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Anvil

An Interview with Lead Singer/Guitar player Steve “Lips” Kudlow
by Teri Barr
May 2014

They’re referred to as one of the pioneers of heavy metal, yet many people only discovered the hard-driving music of Anvil through the documentary, “The Story of Anvil”, a few years ago. The Canadian-based band hit the scene in the late-1970’s with names like Dokken and Whitesnake, yet almost as quickly disappeared. Grit, determination, and their pure love of metal music kept them on the road and in the studio throughout the 80’s and 90’s. But the documentary created the cult-like following of fans, old and new, and the band released its 15th album to rave reviews last year.

Now Anvil, made up of lead singer and guitar player Steve “Lips” Kudlow, drummer Robb Reiner, and new bass player Sal Italiano, are on the road in support of their new music, including May shows in Milwaukee, St. Paul, and Chicago. Just before they hit the Midwest, Steve “Lips” Kudlow talked to me by phone, answering questions about the music business, the band’s “never say die” attitude, and why he still thinks the most important thing he can do is connect with fans, one-on-one.

Maximum Ink: You’re in the midst of a pretty aggressive tour; first across Europe, now the U.S. How’s it going?
Steve “Lips” Kudlow with Anvil: Well, this is our biggest tour of the U.S., ever! And it’s taking a lot of strength. I mean, we aren’t 20 years old anymore (laughs), but luckily for us there aren’t any vices, plus we’re all healthy. Still, even after 37 years of Anvil, we are a new band to some who come out to see us. So we consider this an incredible achievement. And there’s something to be said for still living the dream!

MI: So, you don’t have your regular job anymore? I recall seeing you in “The Story of Anvil” documentary trying a few different things, including delivering food for a school to support your family. 
Lips: Nope. We are a full-time band. And we are going to work hard to keep it that way. Anvil has a lot of self-belief and confidence and we feel the hoopla is just building all over again, so we need to keep creating opportunities for the band and our music. Plus, we still think we have something special to share with our fans.


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Haliewll

Haliwel

by Teri Barr
March 2014

The music is tight. The performance looks like a seasoned band on stage. And though the members in Haliwel have some years of experience between them, this Madison-based band is a new, exciting effort for all. Haliwel has been a dream of founder Shawn Streeter, since moving to the area a few years ago. But the guitar player and back-up vocalist, couldn’t find the right partners for his project. A chance encounter connected Streeter to Ryan Seney, another back-up vocalist and guitar player; later an ad led them to drummer Max Neal. This formed the core of the band, which created the sound in play today. Add inTravis Malin on guitar, and newest member lead singer Justin Schmitz, and this is five guys with a goal of ruling the music world.

They aren’t wasting time—a C.D. of original music is already written, recorded, and available. The band just signed a sponsorship agreement with Dirtbag Clothing, a company created in the memory of Dimebag Darrell. And they’re putting together a show schedule for the summer, starting with a few here this spring. I recently had the chance to ask the three main members a few questions for Maximum Ink, including what it’s like to start from scratch in a new city, and how waiting for the right members is paying off.


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7 Seasons Deep

7 Seasons Deep

An interview with Shawn Anthony Brown
by Max Ink Writer List
March 2014

If the bands “Last Crack,” “Faces for Radio,” or “The Viskus Circle” sound familiar; then the recent combination of some of the groups various members ensures their new project, “7 Seasons Deep,”won’t be a stranger for long.

Four well-known, well-honed Madison-based musicians—lead singer Shawn Anthony Brown, along with Jayme Poster on lead guitar, Denny Carney playing bass, and Tim Schmitt on drums—are the heart and soul of what’s described as the straight forward, bluesy, hard rock sound of “7 Seasons Deep.”


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 - photo by McDaniel Photography

Mighty WheelHouse

An interview with the members of Mighty WheelHouse
by Teri Barr
December 2013

Start with some strong original music. Add in sponsored or self-labeled libations. And if the Madison-based band Mighty WheelHouse is any indication; it’s the beginning of a recipe for long-term success.

Mighty WheelHouse is on a roll. Though officially together just a few months, their success is being plotted, starting with the ingredients of the group. This project pairs up members from two of the areas most awarded, skilled, and popular bands:
Frank Busch (vocals, guitar, harmonica), Nic Adamany (vocals, guitar), and Joel Brantmeier (drums) from Mighty Short Bus; Kenny Leiser (vocals, fiddle, guitar) and Mark Noxon (vocals, bass guitar) from The Lucas Cates Band.

And Mighty WheelHouse has wasted no time. The group’s first CD, The Comeback, was released in November, 2013. It’s an all-original mix of a little bit folk, bluegrass, Americana, and country. But they’re already back in the studio working on a follow up album. 
There have also been shows. The former bands averaged 200+ a year. Mighty WheelHouse may easily break the number after kicking off its efforts over the summer, traveling throughout Wisconsin, the Midwest, Western, and Southern parts of the country. Spoetzl Brewery in Texas, and its ‘Shiner Bock’ brand of beer sponsored 35 dates.  Tours are in the works for 2014, along with an invitation to play the “Shiner Big One” at South by Southwest in Austin in the spring. Before that festival, the band recently learned they’ll be headed to Nashville to compete for a spot on a national TV show in the production called, “American Talent Hunters.” Mighty WheelHouse beat out thousands of others to make it into the top ten finales scheduled for January 25, 2014.
But why just market your music, if you can have your own whiskey? The band’s been working with a distiller, and “WheelHouse Whiskey” is expected by the end of the year. 

I recently had the opportunity to ask them, individually, a similar set of questions.  And it’s probably no surprise when I say their answers show that the success they are planning really is right in their “wheelhouse.”

Maximum Ink: What’s your musical background?
Frank Busch:
My brother, father, uncles, cousins, grandfathers were all musicians, bandleaders. My brother is now a high school band director in Northeast Wisconsin.  I played saxophone, but quit in 8th grade. I didn’t play guitar until college.
Kenny Leiser: My parents are music educators so there were many instruments around for me to experiment with and play. I started with 4th grade strings, and added guitar in 8th grade because I thought it was cool.
Nic Adamany: My dad has been involved in the music industry and is an excellent keyboard/piano player, so I started with piano when I was 5-years-old. But when I was 11, I got the surprise of a guitar for Christmas and instantly fell in love with it!
Mark Noxon: My dad was a band director, and I started on drums, then clarinet, saxophone, and finally the bass when I was 13. I’ve played in a big band and jazz band, but have had my own bands since middle school.
Joel Brantmeier: My parents loved music and luckily it wore off on me! I got a miniature smurf drum set when I was 4 or 5, but quickly upgraded after it.

MI: When did you decide music could be a career?
FB:
I made it my goal 8 years ago, but the first thing I did was save for an emergency fund. It has long since been depleted!
KL: I became a full-time musician in 2007 by playing enough gigs to leave my job at a music store.
NA: There’s been many twists and turns, but I knew when I learned to play guitar and started writing songs, this is all I wanted to do.
MN: As a bassist, I’ve been fortunate to fall into some really great projects, but never planned to be a full-time musician. I had a low-level management job when I was asked to join The Lucas Cates Band and realized I could make the same money by playing in a band and teaching bass, so I jumped on the opportunity.
JB: It’s always just seemed like the right thing for me.


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