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An interview with Madison rock band, Instead We Smile
by Mike Huberty
Female-fronted rock with a Pat Benatar-vibe, Madison’s INSTEAD WE SMILE is vocalist Amanda Ikens, bassist Ed Feeny, guitarist Jeff Muendel, and drummer Tom Pier. They are debuting their first release, Earthly Stew at Chief’s Tavern on October 22nd. It’s a free show and people will be able to pick up vinyl copies of the new music.
an interview with vocalist Fang Von Wrathenstein
by Teri Barr
My assignment? A pre-Halloween show Q & A with Ty Christian, better known as Fang VonWrathenstein, lead singer of the Madison-based band Lords of the Trident.
What I learned? The band has been in Max Ink twice before, and has only had to endure two line-up changes.
But, the goal has never changed: world domination.
Consider, it is October, and this is not a group taking itself too seriously.
Still, this band is no joke. Made up of talented musicians, Lords of the Trident has also been signed to a label in Europe, and is creating a monthly column for Guitar World Magazine called, “Music of the Arcane.”
It’s just a few of the steps on the way to world domination.
Hope you enjoy reading about the rest.
Maximum Ink: You were a young barbarian when your parents urged you to learn the war cries of your people. Was this your first foray into music?
Fang Von Wrathenstein: We also trained on various instruments - the bone xylophone, the skull trumpet. My mother even had an accordion made from flexible bison hide that she would play from time to time. But they always knew my true passion was in the vocalizations of our various war calls. That’s how I began to train my voice in the power of true META. Later, when the time came to record our first album, I started to get into the production-side of music, learning all I could about the various microphone techniques and equalization strategies. Thankfully, a number of strong mortal warriors helped, otherwise our albums would’ve sounded much worse than they do.
An interview with Birth of Tragedy's Cory Divine
by Mike Huberty
Two-man heavy metal juggernaut BIRTH OF TRAGEDY ripped through the Madison scene in the late 90s and early 2000s with a blend of prog and hardcore. Singer/guitarist Cory Divine and drummer Ryan Peterson delivered a concentrated sonic enema of what they called “Cathartic Metal” that was often more about emotional release than it was about entertainment. After quickly becoming Midwest metal darlings and even a tour with MUDVAYNE, the duo decided to take a break from the music and since 2002 have only sporadically recorded and released music. The good news is that they’re back this month for the Maximum Ink Halloween Spooktacular on October 29th and we spoke with Cory from the band about what they’ve been up to and where they’re going.
MAXIMUM INK: BIRTH OF TRAGEDY is back after a hiatus. On your Facebook page, you mention success and excess getting to your heads, what does that mean? Read More...
CORY DIVINE: Part of that is just Spinal Tap-esque sarcasm. Like one of the final scenes where they’re talking about what happens after the band ends, “The end is something that’s happening, but not happening”. Funny thing is, I think we may have been at that very pool side roof top when we played in Hollywood with MUDVAYNE many years ago. On a more serious note, we just kind of moved into a different chapter of life for a while, domestication, families, careers, school, etc… Ryan and I are pretty much best friends so this band has always been an extension of that, ever since we drifted away from “rock” per se and started delving into heavier territory when we were about 20, we’ve always stayed connected. Our families are close, we still go to shows together, hang out all the time. There were months that would go by where the drums/guitars sat idle in the basement but yet we always stayed connected. If we felt the itch, we’d rock out a few old ones, but it wasn’t really until last fall when I started seriously writing again that things began to take form for this new chapter.
An interview with Jerry Marotta, legendary rock drummer and co-founder of the Security Project
by Sal Serio
Chances are likely you know Jerry Marotta’s music even if the name doesn’t immediately ring a bell. The esteemed drummer, multi-instrumentalist, and producer has performed on a multitude of popular recordings, for artists such as Peter Gabriel, Indigo Girls, Stevie Nicks, Paul McCartney, Tears For Fears, Hall & Oates, Rory Block, and Orleans to name but a few. Currently Marotta is performing with the group Security Project, which he recently formed with King Crimson and Robert Fripp alumnus Trey Gunn. Security Project has released two live albums in 2016, including the brand new ‘Live 2’, to be officially released by 7d Media on October 21. The music on these two live releases are recreations and re-imagining of the material Marotta performed with Peter Gabriel in the late 1970s and early 80s. Rounding out the line-up is guitarist Michael Cozzi (Shriekback, Sky Cries Mary), keyboardist David Jameson (Beyond The Wall, Time Machine), and newest addition Happy Rhodes, who boasts a 4-octave vocal range. The addition of Rhodes to the Security Project means the ensemble will be expanding their presentation beyond just the Gabriel material on their October-November USA tour. Read More...
