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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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Go Radio

Go Radio

An interview with singer Jason Lancaster
by Tina Hall
March 2011

Go Radio, out of Tallahassee, FL, is made up of Jason Lancaster (vocals), Alex Reed (guitar and vocals), Matt Poulos (bass and vocal), and Steven Kopacz (drums). The band is set to release their full length debut album, Lucky Street, with a tour to follow. The album, produced by Tim O’Heir (The All-American Rejects, Hot Rod Circuit, The Starting Line, Say Anything) and mixed by James Paul Wisner (Paramore, New Found Glory, Dashboard Confessional), offers 13 solid rock tracks. The band is also set to tour on the Vans Warped Tour all this summer. Maximum Ink took some time to speak with John Lancaster about the band’s influences, the new album, and more.

Maximum Ink: Can you tell us a little about yourself? How do you think your upbringing influenced your decision to become a musician?
Jason Lancaster: I think my upbringing had everything to do with me becoming a musician. I was brought up around music with my dad being in a band from the time I was born until the day he passed. Life wasn’t always easy, but that’s how it goes for almost everyone. I learned not to complain about things I can’t control and to embrace the things that are good about life. It was an honest childhood, and I am grateful for everything I’ve been through, good or bad.


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Founded March 7, 1996

15 Year Anniversary Issue

Founded March 7, 1996
by Rökker
March 2011

Maximum Ink was founded on March 7, 1996. There was no article this issue, just a celebratory cover image.


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Madlife

Madlife

An interview with singer Angry Phil
by Tina Hall
February 2011

Madlife was formed from the breakup of the Los Angeles based band Merge in 2004. It is currently comprised of Angry Phil on vocals, Isaiah on guitar, Jimmy Minj on bass, and Kylio on drums. Over the years they have toured with bands like Marilyn Manson, Prong, Adema, Bullet For My Valentine, Trivium, and All That Remains. Their newest single “Be Tomorrow” is out now from the album Angry Sonnets for the Soul . The album was produced by Powerman 5000 guitarist Evan 9.

Maximum Ink: Can you tell us a little about where you are from? Do you think you carry the influences of where you came from with you today? How has coming from where you have influenced your musical tastes?
Angry Phil: I am from just outside of Toronto in Canada. I carry some of the influences. I was driven to get out of there and away from what I hated most: snow. My musical tastes have been influenced mostly by East Coast Industrial Music, coming mostly out of NYC.

MI: When did you first become interested in music?
AP: I have been into listening and playing music my whole life.


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Mr. Big - photo by William Hames

Mr. Big

An interview with guitarist Paul Gilbert
by Tina Hall
February 2011

Mr. Big was formed in 1988 by Eric Martin on vocals, Paul Gilbert on guitar, Billy Sheehan on bass, and Pat Torpey on drums. Likely best known for their hit “To Be With You,” they have continued to provide solid rock sounds with a bluesy feel to the delight of their fans for well over 20 years. After a split in 2002, and reuniting in 2009, they released their newest album What if… in 2011. Immensely popular in Japan, Thailand, and South Korea, I recently sat down with Paul Gilbert to find out about the latest happenings with the band. Paul himself has been praised for his playing style being voted number four on the “Top 10 Greatest Guitar Shredders of All Time” on a list found in Guitar One magazine and has a spot on “Guitar World’s 50 Fastest Guitarists of All Time” list as well.

Maximum Ink: Can you tell us a little about your background? What were you like as kid growing up in Illinois?
Paul Gilbert: I was born in Illinois, but my family moved to Pennsylvania when I was around two, so most of memories are from there. Basically, I grew up in a rural area, and my parents were both pretty busy, so I was often bored until I found the guitar. Then there was always something to do. My uncle would visit sometimes, and he was (and still is) a great guitar player. He showed me a few basic things that really helped me out such as muting the strings with the palm of my hand, controlling feedback, how vibrato should sound, and the idea that I should practice all the time. I always loved music and listening to my parents records as much as I could. They had a lot of The Beatles and The Rolling Stones, as well as records by The Who and The Animals, and a lot of classical music too. My dad also had several blues records, such as B.B. King, John Lee Hooker, and Muddy Waters.


