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Beasto Blanco - photo by Natalia Britt

Beasto Blanco

Alice Cooper band members feed their Frankenstein on their 2nd album
by Sal Serio
December 2016

Theatrics, flesh, muscles, tattoos, volume, riffs, grind, and thrust… this is Beasto Blanco, the project of longtime Alice Cooper bassist Chuck Garric. Enhancing the mix is Alice and Sheryl Cooper’s daughter Calico on vocals and mayhem, providing a Tarantino type of gritty and gruesome rock experience. Beasto Blanco’s self-titled second album has just been released on Rat Pak Records. Rounding out the band is outstanding guitarist Brother Chris Latham, drummer Tim Husung, and bass player Jan LeGrow. The following interview is with Chuck Garric, conducted on November 16th by Sal Serio.


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the Poster Children

The Poster Children

an interview with Matt, Rick, and Rose of the Poster Children
by Ted Offensive
November 2016

The Poster Children are back!

By this, I mean they have re-released their iconic, “Daisy Chain Reaction” album In October on vinyl, and are touring in support of it.  Additionally they are back in the studio with that record’s producer, the legendary Steve Albini to record new material.

The brief tour included four cities on the east coast, and five out west.  Following this, they will play in Cincinnati on the 19th and Columbus, OH on the 20th, before 2 gigs in Chicago on the 23rd of November at Schuba’s.  Then they go back into the studio to write and record more music.

This is good news to many who have been enjoying their music over the last two plus decades.  They actually formed in 1987 in Champaign-Urbana, Illinois.  At their core have always been Rick and Rose, with Rick’s brother Jim joining the band after the Daisy Chain Reaction record.  They have enjoyed the services of seven different drummers before gaining Matt in 2001, but have maintained a remarkably steady, catchy rock sound across all of them.

I caught up with them across the information super driveway between and after their swings through both the east and west coasts.  I asked them about music, and not music, perspective and the moment.  What follows is a view into a very friendly, unpretentious rock band, and quite possibly, why they have been able to keep giving great music for so long.

Maximum Ink: So are you guys back in the old familiar van from the tour video you did years ago?  If so, is it kind of like putting on a pair of old comfortable shoes? 
Rick:
We don’t have the old van anymore but


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The Big Payback on the cover of Maximum Ink music magazine

The Big Payback

"An Interview with Guitarist Kyle Rightley"
by Michelle Harper
November 2016

The Big Payback is about to unleash a brand new bag of jazz-rock brass-laced funk on Madison’s music scene.

Five years after their debut album “Overture” took audiences by storm, The Big Payback is releasing a new album entitled “Animal Brain” on November 18th. And, with the talent and projects compiled in the 9-piece musical powerhouse, recording it was no small feat. Fronted by the spicy soulful vocals of Leah Isabel Tirado, TBP is compromised of highly experienced and profoundly innovative artists whose collective sound has earned them award after award after award. Guitarist Kyle Rightley took time out this week to talk with me about “Animal Brain” and how the theme of musically unifying the duality of the human mind came to fruition.


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The Racing Pulses

The Racing Pulses

by Teri Barr
November 2016

Every band has a unique story about its members, and what originally brought them together. But The Racing Pulses, which prides itself on being a rock band built on swift melodies and big rhythms, may have one of the most interesting of all. Kristian Iliev, a Madison guitar player originally from Racine, placed an ad on Craigslist. Both Mike Newby, a drummer from the East Coast, and Brian Blanchette of rural Mineral Point, responded. But both also told family members, if they weren’t in touch within an hour, call police. Luckily, their differences have helped form a solid foundation, and some great goals. I talked with all of them recently about hitting the road, while creating their first full-length album.

Maximum Ink: Everyone decides to play music for a different reason. What was your inspiration?
Kristian Iliev:
Ever since I can remember, I have enjoyed singing. In middle school, my dad bought me a drum kit and we started talking a lot more about music. During high school, I was a jazz band drummer. But, rock was always my first love and it was during that time I learned to play guitar. My family inspired me, too. I have memories of watching my father play guitar, seeing my sister sing in musicals, and going to concerts throughout those years.


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House band at Yahara Bay Distillery - Hickory Road

Hickory Road

interview with guitarist Herb Charlan
by Mike Huberty
November 2016

With traditional rock n’ roll licks, bluesy vocals, and even a little bit of twang for good measure, Madison’s HICKORY ROAD is grown-up Hipster-Beard-free heartfelt Americana music. You can hear the years spent listening to the classic rock of LYNYRD SKYNYRD to NEIL YOUNG in their music and they’ve got a laid back 70s vibe. Forming in 2014, the band the band is Mike Pindilli on vocals and guitar, drummer Lars Forde, Herb Charlan on guitar, Derrick Henrickson on bass, and Merle Bailey keys and the saxophone. We took a little time to talk to the band about their upcoming performance at Yahara Bay Distillery on November 18th.

MI: What was the big inspiration for you guys to get into music in the first place?
HERB CHARLAN:
Like Hank Williams Jr said…“It’s a family tradition.” Something we individually have always done in some capacity.

MI: Who were your favorite artists growing up?
HC:
Stevie Wonder, Hendrix, Jessie Johnson, The Doors, Tim Alexander, really…too many to list… life.


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463 ViewsPermalinkHickory Road Website
Madison's Instead We Smile

Instead We Smile

An interview with Madison rock band, Instead We Smile
by Mike Huberty
October 2016

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.


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Lords of the Trident: The most METAL band on earth! - photo by Mary Sweeney Photography

Lords of the Trident

an interview with vocalist Fang Von Wrathenstein
by Teri Barr
October 2016

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.
Too serious?

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.


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drummer Ryan Peterson and guitarist Cory Divine of Madison's legendary metallers Birth Of Tragedy

Birth of Tragedy

An interview with Birth of Tragedy's Cory Divine
by Mike Huberty
October 2016

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?
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.


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Security Project

Security Project

An interview with Jerry Marotta, legendary rock drummer and co-founder of the Security Project
by Sal Serio
October 2016

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.


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Demetrius Wainwright of Natty Nation

46th Annual Harvest Fest

A Preview of Madison's 46th Annual Midwest Marijuana Harvest Festival
by Mike Huberty
September 2016

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?


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