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Sean Spillane

Sean Spillane

An interview with Singer/Songwriter Sean Spillane
by Tina Hall
May 2012

Sean Spillane first gained notice from his time in the critically acclaimed band ARLO. His career in music has led to various national and international tours and four full length albums. With work that spans genres Spillane makes music with a genuine touch of soul that is hard to find. Most recently Sean composed and recorded the delightfully edgy soundtrack for the film The Woman (based on the writing of Jack Ketchum and directed by Lucky McKee). He also released the 80’s inspired soundtrack to Brian Keene’s Ghoul. At the moment he is working hard to score the soundtrack for Jug Face.

Maximum Ink: When you first moved from Texas to California did you experience any culture shock? What was your first though upon arriving in California?
Sean Spillane: I didn’t really have any culture shock. Most of my family is from the San Francisco area so I knew California was where I wanted to be. Los Angeles was bigger and more diverse than I ever imagined, and that’s why 20 years later I’m still here and still loving it.

MI: As a major fan of the Stones what did you think of Mick Jagger’s recent appearance on SNL? Why do you think their music has such timeless appeal?
SS: I actually missed that performance on SNL, I was at a friend’s birthday party this last Saturday night. What makes the Stones timeless? I have to say it’s the hooks Mick and Keith write. All of their best songs are great pop songs, but the way they were recorded and arranged disguises the pop with a grit and coolness that nobody else can duplicate.

MI: Your music has an honest feel to it that gives it a more genuine feel to it?
SS: Thanks! When I’m just cutting loose and being myself like I was on “The Woman” Soundtrack, my songwriting process won’t allow me to be anything but honest. Anytime I’m writing and it feels pretentious, it’s like a buzzer goes off in my brain and any song I write that gives me that feeling, never gets finished and never sees the light of day. Being able to inject emotional honesty into music is something that took me a long time to get comfortable with. I think that now more than ever, I can write with the same voice in many different musical genres and still feel like it’s me, even if I’m having a laugh like I was on the “Ghoul” soundtrack. Really, what it comes down to is that I don’t care if anyone thinks I’m cool. I’m writing for myself and if anyone thinks it’s cool, then great. If not, I don’t really care. That’s most likely where the honesty comes from.

I’d say I’m an honest fellow, sometimes to a fault. Being honest just feels better. It makes your relationships in life better. I’ve found as I get older that I say this phrase more and more “It’s not personal, it’s just business.” Most of the time I use that phrase, it’s due to me having to protect myself and my music in a way where I’m being honest with myself. Rip the band aid off and just move on from there. Also, being able to say No is a very honest reply most of the time that can be extremely tough to say in certain circumstances.


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Def Leppard

Def Leppard

An interview with guitarist Phil Collen
by Tina Hall
May 2012

Phil Collen is best known as the guitarist for Def Leppard where he perfected the dual guitar style alongside Steve Clark that gave the band its signature sound. Before all of that he was a member of the rock band Girl. He can currently be found in Manraze as well with drummer Paul Cook(Sex Pistols) and Simon Laffy(Girl). Their sophmore album PunkFunkRootsRock is out now.  He can be found on tour with Def Leppard this summer headlining with Poison and Lita Ford.  Phil endorses the Jackson PC 1, a limited edition Jackson PC1 Splatter 30th Anniversary, and the Jackson PC Supreme.

Maximum Ink: Are you looking forward to hitting the road with Poison and Lita Ford later this year?
Phil Collen: Always. We’ve toured with Poison before in 2009 and we’ve known those guys for years. We’ve never toured with Lita but are looking forward to it.

MI: You have said you picked up the guitar as a means of self-expression. Do you think it is important for people to have an outlet that encourages the growth of the self?
PC: Absolutely especially kids when they don’t know how to express themselves with words. Grownups should have an outlet too…

MI: You seem to live a rather healthy lifestyle. Do you think it has helped you survive the rock n roll n roll lifestyle as well as you have?
PC: I guess so but I see people in their everyday lives not in the business, 10 to 15 years younger than me, in really bad shape. Not just physically because it’s not just about working out but pretty much all around in their lives.There seems to be an overall ‘agony’.To me it’s a no brainer.

