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Dark New Day

Dark New Day

An interview with guitarist Clint Lowery
by Aaron Manogue
January 2012

Since 1994, his music has pierced the impervious veil of hard rock and created a sound all its own that’s as recognizable as zebra at a horse farm. If you are a fan of rock n’ roll or even simply a fan of musicianship, you can’t help but admire the body of work he’s put together over his long career. His musical portfolio is so diverse that you would think there’s no way the same person created it. From the soul searching lyrics and soft guitar riffs of Hello Demons Meet Skeletons, to the undeniable ass kicking each Sevendust record brings, Clint Lowery has been part of it all. Clint’s incredible talent coupled with other amazing musicians such as Will Hunt (Evanescence), his brother Corey Lowery (Eye Empire), Brett Hestla (Virgos Merlot) and Troy McLawhorn (Evanescence) has created yet another monster, with Dark New Day’s release of New Tradition. Maximum Ink’s Aaron Manogue talked with Clint about the new record, his upcoming project with Morgan Rose titled Call Me No One and what it’s like to work with his brother Corey again.

Maximum Ink: Talk to me about the new record.
Clint Lowery: Oh man, it was great. This is a lot of B-Side stuff and stuff that we worked on at the end of the first Dark New Day cycle, for Twelve Year Silence. These are songs that we were actually writing years ago so we haven’t been back in the studio recording in years. This is kind of just something we wanted to release to the fans that we thought were pretty legitimate songs. We just remastered them and tweaked them up a bit in the studio.


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Two Dollar Grey

Two Dollar Grey

by Aaron Manogue
January 2012

I’ve always been a fan of harder, darker rock and metal. You know, the Slipknots, Deftones and Colds of the world. The trick is with that type of music is that it’s so overdone and extremely easy for bands to overdo it and have their music over-produced to obtain that soul scraping sound that the super successful bands do. Very rarely do I find a new band out there that rips this kind of music and does it without over-producing and over-pushing the shit so hard it sounds terrible. Thanks to my good friend Steph Irvine, I was lucky enough to come across a band that definitely carries that sound and they do it so well they make it their bitch.

The band is Two Dollar Grey out of Phoenix, AZ and their music has that groove rock feel that has a taste for the darker side and finds a way to blend it all together into music that you’ll have caught in your head for weeks to come. Maximum Ink’s Aaron Manogue had the chance to talk to the guys in Two Dollar Grey about their music and the rock scene today! Two Dollar Grey is Cory on drums, Craig on vox, Jake on bass and Nate and Mikey on Guitar.

Maximum Ink: Describe your music to me as if I’m someone who has never seen or heard your perform before:
Two Dollar Grey: It’s in your face, but also has the melodic touch. It’s hard driving vocally orientated music that we like to call groove rock.


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Carbellion

An Interview with Carbellion
by Aaron Manogue
January 2012

Sometimes I don’t think people realize how lucky we are to live in the state of Wisconsin. Sure we have some of the worst winter weather in the world, but we also have the Packers, the Badgers, tons of recreational sports, and probably some of the nicest people in the world that live in our great state. But there’s also a diamond in the rough that Wisconsin is also known for, that not many people hear about or ever talk about. That diamond is our local music. I’ve heard music from all over the world, and everything from the worst to the best and it never fails to amaze me that time and time again, local bands from Wisconsin are some of the most musically sound and talented bands in the world.

This was no different when I came across a band out of Sheboygan called Carbellion. Founded in late 2004, this band has enjoyed increasing popularity and exposure in the rock scene ever since. And all it takes is one listen to their music to know why. They aren’t one of those commercial bands with the backing of millions of dollars and a major record label. Simply, they just know how to play real, 110% American rock n’ roll. To sit here and try and describe their music to you or compare it to another band just wouldn’t be right. Their music is coined “American heavy rock,” but there are elements of funk and groove laced throughout each song. One song you’ll be sitting there just jamming and grooving along and the next, you’ll be banging your head. Their music is very eclectic but always hangs onto that Carbellion sound.


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Tomorrow's Bad Seeds

Tomorrow’s Bad Seeds

by Troy Johnson
January 2012

Tomorrow’s Bad Seeds, is the five member reggae band from Hermosa Beach, California that has been growing exponentially in the last few years. Since they started playing together in 2004, The Seeds have been producing crisp and complex arrangements that have flashes of rock, pop, hip hop, with a predominantly reggae sound that is always apparent. Their lyrics are socially conscious and uplifting. Similar to bands like Sublime, The Wailers, 311, and Slightly Stoopid, they have a positive sound with rythyms that will keep you dancing throughout your day.

It took TBS almost four years of dedication, playing for small audiences, before their popularity caught on. In 2010 they started to play main stages on the Vans Warped Tour, won a JPE music award, and in the beginning of 2011 performed on “The Late Show With Craig Ferguson.” Their commercial success has helped them evolve their sound that is always a work in progress. Lead singer Moises Juarez said about their success,“Being a band that is lucky enough to have done Vans Warped Tour a few times (and again this summer), our minds have been opened to so much music that we never would have heard. There is such an eclectic mix of bands for us to see all day everyday.”


