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Emily Bear

Emily Bear

An interview with pianist/composer Emily Bear
by Tina Hall
November 2010

At the age of 9, Emily Bear has accomplished more than most of us could ever hope for! She began studying piano at the age of 5 at The Music Institute of Chicago. She also made her first professional debut performing solo at Ravinia Music Festival in July of 2007. Emily performed at the White House in 2008. That same year she was awarded the ASCAP Morton Gould Young Composer Competition Award. She made her orchestral debut at age seven as well. She is the youngest person ever asked to study at The Aspen Music Festival. Emily has released four Cd’s, partial profits from each are donated to Ronald McDonald House Charities, Susan G. Komen for The Cure, and The Children’s Hospitals of Los Angeles and Chicago.She plays jazz, classical, or her own compositions with ease.

Maximum Ink: Can you tell us a little about where you are from? What would you say is your favorite childhood memory so far?
Emily Bear: My favorite memory was playing at the White House and also all the amazing places where I have performed. My favorite non-musical memory is apple picking with my family and family game night!

MI: What was it like to began your training at age 5?
EB: So much fun!! My teacher would always make the lessons fun and I loved to practice for the lessons. He would also draw funny things in my music notebook.


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Batusis - Sylvain Sylvain and Cheetah Chrome - photo by Sandy Carson

Batusis

An Interview with Dead Boys, Rocket From The Tombs, and Batusis Punk Legend, Cheetah Chrome
by Mike Huberty
November 2010

Two seminal members of two of the most influential New York City punk bands, THE NEW YORK DOLLS and DEAD BOYS, join forces in BATUSIS (Yes, named after Adam West’s ridiculous dance in the 1960’s Batman TV series), a straight up rock and roll band with an upbeat and catchy sound. With their image, sound, and attitudes, guitarists Cheetah Chrome (also a founding member of ROCKET FROM THE TOMBS) and Sylvain Sylvain were at the forefront of the underground rock and roll movement that would eventually lead to being able to buy CBGB shirts at the mall. But back then it was the most dangerous music around.

Their first concert was at this year’s South by Southwest festival in Austin and they were backed up with the rhythm section from Joan Jett’s BLACKHEARTS. Cheetah explains how they started, “Syl’s manager and my label guy got to talking” he says, “and they suggested that since we’d known each other for a long time that we should do something together. We said ‘Hell yeah’! It sounded like fun because we’ve always wanted to play together. Basically it started off as just the EP and it went so well, we went off to do some touring and now next week we’re going to do a full album.”


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Todd Sharpville

Todd Sharpville

An interview with the blue blooded bluesman Todd Sharpville
by Tina Hall
November 2010

It isn’t everyday you come across a Blues musician who comes from one of the UK’s oldest aristocrat families(with a history that spans a thousand years), but Todd Sharpville is just that. Nor is it everyday you find one that plays so well they have been asked to open for the likes of BB King and Joe Cocker.

No stranger to the blues himself after his marriage ended, Todd found himself being hospitalized for a nervous breakdown and spent 4 years fighting for his children. It was during this hospitalization he was asked by Leo Sayer to make guest appearances on 5 tracks (with Sayer driving 8 hours to negotiate face to face with the hospitals chief consultant to get Sharpville released a week early in order to be flown out to the studio in Denmark..whilst still wearing his pajamas,slippers and a dressing gown!)

With is whiskey soaked voice and music played from the soul he pours all of his past experience into the music in a most intriguing fashion. His latest offering the double album Porchlight(produced by the legendary Duke Robillard, featuring special guests: Joe Louis Walker, Duke Robillard, and Kim Wilson) is due to hit the US in November 2010.


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All That Remains

All That Remains

An Interview with guitarist Mike Martin
by Aaron Manogue
November 2010

Maximum Ink: Can you tell me a little bit about your new album For We Are Many?
Mike Martin:Yeah, everybody’s pretty psyched about it. I think everyone feels it’s the best balance of what we’ve done as a band. We spent more time on this one compared to the last one so I think everyone’s pretty psyched about how it came out. Last time felt a little rushed when we did the Overcome album.  This time everyone’s a little happier that we got time to go through things with a fine-toothed comb, you know?

