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Ian Gillan

Ian Gillan

An interview with the legendary singer from Deep Purple and Black Sabbath
by Tina Hall
September 2010

Ian Gillan is best known for his work in Deep Purple and Black Sabbath. Over the years he has made several guest appearances with other artists. He has countless albums to his credit. Ian has also worked on four published books in his time. I recently caught up with the legendary frontman to see what fans can expect next.

Maximum Ink: Who where some of your earliest influences?
Ian Gillan: Well I grew up in a musical family so opera and jazz piano (boogie-woogie) were there from early days. Also I was a boy soprano in the church choir – yes I know!!! But it was really the young Elvis, Little Richard and Chuck Berry that hit the spot.

MI: What was it that first led you to consider a career in music?
IG: I never really considered it to be a career, in fact I haven’t given it much thought; it just kind of happened. 

MI: You performed at the Jeff Healey tribute concert in Toronto in 2008. Did you know Jeff? Did you ever have the chance to work with him?
IG: Yes, I knew Jeff; he used to jam with us every time we played Toronto and he did me the great honor of recording a contribution to my anniversary album ‘Gillan’s Inn’. There’s some nice footage of him on the visual element of that record too.


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Todd Wolfe at Tobacco Road

The Todd Wolfe Band

An interview with singer and guitarist Todd Wolfe
by Tina Hall
September 2010

Todd Wolfe currently has a radio show at http://wlvr.org Mondays 12 noon - 3 p.m. Todd is probably best known from his previous work with Sheryl Crow. While working with her he has shared the stage with artists like Emmylou Harris, Steve Winwood, James Taylor, Jackob Dylan, Eric Clapton, Elton John, Marty Stuart, and Sara McLaughlin.  Over the years he has opened for some of the biggest names in music including, Rolling Stones, Bob Dylan, Bob Dylan,Peter Frampton, Johnny Winter, Allman Brothers, Buddy Guy, and Kenny Wayne Shepherd. He now works mainly with his solo project The Todd Wolfe band.

Maximum Ink: How is your radio show going? What can fans expect from that? Did you ever think you’d have your own show?
Todd Wolfe: I enjoy the radio show and it’s been going on for over ten years. When I first started, I did the “community” sessions meaning when school was out, but some years back I just stayed on through both schedules. I have taken a couple of “sessions” off as I was traveling with the band, but I’m still there. It’s very enjoyable playing music for other people and I guess I always kind of played as DJ growing up when friends would be hanging at my house, but never thought I’d have my own show! I did dream about if from time to time ‘cause after seeing “Play Misty For Me” an early Clint Eastwood flick, where he plays a jazz jock, I thought what a cool job that would be! As far as tuning in and what you would hear. Mostly roots rock but it can be anything from Howlin’ Wolf to Stone Temple Pilots, to John Coltrane to The Rolling Stones!


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Actress/Singer Hayley Sara Knight

Hayley Sara Knight

An interview with actress/songstress Hayley Sara Knight
by Tina Hall
August 2010

Hayley Sara Knight is a rather impressive young lady at only 18 years of age the California native can be found opening for Billboard Top 10 artists.  She has a deal to record on a SONY project for Cinescore. She has trained in the arts since an early age.  She has amassed acting credits, done TV voice over work, TV commercials,and works in modeling as well. Hayley has co-starred in several musicals and stage plays.  She had a starring role in an L.A production of The Wizard Of Oz. She began her career as a vocalist by training with Polish artists Ilona Europa. Her first solo performance was at the Famous Canyon Ranch near Hollywood, where she was called ” part Katy Perry part Christina Aguilera with a dash of Rihanna.”

Maximum Ink: At what age did you first know you wanted to work in performing arts?
Hayley Sara Knight: I have always LOVED to explore different voices and different characters, I just loved the idea of pure CREATION. I think subliminally, at a very young age, the reaction that I got from people is what really inspired me to pursue it. I love making people laugh, making people cry, and expanding the minds of an audience just by simply allowing myself to be fearless. And when did you first began to train to do so?  Since I was little girl I would constantly exercise my singing, acting, and performance skills wherever I was, I would constantly be using my imagination and not hesitating to share it with others. (Which got me into trouble sometimes.)  However, I started to professionally train when I was 9 years old. I started in a little acting workshop. That is what started me off in the acting world. I got an agent and manager and went out on auditions. After being in a couple of musicals, I REALLY wanted to pursue my singing. So I got a couple vocal coaches over the years. But at age 15 is when I really found my vocal COACH.  Her name is ILONA EUROPA, she is a recording artist from Poland. From age 15 to now she has turned into my mentor. Singing is not just “technique” it is mainly “soul.”  Sometimes you feel butt naked when you are sharing your true soul with someone other than yourself. ILONA EUROPA has helped me to feel comfortable with that feeling.