A Preview of Madison's 46th Annual Midwest Marijuana Harvest Festival
by Mike Huberty
The first time I attended Harvest Fest was during my Freshman year of college at UW-Madison. I was walking down State Street when I noticed way more hippies and much more marijuana smell in the air than usual. In 1995 and my first year of living in Madison, hippies and open pot smoking was still kind of a novelty for me, so I figured it was some kind of holiday. People were marching down State Street just toking in the streets while police watched. I had to ask one of the passersby what the Hell was going on, did I walk into some kind of universe where the Drug War never existed? Read More...
An interview with Alex Hohlstein from The Material Boys
by Mike Huberty
The recent Americana resurgence on that national scene has brought a lot of attention back to Bluegrass, with bands like Trampled By Turtles and Mumford & Sons selling out theaters across the country. After enjoying the music and it’s organic acoustic sound, you’ve probably been thinking that the only thing you’re missing is versions of 80s songs done Bluegrass style. I’m here to let you know that your prayers have been answered by The Material Boys.
A conversation with Lance and Ricci Martinez
by Laura Sorensen
BREECH is a Madison based, heavy metal band featuring two sets of brothers, Lance Martinez on bass / vocals, Ricci Martinez on guitar, Mike Willan vocals and Jeff Willan on drums. Since 2015 this “band of brothers” has been recording and performing at multiple local venues as well as shows around the state of Wisconsin. Their mission is to share their music with as many people as possible. Recently, I met with Lance and Ricci to discuss their music and their upcoming performance opening the second day of WJJO’s Sonic Boom on Sunday, October 2, 2016 at the Rock County Airport in Janesville.
Maximum Ink: How long have the four of you been together as a band? Read More...
Lance: Since about 2006 so around 10 years.
A conversation with Meg Golz and Eve Wilczewski
by Laura Sorensen
Meg Golz and Eve Wilczewski make up the female duo Seasaw. They originally met in Freeport, IL from a chance encounter when the two women worked at a local restaurant. The name represents the contrast in their working styles and personalities which are very opposite from each other. While the sea is soft a saw has a hard edge. Both operate using pulling and pushing actions. The spin on an actual seesaw comes from two people working on opposite sides to create balance and produce a smooth up and down movement. This is the way Meg and Eve approach problem solving and how they work through their creative process. Read More...
An interview with Dave Bonson, organizer of Grrrls Kick Ass Fest
by Mike Huberty
Forget the Lilith Fair, we’ve got something way better in Madison, GRRRLS KICK ASS FEST. Put together by local musician Dave Bonson, it’s the fourth year of a special female-centric show that features women in diverse acts like Milwaukee’s Annie B from THE COMPLICATION and Madison’s prog star Sarah Longfield in THE FINE CONSTANT. We talked with Dave about the show on September 4th.
MI: What gave you the idea for Grrrls Kick Ass Fest in the first place?
DB: When I was young a friend of mine introduced me to Bikini Kill. From there I went on to listen to Bratmobile, Sleater-Kinney, L7, X-Ray Spex and so on. I was hooked. I loved riot grrrl music. The attitude, overall confidence, and passion for what they believed in. They weren’t singing songs about fucking (although, that’s a great Big Black album) and they weren’t singing songs about how awesome it is to party and get fucked up. They were singing about what they believed matters and the way they did it too, you knew they meant every word. It was a huge inspiration to me for starting a festival like this. Read More...
An Interview with Jon and Ryan Knudson
by Michelle Harper
Jon and Ryan Knudson know backwoods country. Wisconsin backwoods, that is.
Influenced by farm life and bands such as The Flying Burrito Brothers, Little Feat and Creedence Clearwater Revival, The Driveway Thriftdwellers sound like a meld of classic bluegrass country fusion and garage music from the 60s and 70s
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