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Mr. Gnome on the cover of Oct. 2012 Maximum Ink

Mr. Gnome

An interview with Mr. Gnome's Nicole Barille
by Mike Huberty
October 2012

Atmospheric and beautiful, Cleveland’s psychedelic indie-rock duo, MR. GNOME has been touring the United States for the past few years delivering haunting art-rock. Drummer/keyboardist, Sam Meister, and singer/guitarist, Nicole Barille (think a voice like Florence + The Machine but moving between extra edge and ghostly melodies) are high-school friends who’ve gone the distance in creating intelligent and powerful post-rock songs over the course of three full albums, the latest of which is the charmingly alliteratively titled “Madness in Miniature”. Earnest and effortlessly likable, vocalist Barille took a few moments to talk with us in anticipation of their Madison show on October 26th.


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moe. Register to Vote! - photo by Sal Serio

moe.

The Chuck Garvey interview – Too much Satan for just one hand!
by Sal Serio
September 2012

Let’s see, how many Moe’s can we think of? Right off the top of my head, I’m going to say Moe Howard of the Three Stooges, Moe the bartender on The Simpsons, Moe Tucker from the Velvet Underground, and the kick-ass rock band simply named moe. No capital letters and ending with a period – moe. Formed shortly after guitarist Chuck Garvey met bass player Rob Derhak at the University of Buffalo in the late 1980s, the group quickly gained a steady following due to their commitment to long, energetic concerts, diverse songwriting, and an overall sense of frivolity balanced with sincerity. By booking their own festivals and primarily self-releasing their albums, moe. has maintained their integrity without losing any momentum. The group is rounded off by percussionist Jim Loughlin, drummer Vinnie Amico, and guitarist/keyboardist Al Schnier. In anticipation of moe’s October 25th appearance at the Pabst Theater in Milwaukee, I managed to get in a few words with Chuck Garvey by phone, and right away said how happy I was to hear they were playing Wisconsin again after a several year absence.


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Second Soul

Second Soul

An interview with Troy Stetina of Second Soul
by Mike Huberty
September 2012

Shredder. While some cubicle drones might immediately think about office equipment and geeks might conjure up images of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles’ greatest foe, headbangers think of dudes that can play the guitar. No, not just rhythm, but real guitar. Lotsa sweaty dudes can power chord their way through a set. We think of leads. And not just octaved melody lines that pass for “solos”, but guitar histrionics that melt your goddamn face. Licks and runs that make long-haired high schoolers run back to their Mom’s basements to practice their scales. SECOND SOUL is the Wisconsin band that’s taking the kids back to school. It’s hard rock with a modern sound, as comfortable next to HINDER (And who the Hell named that band?) as they would be next to RANDY RHOADS-era OZZY OSBOURNE. This Milwaukee-Madison based group has an album that’s ready to hit. With a recording that’s ready for radio, a full-throated lead singer in Scott Yanke, and a shredder’s shredder in Troy Stetina, SECOND SOUL was a long-time coming. Dues paid. Songs written. Stetina has sold over a million copies of educational guitar materials. Now, it’s time for the teacher to become the artist.


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Get The Led Out, the American Led Zeppelin

Get The Led Out - The American Led Zeppelin

An interview with bassist Billy Childs
by Aaron Manogue
August 2012

Cover bands are everywhere. It’s just the nature of the music industry beast. You can walk into any local bar on any given night and see a cover band do their best impression of their favorite songs. But I was lucky enough to come across a different kind of a cover band. One so absolutely spot on, if you close your eyes you might actually think they’re the real deal. Get The Led Out is a band that covers one of the most amazing bands in rock history, Led Zeppelin. That’s right, there’s a band that covers note for note, word for word and even mistake for mistake of Led Zeppelin’s recorded music. And on Friday, September 7th, they’ll be coming to Madison to play the Barrymore Theatre. Maximum Ink’s Aaron Manogue caught up with bassist Billy Childs to talk about their music, their performance, and the mighty Led Zeppelin.

Maximum Ink: What drove you to wanting to be part of Zeppelin cover band?
Billy Childs: GTLO isn’t one of those “impersonator” bands. What we do is recreate the studio cuts note for note, with proper instrumentation, etc. The stuff is pretty intricate and really a challenge to do as it takes so many players, due to all the overdubs and parts. More like a small orchestra than a rock band at times. That was interesting to me and seemed like something I would be good at and enjoy. It’s very disciplined, similar to following a blueprint. I’ve also known a couple of these guys forever, back to the Britny Fox days and way before, so that’s always a plus. It’s also something I’ve never done before, and I like branching out and doing different things.


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Hewn from Madison, WI - photo by Nick Berard

Hewn

by Andrew Frey
August 2012

Hewn. A short and simple name for a band that is neither simple nor small nor easily explained.

“When Sam Spotts (Acoustic Guitar, Growls & Such) and I first got together I had no idea what kind of music he was playing,” begins Ben Lisser (Pots and Pans, Piano, Guitar, Vocals, Head Chef). “All I knew was that I loved it and had to be a part of it. We both wrote a lot together and never really tried to produce a certain kind of music. Sam would present a song and I would record it and add drums, and piano and anything else we felt was necessary.”

