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Devil City Angels

Devil City Angels

An interview with guitarist Tracii Guns
by Tina Ayres
October 2014

Tracii Guns is best known as the guitarist for the metal group L.A. Guns. He was also an original member of Guns N’ Roses as well as a member of supergroups Brides of Destruction and Contraband. He is currently touring with Devil City Angels alongside drummer Rikki Rockett (Poison), Eric Brittingham (Cinderella), and Brandon Gibbs (Cheap Thrill).

Maximum Ink: What were you like as a child? What would you say are some of your most fond memories from that time?
Tracii Guns: I was a typical late 60’s kid. My parents were way too young but, they were hip. I spent a lot of time with my cousin Lannie who was 5 years older than me. We were adventure seekers and music lovers. He passed away when I was 17 and it was awful. My mom loved to travel so we went on lots of mini vacations and camping trips. By the time I was 7 I had been to France and Mexico and had been to sleep over camp. I was ready for the commune, traveling circus kind of lifestyle at that point.

MI: When did you first discover music? Do you happen to remember what your first favorite song was?
TG: Mostly my mom and AM radio. I liked The Rapper by the Jaggerz and Bang A Gong by T Rex.As far back as I can remember I’ve loved rock n roll.


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at the SETT on the University of Wisconsin - Madison with Bucky Badger - photo by Chris Taylor

Deniro Farrar

The Complexity of the Cusp of Stardom
by Chris Taylor
October 2014

Last night I had the privilege of sitting down with Deniro Farrar. Deniro hails from Charlotte, NC and has a hot new single called titled “Bow Down” and is touring the country on his Bow Down Tour. I had a preconceived interpretation of who Deniro would be when I heard his name. I envisioned a backpacking Hip Hopper who would drop “Yo Son” on me about 62 times when I first heard his name. Then I watched the Bow Down Video; which features Denzel Curry.

My immediate reaction to seeing that was, Ok homie is straight off the block and I am about to chop it up with a D Boy who crossed over to the rap game. WRONG, Deniro Farrar is much more complex than most artists that I have met.


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White Empress cover art by Ian Chalgren

White Empress

An Interview with Paul Allender and Mary Zimmer
by Chris Fox
October 2014

If you’ve heard of CRADLE OF FILTH, COAL CHAMBER, or LUNA MORTIS, you’re already familiar with what the emerging WHITE EMPRESS brings to the table. With the guitar techniques of Paul Allender (formerly of CRADLE OF FILTH), this new six-piece brings some Madison-local flavor with vocals from Mary Zimmer (formerly of LUNA MORTIS) and fellow Madisonian on guitar, Jeremy Kohnmann (Ash Aria).

Allender proclaims that the band is truly one-of-a-kind, as they combine a menagerie of backgrounds and talents. “It sounds like WHITE EMPRESS. It doesn’t sound like anything else,” he explains. Allender says the formation of the band came after CRADLE OF FILTH took a bit of a hiatus. “The whole plan was to take off a couple of years and then come back full station, but that didn’t happen. Basically, that’s when I sort of turned White Empress into not just a project but a full-time band.”

Zimmer says that the band is truly a combination of several ideas melding into a unique sound. “Everybody contributed and wrote their own parts. Paul did the arranging and wrote the core of the music - it was almost done by the time I got it,” she explains. “But I got to write my own vocal parts, which was different for me, and he let me have the freedom to do what I wanted.”


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VK Lynne vocalist of From Light Rose The angels

From Light Rose The Angels

An Interview with Singer VK Lynne
by Teri Barr
September 2014

Two heavy new bands with a Madison-area twist will be rolling into the city for some hardcore Halloween shows, and both will be bringing an arsenal of just-released music. White Empress is already being described by some national publications as “what’s been missing on the metal scene.” The project includes some big name members, along with a local link at the helm. Mary Zimmer is a Madison-to-LA transplant, and will headline both Maximum Ink Spook-tacular shows. Also hitting the road is another newly formed group, From Light Rose the Angels. This band also has some heavy-hitters, and connected with Zimmer’s project to open in support of their shows here. I recently talked with FLRTA’s lead singer VK Lynne about this new effort, her symphonic-metal inspiration, and why she wants to play in Madison. 

