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Pop Evil by LeAnne Mueller - photo by LeAnne Mueller

Pop Evil

An interview with lead vocalist Leigh Kakaty of Pop Evil
by Aaron Manogue
September 2011

Michigan has a prestigious reputation for producing some the greatest musicians of modern time. From Alice Cooper to Eminem and even the twisted act Insane Clown Posse, the state has a wide variety of famous musicians who have hugely impacted music, whether good or bad. The trend continues with Pop Evil, the latest band to shake up Michigan’s music scene. War of Angels, the recent release from the Michigan-bred rockers, has once again infected the rock n’ roll world with their catchy riffs and memorable stage presence. Maximum Ink’s Aaron Manogue talked with lead singer Leigh Kakaty about their Michigan roots, new album and touring with 3 Doors Down and Theory of a Deadman.


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Divyded

An interview with Divyded

From success to zombies
by Aaron Manogue
September 2011

Kittie, Nonpoint, Art of Dying, Taste of Madison and Band Camp. Most bands play for years just dreaming of scoring gigs like these, yet there’s one band who have managed to scale the ranks and land those shows in just a matter of months. The immensely talented metal band Divyded has made a name for themselves by doing what so many other bands fail to do these days: Stay true to themselves. They ignore fads, trends and cookie cutter band clichés. Listening to any one of their songs it’s easy to understand why this band has caught the attention of thousands of hard rock and metal fans. Maximum Ink’s Aaron Manogue spoke with the boys in Divyded: Jason Radosevich, Drums; Chuck Wepfer, lead guitar and vocals;  Ryan Trainor, bass; and Jason Hagberg, guitar.


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Bobaflex

Bobaflex

An interview with vocalist and guitarist Marty McCoy
by Aaron Manogue
September 2011

As most of you know, the music industry is such an incredibly volatile place right now. With the ever increasing emergence of digital downloads, online radio, and other technologies constantly changing the landscape, it makes it even harder for bands to survive or make a decent living at their art. That’s why it’s so hard to meet bands that are truly good people and in it for the right reason; to make kick ass music that people genuinely relate to and enjoy. The epitome of this type of band has to be the good ‘ol boys from West Virginia, Bobaflex. Never have I come across a group of super-talented musicians who are humble and down to Earth. They’ve been through just about every bullshit situation a band could go through and survive yet Bobaflex has done much more than that. They’ve taken the situations they’ve had to deal with and let it make them even stronger. Vocalist and guitarist Marty McCoy talks with Maximum Ink’s Aaron Manogue about the band’s new album “Hell in My Heart,” System of a Down, Simon & Garfunkel and 94.1 WJJO.

Maximum Ink: Talk to me about playing WJJO’s Taste of Madison stage Labor Day weekend with that kickass backdrop and playing for JJO again. What’s it like?
Marty McCoy: Oh my gosh, man! It just feels like; I don’t even know what it feels like! When I was looking at that capital singing, I was just like, “Sing your lines and quit staring at the background.” JJO and Madison, Wisconsin is just one of those places that are blue-collar, hard fucking rock towns. That station is so cool, it does what it wants and you can actually call the program director (Randy Hawke) and he’s nice as hell, he takes chances and he listens. He reads all the numbers and stuff but he takes chances on bands that he thinks are cool. And that’s the way the town is, the way that station is; Madison just has that vibe that everything is cool man.


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Chaol Revolution Theory (Ryan, James, Nick)

Chaos Revolution Theory

An interview with Chaos Revolution Theory
by Aaron Manogue
September 2011

Being from a town like Madison, Wisconsin, it’s hard to stick out from the crowd, considering Madison just so happens to be one of the best cities in the nation for local, undiscovered music. The city is so diverse in the type of music that comes out is all over the map, and you’re bound to find mixtures of music blended into one. So when I came across the band Chaos Revolution Theory, I thought to myself, “This is definitely Madison music!” Chaos Revolution Theory is the perfect mix of groove, funk and progressive rock all concocted together to make music that seems like it could fit on the iPod playlist or record shelf of anyone who simply enjoys music. Maximum Ink’s Aaron Manogue sat down with the Madison natives to talk about their music and where it all started.