MI: You are also working on a Physical Mechanics routine that involves muay thai, heavy cardio, and weight training. Can you tell our readers a little more about that, what exactly is muay thai? What is it like working with Jean Carrillo?
PC: Muay Thai is a martial arts Thai fighting style sometimes known as ‘Thai Boxing’. Jean Carrillo is a former European world champion and a five time world champion coach. I get the benefit of having someone who has such a vast knowledge train me in the same way he would train his fighters. There are lots of benefits. The physical, mental, and spiritual awareness that evolves is unsurpassed.


Love and Death

Love and Death

An interview with Singer/Guitarist Brian "Head" Welch and Guitarist J.R. Bareis
by Tina Hall
May 2012

Former KORN guitarist Brian “Head” Welch formed Love and Death in 2009. Comprised of Welch as frontman, Dan Johnson on drums, Michael Valentine on bass and J.R. Bareis on guitar the members where chosen from open auditions on YouTube. Most recently they released the 5 song EP Chemicals and are with the highly anticipated new full length album expected out later this year. The band is set to tour alongside P.O.D and Red from April 30-May 24. I had the chance to catch up with Brian Welch and J.R Bareis for the latest on things to come.

Maximum Ink: So can you tell me what you where like as a child? What is your foundest memory from that time?
Brian Welch: I was kinda shy, but determined to learn the guitar! My fondest memory is getting my first Ibanez guitar for Christmas.

MI: When did you first develop your love of music? Do you remember what you very first favorite song was?
BW: I was 10 years old and my first song was “Don’t stop believing” by Journey.
JR:I’m pretty sure I loved music before I was conceived or even considered. Hahaha! All I did was listen to music growing up. I just absolutely love it. I can’t even remember my favorite song or if I even had one. I love all kinds of music. Even now, I can’t make up my mind on a certain song.

MI: When you decided to form Love and Death why did you decide to hold open audition on YouTube? Do you enjoy having the chance to give up and coming artists a chance to show the world what they can do?
BW:  Yes. The YouTube idea was to save time from having to fly people to us to jam. Saved a lot of time and was fun to watch all the videos.

MI: How do you feel about being in this band at the age of 17? What have you learned from the experience so far? What was the first thing that ran through your mind when you learned you had gotten the spot?
J.R.: It’s crazy! It’s always been my dream to be in a band and tour.  I’ve learned so much from it. Probably the biggest thing I’ve learned is to not let my guitar hit the ground on purpose. At our last show I did and my guitar snapped in half!  The first thing that ran through my mind when I got the spot was, “This seriously can’t be happening. SOMEBODY PINCH ME!”. That was a good day to say the least.


Kill Junior

Kill Junior

A review of Kill Junior's new album, "Distract-O-Matic"
by Mike Huberty
May 2012

There’s no band in the Dairy State that’s making classic thrash metal like KILL JUNIOR.  “Distract-O-Matic” is a virtual ball slap, like being knocked in the bag by another, larger pierced bag. A big fat Hafada pierced scrot bump full of metal power. Imagine walking into a Megadeth concert with Glenn Danzig on vocals and then just when you’re getting all turgid about how fucking awesome that is, an anvil of heaviness drops on your head like you’re Wile E. Coyote and while you’re dazed, the Road Runner sprints up to you, meep meeps in your face, takes a quick piss on your pleather boots, does an Indiana Jones and The Temple of Doom Mola Ram heart grab on you, makes sweet love to that heart, puts it back under your rib cage, and sews you up like Civil War battlefield surgery. That’s something like the experience of hearing “Distract-O-Matic” for the first time.