MI: Was there a message or statement you were trying to make with this album?
MM: Well, it’s just the same for us every time which is to write the best record that we can.  Everybody’s always talking about, “Oh, there’s too much singing here. There’s not enough screaming here…blah, blah, blah.” There’s never been a conscious effort on any album to have more singing or less singing; or more screaming or less screaming. It’s just whatever the music has called for in the past that we think sounds good, we just put on the record. It’s always just make the best record you can. There’s no statement or like “Oh, we’re going to try to be heavier this time because people got mad about “Two Weeks.””


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Virgin Steele

Virgin Steele

An interview with Virgin Steele creator David Defeis
by Tina Hall
November 2010

The heavy metal band Virgin Steele was formed in 1981. Since then they have evolved their style into what they call Barbaric Romantic Music (they added classical music with elements of mythology and fantasy). Made up of David DeFeis, Edward Pursino, Frank Gilchriest, and Josh Block they offer metal with a twist that is far from ordinary. Virgin Steele released albums from 1982-2010, the latest of which The Black Light Bacchanalia was released this year.

Maximum Ink: How does it feel to be part of a band that has been around since 1981? Did you ever think it would have lasted this long?
David DeFeis: It feels wonderful! It has been an amazing journey! I didn’t really think about things like that when we began. I had no great illusions when we started. I simply wanted to create and play music that I loved. Upon getting into the whole experience, I realized that what I was doing was not really crafting a “career”, but creating a “Way Of Life” that would sustain me, give shape and meaning to my existence, and be my guide through my time on the Earth. To make one’s Life a work of Art that was the point. That goal has been achieved. And that is still my plan for the future. To keep going, to try to always make Life worth living, to keep creative regardless of how successful or unsuccessful it all is business wise. That is meaningless. What is important is the Life, the creative process, the Work crafted. The lives touched along the way,the communication.


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Downspirit

Downspirit

an interview with guitarist Cede Dupont
by Tina Hall
November 2010

Downspirit was formed when Symphorce/ex Freedom Call guitarist Cede Dupont. With Steffen Lauth (vocals), Cédric “Cede” Dupont (lead guitar), Axel “Aki” Reissmann (rhythm guitar), Sven Rakowitz (bass), Sebastian Dunkel (drums) they combine blues and heavy metal in a way that is only fitting. Coming from Stuttgart/Germany, they recently released their debut album, Point of Origin and are determined to play as much as they possibly can.

Maximum Ink: What is it like there in Germany? How has your upbringing influenced you to pursue the music?
Cede Dupont Germany obviously has a lot of bands, so there’s a lot of competition going on. It’s the same more or less in Switzerland (where I live), but here you just a small amount of bands that really kick ass, cause it’s a much smaller country.

I think Downspirit stand out a little bit in both countries, because it’s almost daily business that people come to us and say that we sound like an American-Rock-influence band, and the production doesn’t sound like “Germany” in my opinion, which is something that we really wanted for the final result on “Point of Origin”

MI: Are you looking forward to bringing Downspirit to your fans in the US?
CD: It’s definitely one of our main goals. I’ve playing in the US before, and I just can hope that we will be able to grow our fan base over there, so that people and promoters want us to play there. I think Downspirit would be the perfect choice for a fun rock n roll tour through the States!


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(Hed)pe

Hed PE

An interview with vocalist Jared Gomes
by Max Ink Writer List
November 2010

Hed Pe (the Hed stands for higher thought and the PE added later meaning planet earth) is best known as a G - punk act. Hed was formed in 1994 in Huntington Beach,CA. They have nine albums to date(including one live album and one compilation).Current members include Jared Gomes, Jaxon, Mawk, DJ Project 1969, and Trauma. The music fuses styles like hip hop,reggae, punk rock, and heavy metal. I recently caught up with Jared for the latest on their work.

Maximum Ink: Where did the idea for the name Hed pe come from?
Jared Gomes: The word head comes from one of the first songs I wrote with the band that was called “heavy head”, which was about thinking too much and depression. For a while we were just called Hed. When we got signed, we had to change our name for legal reasons and we added the P.E., which stands for Planetary Evolution, and came from some books I was reading. Books like ET 101, and Earth: The living library by Barbara Marciniak.

MI: What were some of your earliest influences?
JG: The influences have definitely changed through the years. In the 90s, I was influenced by The Beastie Boys, Nine Inch Nails and Dr. Dre.


