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311 release their 12th studio album this summer titled Universal Pulse

311 (Three Eleven)

An interview with Singer/Guitarist Nick Hexum
by Aaron Manogue
May 2011

“Stay positive and love your life.” These words, spoken at the end of each concert by lead singer/guitarist Nick Hexum, exemplify what the band 311 is all about. For the past 21 years, their music has not belonged to any one genre or type. It’s merely been what it was always intended to be: 311 music. With 8.5 million units sold in the U.S., six albums reaching the Top 10 on Billboard’s Top 200 Sales Chart and eight singles reaching the Top 10 on Billboard’s U.S. Alternative Chart, it seems fans have received their message loud and clear. Maximum Ink’s Aaron Manogue sat down with lead singer/guitarist Nick Hexum to talk about their upcoming Summerfest appearance, what Summerfest has been like for them over the years, and the upcoming twelfth studio album Universal Pulse.

Maximum Ink: 311 has been touring for the better part of 20 years now and gone around the world. What is it that makes Summerfest in Milwaukee, WI such a great place to perform?
Nick Hexum: There is a special vibe at Summerfest. I like the way it caters to all kinds of different tastes in music and culture. There is such a wide mix of ages and types of people partying together. It’s a pretty unique happening.


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Patrick McBride of Hourcast

Hourcast

An Interview with Lead Singer Patrick McBride
by Aaron Manogue
May 2011

Life isn’t so bad these days for Patrick McBride of HourCast. He’s making music videos with porn stars, touring with legendary Zakk Wylde and Black Label Society, and being the lead singer of an up and coming rock band. Maximum Ink chatted with McBride about sharing the limelight with gorgeous adult film star Jessie Jane, what it’s like touring with BLS, and what’s coming up for HourCast.

Maximum Ink: There isn’t a ton of information out there about you guys. Tell us about yourself and the band. How long have you been a band? How did you get your start?
Patrick McBride: HourCast got its start in 2001 with Jerry Clews (drummer) and Dave Henriquez (Guitar Player). They wanted to combine elements of rock and electronic music. Then they found me as a lead singer. Later, we added Dave Sullivan (Bass Player) when we decided to take the band out live. We started on a street level in Boston playing shows. We went to every rock concert in the city with backpacks on and gave away our music for free. In a matter of months we found ourselves on tour with Sevendust, then Godsmack. Godsmack really gave us a huge break, bringing us, a brand new Boston band, on the road. Since then we’ve been out with 30 Seconds to Mars, Breaking Benjamin, Volbeat, The Damned Things, and now Black Label Society with All That Remains.


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Taproot

Taproot

An interview with bassist Phil Lipscomb
by Aaron Manogue
May 2011

Fourteen years, seven albums, and hundreds and thousands of tour miles traveled, they are a band of many fortunes; Bad fortunes such as lineup changes and losing record labels, and good fortunes including touring with Deftones, Incubus, Mudvayne, as well as having multiple Top 20 singles off of various albums. Resilience is key when considering Taproot. Bassist Phil Lipscomb tells Maximum Ink a little about where he came from musically, and what sets Taproot and their fans apart.

Maximum Ink: Where did you get your start with music?
Phil Lipscomb: For me personally, my start was with my brother. I got my first bass off of him, and he had been playing guitar for years. I just going from there.

MI: You have been touring a lot in the past year or two. What do you do to stay sane when you’re on the road for months at a time?
PL: Well, my dad was in the Air Force, and I’ve moved around all my life, so I really enjoy traveling. I love being on the road. Two or three months is a long time to be on the road. By the end of the tour, I get that, “I need to be home, and I need to be able to relax for a little bit,” feeling. For the most part, we’re all friends, we’ve been friends for years and we get along pretty well. That helps tremendously.


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Seether - photo by Clay Patrick McBride

Seether

An Interview with vocalist Shaun Morgan
by Aaron Manogue
May 2011

The melodic, heavy rock ‘n’ rollers who are Seether are back on the road promoting their latest album Holding onto Strings Better Left to Fray. We caught up with lead man Shaun Morgan to talk about their latest number one single “Country Song,” the upcoming record, working with renowned producer Brendan O’Brien, and more.

Maximum Ink: Tell me about your upcoming album Holding onto Strings Better Left to Fray.
Shaun Morgan: It’s basically a culmination of three years worth of writing that represents the best of the 35-40 songs we ended up writing for this album. It started out as a 10 track album, which grew to a 12 track album, and it’s something we’re really proud of.


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Straight Line Stitch

An interview with lead singer Alexis Brown of Straight Line Stitch
by Aaron Manogue
April 2011

There really seems to be a trend happening of having females as lead vocalists in the hard rock and the metal scene. This trend makes perfect sense considering the industry is completely saturated with males. Therefore, put a pretty face on stage for all the fans to enjoy, and if she can sing a little, that’s a bonus. Luckily, there are also a select few that just bring it. It doesn’t matter if they are a male or female because they are going to bring it night in and night out. After all is said and done, no one will be left questioning their talent. Straight Line Stitch is one of the lucky few that have a female vocalist, Alexis Brown, who breaks hearts with her smile and impresses with her voice. She definitely has the pretty face, but she also has a vocal range that hangs with the best of the best on the scene today. She has pushed the bar higher for vocalists, male or female.

