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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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Casket Robbery - photo by Megan Orvold

Casket Robbery

Evil, crushing, and fun... this is what metal should be.
by Sal Serio
March 2016

The regional South-central Wisconsin metal band Casket Robbery, masterminded by former Luna Mortis guitarist Cory Scheider and vocalist Dustin Foesch, combine various elements of death metal with horror movie, serial killer, and pop culture themes. Casket Robbery have completed a new CD titled ‘Evolution Of Evil’, and are gearing up for a series of CD release party shows. Maximum Ink caught up with Cory and bass player Patrick Smalls to get all the gory details. Catch Casket Robbery at The Red Zone in Madison on Friday, March 4; Electric Lounge in Oshkosh on Friday, March 25; and at Ziggy’s Pub in Fond du Lac on Saturday, April 2.


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1193 ViewsPermalinkCasket Robbery Website
Billy Gibbons - photo by Blain Clausen

Billy Gibbons

Baby, That Is Rock ‘n’ Roll
by Sal Serio
January 2016

Just when it seemed like the year was wrapped up as far as major interviews were concerned, the opportunity came about for Maximum Ink writer Sal Serio to conduct some Q&A with none other than music legend and Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame inductee Billy Gibbons, obviously of ZZ Top fame. Billy and his current touring band The BFGs play the Pabst Theater in Milwaukee on Saturday, January 30.

MAXIMUM INK:  A Slim Harpo song starts off your new solo CD ‘Perfectamundo’. To you, what is the geographical difference in blues music? Texas blues as compared to Chicago, Kansas City, Mississippi, or wherever. Which came first in your musical vocabulary: blues or rock ‘n roll?

BILLY GIBBONS:  [My] first real exposure to live blues was a man from Mississippi, who was based in Memphis at the time, who was recording in Houston, but whose most celebrated album was ‘Live At The Regal’, which was recorded in Chicago! It was B.B. King, of course, and I got to see him record in my home town thanks to some strings pulled by my Dad, when I was about 7 or 8. I guess I’m saying that blues has no boundaries and is all interconnected. There wouldn’t have been a Chicago scene if blues cats hadn’t come up from Mississippi. Texas cats tended to gravitate to Kansas City, but there was lots of cross pollination. Slim Harpo, by the way, was from Louisiana, so you could very well say “all and none of the above.” A few years before that encounter with B.B. King I got to see Elvis perform, and, as the song goes, “baby, that is rock ’n’ roll.”


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Rival Sons

Rival Sons

Rock ‘n’ Roll Warriors Out To Have Guaranteed Fun
by Sal Serio
January 2016

When I got on the phone with Rival Sons drummer Michael Miley (he just goes by “Miley”) I mentioned that I’d “heard about” Rival Sons long before I actually heard them, since many friends knew I’d appreciate their heavy 70s influenced ballsy attitude and soulful swagger. He thought that was cool, but then started giving me a hard time about being a Green Bay Packer fan. The interview was almost over right there! Heh, just kidding. I was happy to get some insight in to the band who scored the honorable and enviable position of getting to open for Black Sabbath on their upcoming “The End” tour. Rival Sons will actually headline a free show here in Madison at The Sett in Union South, Saturday, January 23. Other regional dates, with Black Sabbath, include Chicago on January 22 and September 4, also Minneapolis on January 25. The rest of Rivals Sons are: Jay Buchanan (vocals), Scott Holiday (guitar), and Dave Beste (bass).


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Naked Raygun

Naked Raygun

A candid conversation with singer Jeff Pezzati
by Sal Serio
November 2015

Fans of the regional Upper-Midwest punk rock scene, whether young and still stage-diving in to the mosh pit, or the “senior scenesters” who had been there the first time around and are content to enjoy concerts from the bar stool in the back of the hall, are all quite familiar with the name Naked Raygun. The tuneful but edgy punk rock legends have been at it since 1980, and since reforming in recent years to play Chicago’s premier event Riot Fest, are proving that they haven’t lost any of that energy and electricity. With a new album in the works, singer Jeff Pezzati spoke with Maximum Ink’s Sal Serio about their upcoming December 4th appearance at Milwaukee’s Turner Hall.


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