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The Reverend Horton Heat on the cover of Maximum Ink in February 2002

The Reverend Horton Heat

by Dave Leucinger
February 2002

He genuinely enjoys music - writing it, performing it, and recording it. He is steadfastly loyal to and respectful of his fans. But Jim Heath - better known as the Reverend Horton Heat - has some real issues with the two dominant forces in contemporary music: technology and corporate control. In a recent telephone interview from his home in Dallas, he discussed how these elements have alienated him from the mainstream - for better and for worse.

“Since we did our first record, the Internet and web sites have become more important,” Heath said. “But I’m confused about the Internet. I think the way it’s looking, the music will eventually just be free, and that’s not an easy pill for the industry to swallow,” he said. “For us, we don’t rely a lot on the recordings - we get our revenue off tickets and merchandise. I’m so far from the industry, I don’t have the slightest idea of what will happen. But these bands could stand to lose millions.”

An explosion of computer technology in the studio also has Heath riled up. “Since the 1970s and 80s, we’ve been moving into a world where it’s not the sound of the live band,” he lamented. “You put down the drum tracks, then throw in other loops - it takes fuckin’ forever for an album. It’s defining how music is being written and composed. And all they’re doing is turning knobs, while kick-ass players - people with real talent - are passé. It’s those posing knob-turners who are being marketed.” Brace yourself, folks - he points to one of the iconic rock acts as establishing the trend. “Sit and listen to a Led Zeppelin album - they had three guitar parts and three vocal parts on the records. It was all done with overdubbing. I question the validity of that - when you realize that it can’t be reproduced live. Technology has taken music to a weird place - way out there.”


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Milwaukee's New Society Of Anarchists - photo by Rokker

New Society Of Anarchists

by David A. Kulczyk
January 2002

The music industry has been full of bullshit since some cavemen (or cavewomen) started pounding two rocks together at the campfire and one of their tribe members started getting them shows at other campfires. Before long, they demanded no pink Auk eggs in the dressing room, ten clay pots of honey beer, and only the best grubs and Mastodon meat. Eventually the band disintegrated. Oog went solo, Gork started another band and Raag, the only original member, resigned to performing with musicians half his age at backwoods Neanderthal camps.

It seems like nothing has changed in all those years, until I interviewed The New Society of Anarchists. A Milwaukee band founded in 1990 by brothers Zakk (Bass), Arlo (guitar), their cousin Jason (guitar) and a revolving door of drummers. “It’s easy to be together when your family is involved”, said Zakk. “The only people that we ever go through are drummers, but we have a pretty solid unit going now. My old man was playing in bands ever since we were young and Jason’s old man too, so it’s in our blood.”


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former Milwaukeean now NYC girl Katy Pfaffl on the cover of Maximum Ink in Jan. 2002 - photo by Joshua Silk

Katy Pfaffl

by John Noyd
January 2002

Light grooves and soaring melodies circle and dive with Latin jazz accents, soul throaty climaxes and soft, sophisticated pop. Fluid flowers of pan-global sensitivity blossom into polysyllabic rivers that dance among the keyboards, guitar, hand percussion and bass. Sounds conjuring wide-open spaces find strange bedfellows in Manhattan - a crowded city of subways and skyscrapers, but that is exactly where Katy Pfaffl found her muse - New York, by way of Amsterdam, Cincinnati and Milwaukee.

Born and raised in Milwaukee, Katy was a Sukuzi violin student, competing as a classical pianist before she entered high school. While she feels lucky to have grown up in Milwaukee, she found the city’s arts scene limited and more concerned with stability than change. “I’ve always had many interests and was always told I had to choose only one and commit to it,” she explains, “I believe that if you have a lot of talents and interests then use them all, explore them all so you can keep growing and expanding.”


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Default in 2001 - photo by Phil Hunt

Default

by Sarah Klosterbuer
December 2001

When Dallas Smith auditioned for drummer Danny Craig and guitarist Jeremy Hora only two years ago, it was a new experience for him.  Before that, Smith’s vocal performances had been limited to singing along with the radio, but a decision that it was time to try it for real lead him to vie for the position of lead singer in Hora and Smith’s band.  It went well.

Today, the three of them, along with bassist Dave Benedict, are collectively known as Default, a Vancouver rock band whose buzz just keeps growing.  When asked if he had any idea back in 1999 that the band would have gained this level of success and notoriety so quickly, Smith replied, “Not even a .1% chance.  It’s like winning the lottery, really.  We can’t believe it.”


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Jack Bruce

Jack Bruce

by Mario Martin
December 2001

The 1960’s British music scene afforded one of the greatest bands the world would ever see, Cream. Jack Bruce provided the rhythm for which to do it.

Jack Bruce On His Current Project:
Jack Bruce has played with some of the most diverse musicians in the business, none more diverse than his current project that was turned into a band for the sheer enjoyment of the music. Jack said, “I’ve enjoyed playing with so many musicians through the years, but my favorite is my band right now.” [Jack’s current band is comprised of Vernon Reid on guitar; Bernie Worrel on Hammond organ; El Negro Horacio Hernandez from Cuba, Robbie Ameen and Richi Flores, all on drums.]  “When we were making the record, we decided to continue and make a band out of it.”

Jack Bruce on the Music Industry:
Jack Bruce is one that sees the melting pot of music as a blessing. “Music has always been, it just got bigger. There are so many more kinds of music today but their roots were always there. Me, I consider myself a non-celebrity and play music because I love music…all of it.”  When asked about what types of music he listens to, Jack said, “I listen to everything. I’m very open to what’s out there. From Limp Bizkit to whatever gangster rap is around.”


