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James Kottak

Kottak

An interview with Kottak Vocalist/Guitarist/ Scorpions drummer, James Kottak
by Tina Hall
December 2010

Rocker James Kottak is best known as the drummer for Scorpions, which he joined in 1996. Hailing from Louisville, Kentucky, he has certainly come a long way since his days in the land of baseball and whiskey.

Beside performing on over 130 albums and dvd’s, and numerous tours with the Scorps, he has his own band Kottak. The latest Kottak CD titled Rock & Roll Forever is out now.

Maximum Ink: When did you first know you had to become a musician?
James Kottak: I saw a cover band at my sister’s school when I was in 5th grade and they played Stairway To Heaven. I immediately wanted a drum set, got one, and was obsessed. I also played trumpet from 4th grade on thru college.

MI: Who were some of your earliest influences?
JK: Led Zeppelin of course, Grand Funk Railroad (Live album), The Beatles (Sgt. Pepper).  By the way I just saw the Beatles, Love show in Vegas, Amazing!


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D.D Verni

Bronx Casket Co.

An interview with rocker D.D Verni
by Tina Hall
December 2010

Bronx Casket Co. was originally formed by Overkill bassist D.D Verni. The current line up consists of Jack Frost (guitar), D.D. Verni (bass/guitar/lead vocals), Charlie Calv (keyboards), and Rob Pallotta (drums). With four albums to their credit the band has quiet a cult following. Their sound has been described as Goth Metal.

The bands second release caught the eye of Andrea Lepcio. Bronx Casket Co., A Musical was the end result. The cast featured members from Hairspray, Rent,Dance of the Vampire, and several members from the Trans-Siberian Orchestra. Though still in the writing stages several shows have been performed off Broadway for producers/backers. It features a Gothic/Broadway themed soundtrack with a twisted love story throughout. It also includes the music from the first two Bronx Casket Co. albums as well as 13 new tracks by Verni. Recently signed to E1 their latest album is due out soon.

Maximum Ink: Can you tell our readers a little about your background? Where are you from? How did coming from where you do influence your musical stylings?
D.D Verni: I am from Jersey, born and raised. Lived in Manhattan for a lot of years and then moved back into Jersey where I live now. I was raised on Metal…early Judas Priest and Iron Maiden, before that Ted Nugent and Aerosmith, Kiss….never really listened to any other kinds of music, don’t really listen to a lot of different music even now…99% of everything I listen to is some kind of metal…it’s just the music I have always loved.


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Eli Mattson

Eli Mattson

An interview with Wisconsin Singer/Songwriter Eli Mattson
by Tina Hall
December 2010

Eli Mattson is best known as the runner-up on season three of America’s Got Talent (AGT). The following interview was done around September 2009 (before the interview that ran on here … for a magazine that never went to press). Seeing as it is so very hard to find an artist that does deserve to be praised for their talent as much as this one, I thought the readers of Maximum Ink might like to see this interview (a prequel of sorts). Eli is a Wisconsin native who has been performing as a pianist and vocalist since the age of fourteen. He has made several guest appearances in Las Vegas with AGT winner Terry Fator. He has four albums to date and talent to spare. He recently performed along with several other musicians in the Tim Janis Christmas Carol at Carnegie Hall.

Maximum Ink: Where are you from and when did you first take an interest in music and why? When did you take up the piano?
Eli Mattson:  I was originally born in Duluth, MN, but my family moved around a lot. We came to Wisconsin when I was about ten, and I was in Door County off and on most of the time. I can’t really say why I took an interest in music. It just always made sense to me. I started playing the piano when I was five, and I fell in love with it. I can’t imagine it not being a part of me.

MI: Who are some of your biggest musical influences and why?
EM: Well, Elton John and Billy Joel of course, but I really love all music. I think it’s important to listen and learn everything you can from any artist out there, especially when you’re trying to be one. Some other names would be, Jimmy Newquist, Alice in Chains, Harry Chapin, just to name a few. Good music is good music!


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