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Sky Road Fly Band Photo by Nick Berard - photo by Nick Berard

The Sky Road Fly

An Interview with Sky Road Fly
by Max Ink
June 2013

After a brief sample of the early mixes, I sat down with the guys to discuss the new album, their creative energy, and what the future holds.  Sky Road Fly has crafted an effort that establishes them as a musical force to be reckoned with in the Madison scene, and they were happy to share their thoughts and ambitions.

What has the recording process been like?  How was it different than “Pure Danger”?
RH: Its safe to say that we’re at the quality of Smart Studios, if not beating it.  At Smart, we had to work around somewhat of a schedule, so it took a long time because we had to hop in whenever it was available. 
BJ: Here there’s an opportunity everyday to work.  We can really look at things closer here.


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Parquet Courts

Parquet Courts

An Interview with Parquet Courts Lead Singer Andrew Savage
by John Noyd
May 2013

Rising indie stars Parquet Courts combine scrawny garage-rock blues with tight-fisted riffs, savvy post-punk taffy and brawny honesty. In preparation for their highly-anticipated visit to Madison’s High Noon Saloon June 22nd, we cornered lead singer Andrew Savage for some background on the band.

Maximum Ink: Where does the name Parquet Courts come from?
Andrew Savage: Well, Parquet is a type of geometric arrangement of wood pieces; surely you’ve seen them on the basketball court at the Boston Gardens (home of the Boston Celtics). Sean is from Boston, so it’s kinda an homage to him, since everybody assumes he is from Texas, by association. 

MI: You’re a New York band, but have roots in Texas; what prompted the move to Brooklyn?
AS: Three of us are from Texas.  Max left Texas to go to college.  For Austin and I, it was just getting out of a college town (the town I was born in, I should mention).  Also, nothing wrong with college towns. 
 
MI: What sort of day jobs did the band have before they decided to make the band their full-time focus?
AS: Actually, we still have day jobs.  I work as a bike delivery boy, Max is a private tutor, and Sean is a freelance writer.


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DJ Trichrome

by Andrew Frey
May 2013

I had to agree with Willy Wonka, AKA DJ Trichrome when, in a recent email interview, he noted, “There’s a lot of negativity in the world and Reggae Music is so positive. People need that in their lives now more than ever.”

With this in mind, he made a special dedication for 2013, “For this year, my motto is One Love.


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Colorphase

Madison Quartet Rides Grooves Hard, Fast, and Tight
by Dan Vierck
May 2013

If Colorphase is a bandwagon, it’s a party bus. And you better get on before the only seats you can find are the nosebleeds.


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Die Kreuzen

Die Kreuzen

“Gone Away” But Not Forgotten, Back For A Limited Time Only
by Sal Serio
May 2013

I turned 18 in 1981. Like many others who transformed from boys to young men in the early 80s, it was a time of confusion, but also one of excitement. America’s socio- political landscape had radically changed to one of conservatism and military intervention during the Reagan regime, and equally as turbulent was the beloved institution of rock and roll. Mainstays of arena rock were suddenly seen as antiquated… out of touch with a new look and attitude. Punk had taken over, and given the agitation of the times, it’s no wonder.

Much appreciated about the punk movement was how the barrier between musician and audience was broken down. In the 70s, chances were unlikely that a pimply-faced young dude would get to hang out with one of his heroes. This privilege was almost exclusively reserved for pretty girls. Likewise, to become a popular rocker seemed a nearly unobtainable quest. With punk, the fans all had their own bands, and many times the venues did not even have stages. We all stood on the same ground, and we all drank from the same keg when the show was over.

Which is not to say we didn’t have bands to look up to. When I joined my first punk band in 1983, we all brought a lot of influences to the table, but our commonality was that we wanted to be like Black Flag and Die Kreuzen.


