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Madison's The Viscous Circle

The Viscous Circle

an interview with vocalist Shawn Anthony Brown
by Troy Johnson
October 2010

Madison based band The Viscous Circle is releasing their debut album Escape Wormwood on their own label, TVC Productions October 30, 2010. The band formed in 2006 as a hobby between frontman Shawn Brown and lead guitarist Danny Davis. After composing for nearly a year Danny urged Shawn to bring rhythm guitarist and back up vocalist Jimmie Hill into the fold and then added vets Denny Carney on bass and Chris Sandoval on drums. 

Escape Wormwood is a dark and foreboding album throughout, and the end of October is a good time of year to let it rock your walls. Frontman Shawn Brown talked to me about his appreciation for bands like Led Zeppelin and Pink Floyd that have repeatedly put out albums that are conceptual all the way through.  Brown spoke on the new album, “As we went along with the recording of Escape Wormwood it slowly became a complete project rather than an album with random songs. It’s a dark introspective album with hope and beauty but definitely a lot of darkness.”

Brown played with popular Madison rock band Last Crack for a couple years in the mid 1990’s and was the vocalist on their 1994 album runheadstartscreaming. After the album and a short European tour Brown parted ways with Last Crack and formed the band Spiritus with Last Crack drummer Chris Havey. He is now exclusively with The Viscous Circle but remains in contact and friends with members of Last Crack who have a reunion show at Scatz in Middleton on Saturday, November 13th.


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Tim Janis (seated right) with Paul McCartney

Tim Janis

An interview with musician, composer, arranger, and conductior Tim Janis
by Tina Hall
October 2010

Tim Janis has worked with some of music’s most talented minds like Paul McCartney, Billy Joel, and Ray Charles to name a few. He has composed ten Billboard charting albums over the course of his career. Janis has had his work featured on four public television specials to date and is currently working on the special Celebrate America, which focuses on music in public schools. Tim has worked to promote several charitable causes like the American Cancer Society and Church World Service.

On December 2nd he brings The American Christmas Carol to Carnegie Hall to benefit Little Sisters of the Poor. Featuring a cast of truly talented artists it is a show you simply have to see. The cast comprises of Tim Janis, Chandler Lutz, Donald Braswell, Jim Cole, Sarah Darling, Wendy McPike, Emily Bear, and the ever talented Wisconsin native Eli Mattson (who I am sure readers remember from the third season of America’s Got Talent). Jimmy Nichols is the Music Director and Andy Hire, Todd Sullivan, and Kevin Cooper conduct the symphony orchestra and chorus. Rolland Smith is the host for the event, one of those rare events that remind you of the joy and wonder of Christmas felt as a child from the true meaning of the season, that the entire family can enjoy together.

Maximum Ink: Can you tell us a little about where you are from and how your early beginnings helped shape you into who you are at this point in your life?
Tim Janis: I am from Maine. I thank God for my gift to write music. I was at a Military HS when I decided to do music so I had a lot of catching up to do. But it was all in the heart.


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Brandon Perry

Brandon Perry

An interview with chef, author, and musician Brandon Perry
by Tina Hall
October 2010

French Canadian, Brandon Perry is best known for his work as a Chef in the culinary arts. Not one to be limited to just one profession,he is also an author(his latest book is due out soon featuring Eerie Von from Danzig, Calabrese, and Tom Sullivan from Evil dead series fame),and is(to my knowledge) the world’s first chef to also be part of not one but four bands. Brandon is for the most part a solo artist as he provides most of the music in those..himself. Jazzvanguard, is a jazz band with Perry, technical metal drummer playing Jazz. The Resurrected is a technical death metal band he plays in as well(providing bass,drums, and keyboards, while his vocalist lays down the lyrics). He can also be found in the gore metal band Desgustipation and the newly formed(with a girl in Japan), black metal band, Screams of the Dead. Since it isn’t every day you find a celebrity chef that can as he himself puts it, “can still get down and dirty with my death metal”, who loves doing music because others said he couldn’t. I had to take a moment to pick his brain so to speak.

Maximum Ink: Do you find it challenging to have three, possibly four bands going at the same time as your career as a chef?
Brandon Perry: No, not really, we aren’t a super big touring band where that’s how we make our living and have no other careers, I mean I think we all see that if lost our real jobs we would be all fucked up and shit, and starve to death, metal bands that make money are corporate metal bands they are sellouts and that’s that, we don’t sell out, never will, and never have to.


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Lorraine Lewis

L.A. Nookie

An interview with rocker Lorraine Lewis
by Tina Hall
October 2010

Singer/Songwriter Lorraine Lewis is probably best known for her work with the rock band Femme Fatale. Since the band disbanded she has released several solo albums in the country, new age, and rock genres. She can currently be found working with the band L.A. Nookie. I recently sat down with Lorraine to talk about her career and influences. She is without a doubt a very interesting character.

