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Natasha Mira

An interview with Songstress Natasha Mira
by Tina Hall
March 2014

Natasha Mira is an up-and-coming vocalist who has performed at The House of Blues, MGM Grand among others. Her work tends towards the medieval pop genre. Her latest single, ¨Chasing Fire¨  produced by Patrick Reza, has been getting rave reviews.

Maximum Ink: Can you tell us a little about yourself? What would you like the world to know about you?
Natasha Mira:I grew up in a small town but I have always been surrounded by music, recording studios, and artists. I sometimes appear shy when you first meet me but I get this whole other persona the second I walk on to a stage. It’s empowering and is a wonderful way to express myself. I’m definitely a perfectionist when it comes to projects I’m involved with! I really love to have creative control and a hands-on approach over my ideas so that the visions in my head are translated across to the music you hear.

MI: Do you think your upbringing has had a positive influence on you when it comes to your career ambitions?
NM:Absolutely. I often wonder if I was never exposed to music throughout my life if I would have ended up on this same path. I know my upbringing made a huge impact on my decisions and career aspirations. The music industry is all I’ve ever known thanks to my mother, Ilona Europa, who is also a singer, songwriter, and the creator of her own talk show Accent On! on LA Talk Radio. She has always inspired me, and to this day I try to be as outgoing as she is! She’s a natural with meeting new people and collaborating. Maybe one-day I’ll have even half of her people-skills!

MI: Who were some of your earliest influences?
NM: I have a really wide variety of influences. It’s funny, I tend to stick with one artist or one album for a really long time and then move on to the next. I go through phases and I think my music and writing adapts accordingly. When I was thirteen a friend introduced me to Tokio Hotel, a glam/rock band from Germany. They definitely kicked my dreams into gear and their influence came across in songs of mine like “Go Now and Tell Her”. I was tentative about pursuing singing as a career when I was young but after going to one of Tokio’s concerts – it just clicked. I just remember crying and breaking down out of nowhere knowing that performing is what I truly wanted to do. Right now I’m obsessed with Imogen Heap, and Ellie Goulding’s newest album Halcyon. I’ve been listening to it when I drive to and from school for the past six months. A lot of the new material I have been writing is absolutely influenced from that album; I just can’t get enough of it. I find it interesting that most of my inspirations are artists signed to Interscope – a label I hope to one day work for - or be signed by. It’s a funny coincidence; or maybe it’s fate! Besides musical influences I have FINALLY found a brand and image that clicks for me personally. I have always been obsessed with Medieval Times, knights, castles, and all things associated with that time period. I have such a strong emotional connection to that era that once I finally recognized that this influence is what I want to portray in my music - it all clicked for me. It was a very fascinating revelation. I had always been searching for a “persona” and never quite felt comfortable in my own skin on stage because I was trying to be like someone else. I think I’ve finally found my comfort zone and I can’t believe it but I finally feel like I’ve developed my own musical influence that is so different from every artist around me. It feels fantastic and extremely freeing. I no longer have to try to create a product, something niche that will sell, I’m just creating music that feels like me. It must be the European influence from my mother combined with my obsession with shows like Reign on the CW, Game of Thrones, and various games that depict that time period!

MI: What do you love most about being a vocalist?
NM: It just sort of came naturally to me. I was always singing around the house but mostly to myself. I was very introverted about singing when I was younger. My mother had many vocal students coming in and out of the house and I could hear them singing from the room next door. I was shy when I was little, so I started singing the same songs in my room. When I realized I couldn’t hear myself over my mother’s students I just naturally started singing the harmonies to EVERY single song to differentiate my voice from theirs. I definitely think singing harmonies non-stop when I was younger is the main reason why I am addicted to harmonies in my music.

MI: How would you describe your sound to those yet to hear it?
NM: If you had asked me this question about a few months ago I would have had an extremely difficult time answering. I feel like I have finally defined my own sound, my own genre, and I’m labeling it as “Medieval-Pop”. I’m obsessed with minor chord progressions and eccentric melodies that are still commercial and easy to sing along to. I strive for a full orchestrated sound, lots of strings, lots of instrumentation, making my songs bigger than life and my producer Jerry Jones (Lthrboots) is the mastermind behind my instrumentals. You’ll just have to check out my music to really get the full experience! I also collaborate with many artists and write in various genres so it really depends on who I’m working with. For example, I just collaborated on a track with an incredible Dubstep producer and artist named Patrick Reza. He has such a unique sound that’s unlike any form of Dubstep I’ve heard before. When he asked me to collaborate on a track with him I was thrilled to get the opportunity to work on a genre I normally wouldn’t have associated myself with and the track “Chasing Fire” has been getting ridiculously great feedback. I’m also working with another amazing songwriter/producer, Kidd Genius, who is also a Music Business student at USC. Our writing styles completely flowed effortlessly and we have multiple tracks coming out in the near future. Be sure to look out for them!


