), Johnson recorded three albums with him and moved on to joining the bands of Alice Cooper and Rod Stewart. Danny would go on to replace Steve Vai (who in turn had replaced Yngwie Malmsteen) in Graham Bonnet’s post-Rainbow project, Alcatrazz, and when they disbanded, became the guitarist in Eddie Van Halen’s production project, Private Life, in the late 80’s. During the last decade, in addition to performing with Tia Carrere on the Wayne’s World soundtrack, Johnson became the lead guitarist with the originators of the term “heavy metal”, Steppenwolf (still a touring entity almost half a century after forming.) Johnson has also released two solo albums, Grih-Grih Thing and Over Cloud Nine and is embarking on a solo tour through Wisconsin this November.


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