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Holland Zander and Dana Buck

The Sensations

A conversation with Holland Zander and Dana Buck
by Teri Barr
March 2016

Every musician must have thoughts about their dream line-up. But for The Sensations – a couple of 70’s rockers with some success, partnered with the daughter of a 70’s rocker with a lot of success – their own group is a dream come true. “We have saved the best for now,” bass player Dana Buck says, while laughing. “52 years in this business, and I’m having the most fun I’ve ever had on stage. But I credit so much of it to Holland, our lead singer.”

Holland—is Holland Zander – daugher of Cheap Trick’s lead singer, Robin Zander. But the ties between the two bands, who are all family or friends, have been forged over many years. “Rick Pemberton is our lead guitarist, but played in a band years ago with my Dad, Brian Beebe, and Bun E. Carlos in Wisconsin Dells,” Holland Zander says. “Dad and Brian then locked it in as a duo for three summers. And our drummer, Kurt Wiesend, was Bun E.‘s (Cheap Trick’s drummer) drum tech for a few tours. Crazy small world, and even crazier stories!”


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Casket Robbery - photo by Megan Orvold

Casket Robbery

Evil, crushing, and fun... this is what metal should be.
by Sal Serio
March 2016

The regional South-central Wisconsin metal band Casket Robbery, masterminded by former Luna Mortis guitarist Cory Scheider and vocalist Dustin Foesch, combine various elements of death metal with horror movie, serial killer, and pop culture themes. Casket Robbery have completed a new CD titled ‘Evolution Of Evil’, and are gearing up for a series of CD release party shows. Maximum Ink caught up with Cory and bass player Patrick Smalls to get all the gory details. Catch Casket Robbery at The Red Zone in Madison on Friday, March 4; Electric Lounge in Oshkosh on Friday, March 25; and at Ziggy’s Pub in Fond du Lac on Saturday, April 2.


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The Haunted Club Tavern in Middleton, WI

The Ghost of Club Tavern

An interview with Moose Werner, owner of the haunted Middleton music venue, Club Tavern
by Mike Huberty
March 2016

Middleton’s Club Tavern has been a mainstay for live music on the west side for decades. The bar itself has been around for a lot longer than that and was even featured in the 1975 book, “Blue-collar Aristocrats: Life-styles at a Working-class Tavern”, a sociological study that looked through the other end of the hippie spectrum during the Vietnam generation, but what excited me the most about the place was the fact that I’ve heard several times from the staff that the Club Tavern was haunted.


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Circleswitch singer Kenny James, photo by Absolute Eddy - photo by Absolute Eddy

CIRCLESWITCH

An interview with Danny Rodic and Kenny James from Milwaukee's Circleswitch
by Mike Huberty
March 2016

Melodic hard rockers, CIRCLESWITCH, has been busy tearing up stages for Midwestern headbangers since we last talked to them in 2013, releasing their album, *Daybreak* and a stream of music videos. Their latest video, “Alibi” will be released in March (found on their website, www.circleswitch.com) and they’ll be performing in Madison at The Red Zone Annex on April 2nd. We talked to guitarist Danny Rodic and lead singer, Kenny James, in advance of the show.


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Vanishing Kids Live!

Mesmerized In Madison Compilation CD

An interview with Vanishing Kids' Jason Hartman, the man behind the "Mesmerized In Madison" compilation
by Mike Huberty
January 2016

Jason Hartman has been part of the driving force behind Madison (and for a few years, the Pacific Northwest) electronic art-rock band, VANISHING KIDS, as well as touring Europe and North America with psychedelic doom metallers JEX THOTH. He’s put together a limited release CD and vinyl compilation of some exclusive and unreleased tracks from his favorite Madison bands that’s coming out this month. The official party will be at Mickey’s Tavern on February 13th and I talked to Jason about the new compilation entitled “Mesmerized In Madison”.