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 - photo by Kevin Estrada

Filter’s Richard Patrick, Leading The Rock Renaissance

by Mario Martin
May 2013

Somewhere along the line, rock got lost in the shuffle. More importance has been placed on celebrity and tabloids than the music. You might as well have seen rock turning up on milk cartons as fans desperately searched for it in a sea of pop and reality television. But a bright light has peaked through. That light provides hope. Amongst fabricated musical acts on derivative variety shows, original music is that ray of light. And more literally, The Sun Comes Out Tonight is the light leading Filter’s forthcoming success. Led by the enigmatic Richard Patrick, Filter is returning to form. With songs that are just as gentle as they are intimidating, a renaissance is beginning to stir. Amen. Rock is found, filtered…

While little is readily available about Patrick, he’s a humble guy. He’s intelligent and articulate, and while he’s impassioned, he is endearing. Taking in a conversation from backstage in Colorado Springs as Filter kicks off its headlining tour, Patrick alerts me to the fact Colorado Springs is a starting point for the band


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Black Moth Super Rainbow

An Interview with BMSR mastermind Tom Fec
by John Noyd
April 2013

As enigmatic in email as on record, Tom Fec, who is better known as Tobacco, prefers to let his music do the talking, but what it says can be hard to interpret. His current incarnation, Black Moth Super Rainbow, confounds conventions reassembling rock, pop and dance elements into a cybernetic confection roasted over a sprawling cauldron of chain-sawed hydraulics, glistening gear-shifting petitions and barb-wired rainbows. Whether vocoder Overlords slinging Delta blues slide-guitar or disco sludge caked in apocalyptic electronics and groove-fueled subterfuge where ever Tobacco takes you, the journey there will surely astonish. In preparation for their May 12th visit to Madison’s Majestic Theater promoting last year’s mind-bending, “Cobra Juicy,” MAXIMUM INK tried to pry a few guiding principles from BMSR’s mysterious maestro.

Maximum Ink: Where do BMSR songs begin? A title, an idea, a riff, a synth setting? How do you know when it’s all done?
Tom Fec: Haha, you answered it for me - all of those things. I don’t have a set way of doing things, so something could come from any of that. Sometimes I finish the whole thing in one sitting, and sometimes I work on something on and off for years. For me, it’s finished when it’s too late to change anything (in manufacturing).

MI: From the band name to your song titles, the disparate juxtaposition of ideas implies a surrealistic attitude. Is there a BMSR manifesto outlining your outlook?
TF: I just do what I do and try not to make too much of it. I’m only trying to entertain myself most of the time.


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The Moguls

An interview with Madison Pop-Punkers The Moguls
by Ryan Schremp
April 2013

Interviewing The Moguls is a bit of a challenge, and it’s not just because half of them live in Milwaukee while the other half live in Madison. However, I sat down with the Madison half—Riley Henninger and Kyle Jaco—while we Skyped-in the Milwaukee half—Patrick Talaska and Dustin Schramm—to talk a bit about their past, their present, and their future. Each of us with a 40oz bottle of a beer that rather resembled champagne, the interrogation began.

Maximum Ink: You’ve had this current lineup for about a year and a half now, tell me a bit about how you got here.
Kyle Jaco: Well, Patrick started the band with some dudes in ‘98 and they didn’t really do anything. Pat wrote a couple of songs - one of them is, “Why Won’t They Leave Me Alone?” - Then I played in a band with Dustin and Riley in High School.
Riley Henninger: Called, Everything Diet.


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Sexy Ester on the cover of Maximum Ink in April 2013 - photo by Nick Berard

Sexy Ester

An interview with Sexy Ester lead vocalist, Lyndsay Evans
by Mike Huberty
April 2013

Firmly establishing themselves in the Southern Wisconsin scene since forming in 2009, Sexy Ester is a Midwestern PoMo Blondie, mixing classic rock and New Wave into poppy melodies with synth hooks and a relentless beat. They cleaned up at last year’s Madison Area Music Awards, taking home eight trophies including Artist of the Year, Vocalist (Lyndsay Evans), and instrumentalist (Keyboardist Roscoe Evans). Their new release, “Monomania”, is came out last month. We took a few minutes to talk with Lyndsay about the new album,  .

