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Madison's Lords of the Trident on cover of April 2010

Lords Of The Trident

by Chris Fox
April 2010

Can you define heavy metal? Does metal mean screaming vocals and deadly distortion? Or is metal wailing guitar solos and an iron lunged singer?

To Fang VonKillenstein of Lords Of The Trident, heavy metal is “that distorted sound that makes you roll down your windows in the summer and makes you put your fist in the air, out the window. It just gives you that feeling in the pit of your stomach that just drives that ‘yeah.’” One can only assume that “yeah” would make King Diamond proud.

Mr. Killenstein, also known as Ty, defines their sound as “80’s metal mixed with modern influences.”

“Our structure is more towards classics 80’s, but we down tune and are fans of modern death and black metal. Those tonalities show up a lot as well.”

Using their local flavor, they have turned bits and pieces of the UW Campus and Madison into epic metal. Fang explains:

“The Madison music scene is really a lot of indie rock, around campus especially. When you say metal, the average Joe thinks of death and turns the other cheek to our music. Half the people come to our shows for cool music, but the other half just come to see what the hell we are up to. “


Maynard James Keenan of Tool, A Perfect Circle and Puscifer

Maynard James Keenan

by Andrew Frey
April 2010

Part 2 of my conversation with Maynard James Keenan: Squeezing Life Into Arizona.

These days, when you see a picture of the infamous and enigmatic Maynard James Keenan (Tool, A Perfect Circle, Puscifer), he is sporting and promoting something related to his wine making efforts. Often times it IS a bottle of wine. Look closely. The wine will say it is a Caduceus Cellars wine.[] (The Caduceus is the ancient symbol for commerce.)  Maynard and his business partner Eric Glomski have become vine pioneers for their wine making efforts in northern Arizona near Jerome.

Blood Into Wine: The Arizona Stronghold is a documentary that tells the story of these upstarts as they grow, squeeze and ferment in the Verde Valley. The land in this area is arid like a lot of Arizona, but it has more structure and certain characteristics that make it uniquely advantageous to the grape growing sector as Maynard explains. Mr. Keenan is very passionate about his wine and that really shines through.

Have you always been a wine enthusiast?
“Over time. In my mid 20s. That’s when I started getting into it.”


the first Mifflin Street Block Party circa 1969

The Mifflin Street Block Party

by Mike Huberty
April 2010

The University of Wisconsin has traditionally held two giant student parties every year. One is Halloween (where out of town revelers caused so many problems, it evolved into Freak Fest, still a good party but one that turns State Street into a demilitarized zone each year) and the other is the Mifflin Street Block Party. Started in 1969 as a reaction to the Vietnam War (the event that seems to loom over every student activity or university story from that decade), the party has been an annual tradition some times at odds with the city and some times with the city’s blessing. After a long time of relative peace, in 1996, drunken and foolish partygoers decided to attack a fire truck that came to put out a bonfire started in the middle of the street. Next thing you know, there’s riot gear, people are screaming bloody murder, and lots and lots of arrests are made. Needless to say, the 1997 party was kind of a drag. But the fest has continued in the ensuing years, and now local music promoters DCNY PRO, Madison natives and longtime Mifflin Street attendees, David Coleman and Ny Bass, have taken the bull by the horns. They spearheaded the party in 2009 to one of its most successful years. On the fortieth anniversary of the festival and even with over fifteen-thousand people in attendance, arrests were down from the year before and in 2010, they’re bringing more changes to make it a friendlier and safer place.


Rogue Wave

Rogue Wave

by John Noyd
April 2010

Recovering from damaged nerves that made playing painfully impossible, guitarist/song-writer ZACH ROGUE’s ROGUE WAVE returned earlier this year with a brilliant, upbeat CD, “Permalight.” Catching Zach as the band embarked on a tour that takes them to Madison’s High Noon Saloon April 16th, he was kind enough to answer a few questions via email.

