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Todd Rundgren's Utopia

Todd Rundgren’s Utopia

Kasim Sulton On The Road To Utopia
by Sal Serio
April 2018

In late February/early March, 2018, it was announced to the delight of music fans from coast-to-coast that Todd Rundgren’s Utopia would be reuniting for their first North American tour in 32 years! Originally the tour was slated to reunite all four Utopia members: Rundgren, Kasim Sulton, Willie Wilcox, and Ralph Schuckett, but soon it was determined that Schuckett had to bow out due to health issues, and is replaced on this tour by Gil Assayas on keyboards. The Utopia tour began on April 18th, and is scheduled for presentation in Milwaukee, Saturday May 12 at the Pabst Theater, and in Chicago at the Chicago Theater, Tuesday May 22. In late March, Maximum Ink field reporter Sal Serio had the opportunity to speak with bassist Kasim Sulton via telephone.


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Black Star Riders - photo by Richard Stow

Black Star Riders

An interview with vocalist Ricky Warwick
by Sal Serio
April 2018

Black Star Riders formed in 2012 when the most recent members of Thin Lizzy were writing and recording new songs, but decided that it would not be appropriate to release the upcoming album (2013’s ‘All Hell Breaks Loose’) under the Thin Lizzy name. Vocalist Ricky Warwick chose the “Black Star Riders” moniker after being inspired by the movie “Tombstone” (1993) which features an outlaw gang of the same name. The current line-up of Black Star Riders is: Warwick, with guitarists Scott Gorham and Damon Johnson, bass player Robbie Crane, and drummer Chad Szeliga. Touring in support of their 3rd album, ‘Heavy Fire’, the hard rocking group hits the Upper Midwest for the following dates: Mon. April 2 at the Minneapolis Armory (w/ Judas Priest & Saxon); Tues. April 3 at the Riverside Theatre in Milwaukee (w/ Judas Priest & Saxon); Thurs. April 5 at the Resch Center in Green Bay (w/ Judas Priest & Saxon); Fri. April 6 at the Arcada Theatre in St. Charles, IL; and Sat. April 7 at Potawatomi in Milwaukee (w/ Saxon).


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Michael Schenker

Michael Schenker

The Michael Schenker Fest is a "Resurrection" of all things Schenker!
by Sal Serio
March 2018

German guitarist Michael Schenker made a name for himself in the 70’s by playing on classic rock recordings by UFO and The Scorpions, before branching out on his own with the Michael Schenker Group. Schenker’s latest project is the Michael Schenker Fest, which features 3 vocalists from the classic 80’s line-up of MSG (Gary Barden, Robin McAuley, Graham Bonnet), as well as singer Doogie White, who performed with Schenker in the group Temple Of Rock. Also present will be the MSG rhythm section of Chris Glen and Ted McKenna. The Michael Schenker Fest comes to the Concord Music Hall in Chicago on March 17, and the Pabst Theater in Milwaukee on March 18.


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Pat Mastelotto of King Crimson

King Crimson

An interview with drummer Pat Mastelotto
by Sal Serio
November 2017

Legendary prog-rock group King Crimson, who formed in 1968, play the Riverside Theater in Milwaukee, Sunday, November 26. Currently Crimson is comprised of an eight member line-up: Robert Fripp, Mel Collins, Tony Levin, Pat Mastelotto, Gavin Harrison, Jeremy Stacey, Jakko Jakszyk, and Bill Rieflin. The following is a recent interview with longtime drummer/percussionist Pat Mastelotto.


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White Bush Unicorn - photo by Danielle Kvatek

White Bush Unicorn

It's Better Than Nothing!
by Sal Serio
July 2017

Interviewing the 7-headed beast known as White Bush Unicorn was a real trip. A relatively new Madison musical conglomeration that makes a point of coloring way outside the lines, this is assuredly a group that will keep you guessing. White Bush Unicorn will be celebrating their debut recorded effort at Art In on Saturday, July 29, as part of a multimedia affair that will also feature Chicago rock band The Curls, and burlesque performers Unbookable Baby-Bear, Marina Mars, Mama No Shits, Claire Moon, and Melani Khandroma. Veteran Max Ink reporter caught up with various members of White Bush Unicorn, and the rest of this article speaks loudly for itself. [White Bush Unicorn is: Larry Bush: lead guitar, vocals; Kasondra White: vocals, keyboard, trumpet; Jordi Hipple: bass; AhnaMarie Grove: marching bells, flute, melodica, vocals; Raul Ramos: drums; Alley Bacon: alto saxophone; Marco Antoniolli: rhythm guitar]