Maximum Ink: Since there isn’t really that much about you as a person out there, would you mind telling our readers a little about where you are from?
Lorraine Lewis: I was born in Albuquerque, New Mexico best known for awesome green chile, skiing and hot air balloon festivals. I’m 3rd in a family of 6 kids and I taught myself how to play a sloppy guitar on my mom Stella’s acoustic that was hiding in her closet. I used to listen to the Allman Brothers, Linda Ronstadt and Neil Young, but it was seeing David Lee Roth in Van Halen that made me want to be a rock star!

MI: Who are some of your influences?
LL: I still consider David Lee Roth my biggest influence, not really for his voice as much as his “I don’t give a Fuck attitude” and “it’s not who you know, it’s how good you look” attitude. I love that! Charo was a big influence on me as well as Tina Turner and The Dvinyls. I also like Joan Jett, Nickelback, Stone Temple Pilots, Motley Crue!


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Josiah Leming

Josiah Leming

An interview with singer - songwriter Josiah Leming
by Tina Hall
October 2010

Josiah Leming is likely most well known from his appearance on the seventh season of American Idol(he was cut right before the semifinals). The Idol stage is a long way from his hometown of Morristown in East Tennessee. He began writing his own music by the age of 16. Josiah has four previously released EP’s and his newest album Come On Kid is out now on Reprise Records. He is set to play the Loft in Madison, WI on October 22nd with Tyler Hilton.

Maximum Ink: I have read that would you rather end up dead in a ditch somewhere than to not be able to make music. Is that true? What do you think you’d end up doing for a living if not for the music? When did you first know you had to be a musician?
Josiah Lemming: Music is my thing and it makes me feel alive; it’s the only thing that does that and it’s the only thing I can do successfully. The statement stands strong, just maybe not quite as dramatic. If I did anything else it would still be music-related. I knew I wanted to pursue music around age 15.

MI: What was it like to come from East TN and end up playing for millions on American Idol? What did you learn from that?
JL: For me that wasn’t a dream come true because the ultimate dream is being on stage playing my own songs, so that was just a quick taste of what I’m going for. I’ve learned so much since then; I’m in a completely different mindset now.


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The Horrids in full facepaint

The Horrids

An interview with Chicago horror punks
by Mike Huberty
October 2010

Straight up Chicago-style punk rock with a penchant for horror movies and gruesome imagery, THE HORRIDS, come racing out of the cemetery out of Lombard, IL with all the ferocity of fast and ugly bands like THE MISFITS and AFI. While they’ve been together for seven years (a veritable eternity in punk years), forming the band in their early teens, they’ve already amassed an impressive resume, opening for the likes of major bands like GWAR, THE MISFITS, and THE DWARVES.Their first album, “Graveyard Anthems: Music Of The Dead” is nineteen lightning-paced songs that would fit perfectly in any horror fans coffin-shaped CD rack.

Their lead guitarist, Pat “Fink” Goray, describes a little about what The Horrids are about. “We were three friends that started out, played together and made music together,” he says, “I’ve always wanted to play rock music, my favorite band is AC/DC. Our drummer’s dad is THE LOVIN’ SPOONFUL’s drummer. He wanted to play because there were always musical instruments around when he was growing up.”


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Jessie Galante

Jessie Galante

An interview with singer and songwriter Jessie Galante
by Tina Hall
October 2010

Jessie Galante had been working in rock since the 80’s when she was in the band Actor in Buffalo, NY. Her first solo album was later released under the name Gesua, her Sicilian name. She also lived for a time in Holland.

Jessie’s newest album “Spitfire” was co-produced by Larry Swist (who worked with Lou Gramm, Ike and Tina Turner, Sly and the Family Stone) and Grammy award winner Mick Guzauski (who mixed Eric Clapton, Michael Jackson, Anastacia, KISS, Madonna, Celine Dion, and Earth, Wind, and Fire. The album also features covers of Sass Jordan’s “High Road Easy’”, and Gladys Knight and the Pips’ “I’ve Got To Use My Imagination”. 

There is an impressive lineup of artists from America and from Europe on the album as well. From the US is bassist Jack Daley (Lenny Kravitz, Joss Stone, Janet Jackson, Everlast), guitarist Rob Bailey (Billy Joel, Jive Jones, Mandy Moore, Anastacia), drummer Frank Ferrer (Guns N’ Roses, Tommy Stintson, Psychedelic Furs), and From Hungary she has Janos Szuccs and Peter Raso on guitar, Tibor Ferenczi on bass, and Jano Takacs on drums who joins her band for her seasonal European work.

Maximum Ink: What was it like to grow up in a Sicilian household? What is your fondest early memory from those days?
Jessie Galante: Our home was a lot of fun. I have four brothers and we are very close thanks to our parents who believed in doing everything as a family. Music was a big part of our lives as my father used to listen to traditional Italian/Sicilian music and play clarinet and my mother had an amazing singing voice. All five of us played an instrument until I eventually turned to singing. As it turns out four out of the five of us now have careers in music. The fondest memory I have from those days is sitting around the kitchen table at dinner time yelling, laughing, screaming at each other….chaotic! I miss those days. However to this day, when the five of us get to get together, which is rare because we are spread out all over the country, we turn into kids again and act the same way.

