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Tyler Preston - photo by Sydney Akagi

Tyler Preston

An interview with singer/songwriter Tyler Preston
by Mike Huberty
August 2014

Recent Madison transplant TYLER PRESTON came all the way from the Last Frontier. Not space, nerd, but Juneau, Alaska. He showed up in 2012 with a guitar in his hand and has been knee deep in the scene ever since. In addition to fronting the KING STREET BAND, he also has played a residency at the Rigby Pub (the place on the Capitol Square with all the Beatles crap all over) and an open mic at the East Side’s Tip Top Tavern. He’s releasing his first album, “Changes”, on September 5th at The Brink Lounge. We talked to Tyler about the new album and what his music is all about.


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1225 ViewsPermalinkTyler Preston Website
Elliphant

Cherchez La Femme Musicale

Look For The Musical Women
by Mario Martin
August 2014

Alexandre Dumas wrote in his native French, “…in every case, there is a woman, I say, ‘Look for the woman.’” Dumas may have been tongue-in-cheek about his description of women, but accurate nonetheless in the concept. In every case, in every instance, in every way, women are deeply rooted in the specifics. And while Dumas might have had misogynistic undertones in his musings, the antithesis still holds true: no matter the specifics of the solution (opposite of problem), women are the root.

Apply this concept to the musical landscape of 2014, and even earlier. During the ebbs and flows of quality music, there have been successful women standing proudly atop the charts. Some of it was good and some of it, well, whatever. Throughout history though, there have been landmark artists like Janis Joplin or Stevie Nicks to take a stance and wail. There have been pioneers of shock pop like Madonna and Lady Gaga all the while, as well, who have taken turning heads to an art form, and legitimized the genre. There are the Joan Jetts and the Sean Yseults who have rocked houses, while Gillian Gilbert made everyone’s Mondays blue. The point is, all these ladies have worn motherhood on their visages for waves of new artists to emerge. And emerge they have, in 2014, in the form of Elliphant, Kodacrome and Zola Jesus…


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Buckcherry preforming at Green Bay Distillery  - photo by Karli Norton

Buckcherry

by Karli Norton
August 2014

I recently had the opportunity to see Buckcherry in concert and afterwards meet them and talk with them. As a fan of the band, it was extremely difficult for me to not want to scream and drool all over when I saw them walking into my work. I work at a restaurant in Green Bay, and we held a concert for Pop Evil and Buckcherry on August 13th.

The second I walked into work, I felt an adrenaline rush knowing that these artists were somewhere in the building. Unknown to me, the first table I would help serve food to that evening would be…


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Jordan Lee of Mutual Benefit

Mutual Benefit

An Email Correspondence with Jordan Lee of Mutual Benefit
by John Noyd
August 2014

As the mastermind behind chamber-folk collective MUTUAL BENEFIT, Jordan Lee epitomizes the wandering minstrel, moving from Ohio to Austin, Boston and Brooklyn where he encountered musical scenes and collected a cavalcade of talented colleagues. The songs on the band’s full-length debut, “Love’s Crushing Diamond,” reflect his restless curiosity with scenic side-trips and unexpected twists stringing epic adventures between imaginative art-pop canvases. We caught up with Jordan before he resumed touring to better prepare ourselves for his visit to Wisconsin, September 29th at Madison’s The Frequency.

MAXIMUM INK: Your tunes are full of light yet also very deep. Is this an accurate reflection of you who are?

JORDAN LEE: I suppose you can say that but I don’t know anyone who would be able to describe themselves accurately; our eyes are cracked mirrors after all!

MI: Did you always aspire to write long winding songs or did something happen to change how you write music?

JL: I started out listening to straight forward three and a half minute pop songs and wrote pretty similar music, in fact most of my early songs were really short because I had this internal rule that I’d rather a song end quickly than for someone to get bored of it. I’m not quite sure when the compositions started getting longer. I guess it was when the musical ideas started getting larger over the past couple years.

MI: While not completely surprised to read how much field recordings played a part in your album, my initial impression was that your compositions came from deep inside you. How do field recordings affect the creative process?

JL: I think this was the first album to incorporate field recordings and I’m not sure I’ll do it again since I don’t want for it to become “my thing” but for that span of time it seemed to really make a lot of sense… If I just sit down with a guitar and try to play chords I never get too inspired but little conversations or sounds can trigger the part of my brain that feels compelled to make art.

MI: Your full-length debut, ““Love’s Crushing Diamond,” was pick up by Other Music from another label and reissued due to high demand; why do you think it ended up connecting with so many people?

JL: I have absolutely no idea! It is still so surreal to go to places like Norway or Belgium and meet fans of the band. It is kind of messing with my head as I try and write new songs.

MI: What’s the next thing you’d like to tackle musically?