Maximum Ink: How long have you guys been a band and how did you guys come about being a band?
Nick “Shaggy” Stanecki (Vocalist and Guitar): Two years on September 9th. Ryan and I met through our respective bands that played with each other in the Madison scene here a few years ago. When our bands ended around the same time, we joined forces, intent on starting a new sound all together. Ryan and I truly started from the bottom. Acoustic radio performances were some of our first shows because we had no songs and couldn’t even consider playing a full set at a club. We pretty much hid out in the studio, and did a lot of experimentation. We really wanted to make a unique, but very real -to us- sound. We had been using reggae and ska type parts for years, mashed with surfy west coast riffing.


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Jason and Mark Sutton

Brother Trouble

An interview with Country Music's Jason and Mark Sutton
by Tina Hall
September 2011

Brother Trouble is made up of brothers Jason and Mark Sutton. The country music duo from South Carolina have been a staple at The Wildhorse Saloon in Nashville since winning Kenny Chesney’s Next Big Star competition in 2009. Fans might also recognize the pair from their brief stint opening for Chesney for four of his shows on the Pirates & Poets tour. Their debut video Summer’s Little Angel recently premiered on GAC (Great American Country).

Maximum Ink: What was it like growing up in SC? Do you ever miss it since moving to Nashville?
Mark Sutton: I would describe growing up in SC as probably the best place in the world. It definitely didn’t suck. We came from a blue collar family. Our Dad owned a water well drilling company outside of Greenville so we spend a lot of time there helping around the shop and trying not to confuse your Pepsi can with purple power cleaner. It sat on about 6-7 acres so we learned how to drive a pickup truck through the field when we were like 12 or something. Learned how to shoot a handgun and a rifle out there. We lived in a middle class neighborhood in a town called Taylors (just outside of Greenville) and had about 20 other families with kids to grow up with. Needless to say, the late night spot light tag games were epic! It wasn’t too far of a drive to visit grandparents in AL and OH. The people in SC are the best. Our family relocated to Pawley’s Island, just about 15 minutes south of Myrtle Beach if you’re driving. Who doesn’t want to live at the beach? The town’s motto is Arrogantly Shabby and that saying has stuck with us throughout the years. I miss SC a lot, it’s cool though cause it’s not too far away and it lets you know how great of a place it is when you go back and visit. The people, the attitude there are contagious. They nailed it on the head when they put the slogan Smiling Faces, Beautiful Places on the license tags.

MI: How do you like living in Tennessee?
MS: Tennessee is a great place. After living the last 10 years here, I call it home. Being on the music side of it, the talent here is amazing and humbling. I’ll always have a home in Tenn.-See.


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 - photo by Rob Fenn

On the Road…Where Music Lives

An interview with photographer, author, music connoisseur Rob Fenn
by Aaron Manogue
September 2011

We can all remember the days when our favorite band was releasing their latest album, and we’d rush to the local record store as soon as it opened that day. The feeling when you finally saw the cover art of the album sitting on the store shelf, what the packaging was like, everything. The sad part about these great memories most of us have, is that with the emergence digital music distribution, most of the younger generation will never, ever experience this. iTunes makes it possible for people to have the music the very minute it’s released. No cover art (except usually for a downloadable one), no anticipation of opening the packaging, no experience. This is the idea that music photographer, ex-radio host, web designer (we might as well just call him a music connoisseur) Rob Fenn was acting on when he started “On the Road…Where the Music Lives”

“The project came about when my daughter’s idea of a record store was iTunes. I was like, NO! I explained to her how cool it was to hang out at the store and check out new music. As I was telling her this, I realized that I don’t do that anymore, either. So as part of her allowance she gets to by one album a week from a record store. Even though I am not a big fan of her musical taste, other than she is a huge In This Moment fan, we are on the same music page with that and it has been so cool to hang out with my kid and flip through music at the record stores all over. We hit them all from Best Buy and FYE to the Heavy Metal Shop in Salt Lake City, UT.”