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Ozzy on the cover of Maximum Ink in December 2001 - photo by Paul Gargano

Ozzy Osbourne

by Paul Gargano
December 2001

Sitting across from Ozzy Osbourne in his Tucson, AZ hotel suite the night before he would kick off his year-ending Merry Mayhem tour with Rob Zombie and Soil, you can’t help but feel a sense of awe—It’s Ozzy Osbourne. Ozzy fucking Osbourne. And now, in the midst of the most widespread success of his career, he’s released Down To Earth—his most impressive album in practically a decade and is backed by what is arguable his most talented band to date—returning guitarist Zakk Wylde [Black Label Society], bassist Robert Trujillo [ex-Suicidal Tendencies] and drummer Mike Bordin [ex-Faith No More]. Less than 24-hours before embarking on the tour that would change the way we all look at the holidays, Ozzy was in rare form—Every part the heavy metal legend he’s cracked up to be, and more human than most of us ever imagined…


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Drowning Pool on the cover of Maximum Ink in November 2001 RIP Dave!

Drowning Pool

by Paul Gargano
November 2001

Don’t let their casual charm and effervescent personalities fool you, on the package tour dubbed Music As A Weapon, Drowning Pool ‘s performance is the equivalent of stumbling into the ammunition hold and dropping a lit stick of dynamite. Sure, Disturbed have earned their stripes and deserve their place atop the tour they assembled, but if the headliners are the United States Navy, Drowning Pool are the Navy Seals, sneaking up on the unsuspecting crowd with stealth, and attacking with a sonic spray that numbs the senses.

Granted, it’s getting harder for Drowning Pool to “sneak up” on anyone, especially given the breakthrough success of their debut single “Bodies,” one of the most potent metal hits this side of Pantera ‘s “Walk.” The song is a smash even becoming the theme music for the World Wrestling Federation’s recent plotlines, but the acclaim it’s brought with it isn’t all it’s cracked up to be.


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American Headcharge on the cover of Maximum Ink one month after 9/11 - photo by Christopher McCollum

American Headcharge

by Paul Gargano
October 2001

When the name of your band is American Headcharge , and your album cover for debut release The War Of Art depicts a black-eyed Uncle Sam pointing a gun at the listener, you’ve got to excuse people for assuming you might have a political slant. But according to bassist/guitarist/all-around-American Headcharge -musical force Chad Hanks, that’s just the problem.

“There’s absolutely no tie in at all,” Hanks says of his band and politics. A logical question though, especially in light of the recent terrorist attacks on America, and Headcharge’s ironically appropriate Uncle Sam imagery. “That imagery is the funniest part of the whole thing. It’s like Andy Kaufman shit! It has nothing to do with anything, it was just great imagery, especially considering that we’ve got American in our name.


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Beautiful Creatures, the band on the cover during 9/11, September 2001

Beautiful Creatures

by Paul Gargano
September 2001

There was a time when rock ‘n’ roll roamed the earth like a tattooed titan, a fire-breathing monster that made mothers cringe in horror, and their daughters creep closer to feel the heat. It was the music that separated the men from the boys, transforming guitars into an electrical storm, vocals into a maelstrom of piss and vinegar, and blasting a bottom end that made the walls shake. It meant more than just songs on the radio, it was a lifestyle.

Well, if the haze of the late-‘90s has left us convinced that excitement has left the building, Beautiful Creatures kick the door back down, stampeding onto the scene with their self-titled debut. Inspired by the same bands that spawned everyone from Alice in Chains to Pantera, they strike a paralyzing blow to the complacent chords and ridiculous excuses for rock stars that inundate the modern music scene. Paying homage to their roots and with their sites set on the future, its monster hooks and sleazed-out looks that make the Beautiful Creatures the most electrifying new band in years.


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Driver 13

by John Noyd
September 2001

When Shawn Anthony Brown returned to Wisconsin last fall, he had a long drive to contemplate his future.  His first time to Wisconsin was nearly ten years ago when Last Crack recruited him as their new lead singer. That road led to a European record deal, playing before tens of thousands of people and munching on sandwiches back stage with Ozzy and Sepultura. Splitting from Last Crack to form Spiritus, Shawn eventually grew tired of low wages and indifferent response from local radio. Returning to his native North Carolina, he dabbled in bands and jams that honed his awesome voice and brought him in contact with the woman who eventually became his wife. Still, something was missing. So, encouraged by his Madison friends who spun tales of Spiritus getting airplay and a renewed interest from radio for the local scene, Shawn packed his bags, kissed his wife goodbye and came back to seek his musical destiny. Thirteen hours later he got out of the car with his dreams intact and a name for his new band Driver (now Driver 13).

Hooking up with some of his old bandmates, Shawn actually came back to form two bands, Grip and Driver. While Grip fell to the wayside, Driver flourished, fronted by Shawn and piloted by Kerry Koppen, Mike Hagen and John Stone (Smolak). Pooling their experience in countless local bands and a profound love for Tool and Led Zeppelin, Driver creates a swampy, low end mix of industrial strength rock and spooked-out metal with traces of Middle Eastern warbling and iron-fisted rap. Shawn describes it as a chunkier, more evolved Spiritus .

Settled into the area with his wife, dog Tyler and steady employment, Shawn sees Driver’s future not as a breakout act to be courted by the industry, but rather a solid live band looking for local notoriety.  While they are cutting a single at Sleepless Nights later this year, there are no plans for CDs and national exposure. It doesn’t matter, Shawn says, how talented you are, the music industry is only interested in a look, a gimmick, the latest trend. Following their own muse, Driver shows samurai grace under extreme pressure, screaming when the spirit moves them, and shaking out the demons at the drop of a hat. Appearing at Bomblastica 2001 on September 22nd, they are sure to seize the night with their particular brand of feverish metal.


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