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Edsel Dope

Dope

by Chris Fox
July 2010

After more than ten years of playing shows, recording albums, and writing heavy music that just gets stuck in your head, DOPE continues to spread the disease. The quartet has a continuously growing devoted fan base that they have lovingly dubbed the Dope Army. They credit their influences, ranging from the metal likes of Ministry to Skinny Puppy and other industrial musicians, for their diverse sound. Edsel Dope explains, “we no longer really listen for inspiration, we know our sound, now we listen just cause the music kicks ass.” DOPE has effectively found their sound and they are happy to present it to the masses.


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Alex Wilson

Alex Wilson

by Troy Johnson
July 2010

The Alex Wilson Band is a trio of musicians with deep raw vocals and a big-band blues sound and an increasing fan following in the Midwest. Wilson currently takes the stage with Marc Wilson on the drums, Eric Wills on the bass guitar, and Alex on lead guitar and vocals. Alex Wilson’s debut album “Tell Me Why” was released on his own label Rathskeller Records in October, 2008. I had a few chances to speak with Wilson in between his busy schedule of gigs and composing.

Maximum Ink: You started playing guitar when you were five years old and had a family full of musicians. Is guitar your only accomplished instrument?
Alex Wilson: I’ve fiddled with music my whole life. I’ve played shows on the drums before and I still have a fondness for percussion but I could never call myself a drummer. I play a little bass but my main focus is the guitar. I didn’t begin to consider music as a profession until I was about 17.

MI: You are a non-smoking blues musician with his own record label in Milwaukee. Do you have a significant other?
AW: I don’t. Chemistry and timing have not yet been on my side simultaneously.


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Jethro Tull

Jethro Tull

by Justin Beckner
June 2010

Jethro Tull has tiptoed behind the scenes of mainstream rock music for almost 50 years. They brought an element of class and sophistication to popular music and won over their audiences with witty lyrics and an original sound that blended elements of nearly every style of music. Throughout the years they dared to be different and became something great. The following is an interview with charismatic frontman, Ian Anderson.


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Don Bakken of Last Crack - photo by Nick Berard

3 For The Price Of 1 - My Fair Share - Don Bakken - The Moments

by Sal Serio
June 2010

3 For The Price Of 1 - My Fair Share - Don Bakken - The Moments

Sal Serio runs through 3 CD’s from regional artists


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Chiodos

Chiodos

by Mack Dreyfuss
June 2010

It has been said of ever-evolving reality that you never step in the same river twice.

An American band named Chiodos appeared in the music-time continuum at the outset of the twenty first century with a series of three EPs: “The Chiodos Bros.” (2001), “The Best Way to Ruin Your Life” (2002), and “The Heartless Control Everything” (2003). Their powerful live show manufactured a local following. A full-length studio album ensued:  “All’s Well That Ends Well.” It was issued by (Equal Vision Records). 


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Fear Factory

Fear Factory

an interview with Dino Cazares
by Chris Fox
June 2010

If you’ve felt discouraged with Fear Factory’s direction in the last few years, Mechanize (Candlelight Records) will bring your faith back. The L.A. Industrial metal masters have put out a record that many will say is the revitalization of a legend. Fan-favorite Raymond Herrera has left to pursue playing with Arkaea (E1/Century). He has since been replaced with Gene Hoglan (Dark Angel, Death, Dethklok). All the more exciting is the reunion with Dino Cazares. He’s back after nearly a 6 year hiatus from the group. Chris Fox interviewed Mr. Cazares, emphasizing the experimental side of Fear Factory…Don’t miss FEAR FACTORY The Rave in Milwaukee on Saturday, May 29.

The metal genre has such a vast array of sub-genres and categories that it is truly impossible to define a band with one term these days. FEAR FACTORY thrives on this grey area of metal, Dino Cazares explains, “we experiment so much that it is hard to put any kind of label on what we do. Death to industrial… the best way [to describe it] would be FEAR FACTORY. We are proud to be a band that helped define a bit of this genre.”