JL: Because all the other records have come from a position of limitation whether it be time, money, or instruments I’m having trouble conceptualizing what I want to do with more ability to make exactly what I want to. Maybe collab with a whole string section for a couple days?? Brass and woodwind?? Modular synths? I have no idea.

MI: Your itinerant lifestyle suggests you make friends easily and yet much of, “Diamonds,” emanates from a somewhat introspective perspective. Do you ever have trouble balancing your public and private personas?

JL: Yeah, I guess you could say that. I think I can easily connect with people on a surface level but never staying in one place too long can definitely lead to a feeling of deep down isolation and loneliness. This year has felt different since I’ve mostly been traveling with the same band and I have a wonderful partner back home… More than ever we all just feel like a weird little family.


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Gabe Burdulis performing live at the 2014 MAMA awards in Madison at the Overture Center - photo by Hedi Lamarr Photography

Gabe Burdulis

by Teri Barr
August 2014

Some recent messages via both Facebook and email with Gabe Burdulis are still making me laugh. There’s one in particular, where Burdulis says, “Ahhh. Just answering this now, at 5 am. It’s been a busy, but great weekend,” and is a pretty good indication of the life this young Madison musician is living.

Burdulis plays alone, or with any number of groups, because he just wants to make music. He describes his sound as “kinda indie, acoustic-y, poppy, rocky, alt. with a lot of mixed elements. And some blues thrown in for good measure.” His on-stage presence has been called amazing, commanding; a true show-man.

And did I mention, he is still a high school student? I grabbed this opportunity to ask Burdulis some questions about his music, the recognition, and his goals. It’s a chance to get to know him, before the rest of the world catches on to this break-out talent.

Maximum Ink: Where are you getting your influence, especially at such a young age?
Gabe Burdulis: The people I get to play with are a constant influence on me. Also relationships, nature, and of course people like John Mayer and Jack White.

MI: And you’ve been playing successfully for quite a few years?
GB: Yeah, I took a couple guitar lessons around the age of 12, and kinda took off on my own from there. Once I had what I needed, I was able to let my creativity take off.

MI: So, what kind of goals or dreams do you have right now?


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1574 ViewsPermalinkGabe Burdulis Website
Road trip's DVD

Road Trip

A Review on Road Trip: Hit the Switch Documentary
by Hannah Becker
August 2014

One of Wisconsin’s most popular bands, Road Trip, released their first DVD called ‘Hit the Switch’ April 18th. Starting with cousins Richie Plath and DJ Doty, Road Trip was formed in 1991 in Kingston, WI. After meeting lead singer Amy Jo Doty at an Oshkosh performance, the band began to focus on branching out all over the Mid-West. They have opened for bands such as Collective Soul, Sheryl Crowe, Ted Nugent and REO Speedwagon. Now with two lead singers, Amy Jo Doty and Richie Plath, lead guitarist Jason Busse, rhythm guitarist DJ Doty, bass player Flap Welsch and drummer, Andy Welsch, this band continues to grow their fan base with performing other artists music as well as their own.

The documentary follows the band Road Trip from the begging of their journey to where they are standing currently. It contains many clips and photos from when the band just started, behind the scenes, love performances and also explain the adventures and troubles they had throughout the years. Between the private interviews and old videos, it captures the personality of each band member and their roles on as well as off the stage. This film easily demonstrates how Road Trip is more than a band but also a family. It displays how the band improved and matured into the national rock band level that they are known for now. It also shows the struggles the band had and how they care more about their fans than anything.

The interviews of each band member illustrate not only the humor of each person, but express the dedication they each have for this band and wanting to succeed. Between the interviews and behind the scene clips, it’s easily shown this band absolutely loves performing with each other.


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1016 ViewsPermalinkRoad Trip Website
AtwoodFest 2014 - photo by Dan Schneiderman

Late Summer Festival Preview 2014

by Dave Leucinger
July 2014

Even if you didn’t get Lollapalooza tickets and are feeling left out, the next month is dense with great festivals that feature roots, blues, and more:


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 - photo by Buzz

Dave Arcari

An interview with Scottish Bluesman, Dave Arcari
by Mike Huberty
July 2014

Solo singer-songwriter, Dave Arcari, has all the darkness and mystery of an old school slide guitar Delta Blues sound. But then he starts singing in a Scottish accent, and all of a sudden your expectations are completely turned around. Then when the elements of Rockabilly and Cowpunk come in, you know you’re hearing a unique take on the traditional. A seasoned and nonstop performer, Dave is a Scottish artist on his second tour through the United States. 30 dates in 6 weeks across the Eastern half and Midwest of the US, he’s got 8 dates in Wisconsin alone where you can catch him. We spoke to Dave about the tour, about what inspires his distinctive sound, and how a Scotsman got into a very American musical form.