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Ted Nugent

Ted Nugent

An interview with Guitarist/Wildman Ted Nugent
by Aaron Manogue
September 2011

Over the past fifty years, there have been literally hundreds of thousands of bands and musicians in the business. There have been some successful bands, some not so successful and a very select few that have become icons of rock n’ roll. Out of all of the musicians and bands there have been, there is only one Ted Nugent. In the past 50 years, Ted Nugent has done things that most musicians could only ever dream of, including setting attendance records at venues worldwide in 2005 and ‘06, was the top grossing act in the world in 1977, ‘78 & ‘79, and has sold over 30 million records worldwide. His number one weapon, while on stage at least, is his trademark Gibson Byrdland. Some of his most famous riffs, and it just so happens some of rock n’ rolls most recognizable riffs, were written by him on this guitar.

“The mighty Gibson Byrdland guitar is a magical piece of American craftsman artwork that has a musical voice all its own. A beast of an instrument that was created to provide a limitless pallet for creative sonic bombast and musical adventure that called my name from the very 1st time I witnessed its power in the hands of Jimmy McCarty of Mitch Ryder and the Detroit Wheels way back around 1961. This custom guitar is capable of more sounds than a normal human being is capable of dreaming of. But since I am not a normal human being, our love affair continues to produce soul cleansing and crotch inspiring sounds and love songs for the masses,” Nugent said.


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Kittie

An interview with vocalist/guitarist Morgan Lander
by Aaron Manogue
September 2011

Is it just me or does it seem like the biggest thing in hard rock and metal lately is to throw a pretty face up on stage and hand her a microphone and pray that the fans take notice? Record labels using the age-old sex appeal to sell records. The thing that happens then typically, is that pretty face is nothing more than just that, a pretty face. This isn’t the case when it comes to the metal shredders in Kittie. Not only do they all have that pretty face to start off, but then they leave your asses thinking, “What the hell is this? I love it!” The femme-fatale quartet are maidens of destruction on their new album “I’ve Failed You” and continue to produce high-quality, ass-kicking metal that erases the underlying notion of an all-female metal band. They’ve demolished so many mosh pits and ruptured so many ear drums that they are simply a bad ass metal band with immense talent and enviable stage presence.  Maximum Ink’s Aaron Manogue sat down with lead vocalist and guitarist Morgan Lander to talk about why they chose metal, their new album and the personal struggle purveyed throughout it.


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Tony Dolan

Mpire Of Evil

interview with former Venom vocalist Tony "Demolition Man" Dolan
by Joe Matera
August 2011

The land down under’s Joe Matera caught up with former Venom and Atomkraft bassist and frontman Tony Dolan to answer questions on post-Venom band Mpire of Evil.

Maximum Ink: Can you give us some background to how MPIRE OF EVIL came to be formed?
Tony Dolan: Well MPIRE of EVIL are myself, Mantas and Antton, all former Venom band mates. Mantas was doing his project called Dryll and needed a drummer to fill in as his had broken his ankle and Antton stepped in to lend a hand. They played a local show and did Venom’s Black Metal and people started saying, ‘what if they got Tony in, what would that be like?’ The boys thought that also and then I got a call. I said yes straight away as I have always enjoyed working with Mantas. He is a great player and so tight…it’s a joy to play with him especially live. As for Antton? Well, I’d never had a drummer that good and I loved his playing on the Resurrection album so it was for me a no brainer, we began to write and here we are. Actually what was bizarre was that after a few months of talking and writing, I got up to Newcastle (I live in London) and we thought we should have a rehearsal/jam to see what would happen. We played about 6 or 7 songs, one new and other Venom songs and it was like we’d been playing them as a band for years.

MI: Tell us about the upcoming EP?
TD: Well the thoughts on an EP were that we wanted to release something pre album so we could start doing shows but that hasn’t happened as it’s taken up all our time. But we will still release the EP and then a month or so later the full album. In true Neat/Venom tradition we have placed 2 tracks on the EP that will not appear on the album release initially and we have recorded another 4 tracks for the EP. The title is ’The Creatures of the Black’ and it features 6 tracks, including 4 covers by bands which influenced us to start playing and wanting to be in our own bands:


MI: The Creatures of the Black – Reptile – Motorhead (Motorhead) – Exciter (Judas Priest) – Hell Ain’t a bad Place to Be (ACDC) and God of Thunder (KiSS).
TD: The EP will appear as a special Vinyl release through Iron Pegasus Records and the CD through Scarlet Records. People will ask why we’d do the covers but we wanted to make a statement that we weren’t attempting to be 21 again and to compete. We are what and who we are full stop. It’s not 1980 anymore but what great decades ,70’s,80’s, and what an influence on Metal/Rock?