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native Madisonian, New York transplant Doug Keith - photo by Bryan Bruchman

Doug Keith

An interview with singer/guitarist Doug Keith
by Tina Hall
August 2010

Doug Keith is a singer/songwriter whose work has been related to traditional folk and Americana styles. The New Yorker has released his second album, The Lucky Ones, an eleven song offering that can be found on is co-owned independent label, The Village Label. With a voice that is surprising to hear, it is one of the best of it’s kind available at the moment.

Maximum Ink: Since there is much out there about you would you care to fill us in on your background?
Doug Keith: I’m a midwestern born kid (born in Madison actually) who moved with his family at the age of 12 to a town just outside of Syracuse, NY. I figured out the language fast (‘soda’ = ‘pop’, ‘wicked’ = ‘very’, ‘sneaker’ = ‘shoe’ and so on) but never let my roots sink too far into the ground there. I graduated early from high school, tried college but left after a semester, I’m not even sure I ever got my grades or if I did, I never saw them. I moved to San Francisco when I was 19 and played in punk bands. I stayed there until I was about 24 and then moved back east to NYC where I’ve been ever since. I bounced around in bands in NY and worked before eventually deciding to go solo and tour nonstop. I always had a drive to do it, but never felt it was the time. Once I started working in earnest on my first record I knew it was the right direction to head in.


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Powerglove

Powerglove

An interview with Chris Marchiel and Nick Avila
by Tina Hall
August 2010

Powerglove is easily in a class all it’s own as a video game metal band. With shows that proclaim, “We are Powerglove and we are here to fuck with your childhood”,  the shows appeal to metal fans and gamers alike! It is a mix you don’t find often. The band out of Boston, MA consists of Alex Berkson, Bassil Silver-Hajo, Chris Marchiel, and Nick Avila. Their new album Saturday Morning Apocalypse is due out September 28, 2010 on e1metal.

Maximum Ink: Can you tell us a little about what led you to form Powerglove?
Chris Marchiel: Originally, it was boredom and love of nostalgic theme songs from our youth. We all played video games and watched cartoons on a pretty much full time basis while growing up, so these songs were basically our cultural heritage as well as our childhood memories. We really love and revere these songs as major parts of our lives and as we grew into metalheads and shredders combining metal with video games and cartoons was just the most natural thing we could do. Powerglove began as a side project of our former Melodic Death Metal band Revengeance (yeah we love silly names!) and later evolved into a full touring band a year or two later. We were very encouraged by the online feedback we got from our first few demo covers and eventually put a press and label demo together that went nowhere at the time, so we persisted on our own and self released our first album Metal Kombat for the Mortal Man which did well with sales and reviews and inspired us to truly focus full time on Powerglove and become a serious touring band in 2008.


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Lucky Chucky

Lucky Chucky

An interview with the drummer of the Bret Michaels Band and EVICK
by Tina Hall
August 2010

Lucky Chucky is best known as the drummer for Bret Michaels Band. He is also a long time member of the band Evick. Hailing from Woodbridge, Virginia, Lucky Chucky proves they know how to rock in the small towns too. I recently set down with him to catch up on what it is like to work with two of the hardest working bands in the business.

Maximum Ink:There isn’t much about you out there. Care to catch us up? Where are you from and who are some of your earliest influences? When did you first learn to play the drums?
Lucky Chucky: I was born in Manassas, Virginia, just outside of Washington DC. My earliest influences would be Peter Criss and Keith Moon from KISS and The Who respectively. I started playing drums in the 6th grade at school. But I never actually started learning to play a drum set until midway through high school.

MI: When did you first know you wanted to be a professional musician? Why do you think you love music as much as you do?
LC: Probably knew this is what I wanted to do the first time I heard KISS “Alive”. So about age 6 or so.I was a fan of music in general and grew up listening to all sorts of music. But when I heard my first LIVE album and got to hear the crowd, I could almost feel the energy coming through my speakers. That did it! I wanted to feel that energy in person and a lot! I think my love for music comes from my childhood.I was raised listening to music. From Buddy Holly, The Everly Brothers, Elvis, Ricky Nelson, to Tanya Tucker, Anne Murray, you name it, I listened to it. I was fortunate enough to see Elvis in concert before he passed, which was a huge moment in my young life. Although I have very little recollection of it, the ones I have are great!


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Ari Herstand

Ari Herstand

Minneapolis songwriter from Madison
by Mike Huberty
August 2010

A Madison native that’s now based in Minneapolis, musician and songwriter, ARI HERSTAND, has been making his musical name touring on a remarkable solo live show that mixes the classic singer-songwriter elements of guitar and voice, that is infused with trumpets, live looping, and orchestration. His latest project is not only performing, but also conducting seminars in high schools where he discusses musical careers with students. To him, music education in school was key in creating his artistic identity and he wants to get that message across to the next generation.