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Mastondon cover art by Ian Chalgren

Mastodon

an Interview with Brann Dailor
by Sal Serio
June 2010

Any metalhead with their ear to the ground is sure to hear the rumbling, gargantuan footsteps of the mighty Mastodon. The densely complex and thought provoking heavy rock of the recent Crack The Skye and Blood Mountain releases have propelled Mastodon out of the underground and onto arena bills and critic’s top lists. I conversed with drummer Brann Dailor in anticipation of their May 18th appearance at the Orpheum Theater in Madison. Mastodon is rounded out by guitarists Bill Kelliher, Brend Hinds, and bass player Troy Sanders.

Maximum Ink:  Has Mastodon been to Madison before?

Brann Dailor:  I’ve been there a bunch of times.


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Ronnie James Dio

Ronnie James Dio

Six Decades of Ronnie James Dio
by Jeff Muendel
June 2010

Six decades. That is the span through which Ronnie James Dio (born Ronald James Padavona) was a rock‘n’ roll professional. With his death last month on May 16, an incredible music career ended. Dio was best known for his work in heavy metal, and in fact he became a cultural icon – one often steeped in humor – for the exaggerated posturing and fantastical lyrics that are a rich part of the genre. His introduction of the “metal horns” hand sign cemented it. To be sure, Dio immersed himself in such things, but it’s interesting to note that his musical career actually took him through several rock‘n’roll genres.

In 1958, a band from upstate New York called Ronnie And The Red Caps released their first 7-inch single on a small label called Reb Records. They could be described as a doo-wop group. Ronnie James Dio was the singer of that band, and the vinyl single began his professional recording career. Dio went on to form a group called Elf that also garnered a recording deal. That band, which had their first release in the late sixties, could be best described as boogie rock. But Dio’s strong voice set the group apart from many of the hippie bands of the time, lending a power to the band that was unusual.

Elf got a big break by landing opening slots for Deep Purple


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Brooklyn's Shinobi Ninja on the cover of June 2010 Max Ink

Shinobi Ninja

from Brooklyn by way of Madison
by Troy Johnson
May 2010

A ninja is a stealth mercenary agent who is a highly trained assassin and an expert saboteur.  Like their namesake, the six members of Brooklyn’s Shinobi Ninja are professional musicians with a broad set of skills ranging from turntablism, to hard guitar riffs to off-the-cuff street lyrics.  With an innate ability to rock a party and the musical knowledge to pay homage to a variety of influential artists, Shinobi Ninja has already built a fan following that grows each time they take the stage. 

I spoke with Maniac Mike the band’s lead guitar player while the group was rolling to Virginia Beach for a gig. I asked him him which albums he considered Shinobi Ninja’s biggest influences. He rattled off a diverse range of albums, including Pantera’s “Vulgar Display Of Power”, Janet Jackson’s“Control”and “In Utero”Nirvana’s less heralded follow up to ‘Nevermind.’  He also gave props to classic hip-hop albums by The Notorious B.I.G. and Beastie Boys, which came as no surprise.

The band’s MySpace page features three sample tracks that highlight this wide variety of musical influences. In these tracks, one can quickly identify metal, punk, grunge, electronica, hip-hop, dance, rave, reggae, beats, and Rock n’ Roll blended seamlessly together. This eclectic style lends itself equally to both live and studio music but performing in front of an audience seems to be Shinobi Ninja’s favorite medium. “We are fans of music before anything else,” Mike told me, explaining how a group with such diverse tastes can work so well together. “Half of us are producers and we are all cognitive of each other’s style. No egos.”


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Art Of Dying - photo by Michael Hurcomb

Art of Dying

An interview with Singer Jonny Hetherington and drummer Jeff Brown
by Kimberly E. McDaniel
April 2010

Art of Dying began in Canada, building an international following since releasing their breakout hit, Get Through This, in November of 2006.  The band, Jonny Hetherington on vocals, Jeff Brown on drums, Cale Gontier on bass and guitarists Greg Bradley and Tavis Stanley, found themselves beginning their whirlwind ride when Get Through This was selected for the World Wrestling Entertainment’s Pay Per View Survivor Series and used in a trailer to promote a podcast of “Port City P.D.”  The song is one of the official theme songs of the WWE NXT.  The band released their self-titled debut in February of 2007, and although the band has claimed that they will not release any more copies of the debut, the album is available as an import at Amazon.com.


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