MAXIMUM INK: How did the idea of “Permalight,” come about?
ZACH ROGUE: It was the first song I wrote after I started writing music again in 2009. I was in an amazingly great mood and I felt like writing a sequel to Kool and the Gang’s “Celebration” and that is what came to mind. I wasn’t really concerned so much with a chord progression per se. I was really just interested in the rhythm and having my hand move up and down the guitar neck so the song would have a loose groove.


Charlie Cheney, singer, songwriter, Fawmer and developer of Indie Band Manager software

Charlie Cheney

by Mike Huberty
April 2010

As a solo Americana singer/songwriter, CHARLIE CHENEY has been traversing the country and delivering a brand of intelligent, moving and fun songs. This last winter, Charlie embarked on a 25 city tour where he played his solo acoustic show, gave music business seminars, and participated in the February Album Writing Month challenge (an internet songwriter community where people encourage each other to accomplish writing fourteen songs in twenty-eight days.) All the while also hosting a radio show every day of the tour which focused on other FAWM participants. Now, he’s back on the road and has several house and coffeeshop concerts in the Midwest in April.

FAWM is such a cool event.”, Charlie says. “It’s just an interesting challenge, and at first it was sort of a lark… like a dare… But now that I’ve done it four years in a row its become a much different thing, a chance to really work the craft of songwriting in new and inventive ways each year, honing the craft, learning why songs make you feel a certain way, or why you write songs at all. And the community is just so incredibly positive and thoughtful and supportive… it inspires me to write songs that really mean something to me.”




by Joshua Miller
April 2010

When California alternative rockers Thrice stepped in the confines of the Daytrotter studios (located in Rock Island, IL) to record a live session in January, it seemed to echo a continued exclamation from the band to the world that they had moved far from being simply a metal/hard rock band.

While they might not need an introduction to many as they’ve toured around the country many times since starting in 1998, the session for proved to a golden opportunity for the band nonetheless. Daytrotter is a premiere location for sessions of some of today’s up-and-coming acts (many from the indie music scene).

“We thought that was cool that Daytrotter invited us because they don’t usually have many punk rock/metal bands,” says bass player Eddie Breckenridge. “They realized we’re doing something different now and I think a lot of people that ended up listening to it too were surprise that this was something Thrice would do.”

“A lot of people who listen or know about the band know more about the beginnings of our band when were first recognized and signed by a label. Our music has been changing so much over the years that maybe someone had like what we did in the past and moved on doesn’t know that we moved on as well.”

The band, which also includes singer Dustin Kensrue, guitarist Teppei Teranishi and Eddie’s brother and drummer Riley Breckenridge, feed on music exploration. With each of their six albums, the band’s sound has changed in more ways than one. The quiet and mellow demeanor of each of the members might hint otherwise but once the band gets on the practice floor or live setting it becomes evident the creative explosion.

Prior to their spring tour with fellow nationally touring acts Manchester Orchestra and O’Brother, which includes a stop at The Rave in Milwaukee April 24, Breckenridge talked to Maximum Ink about Thrice’s evolving sound and introspective lyrics.

MAXIMUM INK: It might be tough to describe but if you had to describe the overall sound of Thrice how would you describe it?
EDDIE BRECKENRIDGE: It’s kind of always in the state of evolving. It’s hard to describe. We’ve always had a rock base to our entire sound but we’re very much into experimenting with different sounds and new instruments. So I guess it could be kind of experimental rock. But I think that might mislead people because a lot of experimental rock ends up being sometimes being tough to listen to and I think we really focus on songwriting and trying to make good songs; creative but also enjoyable, like to sing along to.


Buckcherry's Stevie D


an interview with Stevie D
by Tina Hall
April 2010

Buckcherry had a RIAA Gold debut album in 1999. The band went on hiatus in 2002. In 2005, they reformed with three new members; bassist Jimmy Ashhurst, drummer Xavier Muriel, and Guitarist Stevie D. In 2006, Buckcherry enjoyed renewed success with the album “15” garnering RIAA Platinum status and a Grammy nomination.Their newest offering is titled “Black Butterfly” and recently toured the U.S opening for KISS.

