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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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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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Jean-Luc Ponty & Jon Anderson

Jon Anderson

Finding renewed strength with the Anderson Ponty Band
by Sal Serio
October 2015

Mystic, sage, poet, ringleader of prog-rock pageantry, Jon Anderson certainly has been an enigmatic figure in recent music history, but as this new interview clearly illustrates, the world-renowned singer is back with renewed vigor, and an eagerness to create new musical experiences along his endless journeys, which will bring The Anderson Ponty Band to play the South Milwaukee PAC on Wed. Nov. 4.


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Wishbone Ash

Wishbone Ash

Career Lessons, Deep Meaning, and Rock Around the Globe
by Sal Serio
September 2015

It’s always an immense pleasure to get perspective and insight from an intriguing musician who has been a trailblazer of innovation for decades, and who continues to stay relevant and proactive in the current musical universe. This was most definitely the case when Maximum Ink’s Sal Serio recently got to chat with Andy Powell, band leader of the iconic English rock band Wishbone Ash, who will perform at Turner Hall in Milwaukee, Thursday, September 10. The current Wishbone Ash line-up is comprised of Andy Powell and Muddy Manninen on guitars, Bob Skeat on bass, and Joe Crabtree on drums.

MAXIMUM INK: Often there is mention of the twin-lead-guitar-harmony sound in discussions about Wishbone Ash. However, it’s usually Thin Lizzy that get credit for “inventing” that technique. Yet, it occurs to me that Wishbone Ash should really get this honor, since, when you started doing it in 1970, Thin Lizzy only had one guitar player (Eric Bell)!

ANDY POWELL:; Oh, did they?! I think you’re the first person that’s ever picked up on that! <i>[laughing]</i> Well, that’s very nice of you, and it’s funny that you mentioned Thin Lizzy, because I was at a Steely Dan concert last week, and there’s one song of ours that I know had a big impact on those two bands, because there’s riffs in a song by each of them that could only be inspired by the song “Blowin’ Free”, one of our classics, which, back in the day, would have been played quite a bit on FM radio. I’ve spoken to Scott Gorham, from the later incarnation of Thin Lizzy, and I know that they were influenced by Wishbone because we were the first band that they saw when they came to London from Ireland. So, you know, some people admit the influence and some don’t, but it’s all good to me. Music is like that. We all channel other bands, and music we’ve grown up with, and so it’s a huge compliment.


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The People Brothers Band - photo by Jonah Westrich of Isthmus Media Group

The People Brothers Band

All People Are Brothers, Live Your Life Like A Song
by Sal Serio
August 2015

I had been speaking to members of The People Brothers Band for a couple months about doing a feature for Maximum Ink, and we agreed that August would be the right time, since their 7th annual “People Fest” music and camping festival was coming up on August 6, 7, & 8 at The Bullpen in Hillsboro, WI, showcasing the largest and most impressive collection of bands to date, from a multitude of genres, and featuring activities scheduled for attendees of all age groups. But what we didn’t know at the time was how apropos the timing really was. The 8-piece group was also just recently recognized for their superb studio release “Middle Of The In Between”, which won the 2015 MAMAs Award for “Pop/R&B Album Of The Year”. People Brothers are truly a group that embody the best and most beautiful things about the Madison music scene: community, collaboration, mutual support, representation, respect, and commitment were all prominent themes in the conversation I had with singer Teresa Marie Scrivens and drummer Greg Schmitt. Rounding out the band are: Robert Gronna - vocals & keyboards, Tim Lochner - guitar & vocals, Scott Lochner - bass, Chris Peters - lead guitar, Anitra Hovelson - saxophone, and Andrew Traverse - trumpet.


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Ultrea

Ultrea

Relentlessly Rocking and Forever Ascending
by Sal Serio
June 2015

It’s an exciting time for the Madison-based rock band Ultrea. June 2015 marks the E.P. release of new music titled “Forever Ascending” as well as a video for the song “Through The Ashes”. The world premiere of the new E.P. was broadcast June 2 on maxinkradio.com as a part of The Jimmy K Show, and the release party will be Sat. June 20 at The Red Zone (Annex) with Minneapolis band Gabriel And The Apocalypse, Genotype, Growing, and more. Ultrea also is performing at some large Midwest festival dates. The band, or “family” as they say, is comprised of Jennifer Lecesse-vocals, Jason Wepking-bass, Kyle Rattner and Greg Dellmann-guitars, and Bryan Lawver-drums.


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