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The Zombies - photo by Andrew Eccles

The Zombies

An interview with vocalist Colin Blunstone
by Sal Serio
April 2017

There are great rock ‘n roll bands, and there are legends. The Zombies fall in to the later category, having formed in 1962 and became one of the top selling British groups of the 1960s. Original members Colin Blunstone (vocals) and Rod Argent (keyboards / vocals) front the current incarnation of The Zombies, who will be celebrating the 50th anniversary of their ‘Odessey And Oracle’ album, with a tour that reunites the present band with the surviving original members. Madison’s Barrymore Theatre will present this momentous event on Saturday, April 15. Prior to hitting the road, Maximum Ink’s Sal Serio spoke with Colin Blunstone.


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TAUK at Red Rocks - photo by Dylan Langille

TAUK

A lyrical discussion regarding the all-instrumental band
by Sal Serio
March 2017

TAUK are a compelling and unique rock fusion quartet from New York City, that have built up a following of faithful fans via their dedicated touring schedule and explosive performances. TAUK will be bringing their live show to Madison’s Majestic Theatre on Thursday, March 9. Maximum Ink’s Sal Serio recently spoke with guitarist Matt Jalbert for the following interview. TAUK also features A.C. Carter on keyboards, drummer Isaac Teel, and bass player Charlie Dolan.


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Beasto Blanco - photo by Natalia Britt

Beasto Blanco

Alice Cooper band members feed their Frankenstein on their 2nd album
by Sal Serio
December 2016

Theatrics, flesh, muscles, tattoos, volume, riffs, grind, and thrust… this is Beasto Blanco, the project of longtime Alice Cooper bassist Chuck Garric. Enhancing the mix is Alice and Sheryl Cooper’s daughter Calico on vocals and mayhem, providing a Tarantino type of gritty and gruesome rock experience. Beasto Blanco’s self-titled second album has just been released on Rat Pak Records. Rounding out the band is outstanding guitarist Brother Chris Latham, drummer Tim Husung, and bass player Jan LeGrow. The following interview is with Chuck Garric, conducted on November 16th by Sal Serio.


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Security Project

Security Project

An interview with Jerry Marotta, legendary rock drummer and co-founder of the Security Project
by Sal Serio
October 2016

Chances are likely you know Jerry Marotta’s music even if the name doesn’t immediately ring a bell. The esteemed drummer, multi-instrumentalist, and producer has performed on a multitude of popular recordings, for artists such as Peter Gabriel, Indigo Girls, Stevie Nicks, Paul McCartney, Tears For Fears, Hall & Oates, Rory Block, and Orleans to name but a few. Currently Marotta is performing with the group Security Project, which he recently formed with King Crimson and Robert Fripp alumnus Trey Gunn. Security Project has released two live albums in 2016, including the brand new ‘Live 2’, to be officially released by 7d Media on October 21. The music on these two live releases are recreations and re-imagining of the material Marotta performed with Peter Gabriel in the late 1970s and early 80s. Rounding out the line-up is guitarist Michael Cozzi (Shriekback, Sky Cries Mary), keyboardist David Jameson (Beyond The Wall, Time Machine), and newest addition Happy Rhodes, who boasts a 4-octave vocal range. The addition of Rhodes to the Security Project means the ensemble will be expanding their presentation beyond just the Gabriel material on their October-November USA tour.


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Cold Black River

Cold Black River

The Soundtrack To The Journey Across The River Styx
by Sal Serio
April 2016

When I reviewed the Cold Black River CD E.P. ‘Hillbilly Zeus’ this past October, I coaxed descriptive associations using words like dark, disturbing, apocalyptic, and demonic. Upon further contemplation, that was quite accurate! It’s the soundtrack to the journey across the River Styx to the Land of the Dead. Your own journey will be far less perilous, as Cold Black River perform at The Frequency in Madison twice in April. Saturday, April 16, is Bomblastica 2016 (Maximum Ink’s 20th anniversary party) with Cold Black River, Motherhive, Subatomic, and Droids Attack. Saturday, April 30 features Cold Black River with The Garza and The Gran Fury.


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