Cycle of Pain

Cycle of Pain

An interview with Singer/Guitarist Gregg LoCascio
by Tina Hall
April 2012

Cycle of Pain was formed by John “Jd” DeServio of Black Label Society. Along with members Gregg LoCascio and Joe Taylor the band has been working together since DeServio was 15, a very impressive record these days. The band has a heavy sound that is pure rock at it’s finest. The single “Do My Work High” from the self titled debut, featuring Zakk Wylde(Black Label Society) and Sen Dog(Cypress Hill) took the award for Best Pot Song at High Times Magazine in 2010. I was honored to sit down with Gregg to find out more about one of the best upcoming acts in the business.

Maximum Ink:Since there isn’t much about you out there, can you tell us a little about your background? Where are you from and what makes you tick?
Gregg LoCascio:  Well I’m born and raised in Old Bridge, New Jersey. Started playing drums at 4 1/2 years old up til the present day, started singing in about 1990-1991. I love most kinds of music, mostly classic rock and metal! Love Jazz! All kinds of shit!  Sports, Baseball, football and Major hockey fan!  What makes me tick? Good friends and family and I’ve been busting ass as a plumber pretty much all my life.

MI:Do you remember when you first met Jd? What was he like back then?
GL: The first time with John was on the phone, someone I jammed with knew two dudes, a guitar player and bass player (JD) that needed a drummer so he gave em my number. John called me and we were into all the same shit so they headed over and I believe the 1st tune we played was Wrathchid ( from Iron Maiden) then Mr. Crowley (Ozzy) and it was awesome! We just became brothers
off the bat!  He (John) was just a rambunctious little dude who blew me away the way he played! Little Steve we called him (Steve Harris) we were big Maiden Heads!  He’s still the same just more cultured in music and life as we all are.

MI:He has said he was 15 when the band formed. Are all of you roughly the same age? Do you ever miss those early days?What where they like if you don’t mind my asking?
GL: Yeah we were 14 then when Joe joined we were 15.  All the same age give or take a few months. Sure I miss them, they were awesome! Just carefree partying and jammin. We always had a lot of friends around, there was always a party somewhere, and we’d play at one here and there. Awesome!

MI: Any amusing stories from back then you might not mind sharing?
GL: Oh Jeez! Ha Ha Ha that’s a long time ago! I remember we took a break from jammin one day, got stoned and went down to the local pizza joint where we laughed our asses off at John shoving a wide slice of pizza in his mouth and we got kicked out for that! We were 15 then. I’m sure there’s more but my brain is shot ( laughs).


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Aerial photo of Summer Camp 2011 - photo by Jason Kaczorowski

2012 Summer Camp – Where Musical Memories Are Made

Summer Camp 2012 - remember that one time, at band camp?
by Sal Serio
April 2012

Ah, Summer Camp. Two words that kickstart memories of canoe races, archery, roasting marshmallows, painting t-shirts… hula hoops, glow sticks, and Jane’s Addiction. Wait, what?! Those last three don’t sound like the summer camp you remember? Then you must not have been to the Summer Camp Music Festival!

Now in it’s 12th season, Summer Camp is the brainchild of Jay Goldberg Events, JAM Productions, and the bands moe. and Umphrey’s McGee. Taking place near the Illinois River on Memorial Day weekend just outside the sleepy rural burg of Chillicothe, Illinois, this three day festival features an exceptional line-up of bands and artists from multiple genres, plus more fun activities than you can shake a tambourine at. In fact, it’s near impossible to take it all in!


Guitarist Michael Williams - photo by Kevin Estrada

The Michael Williams Band

An interview with Blues Guitarist Michael Williams
by Tina Hall
April 2012

Michael Williams has been labeled “the one to watch” by guitar enthusiasts and critics alike.His smooth styling that appeals to both blues and rock n roll fans alike, has made him one of the best new blues artists of our time. The Michael Williams Band is consisted of Williams(guitar and vocals), Gerald Tugboat Turner II(bass), Darin Watkins(drums),and Ryan Shea Smith(keyboard). Most recently they have opened for such legendary acts as George Thorogood,Buddy Guy, Robert Cray,  Eric Johnson, and Jonny Lang. Their latest release Fire Red was produced by Eddie Kramer(Jimi Hendrix,The Rolling Stones, KISS, Buddy Guy, and Led Zepplin).

