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Dream Theater 2009

Dream Theater - Mike Portnoy

by Max Ink
July 2009

MI: Congrats on the massive global success that has greeted BLACK CLOUDS & SILVER LININGS: a #1 debut on the Billboard European chart and 12 Top Ten album chart debuts around the world including the U.S.  Can you talk about what this accomplishment means to DREAM THEATER?

MP:
It’s incredibly gratifying at this stage of our career. After 10 studio albums and almost 25 years in the business, it’s amazing to see Dream Theater is still growing. The fact that we can achieve such a “commercial” accomplishment on our own artistic terms (without any real “mainstream” exposure) is also a true feat.

An album with four songs over the length of 12 minutes each entering the U.S. Top 10?  Surely this is completely unheard of in these times and speaks volumes of our incredibly dedicated fan base.


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Zakk Wylde of Black Label Society - photo by Andrew Gargano

Black Label Society

by Chris Fox
July 2009

Helping create the definition of heavy metal, BLACK LABEL SOCIETY continues to shape redefine themselves and there sound. From acoustic ballads, to shredding solos, to a community of brothers, these guys have become a people’s band. According to Nick Catanese (Guitar), “take Zeppelin and Sabbath and put them in a blender from hell, and you have Black Label.” The famed frontman, Zakk Wylde, and the “Evil Twin”(Cantanese), find themselves in a family that has been rooted with their band.


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Sweet Cyanide

Sweet Cyanide

by Alexandra Radel
July 2009

With songs titled “Suicide Love Machine,” “Certain Shadows on the Wall,” “Crash Theory,” and “Heartbreaker” these four New York rockers put a new spin on sex, drugs, and rock n roll. Sweet Cyanide is an electric collision of two respected New York bands, Crashbox and Moment Theory. The band consists of Sal Scoca and Angelo Fariello from Crashbox and Mike Bambrace and Joe Salvatore from Moment Theory. When the two bands were active Crashbox sold over 5,000 copies, and Moment Theory was recognized by Billboard’s independent songwriter’s contest.

Sweet Cyanide’s self-titled album drops July 7. Immediately following the release of their album they will be doing some regional touring through August. The first song on the album, “Crash Theory,” will also be the first single. Be listening for “Crash Theory” on the radio in early Sept. Currently, Sweet Cyanide is working out the kinks for opening slots in the fall with some big named bands.


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Faces For Radio featuring members of Rapscallion and Last Crack

Faces For Radio

by Joshua Miller
July 2009

With a sleek, venturesome and well worn presence in the Madison and national music scene, the members of the capital’s resident rock supergroup FACES FOR RADIO see every show as a chance to show off their skills. Skills they’ve picked up over the past decades in some of Madison’s most successfully produced bands, namely Rapscallion and Last Crack. 

“Any opportunity we are given to play we appreciate it 150 percent,” says Chris Havey, who handles drumming duties. Havey is joined by an experienced lineup of musicians including singer Tod Schwenn, guitarist Jayme Poster, and bass player Todd “Reno” Winger.

Even though they started in 2006, their friendships are decades long. Faces for Radio marks a crossroads of the paths each of the members of the bands have taken. Winger and Havey enjoyed success in the widely popular Last Crack, which was signed to Roadracer/Roadrunner Records a label that now touts names such as CKY, Nickelback, Dream Theater and more. Last Crack enjoyed critical success nationally and worldwide, playing on and off over the last two decades, with classic albums such as Burning Time and Sinister Funkhouse 17, MTV videos, and shows that attracted thousands of people.


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Tom Fuller Band live at the Triple M studio in Madison - photo by John McCally

Tom Fuller Band

by John Noyd
July 2009

To see Tom Fuller today one would never guess that little over ten years ago he was a solid cog in corporate America and had never written a song all the way through. From the streaked mod haircut to the purple granny glasses and matching sneakers Tom Fuller emanates rock and roll. Tamed danger prowling, the glam-punk poise echoing the bigger than life sound of his band a tight group both young and experienced, sharp and dedicated.

Ironically, after talking with Tom for over a half an hour the conversation was less about music than destiny and life’s spiritual journey. Perhaps it’s due to the fact that while Tom is the leader and songwriter for the Tom Fuller Band he is entirely self-taught beyond a few guitar lessons when he was nine. In fact, Tom says he’s a “song-crafter more than a writer.” “I write what I feel; my lyrics are always emotion-based.” His gut instinct guides him and serendipity has brought him an entourage of good fortune. “I know in the first twenty seconds if I’m going to like a song.” Immediate, intuitive and insistent, Tom also knows personalities and opportunities and has learned how to play them both with rock and roll nonchalance.