However, the duo ran into a dilemma early on. Sam recalls, “When Ben and I started recording we quickly realized that unless we both grew four more arms and an extra head we couldn’t recreate the sound
that we made on the recording.”

Thus the ranks of Hewn swelled to 7 when Sam and Ben enlisted the aid of musical cohorts, Forrester Barry (Djembe, Vocals, Rabble Rouser), Nathan Bowie (Bass, Vocals, Cool Hand Luke), Jake Blumer (Electric Guitar, Plucko), Adam Bluhm (Pots and Pans, Accordion, Vocals, Whistles/Kazoo, Thrower of Stuffs) and Christian Lisser (Drums & percussion, Motor Man).


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Kill Devil Hill

Kill Devil Hill

Guitarist Mark Zavon – Strong Enough To Kill The Devil
by Sal Serio
August 2012

It’s a warm feeling when someone you know hits the big time. Like maybe how some of Hendrix’s band mates from the early 60s “chitlin’ circuit” felt when he joined the Experience, or how other New Jersey troubadours from the early 70s felt after “Born To Run”. I know I felt a certain sense of pride when I saw that guitar man Mark Zavon joined forces in the critically acclaimed Kill Devil Hill with Rex Brown (Pantera/Down) and Vinny Appice (Black Sabbath/Dio/Heaven & Hell). After seeing Mark bust his chops for years with the fusiony JRZ System, and later with ex-Ratt singer Stephen Pearcey, it was fulfilling to know that his wood shedding and determination has paid off. I had the opportunity to speak to Mark in advance of Kill Devil Hill’s debut Wisconsin performance, September 15th at Janesville’s Back Bar.


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Kicksville Live - photo by Mystique Imagery

Kicksville

An Interview with Music Collective, Kicksville
by Mike Huberty
August 2012

As a mixture of performance art, music, and live multimedia show, Madison’s KICKSVILLE began as a recording studio experiment that turned into something completely unexpected. Now a musicians collective with seventy-three different contributing members, KICKSVILLE is an artistic statement more than a band with a sound that can range from jamband-eqsue guitar solos to electronic grooves to Afro-drum beats and soaring vocals. In anticipation of their August 18th show at the Barrymore, we talked to original founders Conrad St. Clair and Mike Stehr, as well as vocalist Georgina McKee, artists Tone Deaf and Andy Ewen, drummer Lou Caldarola, and multi-instrumentalist Biff Blumfumgagnge.


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Enemy Star - photo by F Fischer

Metal Girl Fest

A Preview of Metal Girl Fest - A Female-Fronted Hard Rock Concert in Madison and Milwaukee
by Mike Huberty
August 2012

Milwaukee’s ENEMY STAR has been headbanging their way throughout the Midwest for the past two years with vocalist Kassy Gruszkowski and guitarist Paris Ortiz finally solidifying their lineup with two Brew City veterans, Dan Kubinski on bass (but best knows as the singer for real-deal punk pioneers, DIE KREUZEN) and Mike Olson (drummer for one of the town’s finest metal bands, the mighty REALM.) They’re rocking a two-day two-city showcase in September called Metal Girl Fest that will not only feature ENEMY STAR but also female-fronted bands CANDLELIT from Chicago, COLORPHASE from Madison, DYVIDED from Madison, and ONSET OBLIVION from Sheboygan. We talked with Paris and Kassy about the inspiration for the fest and what fans can expect.


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Poster for the Isthmians on the Brink (top) the Isthmians of Comedy (bottom)

Isthmians on the Brink

by Dana Sitar
July 2012

On July 24, the Isthmians of Comedy come together to celebrate yet another milestone. The group’s founders, Nick Hart and Stefan Davis will share the spotlight at the Brink Lounge as Davis celebrates the release of his debut CD Of Course I’ll Choke You and Hart headlines to record his first album, The New N-Word. A few weeks later, they’ll both leave Madison behind.

Since their inaugural April Fool’s Day show in 2010, the Ishtmians have taken great strides, its original members beginning to stand out on their own in and outside of Madison. Last year, they saw Dave Pickett move with his family to Norway, where he’s taking the English-speaking comedy scene by storm. Davis is touring the Midwest after spending a year in San Francisco. He returns in September to compete in the prestigious San Francisco International Comedy Competition. Hart is headed East in August, taking his career into the heart of stand-up comedy, New York City.


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Phox

An interview with the band PHOX
by Ryan Schremp
July 2012

PHOX is a new band who’s taking Madison by storm. A sea of sound that’s easy to get lost in, each individual part bending and forming to create one amazing whole. I got the opportunity to sit down with Monica, Matt Roberts, Dave, Cheston, Sean, and Matt Holmen recently to talk about how they came to be, their influences, and more.

Maximum Ink: How long have you guys been a band?
Matt Holmen: Well, we technically had our one year anniversary on May 5th, Cinco De Mayo. But we moved to Madison last fall, so we’ve really only been playing shows for about seven months here. We’re all from Baraboo.


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