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Five Finger Death Punch - photo by Mike Smith

Five Finger Death Punch

An interview with Ivan Moody
by Mike Smith
January 2012

Five Finger Death Punch has exploded onto the metal scene with a power and vengeance that has not been seen since the likes of Pantera when they kicked the “Grunge Scene” in the teeth in the 90’s.  Recently I was given the opportunity to sit down with Ivan Moody (vocals), Chris Kael (bass), Jeremy Spencer (drums) and Jason Hook (guitar) and pick their brains about the new album and random thoughts. 5FDP sat down with Mike Smith of Maximum Ink Magazine to discuss their new album, what makes them tick and what pisses them off!

Maximum Ink:  Who wants to tell me about the new album?
Ivan Moody:  American Capitalist out Oct 11th of this year.  For me lyrically it was probably the most painful and personal album I have done yet and I know the guys put their heart and souls into this. I am sincerely proud of this one and I know a lot of musicians say that, but I truly believe this was our best work of art up to this point.
Jason Hook: You know we work really hard on these records and all I can say is that, to me it sounds like an extension of “War Is the Answer”. It seems like a logical side 3 and 4 if you were to put them together.  It has only been since October of 09 and we started recording this December 2010 and we are pretty much the same people and not a lot has changed, so we just pounded another one out.


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Ron

Guns n’ Roses

An interview with producer/Guns 'n Roses guitarist Ron "Bumblefoot" Thal
by Tina Hall
January 2012

Guitarist, songwriter, producer Ron “Bumblefoot” Thal is best known for his work as the guitarist of Guns n Roses since 2006. He has appeared on many various albums as a quest artist with nine albums credits of his own.  As writer his work can be found on various jingles, theme songs, and shows such as The Metal Show on Vh-1, Smallville, WWE Raw, Real World, Pimp My Ride, Hogan Knows Best, Osbournes, Made, Clone High, Road rules and countless others. With twenty years experience as a producer Ron has worked in a vast array of genres bring his unique musical vision to many projects. Thal is also a member of the MS Research Foundation Board of Directors.

Maximum Ink: Is it true that you could spell by the age of 2 before you could talk?
Ron ‘Bumblefoot’ Thal: Yes, but with time it flipped around. Now I can talk but can no longer spell.

MI: What is your fondest early memory?
RBT: Hmmmm, the first thing that popped in my head…birthday party when I turned 1. Big cake, parents’ friends & their kids, and they put this pointy party hat on me, I hated the fucking thing. It had an elastic string that went under the chin, fastened to the hat by a staple on each side. My hair in those spots right in front of my ears kept getting caught and pulled by the staples, was pissing me off. And I couldn’t figure out how to get the hat off, that elastic string turned the hat into some kind of skull super-magnet. I’d lift, move, let go, smack back on my head. And if I was making progress some sadistic giant would reposition the hat and I’d have to start from scratch. I’ve kept my distance from such hats since. But yeah, other than that wardrobe malfunction it was a good night, earliest memory of some good partyin’.

MI: You have stated that from an early age you didn’t need most people. Do you think that is a good thing to learn considering the whole issues of trust and loyalty?
RBT: I’ve just never liked dependency. I’ve always been able to entertain myself just fine, stay busy, I usually flourish when I’m alone, undistracted, I’m more productive, body and mind both get stronger, my interests grow, get new skills. Only problem with that is in the end everybody is depending on you, you’re the ‘Go To’ Guy for everything, and if you’re not able to say NO for 99% of it you become nothing more than everyone’s life support system wherever you turn. And that’s when life becomes empty and questionable - when you slowly realize you’re just a fucking carcass getting picked at until there’s nothing left. I believe in being wanted, not needed. Being wanted is by choice. Being needed drains my batteries.


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Sunshine For The Blind Live

Sunshine For The Blind

An interview with Brian Daly
by Mike Huberty
January 2012

As the creative outlet for one-half of DNA Studios’ production masterminds, Brian Daly, SUNSHINE FOR THE BLIND, has been performing guitar rock with pop inflections in the Madison area for the better part of the last decade. Their latest album, Second Self, is an absolutely sonically masterful collection of straight-up classic alternative rock songs. There’s plenty of excellent guitar work, big chorus hooks, and a solid (and wonderfully complex) rhythm section provided by bassist Ken Stevenson and drummer Andrew Rohn.

As the guitarist and vocalist for SUNSHINE FOR THE BLIND as well as one of Madison’s most prolific audio engineers, Daly has been into music since he was a kid, “I have always experienced music that I like as transporting,” he says, “as an entry to another world. A world that generally seemed better than the normal world..  Part of this experience was a desire to create music myself. This isn’t logical; it’s possible to love music and not want to make it. But I was infected with this viral aspect of music.“


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Anna Wang and the Oh Boys - Madison, Wisconsin - photo by Nick Berard

Anna Wang and The Oh Boys!

An interview with Madison's Anna Wang from Anna Wang and The Oh Boys!
by Mike Huberty
January 2012

With one foot in bubblegum and one foot in rock, ANNA WANG AND THE OH BOYS! is unabashed good-time music, straightforward, fun, and deliriously catchy. Lead vocalist and songwriter, Anna Wang, is a recent graduate from the University of Wisconsin and ready to take on the world with her “Oh Boys”- bassist Jeff Funk, guitarist Jeremy Van Mill, and (not so boyish) Nicky Sund on drums. They’re celebrating the release of a brand new EP, Drive Fast (currently available for listening on their website, www.annawangandtheohboys.com), with a big party at The Frequency in Madison on February 3rd.


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