Maximum Ink: You’ve been on the scene for awhile. What projects would our readers recognize?
VK Lynne: I spent a good many years, and 3 solo CD’s, in the singer/songwriter/blues world, until I discovered symphonic metal. That led me to start Vita Nova, join stOrk, and ultimately partner now with Janne Tamminen to create From Light Rose the Angels.
I started seriously singing when I was 12. I auditioned for a community theater production of Jesus Christ Superstar and it was all noisiness from there! I spent the next several years really focusing on my instrument, my voice, and learning what it could do. Once I got to college, I joined a band. I minored in creative writing, but never put the music & ‘word nerd’ part of my brain together until I was in a band. That’s when I started writing songs, and I haven’t stopped since!


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From left, Alex Smith, Chris Frey, Jake Phelps, JD Skenadore outside Green Bay's Lyric Room.

Harvey Brown

An interview with band Harvey Brown
by Karli Norton
September 2014

The first time I saw Harvey Brown I was thrown off by the strange array of stage props: lava lamps, a garden gnome, a picture of a T-Rex, a Michael Jackson vinyl, a large cut out of Brittney Spears and even a poster for Jurassic Park. I had no idea what I was about to experience. Being unexpected is maybe the only thing that you can expect from Harvey Brown. Recently I sat down with Jake Phelps (vocals), Alex Smith (guitar), Chris Frey (bass) and JD Skenandore (drums) before the band performed an open mic set at downtown Green Bay’s Lyric Room.


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1666 ViewsPermalinkHarvey Brown Website
Terry Bozzio is more than a timekeeper or drummer,  and lives in a world of searching for the correct emphathetic sounds.

Terry Bozzio

An Interview With Terry Bozzio: A True Student Of Rhythmic Percussion
by Gregory Harutunian
September 2014

Virtually no introduction is required for Terry Bozzio. His long career of polyrhythmic time signatures and percussive empathy has encompassed the 40-year mark which includes scaring various musicians like Frank Zappa and Jeff Beck with his technical prowess in their bands as a drummer, along with pop forays in a band with former partner, Dale Bozzio, in the band, Missing Persons.

Above all, he is one of those rare people that finds joy in his craft and the freedom in pursuit of that ethereal art form called, “music.” Like the true visionary that was John Coltrane, there is always something to hear and to attempt playing by finding inspiration on another level.


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Il Sogno Del Marinaio

Mike Watt

Mike Watt Finds Bountiful Inspiration with Il Sogno Del Marinaio
by Joshua Miller
September 2014

Legendary spiel speaking bass guitar player Mike Watt has spent the last few decades tinkering with musical innovation.  His desire has been to keep learning, sailing the musical waterways from San Pedro, California, to spots around the world. Basically wherever his tour van would carry him. With singer D Boon, Watt helped usher in “Econo Punk” with The Minutemen and helped fuel their quick and direct songs that often dabbled in politics and social issues. After D Boon’s tragic death, he continued making his mark with bands like Firehose and Dos. He’s also spent much of the past decade playing with legendary band The Stooges, who reformed in 2003.

These days Watt keeps a busy schedule of music activities, including new band Il Sogno Del Marinaio. Joining him for that band are Italian musicians Stefano Pilia and Andrea Belfi.  The band is currently celebrating release last month of their second album, Canto Secondo, which follows their debut from 2013, La Busta Gialla. The band found its footing in 2009 after they were invited to be part of the Italy-based All Tomorrow’s Parties festival and found success in the resulting tour. Despite his past achievements, Watt remains humble, not one to hog all the credit all the time. Instead he’s always seeking to find new ways to make music.


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Joey Santiago

The Pixies’ Joey Santiago

A brief chat with Pixies guitarist Joey Santiago
by John Noyd
September 2014

A self-proclaimed quiet thinker, self-taught guitarist and sonic architect, Joey Santiago would much prefer to talk about how producer Roy Thomas Baker brought his unique skills to shape both Queen and the Cars than about himself or his substantial contribution to creating the Pixies’ now classic loud quiet loud dynamic. The third of six sons, Joey remembers his mom calling up to his room asking if everything was alright. Santiago refers to being “stuck in the middle” growing up, but his youthful strategy to fly solo and let his curiosity lead the way brought an early discovery that the public library lets you check out vinyl. With the world at your feet Santiago says, “you’re not afraid to go check out riskier stuff,” and he soon became an avid reader of liner notes educating himself on everything from cool jazz to hot punk; a knowledge that tuned his college roommate Charles Thompson into sounds that eventually prompted them to drop out and form a band.