Maximum Ink: Tell us a little about where you’re from and where you grew up. What type of family did you have growing up?
Alexis Brown: Basically, my family comes from a military background, so I was always here and there. My family was definitely from a musical background. My dad played saxophone, my mom sang in church, and I always knew I wanted to sing.


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Slash - artwork and design by Ian Chalgren - photo by Paul Brown

Slash

An interview with Guitar Legend Slash
by Tina Hall
April 2011

Slash, a household name because of Guns N’ Roses, is without a doubt one of the most legendary guitarists of our time. His work with Snakepit, Velvet Revolver, and as a solo artist has shown time and time again that he is one of the best in his field. As a session artist, he has worked to enhance the music of some of the biggest names in the business and has influenced guitarists of all ages with his solid and timeless playing style. He recently embarked on a five week North American tour, opening for Ozzy Osbourne, in support of his latest self-titled solo album. It was truly an honor to have the chance to bring his fans this small glimpse of one of rock’s finest.

Maximum Ink: How do you think the music industry has changed since your early days? How would you like to see it change next?
Slash: It’s been going through some massive changes. The most important being the advent of the Internet and file sharing and also digital. We are still adapting to that, but that’s a major change.  It’s hard to say where it is headed in the not too distant future.


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Bobaflex

Bobaflex

An interview with guitarist/vocalist Shaun McCoy
by Aaron Manogue
April 2011

We’re all swamped within the information age and bombarded with less than adequate bands that spew out music just to keep their record label at bay. However, very seldom do we have the pleasure of hearing a band stay true to their fans and themselves without ever selling out. In a nutshell, the aforementioned describes one of the most genuine hard rock bands out there today. The guys in Bobaflex have been in the business for years now, and through struggles inside and outside the industry, they’ve managed to stay relevant and remember how to play their trademark, soothe your soul one minute, kick your ass the next, rock and roll. Maximum Ink sat down with Bobaflex guitarist and vocalist Shaun McCoy to talk about what they’ve been up to and what they have in store this summer for our ears’ pleasure.

Maximum Ink: What’s Bobaflex been up to for the past year or two?
Shaun McCoy: Well, a little ways back our record label went bankrupt, so we ultimately had to fight a legal battle with regard to the t-shirts and touring. Once we got through that, we started to record a new album called, Hell in My Heart. We paid for the album, for every recording, and for the producer ourselves. Right now we’re working on a late spring, early summer release.


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Divyded

Divyded

An interview with local metal band Divyded
by Aaron Manogue
April 2011

Making successful hard rock or metal music today is basically about three things:
1) Music with a hook
2) Lyrics fans can feel and relate to
3) Kick your ass guitar play.

Maximum Ink was lucky enough to come across a local band that literally matched up to all of the aforementioned, even though they tell us they’ve only been together since early 2010. If you haven’t heard of them, plan on hearing their name many times in the near future. Chuck Diesel (Vocals, Guitar), Jason “Das” Radosevich (Drums) and Ryan Trainor (Bass) have formed a force to be reckoned with as Divyded.


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2107 ViewsPermalinkDivyded WebsiteDivyded MySpace
Ari Mihalopoulos

Ari Mihalopoulos

An interview with Singer/Songwriter Ari Mihalopoulos
by Aaron Manogue
March 2011

It seems like Iowa is good at producing two things: Tons and tons of corn, and kick-ass metal bands. Maximum Ink has come across yet another of the latter in the band Destrophy. The Iowan quartet based out of Des Moines started all the way back in 2002 by highly-respected and enormously talented producer and singer/songwriter Ari Mihalopoulos. At the time Ari scouted the entire state in search of his perfect combination of musicians. After all was said and done, Ari had found Joe Fox (Drums), Eric Tisinger (Guitar), and Phil T (Bass) to complete his musical war party. Nine years, three albums and one EP later, Destrophy prepares for their second release under Victory Records titled Cry Havoc. Maximum Ink took some time to sit down with Ari and talk about their upcoming album.


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Morgan Rose of Sevendust - photo by Paul Weber

Sevendust 2011

An interview with Sevendust drummer Morgan Rose
by Aaron Manogue
February 2011

The rock scene isn’t something that is easy to break “big” into, and even when you do, there comes the constant struggle of staying relevant enough to continue successfully writing music and touring. Very few bands have figured out the precise formula to balance immense musical talent while pleasing the suits who sign the checks. Since 1997, when they released their self-titled debut album, Sevendust has done just that and much more. They’ve gone through lineup changes, financial troubles, and everything else that rock ‘n’ roll throws their way. Sevendust has continued to write, record, and produce music that transcends the struggles and has formed them into one of the most stoic forces in the hard rock music scene. Maximum Ink sat down with drummer Morgan Rose to discuss changes in the Sevendust family, what keeps them going, and what comes next.

Maximum Ink : What is it that keeps you going personally and wanting to continue to make music?
Morgan Rose : You know, there’s the cliché, “I do it for the music,” but it’s very therapeutic. Usually in every record there’s a story that went on in that past year or two, and it’s something that is a great outlook for us. We do actually call this a job, even though it’s kind of embarrassing to use that term. When you leave your kids, leave your family, and you do it for as long as we have, I think we’ve justified it by now. I think people can say, “Well yeah, this is a job.” Creating music and performing is what we do, and we were blessed enough to be in the right place at the right time. It’s something that’s very special to us.


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