MI: You’ve mentioned signing with Scarlett Records and a new album in the works…
TD: Yes, we have signed our deal with Scarlet and are very happy to be with Fil and the team. They will be releasing the EP first then the album which is called, ‘Hell To The Holy’ and it will feature that title track…and around 11 more…some titles include…Hellspawn - The 8th Gate – Wake Up Dead – The Circle Pit – Metal Messiah and others not yet defined.

MI: There is a tour also this summer, any plans for US dates?
TD: Yes right now we are planning the full tour for 2012, festival dates as well as 30 dates in Europe then we want to play the US and South America. We are talking to several booking agents right now. But basically we want to play as much as possible in 2012.

MI: And if so, would Madison, Wisconsin be on the schedule?
TD: It is NOW! If they want us?

MI: Will MPIRE OF EVIL be including any Venom material in the set list?
TD: Well we did speak at length about that and we are not Venom, there is a Venom out there but we all feel there are certain songs we would like to play live and why shouldn’t we? They are ones that Mantas, Myself and or Antton wrote, so yes.

MI: What music do you think kicks ass right now?
TD: Well I am into the underground so there are tonnes of acts, the list is too long. I try to help young or upcoming bands as much as possible, maybe one day I shall do the label thing myself. I am still loving Destruction, who are getting even better with age, Slayer, Rammstein but newer stuff I am really still liking some Black Metal and Death metal acts. Antton is still a huge Pantera guy and as Phil is a friend, he loves Down amongst many many others, as he is a HUGE metal fan as he always has been…and Mantas loves Machinehead, Slipknot, Zakk Wilde, As I Lay Dying…and lots more…

MI: Who is your favorite Porn star and why?
TD: Diamond Jackson hands down, why? Are you kidding me? Amazing body, amazing business mind, amazing woman and an Ebony dream - perfect! Can you hook me up? 

MI: If you could take one food item to Wisconsin, what would it be?
TD: Marmite, just to watch peoples faces when I ask them to try some.


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Wes Dolan from The Stone, No Soul Unturned

Wes Dolan

An interview with Singer/Songwriter Wes Dolan
by Tina Hall
August 2011

English singer/songwriter Wes Dolan has been performing his brand of mainly folk inspired tunes in pubs, clubs, and festivals for over a decade across the pond. His work has been featured in several films including the delightfully dark “The Stone, No Soul Unturned” and"Paranormal Haunting: The Curse of The Blue Moon Inn”, both directed by Philip Gardiner. Reason To Exist, his debut album is scheduled for release this summer by Reality Entertainment.

Maximum Ink: Can you tell us a little about yourself? What is it like Nottinghamshire? Do you think coming from there has somewhat influenced your musical tastes and styling?
Wes Dolan: I was born and live in Mansfield in Nottinghamshire which used to be a mining town.The coal mines are all closed down now which is what my song “Reason To Exist” is partly about.My father and uncle came over here from Ireland when they were kids and were both singers and song writers which inspired me to play music.When I finished studying and had gained a degree, there weren’t many jobs around here so I became a busker which did hone my skills and to an extent had some impact on my style of playing.It was whilst playing on the streets of Mansfield that I began to make contacts.Firstly for playing at pubs, clubs, festivals and private parties and more recently for writing and performing for film and television.

MI: Who are some of your influences?
WD: I was massively influenced by my dad and uncle, Liam and Joe Dolan.Other major influences are Bob Dylan, The Pogues, Donavon, The Rolling Stones, The Beatles and Bob Marley.These performers influenced me in a variety of ways, such as my style, lyrics, attitude towards life and general image.


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