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The Murder Dolls

The Murderdolls

An interview with frontman Wednesday 13
by Aaron Manogue
November 2010

After an eight-year hiatus, Wednesday 13 and Joey Jordison have resurrected their brilliantly twisted concoction, the Murderdolls. They have pumped life back into the undead with their latest album Women and Children Last and are currently wreaking havoc around the country on the Halloween Hootenanny tour, along side the Godfather of shock rock, Alice Cooper and Rob Zombie. Maximum Ink Magazine sat down with Wednesday 13 to talk about the new record and his new direction he took for writing it.

Maximum Ink: Were you guys pretty excited to get back out on tour?
Wednesday 13: Yeah man, it’s great. That’s the craziest thing about recording a record is it just takes so long for it to finally come out, so when it finally comes out, you’re like “Oh my God!” and you only want to play those songs; you’re sick of playing the old songs. It’s been tough making a set list out for the (Rob) Zombie- (Alice) Cooper tour because we’re not headlining so we had to make a short set, only a 30 minute set, so it’s tough trying to decide what we’re going to play.


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Donald Braswell II

Donald Braswell II

An interview with Singer/Actor Donald Braswell
by Tina Hall
October 2010

Donald Braswell II is a classical crossover tenor/composer/actor who is best known for his appearance on America’s Got Talent (he was a Top 5 finalist). A feat which is rather impressive considering he suffered a car accident in 2005 and was left unable to speak for nearly two years. Braswell is a graduate of the Juilliard School. He performs in various genres including classical, soul, and mainstream pop. Donald sings in several languages aside from English, including Spanish,Italian, Neapolitan, French and Russian. His most recent album is titled We Fall and We Rise Again. He can be found working alongside other truly talented artists in the Tim Janis: An American Christmas Carol at Carnegie Hall on Dec. 2nd (which is also a benefit for Little Sisters of the Poor).

Maximum Ink: What was your childhood in Texas like?
Donald Braswell: I had a very good childhood. We grew up in the country just south of my hometown Boerne. It was a simple life full of country values. We were not poor but we were not wealthy either though many thought we were in a community where most had very little at that time.


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ILONA EUROPA

ILONA EUROPA

by Tina Hall
October 2010

Singer/Songwriter Ilona Europa?s unique sound of pop combined with rocktronica has landed her to features in Billboard Magazine, REMIX Magazine, Women Who Rock Magazine, EQ Magazine, and Best Magazine, to name a few. Her single “Live Forever” debuted at #66 on the Billboard Global Dance Traxx chart and her single, “Degree of Love” was licensed (along with numerous additional Europa tracks) for the blockbuster dance game HELIX which debuted on the NIintendo Wii system in the USA and is scheduled for International versions on Wii, Playstation and Xbox. Her single, “Because I Love You” remixed by Madonna and Seal favorite Josh Harris is enjoyed 10 weeks on the Soundworks Record Pool Chart. Ilona’s music is a mainstay feature in Abercrombie and Fitch and Adidas stores, and on CW TV and Playboy TV. Known for her singles, her latest full album release, “EURO-CIZE, By ILONA EUROPA,” is currently available world- wide on CD and is available for download globally through every digital music store. Ilona Europa also holds an agency position as talent agent for the prestigious VOX agency in Los Angeles, California, and is a music producer and corespondent for CWG Music Magazine. Ilona is the only named vocalist ever to provide a professional loop library for SONY?s Acid Loop libraries – ILONA: Universal Female Vocal Toolkit, and she was called on by Sony to support their CineScore Film Library with her vocals.

Maximum Ink: What was it like when you first knew you wanted to be a musician?
Ilona Europa: I remember this day very well. I was maybe 7 years old. It was a very cold winter early morning. My father woke me up for school and the radio played one song after another that I loved. I closed my eyes and saw myself on the stage singing with all the singers,  I was listening too. 15 years later I was singing with them professionally in many shows and tours. I believe in the power of visualization of your dreams and always say - what is important is not the goal but the journey to get there. Of course I was studying music ‘till I was 23 and finished the Music Academy with a Bachelor’s degree in vocals. I also won many talent festivals and toured the world singing with bands and orchestras.


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