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Pitchfork Festival Chicago 2014

Pitchfork Festival Chicago 2014

Three Days of Great Music and then some
by John Noyd
July 2014

Amazingly free of major technical glitches, obnoxious partiers and garish advertisers there was a lot to like about this year’s Pitchfork Festival in Chicago. The weather was a blessing, the diverse line-up top-rate and the eye-candy ranged from chic bohemian to vintage hipster. Tats, hats and mustache wax, free Tacos and Twinkies dispensed at one end and free flowers and sunscreen on the other, plus cutting-edge indie-rock, electro-pop and hip-hop smack dab in the middle. To call it manageable underscores how hard it is to fed and please 20,000 people, but after years of practice Pitchfork has it down pat.

Several alumni moved up from side stages to stronger standing this year. A lively and upbeat SHARON VAN ETTEN returned with a tightly-knit band after braving the festival a few years ago accompanying herself on guitar; going from mind-blowing loops and a ukulele, the ever-exotic TUNE-YARDS upgraded to a colorful posse of talented singers and a second drummer while the previously rained-on CLOUD NOTHINGS found sunshine and thunderous applause. From how dark sunglasses complimented the all-black attire of the DUM DUM GIRLS to the smarmy, hearty, “good morning,” Chicago’s own TWIN PEAKS gave when they began their pummeling set Saturday afternoon, each act adapted to their open-air surroundings with the quietest tunes heard clearly and only the most bombastic bass occasionally bleeding onto other stages.

Measurable festival success came from unexpected encounters; whether it was the warm fuzzy feeling seeing that two-year old in The Smiths t-shirt, the subtle puzzlement from the awkward, “white people,” comment from SUN KIL MOON or simply the giddy thrill of NENEH CHERRY performing Stateside for only the second time ever.  From the cheesy glee of EARL SWEATSHIRT asking you to sing Journey’s, “Don’t Stop Believin’,” to the waxing nostalgia watching seeing Generation Z dance to the late great Donna Summer via GIORGIO MORODER; there were plenty of reasons to feel the feel-good vibes.

Luck may have placed you in the mosh-pit when TWIN PEAKS suddenly threw the body of a smashed guitar into the crowd, being given MAJICAL CLOUDZ’s microphone to tell a joke while they valiantly tried to fix a midi controller they later destroyed on stage or simply standing in the right spot to catch a rose from GRIMES as her dueling dancers and wind-blown hair animated a absolutely techno-groovy set. Giant video screens allowed people far away to witness ST. VINCENT wriggling on her back shredding guitar, dream weavers HUNDRED WATERS lacing cyber-swollen soul with flute or BECK placing crime scene tape across the stage. Other scenes flew under the camera’s watchful eyes; a stranger fainting, security firmly informing tokers the Blue Stage is hundred feet from a church that houses a school or standing nearby when one dude was compelled to tell everyone to go F themselves. So whether you spent the entire long weekend or just ended up catching parts of the live webcast, Pitchfork Chicago succeeded in furthering the cause to bring musical talent to the yearning masses.


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The Dead Daisies

The Dead Daisies

An interview with Guitarist Richard Fortus
by Tina Ayres
July 2014

Richard Fortus has graced the stage with artists like Rihanna, The Psychedelic Furs, Nena, Love Spit Love, Honky Toast, The Compulsions, Thin Lizzy, and Guns N’ Roses, with a stage presence that is nothing short of amazing. His work with the music production company “Compound” has been featured in various tv, film, advertising and video game projects. Fans of the former television show Charmed have enjoyed his work on the theme song, as well. His work ethic and drive led to his being one of the most sought after first call sessions artists in NYC. He recently joined forces with the band The Dead Daisies. It is my pleasure to bring our readers a little more information on the latest project.

Maximum Ink: Where are you from? What were you like as a child? What would you say are your most fond memories from that time?
Richard Fortus:
I’m from Saint Louis. I started playing violin and drums around 4 or 5 years old. I didn’t pick up guitar till I was around 13. I don’t think I was a bad kid. I got in to some trouble, but I wasn’t too bad. I really fell in love with rock n’ roll at an early age and used to go to every concert that I could. It didn’t matter if I was really a fan of the band or not, if they came to St Louis, I went. I definitely have a lot of great memories from shows.

MI: What do you love most about the act of making music?
RF:
The spiritual high that is achievable through music is unlike anything else. It’s a place where you are completely out of your body and mind and are acting only as a conduit or channel. It’s something that I’m also chasing. My primary objective is to reach that place every night. Some nights it happens, sometimes it doesn’t. When it does, it is bliss. 

MI: Why do you think music has always had such an appeal through the ages?
RF:
For THAT reason! Music is a spiritual experience for the musician and the listener. It can move you unlike any other art form. It’s immediate and can be incredibly powerful.

MI: What advice would you offer those wishing to learn to music regardless of their instrument of choice?
RF:
You have to love it so much, that it possesses your body and soul. If you don’t have that passionate love, you will never be great. That is, of course, only if you want to seriously make music a career. If not, as long as you enjoy doing it, you are doing the right thing!


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