He picked up the guitar for the same reason most guys do. “I’ve been playing the piano for as long as I can remember and I picked up the trumpet in the 5th grade for band class.”, Ari says. “The summer before my freshman year of college I was sitting around a living room with a few friends and my friend Danny came into the room with his guitar and played the room a song. When he finished, he set the guitar down and left the room. Two girls looked at each other - one of them my girlfriend at the time - and they said ‘guys who play guitar are so hot.’ And here we are.”


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The Scarring Party

The Scarring Party

Audition with The Scarring Party
by Dan Vierck
August 2010

I met Isa Carini at a roller derby tournament. I immediately recognized her as the dress-wearing, tuba and trumpet and whatever else playing femme fatal of the Scarring Party. I tried to be coy. She was selling cigars, jewelry and PBR tallboys. I bought several pieces of jewelry. I asked her if I could watch the band rehearse sometime, she said No. She said though, that the band was looking to replace someone who’d just left, if I played. As it turns out, I didn’t.

This was a little after the Scarring Party had released Come Away From the Light, the follow up to their debut, A Concise Introduction. Their music is definitive, iconic and creepy - sounding like nothing except things that are scary. The sound is exclusively acoustic, arrangements consisting of banjo, guitar, bass, tuba, accordion, typewriter, xylophone and any number of odd things the band manages to scrape together. This is not for the sake of novelty - a band after anything so cheap would’ve bowed out by now.


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Brian Ray & Charlie

Brian Ray

Paul McCartney's "other" guitar player
by Tina Hall
August 2010

Brian Ray is best known as the guitarist for Paul McCartney. His musical career was heavily influenced by his elder sister Jean of the duo Jim and Jean. Brian has worked alongside many great artists including, Etta James, Keith Richards, Santana, Bonnie Raitt, Joe Cocker, Bo Didley, and John Lee Hooker. He was asked to join Paul McCartney who was looking for someone that could easily switch between bass and guitar in 2002. He released his first solo album, “Mondo Magneto” on his label Whooray Records in 2006. His latest solo album, “This Way Up” is out now.

Maximum Ink: You list your sister Jean as one of the most influential and important person early on in your life. What was it like to have her offering support at such an early age?
Brian Ray: As a kid at age 3-4 my sister Jean was 18, a senior in high school and she was a huge fan of Elvis, Everly Bros, Little Richard and Rick Nelson. I remember her looking at their pictures while listening to this emerging music… this new Rock and Roll music. As I grew up she would take me to concerts in town, further sparking my interest. When I showed interest in playing guitar Jean invited me to play with her onstage.At age 15 I was sitting in with famous players and getting support from them. A year later I was doing gigs with her at LA’s best known venues, so I felt as if I belonged onstage. I felt like I belonged in the middle of the music. If not for Jean, I might be a fireman.. I owe my success with Paul to her and to Etta James.


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Tyler Bryant jumps - photo by Andy Merrick

Tyler Bryant

by Tina Hall
August 2010

Tyler Bryant won the Robert Johnson Foundation’s New Generation Award at the age of 16. He is the youngest endorser Fender and has shared the stage with legendary artists like Vince Gill, B.B King, REO Speedwagon, Styx, and Heart. His song ” Who I Am” is featured on Guitar Hero 5. He appears in the Robert Knight documentary film, “Rock Prophecies”,with the likes of Jeff Beck, Santana, and Slash. He is without a doubt one of the most talented of the new guitarists.

Maximum Ink: At what age did you first start trying to imitate Elvis? Do you remember that and what led you to do that?
Tyler Bryant: I decided I was gonna be Elvis when my first grade teacher, Mrs. Witcher, showed the class a video of him playing live. I was seven years old and instantly hooked. He was the coolest guy I’d ever seen. I didn’t know anything about rock and roll before I saw Elvis. I was obsessed. I’m sure all the other kids thought I was out of my mind! My mom even let me dye my hair black and made me some leather pants and a shiny gold jacket. I remember my first grade teacher telling me to “be quiet”..I raised my lip at her and said, “Thank you very much.” She called my mom and told her I had an identity crisis. Later I realized that I wasn’t Elvis.

MI: What did it feel like to win the Robert Johnson award at such a young age?
TB: It felt really really good. Ha. I submitted a video of me playing “Walkin’ Blues”. I honestly didn’t think I had any chance of winning, but I figured it was definitely worth a shot. I’ll never forget getting a voicemail from Steve Johnson saying that I was the winner. That was a happy day for sure.


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