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Adam Domack

Adam Domack

by Laura Sorensen
January 2016

If you follow the local rock scene in Madison, you may have noticed a familiar face over the last couple of years.  Adam Domack is a singer and acoustic guitar player who has opened for numerous venues in the Madison area including The Red Zone and the Hijynx in Ft. Atkinson.  After seeing him perform as the opening act for bands such as Ultrea, Haliwel and Fall II Rise, I asked Adam if he would answer some questions.  This is a summary of our conversation.


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Metric's Jimmy Shaw

Metric

I talked with Metric mastermind Jimmy Shaw
by John Noyd
January 2016

Jimmy Shaw is a hands-on guy. As producer, songwriter and guitarist for the Canadian band Metric, Shaw has a say in every phase of the operation, right down to picking venues and opening acts for their tours. “I hate lists and links,” he admits, preferring input from a trusted network of friends. “I’ve known our Booking Agent since we were eleven,” Shaw says, “he suggested Joywave as an opener for this current tour.” It also happens that Metric’s current Tour Manager is from Joywave’s hometown of Rochester, N.Y. and seconded the idea. When it was pointed out that in taking control of all these details, Shaw had no one to blame but himself, he was happy to assume that responsibility, preferring by whatever means necessary to maintain the band’s DIY cred that has successfully fostered a creative outlet for himself and co-founder Emily Haines going on twenty years. Asked whether wearing so many hats in the band gives him more power over the other members, Shaw turns diplomatic and replies, “Let’s say I can be very persuasive, if you happen to disagree with me.”

Largely a product of Shaw’s work in his Toronto recording studio, Metric’s latest release, “Pagans in Vegas,” is an electric circus of blitzkrieg beats, neon-lit riffs and sterling hooks. When asked if there was a specific toy that that was behind this album’s genesis Shaw quickly credited the large modular synthesizer Studio 66 from Synthesizers.com; specifically a duophonic patch that allowed him to compose bass lines with his left hand and the melody with his right. The results, he gushed, “were more skeletal than sketches,” and instead of taking his ideas and having to reproduce them over again in the studio, his work with Studio 66 gave him a foundation that just needed to be fleshed out, streamlining the process to completing a song. Meanwhile, halfway around the world, Emily was also writing songs, but with the barest of technology, created on acoustic instruments. When Jimmy, Emily, bassist Joshua Winstead and drummer Joules Scott-Key looked at the pair’s accumulated songs, decided to let each stand alone rather than integrate them. 

Soon thereafter the band embarked on a tour opening for Imagine Dragons, where they visited different studios to work on Emily’s songs. Gathering the tapes four months afterwards to review, the tightly-knit quartet discovered something they hadn’t anticipated. Despite their hopping from studio to studio, the songs had a sameness to them that fell short of their individual potential. When asked how this could have happened, Jimmy explains, “You can have a Fender, a Telecaster, whatever, but it comes down to the fingers on the instrument.” “I can get Billy Gibbons’ guitars and amps and use the same studio he uses, but I’m never going to sound like Billy Gibbons,” he reasons. “You can’t duplicate that magic, if you could you’d have dozens of ZZ Tops, hundreds of Beatles!”

While Shaw admitted to having no memory of Metric’s last time playing Madison nine years ago beyond an after-gig drinking game with whiskey, he is ecstatic to be returning to Madison with a tour whose sound and lighting have been recently road-tested with flying colors. “We’ve been playing longer, having lots of fun,” he says and it’s amazing to hear someone who has logged in so many miles playing all around the world, sounding so primed for another tour. Does Shaw do anything except live, sleep and breath music? He laughs, but says when he needs to get away from it all he will pour himself into a frenzy of cooking, racing around town gathering groceries and creating exotic meals without a recipe. It appears as if no matter what Shaw does, he does with gusto. “There are lots of forces in the world to get you down,” he admits, “it’s easy to bum out and hard to keep that naively positive attitude, but you can’t succumb to it, otherwise life is a waste.” 

Fasten your seat belts, Metric along with hyper-kinetic techno-rockers Joywave will fill Madison’s Orpheum Theater February 13th with gleaming streams of fierce lyrics and vampish anthems coyly uncoiled inside an explosive dose of rock and roll charisma you will not want to miss.