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Tommy Emmanuel

An interview with guitarist Tommy Emmanuel
by Max Ink Writer List
March 2014

Tommy Emmanuel is an acoustic guitar virtuoso who has delighted fans with his complicated fingerstyle technique. He has been playing Maton guitars for most of his career. A long-standing fan of Chet Atkins, he recorded the album “The Day Finger Pickers Took Over The World” with Atkins. The album also turned out the be the last Atkins ever recorded. Tommy still performs at the Chet Atkins Appreciation Society every July in Nashville. He recently wrapped a tour alongside Martin Taylor.

Maximum Ink: What was it like being taught to accompany your mother on steel guitar when you were only 4? Do you think,looking back, those are some of your most fond memories? What do you think is the most important thing you learned from her?
Tommy Emmanuel: It was so long ago, it’s hard to remember everything. I recall it was exciting to play music with my mother – every day I looked forward to hearing the school bell, knowing that I would run across the road to our home and my mum would be waiting to play. She showed me some songs that were simple and easy to remember. She taught me how a song is constructed, to know the difference between the verse and the chorus and the bridge, and to look out for key changes. I think I learned the importance of melody against chords through learning all these songs.

MI: Do you remember what it was like to work as musician at the age of 6? Did you ever get stage fright when you first started playing to crowds?
TE: I was never afraid of going on stage – in fact, the opposite is true; I couldn’t wait to get out there. I’m just the same today.


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Will Hoge

Will Hoge

An interview with Singer/Songwriter Will Hoge
by Tina Hall
February 2014

Will Hoge has produced music ranging from Stones-influenced Rock n’ Roll to Americana, Southern rock, and back roots Country. With his ninth album, “Never Give In”, he offers country music with grit and soul.

Maximum Ink: What was it like growing up in Tennessee? What are some of your most fond recollections from that time in your life?
Will Hoge: Great. My dad played music when I was a kid and getting to be exposed to everything going on in Nashville, I always felt like, was an advantage for me. Music is everywhere.

MI: Do you remember what your very first favorite song was?
WH: Band on The Run - Paul McCartney and Wings. I played the 45 on my Mickey Mouse record player until the needle wore out.

MI: Who were some of your biggest influences musically and personally?
WH: Hank Williams, Ray Charles, The Rolling Stones. I’m reading the new Johnny Cash bio now and love the control he was able to take in the business aspect of his career.


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Crispin Hellion Glover

An interview with Crispin Hellion Glover
by Tina Hall
January 2014

Crispin Hellion Glover is a man of many talents. He has worked as an actor, screenwriter, director, author, publisher, and recording artist. His best known roles such as George McFly in Back to the Future, the Thin Man in both Charlie’s Angels flicks, Willard Stiles in the remake of Willard, Grendel in Beowulf, The Knave of Hearts in Tim Burton’s Alice inWonderland, and Phil in Hot Tub Time Machine make him one of the most recognizable faces in film.His own company Volcanic Eruptions publishes his lavishly illustrated books and delightfully twisted films. Currently he is set to tour in select cities to promote Crispin Hellion Glover’s Big Slide Show with showings of his filmsIt is fine.EVERYTHING IS FINE! & What is it? Please see his site for specific dates.

Maximum Ink: Can you tell us a little about yourself? What were you like as a kid? How do you think you early years influenced you to be who you are now?
Crispin Hellion Glover: I went to a small private school called Mirman School for Gifted Children. It was an excellent school that was academically oriented. The school was an influence to let me understand that questioning things was very good.
MI: What first led you try your hand at acting and when did you know if was what you had to pursue as a career? Do you think your parents being actors themselves was a positive influence on you to follow your dreams?
CHG: I was in school plays and such, but having watched my father’s career I understood, to a certain extent, how the business worked. I decided it would be something I could do at around age 11. I got an agent at age 13. My parents did not push me into the business. It was something I decided to do by my own volition, but my parents were supportive.
MI: Do people find it hard to believe that Hellion in your middle name? It is a very cool name to carry, are you glad to have it?
CHG: My father Bruce Glover is an actor as I’ve said. In fact he is in Part two of the trilogy It is fine! EVERYTHING IS FINE! People may know him from such films as Diamonds are Forever, Chinatown and the original Walking Tall series. His middle name is Herbert. He never liked his middle name Herbert. So as a young struggling actor in New York he would say to himself “I am Bruce H. Glover, Bruce Hellion Glover. I am a hellion, a troublemaker.” And that would make him feel good. He told my mother this was his real middle name. When they were married she saw him writing on the marriage certificate Bruce Herbert Glover and she thought “Who am I marrying?” They gave Hellion to me as my real middle name. I had always written and drawn as a child and I would always sign my drawing and writing with my whole name Crispin Hellion Glover. When I started acting professionally at 13 which was something I had decided on my own I could do as a profession at a relatively young age it became apparent that I had to choose a professional acting name for SAG. I thought my whole name was too long for acting and just used my first and last name. When I started publishing my books I simply continued using the name I had always used for writing and drawing. This is also why I use my whole name for my films.