MI: How old were you when you first knew you wanted to be a singer?
JG: I was a late bloomer when I decided I wanted to make music my career. When my father passed away it was a wake up call for me. At that time, I was married, had a house and a great job, but with my father passing away, I looked at my life….it was boring!  So I left my job, left my husband, sold the house and ended up singing in a very popular band six nights a week!


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Gates of Babylon

Gates of Babylon

An interview with the entire all-girl metal band from Cleveland and Detroit
by Tina Hall
October 2010

Gates of Babylon is an all-female metal band comprised of Suzie Reagen on guitar and vocals, Jessi Carrick on lead vocals, Kristen Woutersz on guitar, Nikki Collins on drums, and Sarah Stonebraker on bass. They currently claim Cleveland, Ohio and Detroit, MI as home.

The band, though unsigned, has developed quite a following from Ohio to Michigan. They will be featured in the upcoming November issue of Revolver Magazine - Hottest Chicks in Metal Special Edition. With so little known about them it was an honor to have the chance to bring our readers up to speed.

Maximum Ink: When you where growing up did you ever see yourself as part of an all-female metal band?
Kristen: No, but I always imagined myself playing guitar in a band and being in the music industry. I would dream about performing on stage when I was a kid.
Jessi: Never! I have always loved music and being a part of bands, but was never looking to be part of an all girl band. Originally, I started out in a completely different genre of music. I was playing indie/folk music on acoustic guitar and singing. I had also been in a rock band for a year or two. I knew very little about metal until I met these girls. I love our music though, and am having so much fun playing with all girls in the metal genre.
Sarah: I would fantasize about it sometimes especially growing up seeing groups such as Spice Girls, Josie & The Pussycats, Kittie, Jack Off Jill, etc. (LOL, hey at least I’m being honest here). I ended up actually being in an all male band before joining GOB.
Suzie: Not when I was growing up. I played classical guitar when I was a kid and I hated it. lol. But I also know that if I wouldn’t have had that at an early age chances are I wouldn’t be playing now. (thanks mom) When I was about 11, I hit an age of curiosity. I started to discover music. I started listening to Marilyn Manson and a lot of the grunge stuff. I was just in awe. All I ever wanted to do was listen to music. It was like food to my brain! I didn’t care about anything else!  When my mother would make me go to church, it was so boring I would sit in the last row and draw pictures of me playing instruments and being in a band. I think in a sense i have always wanted this from an early age, I would fantasize about being in a band. I used to play guitar for the church, but I hated it. lol.


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Dj Lthrboots

Lthrboots

An interview with Jerry Jones, the man behind Lthrboots
by Tina Hall
October 2010

Jerry Jones, the man behind Lthrboots, has rather impressive talent. Playing as a one man band he covers vocals, keyboards, programming, drums, musical arrangement and songwriting. His first album as Lthrboots “No Restraints” was released in 2004 and is currently working on the follow-up album tentatively titled “Domination”.

Maximum Ink: I have heard it said that if you like a STOMP in your music you’ll love Lthrboots. Do you care to elaborate on that? How would you describe theLthrboots sound?
Lthrboots: When I first started out, my fans were describing my music as having a “STOMP” to it. Every time I create new songs, they seem to have that “STOMP” element in them, whether I intended it to be in there or not. I do have some slow songs which don’t have that element in them, but anything that is danceable seems to have the “STOMP” in it. The Lthrboots sound stems from my love of the music of the 80’s blended with the newest styles and sounds of today. I describe it as a combination of Cyber-Industrial, Electro and EBM. I am often compared to NIN, Depeche Mode, Suicide Commando, Gary Numan and Nitzer Ebb.


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Dan Solovitz

Dan Solovitz

An interview with programmer, engineer, percussionist, and composer Dan Solovitz
by Tina Hall
October 2010

Classically trained as a percussionist and composer, Dan Solovitz began his career as a programmer and engineer in Los Angeles cutting his teeth assisting on sessions for Sabrina The Teenage Witch, The Nutty Professor 2, and The Replacements.

By combining his formal training with a computer technology, Dan has created a unique skill set that has led him to an active career as a composer across the various fields of the entertainment business. He has produced hundreds of pieces for recording artists, television, and film. His ability to produce ‘stand-out’ sounds has landed him advertising work with corporations like Porsche, Converse, Merck, SONY, Corona, and Target. Dan has also produced award-winning remixes for artists like Tommy Lee and Chainsaws & Children.

Maximum Ink: Can you tell us a little about where you are from and what shaped you into who you are today?
Dan Solovitz: I grew up in Minneapolis so by definition, that makes me a nice guy. My parents encouraged me early with music lessons of various sorts, starting with piano at age 5. Then came violin, viola, and percussion. I was also lucky to be surrounded by computers from as early as I can remember, getting my very own computer in 6th grade (a laughable statement these days, but hey, this is the late 80’s we’re talking about). I started arranging little MIDI compositions about that time, played in various bands, and had a lot of fun learning how to do all things music. After getting my degree in music composition I moved to Los Angeles for continued training in engineering and production, and got to work in many different environments and see what I enjoyed the most.


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