In preparation for their October 12th concert at Madison’s Orpheum Theater with up and coming rockers ROYAL BLOOD, MAXIMUM INK talked to Joey; which was not all that different from the music he is best known for; elusive then emphatic, he dodged questions with stories as revealing as any answer. Asked about his guitar playing and educating himself on Pro Tools, Santiago begins by saying he embraces his limitations, calling himself a “stress case” when it comes to getting the sounds in his head on to tape or more likely computer file. At the same time Santiago says, “Charles (Frank Black) and Gil (long-time producer Gil Norton) hand it over to me and let me run with it.” Joey admits that no matter what guitar he picks up it always sounds like him. He stumbles at trying to describe his style, referring to it as a “pointy thing,” then recalls former Pixies bassist Kim Deal calling him up after she watched an episode from the first season of Weeds, instinctively recognizing Joey’s sound in the incidental music.

 


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Meghan Rose and I Saw The Creature on the cover of Max Ink September 2014

I Saw The Creature

An Interview with Meghan Rose
by Teri Barr
September 2014

One woman. Five regular music projects.
Meghan Rose may be one of the busiest artists on the Madison scene right now, and she wouldn’t have it any other way. Meghan writes, sings, plays, records, edits, and teaches all styles of music; and those talents are highlighted in her various bands. I had the chance to ask her how she keeps it all going, and learned which group is getting ready to hit the road soon. 

Maximum Ink: Do you remember when you started your musical journey?
Meghan Rose: My mom taught me piano when I was 4, and then I started classical lessons when I was 5. First thing I remember learning to play was “Beauty and the Beast”, of all things. My dad bought me a nylon string classical guitar from an antique shop when I was 14 and I taught myself some chords then learned the church songs for bible day camp, which was one of my summer jobs. I played piano for the early church service for years. I still love hymns and I use some of the ideas to write about God in my lyrics, though I certainly don’t write what anyone would call Christian music. But once that type of music is in you, you can’t shake it. My mom also had tapes of musicals, and Broadway is still an obsession for me. I was 8 when my parents divorced, and one of the coping methods I developed was to steal my dad’s C.D.‘s. He collected the newest “alternative” music—a lot of female-fronted 90’s stuff. Bjork, Sheryl Crow, Sleater-Kinney, Liz Phair, Fiona Apple. Fiona and Liz were really powerful to me.

MI: Your current projects are all led by women; some bands don’t like the reference to women or men in the band, but would rather just be called musicians, in a general sense. What about you?


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JD Wiles & The Dirt Daubers  - photo by Joshua Black Wilkins

JD Wilkes and the Dirt Daubers

An interview with Kentucky Colonel and Rockabilly Legend, JD Wilkes
by Mike Huberty
August 2014

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Rocker from the Bluegrass State and real-deal “Kentucky Colonel” (an honor bestowed by the governor on notable Kentuckians), JD Wilkes, still leads popular punkabilly (seriously revved up 50s style rock n’ roll) LEGENDARY SHACK SHAKERS, but on the side he’s developed a formidable side project called JD WILKES AND THE DIRT DAUBERS.

Originally an acoustic group that played old-time songs, the Dirt Daubers feature JD on vocals and harmonica and his wife Jessica singing and playing standup bass. However, for their latest album, “Wild Moon”, they’ve plugged in electric style and have made a bluesy and soulful rock record that can fit perfectly next to THE BLACK KEYS or JACK WHITE. It’s a Southern Gothic spin on modern blues and “Wild Moon” is even produced by punk legend, Cheetah Chrome (ROCKET FROM THE TOMBS, DEAD BOYS), and is being released on his label, Plowboy Records. They’re coming to Wisconsin on September 24th at the Shitty Barn in Spring Green and on the 25th at The Lyric Room in Green Bay. We got a few minutes with JD to preview the upcoming shows.


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