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 - photo by Steve Thornton

Ronnie King

An interview with producer Ronnie King
by Tina Hall
January 2014

Ronnie King is best known for his work producing Tupac Shakur. He has produced such iconic artists as Snoop Dogg, Coolio, Mariah Carey, The Offspring, Kottonmouth Kings, Pepper, and countless others. He can also be found touring with Rancid from time to time. It was my pleasure to sit down with him and learn a little about the man behind the music that is so well loved.

Maximum Ink: Can you tell us a little about your early days? What were you like as a kid?

Ronnie King: As a kid I was always playing music. I came from a musical family of 7 kids my older brothers and sisters where always making music. Then I started studying at 5 years of age and didn’t stop until 2 years into college.

MI: What was it that first sparked your interest in music?

RK: My brother Chuck’s friend John Buccino, who is a great piano player.

MI: What was your very first favorite song?

RK: Mandy by Barry Manilow.

MI: What do you think it takes to make a great song?

RK: Great vision and acting skills.

MI: Why do you think music has always been so well loved throughout the ages?

RK: Everything else loses power in the translation. Music you just sit back and enjoy.


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Cycle of Pain

An interview with John DeServio of Black Label Society and Cycle of Pain
by Tina Hall
January 2014

Cycle of Pain is one of the most unique bands on the scene today. With members who have also been friends since their teenage years, it has a certain loyalty that has kept it intact through the years. Comprised of John “Jd” DeServio (also of Black Label Society) on bass and vocals, Gregg LoCascio with lead vocals, Joe Taylor on guitar, Bob Panetella on the drums, and Troy Cromwell on keys. The highly anticipated EP Pain Us! is slated for release in early 2014. With the excitement building it was my pleasure to catch up with John to find a little more about the latest offering.

Maximum Ink: For those who might not be familiar with the band, can you tell us a little about how it came into being? 

John DeServio: We’ve been friends and in bands together since we were 14. I got offered a record deal in 2009 and got the band back together.

MI: Do you think the fact that some of you have know each other so long now, has made it easier to keep the band progressing and working well?

JD: To some degree. On the other hand we?e brothers so there’s some hate in there too at times. (laughs)

MI: Do you think loyalty is a rare thing in the music industry today?

JD: Yeah, that’s a thing of the past. If you don’t sell you get no loyalty.

MI: Do you remember what it was that first sparked your love of music?

JD: KISS is solely responsible.


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Hank Williams Jr.

An interview with the legendary Hank Williams Jr.
by Tina Hall
September 2013

Hank Williams, Jr. needs no introduction. As the son of the late, great Hank Williams, he was surrounded by great music at an early age. First taking the stage at the age of 8 to perform his father’s songs, his early career was guided by his mother Audry Williams who is also said to been a driving force in the success of his father’s career. Since then, he has become a legend in country music. blending southern rock and blues elements in unmistakable fashion. Not only a gifted singer/songwriter, he can also play a host of instruments including guitar, bass, steel guitar, banjo, dobro, piano, harmonica, fiddle, and drums. It was a pleasure to have the chance to bring our readers a little glimpse of the man behind the music.

Maximum Ink: You were only 3 when your father passed. What is the fondest memory of him you have?
Hank Williams Jr.: Well, I didn’t know Daddy, so I really don’t have any memories. I know what people have told me about him taking me to the Grand Ole Opry and leaving me in his guitar case on the side of the stage. The best thing we ever did was record the duet for There’s A Tear In My Beer and we even won a Grammy for it.