MI: So, tell me a little bit about how you guys all met?
LE: We all knew each other in our town before we came to Madison. I’m from Gratiot, Wisconsin. A tiny town. Adam (Eder, guitarist) and Brad (Schubert on bass) are from a town right over the border in Illinois. We met while he was in a goth/electronica band in high school. We just started writing songs together for ten years after that. We moved to Madison in 2002. We did acoustic stuff together and decided to start playing out live. We originally had a harmonica player and it veered towards classic rock. We’d already been in Madison for 7 years when we started Sexy Ester. But when we added the keyboardist (Roscoe, Lyndsay’s brother) it really pushed us in a New Wave direction. A little over a year and a half ago, our original drummer left to run for office and is now a District Attorney in Northern Illinois. Our new drummer, Jenna (Joanis), well, Adam describes her as adding an element of danger

.

MI: What were the bands that you connected on?
LE: We were huge Beatles fans, Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd, The Who. It was later that we started to love the New Wave bands and we started getting compared to them a lot. Roscoe listens to the unknown bands and Ween, Brad likes Metallica. Everyone brings in different sorts of styles. We never set out to be a New Wave band, it just sort’ve happened. People started comparing us to Siouxsie, but I hadn’t really known those bands beforehand, so it really evolved without me even knowing.

MI: How did you get involved with Girls Rock Camp, and what does it mean to you?
LE: Beth Kille contacted me about GRC and asked if I’d be willing to be a coach. The first camp I coached a was a Ladies’ Rock Camp, and it was a blast! I couldn’t believe that these fearless ladies formed a band, wrote a song, and performed it in three days! It was magical for me. And GRC is that times 10. These young girls do the same thing in a week. It is so inspirational and motivational for me. I love every minute of it.

MI: In what ways has providing that instruction through GRC influenced you personally and professionally?
LE:  I’ve met a lot of amazing women and girls. We’re sort of a community. I believe this is my third year with GRC and I had no idea how many great female musicians there were in Madison before that. That networking has opened doors for all of us, I’m sure.

MI: As an instructor for GRC, what advice do you have for aspiring young musicians?
LE: Don’t give up. Be yourself. Give it your all. And put on a show. Also, we are all here and willing to give advice. Anyone can contact me with questions. I’d be happy to share my knowledge and experience.

MI: What are the themes behind “Monomania”? Is there something that really connects the release together?
LE: A lot of the songs are about uniqueness and who you are and not being afraid of that. About finding yourself. One of the songs was inspired by a drag queen that I know. I did a call on Facebook asking people to message me about something that they always wanted to do, but never did. In the choruses, I list off all the different things that people wrote me. “Silver Shoes” is the name of it.

MI: What’s the title mean?
LE: It’s about being infatuated with one thing. One of the songs on the album is “Spotlight”, and the title comes from the lyrics of the song, which was inspired by the Local Sounds web story by Rick Tvedt from when we first started playing out. It’s about someone who’s quiet and unassuming in person, but transforms into a rock star onstage. And I hear that from people all the time, that I’m shy and introverted when I meet people, but when they see me onstage it’s a different person.

MI: What are you guys looking forward to over the next year?
LE: We’re going to play the WAMIs (Wisconsin Area Music Awards) at Turner Hall on April 14th. We’re really busy right now, which is awesome, playing every weekend and trying to get out of the city more. We played Chicago, Milwaukee, La Crosse, and trying to get into The Cities. This last year after our MAMA wins, people started to pay more attention to us and doors are opening up for us more.

Catch Sexy Ester on April 7th at the High Noon Saloon in Madison and find them in May at Bratfest.

 

 


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Circleswitch having fun in the studio

Circleswitch

An interview with Milwaukee hard rockers, CircleSwitch
by Mike Huberty
April 2013

Milwaukee is a hard rock town. Fueled for decades by album rock radio stations like Lazer 103 and 93QFM, as well as being a stomping ground for local bands who weren’t afraid of crunch like REALM, DOC HAMMER, or BAD BOY, there’s an entire generation of musicians who grew up loving whiskey-soaked party bar rock n’ roll that’s nasty and fun. CIRCLESWITCH carries on that proud tradition with Danny Rodic on guitars, Kenny James on vocals, Eddie Gunz on drums, and Johnny Wahlen on bass. We had a chance to talk to the band about their new album, Ritual, and their upcoming performance at The Blue Pig (formerly the mighty Cudahy live music mainstay, Vnuk’s Lounge.)


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