Maximum Ink: Can you tell us a little about where you are from? How did being from there influence you to become a musician?
Stevie D: Well, I’m from Chicago.. and I really don’t know that it had any influence on me becoming a musician as much as it did on what kind of musician I was going to be. There’s ALL types of music there but it’s mostly known worldwide for the blues. There’s few different sides to my playing, the blues and R&B side was influenced by Pete Cosey (Chess Records, Miles Davis, Earth, Wind & Fire) and my brother Gary Dacanay. The rock side was all the other people I grew up around and all the music they blasted in their cars and at parties


Toronto's Danko Jones

Danko Jones

by Justin Beckner
April 2010

Danko Jones is a power rock trio who have been relentlessly touring throughout the world for a very long time. I had a chance to catch up with Danko Jones on opening night of the 2010 Guns & Roses Tour in Winnipeg, Canada where they played to a nearly sold out MTS Centre.

MAXIMUM INK: Tell me a bit about your latest album.
DANKO JONES: It’s a little confusing. Our newest album was released in March of 2008. Its called Never Too Loud. We toured for that for about a year, then we put out a B-Sides record and toured for that in Europe last year. And we just finished the new follow-up album this last December, so only a month ago. That’s gonna be out this year - hopefully around May. So, Never To Loud just got released in America, B Sides is our latest record in Europe, and in Canada Never Too Loud got released almost two years ago.


Dessa Darling - photo by Aaron Wojak |


by Justin Beckner
April 2010

Most monocle wearing, high brow music scholars would tell you that rap and hip hop are nothing more than a senseless spat of Thom Foolery. But in Minneapolis, a group of musicians have brought the modern music of the streets to the world of academia, and rightly so. Over the past two decades, no form of music has grown in popularity and influence more than Hip Hop. I also understand that McNally Smith now has the only Hip Hop Diploma Program in the country!

No place but Minneapolis has such a diverse and groundbreaking group of rappers. Not only groundbreaking in their music, but in their actions within the community as well. This is an interview with Dessa Darling, a prominent member or the Doomtree Crew and an instructor at McNally Smith. Dessa has just released her first full length album entitled A Badly Broken Code and is currently on tour with another Minneapolis born rap powerhouse P.O.S. You can check out for more dates and info! 

MAXIMUM INK: What is your least favorite interview question?
DESSA DARLING: I like talking about rap. And I don’t mind talking about being a woman. But the question “What’s it like being a woman in hip hop?” is too broad to evoke an interesting answer. It’s like being asked, “What’s it like to be a person on Earth?” I just haven’t been anything else long enough to speak intelligently on how it might compare.


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Death On Two Wheels - photo by Brian Manley | Fun With Robots

Death On Two Wheels

by Tina Hall
April 2010

Atlanta based rock band, Death On Two Wheels features Trae Vedder (lead vocals and guitar), Andrew Knox (organ and piano), Paul Doss (lead guitar), David Fountain (bass), and Greg Neel (drums). Their new EP is set for release on Feb. 16. A new album is expected to be released by mid-year.

They are premiering two songs in the movie “The Violent Kind” at Sundance 2010. The two songs, Two Dollar Bills and Calling Us All Back Home also appear on their current release Separation of Church and Fate on Ghost Umbrella Records.

The film is brought to you by the award winning The Butchers Brothers; Mitchell Altieri and Phil Flores. It is produced by Michael Ferris Gibson, Jeffrey Allard (Texas Chainsaw Massacre), Andy Gould and Malek Akkad (Halloween), Jeremy Platt, and executive producer K’Dee Miller.

In celebration of the release of “The Violent Kind”, they are now offering both songs for free download at:

Maximum Ink: When was Death On Two Wheels formed?
Trae Vedder: Formed in late 2006, played our first show in late 2007, released our debut album in late 2008.

MI:  What are some of your influences?
TV: We draw heavily from 70’s rock bands, Steppenwolf to The Band, and everything in between. Personally, I draw from blues and soul classics like Lee Dorsey and R.L. Burnside. Modern bands we enjoy include Wilco, Foo Fighters, My Morning Jacket, The Whigs, and the Dewey Cox soundtrack.


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