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Cowboy Mouth

by Troy Johnson
February 2011

In the midst of their 16th annual Mardi Gras tour, Cowboy Mouth is fixing to bring their New Orleans style of good times rock and roll music to the Midwest. The group has earned a reputation for a wildly entertaining live performance with crisp and clear, often goofy, lyrics and songs that encourage crowd participation. Their style of literate but accessible pop-rock is similar in spirit to former tour-mates, the Barenaked Ladies. The band also shared stages with musically similar groups like Sister Hazel and Hootie and The Blowfish.

I had a brief conversation with Fred LeBlanc, frontman and drummer, before a show while they were unloading their equipment for a gig that evening in Shreveport, LA. Cowboy Mouth plays so many shows, I was curious about what makes an individual show special. LeBlanc mentions that “A live show, for me, is about creating a moment for the audience and ourselves. I have this thing I started saying when we first put Cowboy Mouth together, it goes, ‘10 or 10,000.’ It doesn’t matter how many people are or are not in the audience. Every night that we play we give our very best.”


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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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Doomsday 2011

Doomsday 2011

An interview with Doomsday creator and coordinator Lawrence Weeks
by Aaron Manogue
February 2011

Anyone who pays any type of attention to music knows it’s becoming harder and harder for quality bands to break into the music scene. With social media becoming ever popular and new ways of sharing music making music distribution easier for bands, there are more new bands now than whiney teenage girls who praise Justin Beiber like he’s the second coming of Jesus (and that’s saying something). So, for all the metal-heads out there, this means you are oversaturated with stumbling, offbeat double bass beats and ear drum bursting shrieks. Luckily, I have a cure for these metal doldrums by way of an event called Doomsday 2011. An annual event started back in 2000 that gives us all hope that there truly is good, high quality, kick your ass music still left out there. Maximum Ink sat down with event creator and coordinator Lawrence Weeks, to discuss the event and hear what sets this event apart from the rest.


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Thoughts For Food

Thoughts for Food

by Mike Huberty
February 2011

Easily the largest benefit concert in Wisconsin, Thoughts for Food gets all the music venues of Racine to party for a cause every year on the first Saturday of March. That cause is the Racine County Food Bank, an organization dedicated to helping the area’s people who are having trouble with the bottom and most basic rung of Maslow’s Hierarchy. Currently on its 19th year (its longevity a minor miracle in itself), the benefit spans nine Racine clubs as well as over 40 bands. That’s something that Racine County Food Bank Director Dan Taivalkoski doesn’t take for granted. He states, “Our budget is around a million dollars when you factor in the value of food. Our cash budget is about a third of that and Thoughts for Food is about a tenth of that, so it’s a very important fundraiser for us.”

While it’s essential for the Food Bank, it’s also a no-brainer for the venues involved. Taivalkoski states, “Most years you can guarantee a packed house the entire evening. And most of the bars give back their proceeds in the form of a donation to the food bank. It’s positive all the way around.”


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Carl Harvey

The Carl Harvey

An interview with Toots & the Maytals guitarist and solo artist, Carl Harvey
by Tina Hall
February 2011

Carl Harvey has been playing the guitar since the age of 13. Although he has worked with bands like Crack of Dawn, Aggrovators, and Willi William, he is best known from his work in Toots and the Maytals, where he has worked for well over 25 years. He has also worked as a record producer, producing four albums for Messenjah (two of which gained Juno Award nominations). He also produced a recording from Juno-winning artist Kim Richardson and Sway. Harvey has won an Grammy for his work with Toots and The Maytals for the Best Reggae Album of the Year in 2004 on the album True Love. He is also a solo artist with The Carl Harvey Project. His solo album The Times is available now.

Maximum Ink: What is it like in Jamaica? Do you remember what it was like to relocate from there to Toronto?
Carl Harvey:  I have mixed memories about my life as a child in Jamaica. Some are happy and some very sad. My parents immigrated to the U.S. when I was very young and then to Canada. I went to join them in Toronto when I was 12 yrs old. Integrating into a whole new environment and being reunited with my parents along with my younger brother was a bit tough at first. I had to deal with a whole new social dynamic. I arrived in Toronto a day or two before having to go to a new school in a new country. It was scary and exciting at the same time.


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