Maximum Ink: Can you tell us a little about what you where like as a child? What is your fondest memory from that time?
Michael Williams: I was an out-going kid who always found himself getting into trouble! My fondest memory as a kid would be sitting on the old railroad ties and singing Whitney Houston’s “I believe the children are our future”  with my sister Camille.

MI: Your musical roots run deep, what was it like being surrounded by music at such an early age? Do you think you would be a musician today if not for the early influence?
MW: Music was bred into me at a young age I recall watching Stevie Ray from side stage as a kid night after night. My father would bring me on stage and let me play “manishboy” (Muddy Water’s) at age ten! I don’t know what path I would have taken if not for the great influences of my childhood (smiles). I owe it to my father for leading me in the right direction at an early age.



An interview with Lead Vocalist, Oderus Urungerus and Bassist, Beefcake the Almighty
by Edub
April 2012

Maximum Ink: This is E-Dub from Max Ink Radio hanging out at The Majestic Theatre in Madison, WI with Oderus Urungus and Beefcake the Almighty.  12 Studio releases, 22 videos, a couple of grammy nominations
Oderus: We’re ashamed of those, of course….

MI: And yet you still find the time to rape, murder, and pillage…How do you manage to keep that schedule?


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Ben Masel imagery by Dan Goodrich

Ben Masel Day

420 is Ben Masel Day
by Rökker
April 2012

Last May, Madison’s city council along with mayor Paul Soglin passed a resolution (legislative file #22458)  “honoring the life of Bennett “Ben” Masel, his contributions to our community and declaring April 20th as “Ben Masel Day” in the City of Madison”. Ben Masel, the iconic Madison civil rights defender, passed away last April after a battle with cancer.

Here is the full text of the resolution from the city’s website,

“WHEREAS,  Bennett “Ben” Masel was a fierce defender of personal and civil liberty, a champion of the Constitution, the rule of law and the founding faith that the freedoms outlined in the Bill of Rights were not just ideals, they were practical tools to be used on a daily basis to challenge power; and

WHEREAS, Ben Masel peacefully fought for his rights with courage, cleverness, and joy; and


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Joshua Okeefe

Joshua Okeefe

An interview with Singer/Songwriter Joshua Okeefe
by Tina Hall
April 2012

Up and coming country singer/songwriter Joshua Okeefe delivers songs that stick in your head with a smoothness you’d expect to find on someone much older. At 20 the English native is set to take the country music world by storm with songs like No Doubts, Sunshine, and Taylor(written for Taylor Swift). It was an honor to have the chance to sit down with such a dedicated artist at the very beginning of his rise to the top.

Maximimum Ink: Can you tell us a little about yourself? What were you like as a child?
Joshua OKeefe: I am a workaholic, I find it hard to sit down and watch tv for 15 minutes to relax because I love working hard. I have been determined from an early age and always try to be the best I can possibly be in everything I do! I love to have fun and enjoy life

MI: When did you first know you wanted to be a musician and what do you think it was that drew you to the country genre?
JO: I fronted a touring pop band from the age of 13 and toured the UK 3 times over by the time I was 15. In every city we played we always had girls singing our songs.Being on stage always felt like home to me so that gave me the dream of doing it for a career. I grew up listening to country music. My dad would play it on the way to school. From that I developed a country voice.

MI: No Doubts is one of those songs that sticks in your head once you hear it even if you don’t like country music. What inspired that? Do you enjoy writing music that sticks?
JO: The idea for No Doubts came to me one night when I was thinking about how it would feel when I meet my Miss right. I can’t help writing melodies that stick in your head, I have done it from an early age and I think that is one of my strongest areas in writing music. I think it’s important because it can make a song memorable!


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