MI: You were exposed to great music at an early age. What was it like having such amazing artists stopping by the family home? Which of them stick out most in your mind?
HWJ: Well, Little Richard, Jerry Lee Lewis, and Fats Domino were at the house a lot and that’s where I learned to boogie-woogie on that piano. Earl Scruggs would come over, as would Johnny and June Carter Cash. By the way, June Carter Cash was my godmother.


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John Waite

An interview with Singer/Songwriter John Waite
by Tina Hall
August 2013

John Waite began his career in 1975 with the band The Babys, followed by his solo career that spawned the timeless hit Missing You (as later recorded alongside songstress Alison Krauss in 2006). He also enjoyed moderate success as the frontman of Bad English. His last studio album Rough & Tumble featured the ballad If You Ever Get Lonely, co-written by Matchbox Twenty’s Kyle Cook. June 11, 2013 saw the release of the iTunes exclusive Live All Access which featured the song live. The track is also being covered by Love and Theft and is currently climbing the country music charts. He can currently be found on tour in select cities.  I was honored to have the chance to sit down and talk with the man behind the music that we all know and love.

Maximum Ink: Can you tell us a little about yourself as a child? What was it like growing up in Lancaster? When did you first discover the power of music? Can you tell us a little about that?
John Waite: Lancaster is an historic town. It has a castle and a river runs through it. I was raised in a cottage facing into the countryside. There were fields and a huge park opposite the front door. My family was very musical, so music came to me pretty naturally. I joined my brother’s band occasionally to sing R and B or whatever we could think up. Country and Western was huge as a kid as it was songs about cowboys. When you’re 5, it’s all cowboys and Indians. Big Bill Broonzy came next with the blues then Hank Williams and then the Shadows; all incredibly exotic for the northwest of England in the 50’s. I wanted to be a cross between Popeye and Hank the Cowboy. (I’m almost there). I discovered the test card on the T.V. had music playing behind it. There was this sort of Magnificent Seven chord change in the middle. Blew my mind! I used to sit there with my brother waiting for it to come ‘round.

MI: Why do you think music has been such an important entity in society throughout the ages?
JW: I’m not really religious but defiantly spiritual. Music is the closest thing to religion in my life. The only god in this world everyone believes in is money! Frightening, but true. Music is free! Always was.


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Another Lost Year

Another Lost Year

by Tina Hall
July 2013

Hailing from Charlotte, North Carolina the band Another Lost Year has already gained quite a following. Comprised of Clinton Cunanan, Adam Hall, David Whitaker, Lee Norris, and Jason Lovelace, ALY offer up alternative metal in a way seldom seen in today’s music scene. They have opened for the likes of Hinder, Seven Dust, Skid Row, Candlebox, Pop Evil, and Nonpoint just to name a few.  Their latest single “The War on the Inside” was produced by Justin Rimer (12 Stones, Breaking Point) and offers fans a glimpse at what the newest album “Writing on the Wall” has to offer. Fans can catch them in the WI area July 11th at Club Tavern and Jefferson, WI at the Rox Sports Bar on July 17th.

Maximum Ink: What was it like growing up in North Carolina? What were you like as a child?
Clinton Cunanan: NC is humid, and I loathe humidity. As a child, I was always a good kid, I grew up on a horse farm, my weekends were not all fun and games, I played baseball, that was the only thing that could get me out of the manual labor. Basically the same now, mouthy, said what was on my mind, you know normal kid crap.


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Travis T. Warren

Travis T. Warren

An interview with Singer/Songwriter Travis T. Warren
by Max Ink Writer List
December 2012

Travis T. Warren, best known for this work as frontman of Blind Melon and in the hard rock duo The Lookout Kids recently released his debut solo album titled Beneath These Borrowed Skies. The album features guests Aja Volkman (Nico Vega), Christopher Thorn (Blind Melon), and Eva Gardner (from Pink’s backing band). All proceeds from the album (out now on Clarity Way Records) go to benefit MusiCares, which provides financial, medical, and, personal support to musicians in need.

Maximum Ink: Can you tell us a little about your background? What was it like growing up in Texas?
Travis T. Warren: Well I grew up in Amarillo which is in the panhandle of Texas. It was and still is a very right leanin kicker town. Not a lot to do but get high, chase girls and play/listen to music. I left for California a month after I turned 17 and never looked back. Texas has great steaks if you’re into that sort of thing.Great Tex-Mex food as well

MI: What is your fondest memory from that time?
TTW: Friends. I had a lot of great friends from that time. I’m still very close to a few of them to this day. We were a brotherhood. Very tight. We did everything together. Skipped school. Got high. Stayed up through the night having long, philosophical conversations about what we were going to do when we got older. Beer runs. Ya know that sort of shit.


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