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Another Lost Year

Another Lost Year

Interview with Another Lost Year
by Laura Sorensen
January 2016

The rock music band Another Lost Year out of Charlotte, N.C. may not be a household name for everyone who follows the genre of rock, but they have no shortage of devoted fans who know exactly who they are. Their fan base extends all across the country but like a lot of other rock musicians, the Midwest is particularly welcoming to their music. While the band’s last performance in Madison, WI was at the Taste of Madison sponsored by WJJO in 2013, they have covered multiple venues in other areas of Wisconsin as well as Iowa and Illinois. I had an opportunity to meet with the lead singer Clinton Cunanan before their performance at the Apollo Theater in Belvedere, IL last month. Other members of the band include Adam Hall (bass/vocals) , Jorge Sotomarino (guitar, vocals), and Nathan Walker (drums, vocals). Following is some insight Clinton shared with me about the band.


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Once Around - photo by Mat Teubert

Once Around

intro by Teri Bar, interview by Laura Sorensen
by Laura Sorensen
January 2016

If you only live once—the members of Once Around are finding a way to make every moment count. But before you assume this Madison-based band is a bunch of road-hardened veterans, you may be surprised to learn this group is made up of driven, talented… teenagers.

So what’s really making their young lust for life stand out in a big way? Once Around creatively combines its own style of original old school rock and glam, with some new age metal and punk. Sebastian Sikk is the 17-year-old lead vocalist; Wrath Starz is 16, and plays lead guitar, rhythm guitar, and contributes to backing vocals. 19-year-old Bam joins on bass, and backing vocals; then there’s Chase, who is 16, on drums.

But don’t let their ages fool you.  Laura talked with Once Around as the band gets ready to release some new music during its February 5th show at The Red Zone in Madison.

Maximum Ink:  Once Around is a clever name. How did you come up with it, and are you using it as (almost) a motto for the band?
Sebastian Sikk:
  The significance behind it, and a lot of our song lyrics is that you only live once, and a band like this only comes around once. The music is our message, and it just feels like it has been all the same old radio rock for awhile. I feel like there hasn’t been a new band to come out and skyrocket in popularity since Black Veil Brides. So we are trying to do something different, combining new age with older music we grew up on like Skid Row, Poison, and KISS. But we are mixing it up, and creating something new, along with a unique look. And not many people are doing a look anymore.


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2146 ViewsPermalinkOnce Around Website
Billy Gibbons - photo by Blain Clausen

Billy Gibbons

Baby, That Is Rock ‘n’ Roll
by Sal Serio
January 2016

Just when it seemed like the year was wrapped up as far as major interviews were concerned, the opportunity came about for Maximum Ink writer Sal Serio to conduct some Q&A with none other than music legend and Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame inductee Billy Gibbons, obviously of ZZ Top fame. Billy and his current touring band The BFGs play the Pabst Theater in Milwaukee on Saturday, January 30.

MAXIMUM INK:  A Slim Harpo song starts off your new solo CD ‘Perfectamundo’. To you, what is the geographical difference in blues music? Texas blues as compared to Chicago, Kansas City, Mississippi, or wherever. Which came first in your musical vocabulary: blues or rock ‘n roll?

BILLY GIBBONS:  [My] first real exposure to live blues was a man from Mississippi, who was based in Memphis at the time, who was recording in Houston, but whose most celebrated album was ‘Live At The Regal’, which was recorded in Chicago! It was B.B. King, of course, and I got to see him record in my home town thanks to some strings pulled by my Dad, when I was about 7 or 8. I guess I’m saying that blues has no boundaries and is all interconnected. There wouldn’t have been a Chicago scene if blues cats hadn’t come up from Mississippi. Texas cats tended to gravitate to Kansas City, but there was lots of cross pollination. Slim Harpo, by the way, was from Louisiana, so you could very well say “all and none of the above.” A few years before that encounter with B.B. King I got to see Elvis perform, and, as the song goes, “baby, that is rock ’n’ roll.”


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