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Kyle Shutt & Jimmy Vela of The Sword at the Majestic Theatre in Madison, Oct. 14, 2015 - photo by Sal Serio

The Sword

In To The Future: An Interview with Guitarist Kyle Shutt
by Sal Serio
July 2018

Touring in support of their sixth album, the ambitious and critically acclaimed ‘Used Future’ released in March of this year, the Austin, Texas, based powerful hard rock foursome THE SWORD return to Madison for a highly anticipated date at the Majestic Theatre, Sunday, July 29, with opening band Ume. Maximum Ink reporter Sal Serio spoke to lead guitarist Kyle Shutt prior to the band hitting the stage in Chicago on June 20th. The other members of The Sword are vocalist and guitarist John D. Cronise, bassist Bryan Richie, and drummer Jimmy Vela.


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P.O.S.

P.O.S.

P.O.S. Brings Honest and Emotional Hip Hop to the High Noon, Tuesday, May 15, 2018
by Sal Serio
May 2018

Stefon Alexander, better known by his stage name P.O.S, is a founding member of the Minneapolis based seven-member indie hip hop music and performance collective Doomtree. As a collective, there are no egos in Doomtree, and it’s sound reflects the energy of many members with unique individual musical influences.

P.O.S., who has been rapping since the 5th grade, also has his own albums, and side project bands such as Marijuana Deathsquads. In January 2017, P.O.S released his fifth solo album, ‘Chill, Dummy’, on the Doomtree Records label. The critically acclaimed and genre-blurring ‘Chill, Dummy’ is produced by Lazerbeak, Makr, Cory Grindberg, Ryan Olson, and P.O.S himself. It also features contributions by Moncelas Boston, Rapper Hooks, Justin Vernon, Lady Midnight, Busdriver, Dwynell Roland, Gerald, Manchita, Open Mike Eagle, Angelenah, Allan Kingdom, Astronautalis, Eric Mayson, Hard_R (P.O.S.‘s teenaged son), Kathleen Hanna, Lizzo, Lydia Liza and Nicholas L. Perez.

The P.O.S. concert experience provides catharsis, as the artist has much love to give and inspires others with strength and sincerity in his words. P.O.S. can articulate emotion about political opinions without negativity and is constructive in his viewpoint, even when that emotion may be one of anger. The message of his raps is as much about an ideal life as what P.O.S. sees and experiences in real life.

Tuesday, May 15, the High Noon Saloon in Madison hosts P.O.S. with DJ Rowsheen, and also sets by Serengeti and CRASHprez.


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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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