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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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Wiz Khalifa

Wiz Khalifa

Keepin' it on the Level
by John Noyd
May 2011

Washed in champagne and sensimillia bravado, smooth-talking rapper, pop upstart and lifestyle compiler, Wiz Khalifa slings off-putting epithets, suave posse politics and pussyfooting bragging rights glamorizing a cushy life of sleeping in and going out.  As a son of two military parents Wiz is no stranger to discipline or duty but his allegiance to his fan base, the Taylor Gang, and his, success is the best revenge, work ethic are a far cry from dawn patrols and reveille.


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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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Tommy Stinson

Tommy Stinson

Interview with Tommy Stinson of the Replacements and Guns N' Roses
by Joshua Miller
May 2011

For Tommy Stinson, it it can safely be assumed that it’s often easy to get lost behind his history and reputation.  As the bass player for Minneapolis punk rock/alternative rock band the Replacements, Stinson helped craft a new style of rock and roll throughout the 80s.  From the early age of 13 to his early 20s, he joined the band on their furious onslaught of touring across the country and world.  Their live shows were wild, unpredictable and spontaneous, with the band making it up as they went.


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Little Red Wolf

Little Red Wolf

by Troy Johnson
May 2011

Success is happening fast for Little Red Wolf. The four Madison women who make up the group and have been writing multidimensional folk based pop songs together since 2008. Each member of LRW is well-versed in various instruments and the singers harmonize like a group that has been together for years. With influences ranging from seminal riot grrrls Sleater Kinney to current groups with diverse but traditional sounds like The New Pornographers and Grizzly Bear, listening to LRW develop their sound is going to be a thrilling ride. When asked what groups they would most like to share a stage with drummer Emily Mills mentioned the Ditty Bops and Fleet Foxes. “Both of these groups have taken traditional American music and found a way to put their own, unique and—frankly—awesome, spin on it. I think we’d mesh pretty well with them.” Kelly Maxwell added, “Little Red Wolf with Fleet Foxes would be amazing. I would just die of happiness.”

The four seem to agree that traditional folk music is just a starting point in their quote"collaborative” song writing process. Maxwell said, “Most of the time it starts with something simple and we all add to it: One of us has a riff, we’ll work on it in rehearsal several times with different instruments until it sounds right, then someone will bring lyrics and that person gets to sing it.”


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Lizard Skynard frontman Erik “Lizardman” Sprague

Lizard Skynard

an interview with Erik “Lizardman” Sprague
by Andrew Frey
May 2011

I totally agree with Erik “Lizardman” Sprague. “The world needs freaks,” he states in our recent e-mail exchange. “We explore the boundaries and show people that most limits are actually false. Freaks challenge society and provide a reflection for growth and exploration.”

The area for our reflection today will be the new band that he is fronting called ‘Lizard Skynard.’ It is sort of an underground supergroup made up of guitarist/songwriter Mossy Vaughn (The Heavils), bassist Russell Gillespie (Mothertrucker), drummer Johnny Baker (Waco Jesus) and Mossy’s brother, Eric Vaughn on keyboards.

Regardless of the others in the band, the focus of the group will always swing back to the renowned freak, comedian, author and vocalist for the band, Lizardman. If you somehow haven’t heard of him, he is easy to spot with his green tattooed scales, his bifurcated (split) tongue(“I have independent control of both tongues and can do some neat little manipulations with it.”), sharply filed teeth, and the teflon ridges implanted sub-dermally above his eyes. Plus he has worked with and been in several sideshow groups, appeared at many” Ripley’s Believe It Or Not” activities and has hosted many events.

After being involved in so many potentially dangerous endeavors I had to wonder if he had ever been permanently injured from a sideshow type performance. He filled me in, “I have some scars but nothing too serious.  One of my nipples is now noticeably different than the other due to a tear while lifting a car battery.


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Absolution

Interview with vocalist Mark Wojtkiewicz
by Angela Villand
May 2011

Over the last several years, a group of five musicians from PA (with two Indie CD’s under their belts) have caused some curiosity and commotion throughout the Northeastern US and now they’re spreading abroad. One city, one state, one hotel after another in support of the current TAPROOT tour, Absolution is continuing their DIY journey. After heavily promoting themselves in support of their critically-acclaimed EP Theory Of Existence from one side of the USA to the other, they’ve gained an impressive following. Delivering an adrenaline pumping performance night after night is just one of many reasons for the band’s continued success. Now, with the arrival of their 3rd CD, The Other Side of Nothing, we were excited we could steal away some time with singer, songwriter, Mark Wojtkiewicz.

MAXINK:  Your CD, THE OTHER SIDE OF NOTHING hits the shelves on May 3rd. Collectively, as a band, you guys are on the road, you’re pretty much going to be tour dogs until June, kicking it off for Taproot. How do you guys kick back between shows, after the adrenaline rush quiets down, or when you get to a new city? What do you do to keep it real within the group?
MARK:  We talk with each other; share the experience as a family. Through all the ups and downs, we’ve become so much tighter as a group, offstage as well as onstage.  We were driving through the Colorado Rockies on the way out, and a couple of us were sleeping, but we smacked ‘em on the head to wake them up.  There are a lot of things out here that some of us have never seen. My first time in Vegas was this last year, and everyone else, they’d never been there.  So driving in, we’d wake up everyone so we could see it coming in. 


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3463 ViewsPermalinkAbsolution Website

Plain White T’s

An interview with Plain White T's frontman, Tom Higgenson
by Mike Huberty
May 2011

Plain White T’s started in the Chicago area in 1997 when vocalist and guitarist Tom Higgenson, who had been a drummer previously in local high school bands, decided to get out from behind the drum set and take the foreground as a front man and songwriter. After spending years developing their following in the underground scene, they exploded with their 2007 Grammy-nominated Number One single, “Hey There, Delilah.” This winter, they released their latest record, Wonders of the Younger, and have been touring on it since. They’re headlining a free music festival, The Journeys Backyard Barbecue, in Minneapolis over Memorial Day Weekend. We talked to Higgenson about the new record and the tour.


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Cake in Madison WI at the Orpheum, Friday May 13th - photo by Robert McKnight

Cake

An Interview with Trumpeter/Keyboardist Vince DiFiore
by Angela Villand
May 2011

Unequivocal success, that’s possibly the most accurate way to summarize what’s happened to CAKE since they began 20 years ago. Their eccentric, almost quirky approach to writing music and lyrics has won fans over across the globe. After a seven year stretch between albums, we’re finding Showroom of Compassion to be nothing short of amazing, which is no surprise, given the three years the band poured into its completion in their own home studio. Vince DiFiore, Cake trumpeter and keyboardist set aside some time to share his thoughts with us on his simplistic gear preferences, the new CD, artwork, and the overall triumph of two decades making music.

MAXIMUM INK:  How is the current tour is going so far.
VINCE DIFIORE:  It’s going great. It’s a good time of year; really nice crowds are out, people are happy to be going to the shows. One comment I’ve heard from people that have been to the shows is that they’re really impressed by the crowd that’s there, and they meet a lot of nice people at the show. Springtime is a good time.


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3734 ViewsPermalinkCake WebsiteCake MySpaceCake Wiki
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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