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Michael Jackson of The Jackson Five

Paul Gargano remembers Michael Jackson

by Paul Gargano
July 2009

I always wished I could moonwalk.

Not because I listened to hip-hop and wanted to add the move to my breakdancing repertoire, but because Michael Jackson made everyone wish they could moonwalk.

Michael Jackson is the King of Pop because he made awkward and pudgy white kids in suburban America wish they could move like he could. Gawky kids like me were the final frontier, and he was the great unifier. Everyone loved Michael Jackson, because you couldn’t not love Michael Jackson.


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Aerosmith caught live in Chicago - photo by Adam Bielawski

Aerosmith - Tom Hamilton

by Mike Huberty
June 2009

As the bassist for the best-selling hard rock band of all time, Tom Hamilton has been laying down the foundation in AEROSMITH for almost four full decades. In the process of working on their new album and fresh off the release of Guitar Hero: AEROSMITH which brings the songs of the band to gaming consoles everywhere, the band is embarking on a summer tour and Tom took some time to talk about it.

It’s been an extraordinary run for the band since forming in Boston in the early 70’s and Tom brings up his original influences that made him pick up an instrument in the first place.“ I was 12 when the Beatles came out and the British pop explosion,”, he says. “Then the Hippie era started and we were all extremely interested in what was freaky and weird. From England, there was Zeppelin and The Who, and we were little blank slates who just ate it all up.“ And with plenty of money and success behind him, he explains why they’re still going. ”We just want to be part of it and don’t want to let things go by. In the 80’s, the band broke in half. With MTV, I remember thinking we were going to miss that. We don’t want to miss anything! We hear the voices of all the people that still want to hear us play.“


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Madison's Vanishing Kids

Vanishing Kids

by Mike Huberty
June 2009

Keeping alive the torch of post-punk and new-wave, VANISHING KIDS started making noise when guitarist Jason Hartman and vocalist Nikki Nads met in Madison in 2000 and decided to form a band the following year where they could indulge in their love of artists like The Cure and Siouxsie and The Banshees. That path has since taken them to Seattle, back to Madison, and finally back to the West Coast to Portland, Oregon. They’ve achieved a good deal of success along the way, signing a distribution deal with Rykodisc and having industrial pioneer Martin Atkins take the producing reins on one of their albums.  This summer, they’ve released a brand new single, “Mother Earth”, and are hitting the road on a tour that will take them through the Western and Midwestern states.


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Great White

Great White

by Mike Huberty
June 2009

Emerging from the 80’s Los Angeles hard rock scene, GREAT WHITE has seen the highs of rock and roll success (Grammy nominations, world tours, multiplatinum albums, and heavy video rotation in the Golden Age of MTV) as well as the lows of tragedy (a Rhode Island show that ended in a fire that claimed the lives of 99 fans as well as their guitarist.) In the new Millennium, the band has gone through periods of breakup and relative dissolution but in the past couple of years has reformed their most famous lineup (sans original bassist). Now embarking on their fourth decade performing together, GREAT WHITE has released a new album, Rising, and vocalist Jack Russell is happy where the new music has been taking them.

“We’re getting real airplay on this record and that’s something we haven’t had for ten years”, he says. “It’s amazing to me. It’s always my goal to do one more record. Hopefully the voice will hang in there and keep going. I just want to keep doing this until it’s not fun anymore…


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Milwaukee's A Tortured Soul

A Tortured Soul

by Kris Klassen
June 2009

Sometimes you find a band by accident. A band that you’re expecting nothing from but at the end of the night, you’re so happy you saw them. There is that initial moment of doubt when you say to yourself “do they really sound as good as I think they do?” I found such a band in Milwaukee, Wisconsin and they are called A TORTURED SOUL.

They formed in 2001 when old high school friends lead guitarist Nate Gorenc and bass player Stefan Bohl put together a group named REZ. They placed an ad in Uncle Bob’s music store (where they buy most of their equipment) and vocalist Rick Black answered it. With a change of name and the additions of Ryne Schultz on rhythm guitar and Eric Gnant on drums, ATS does the business every time they step on the stage.


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