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Shot To Hell on the cover of Maximum Ink in September 2002

Shot To Hell

by David A. Kulczyk
September 2002

It is not everyday that you see a band fly out of the starting blocks like Shot To Hell.  Their enthralling version of Psychobilly has been burning the boards throughout the Midwest, uniting fans of multiply genres and age groups.

After a trying year that included three different drummers and a van fire, Shot To Hell has finally (hopefully) put their bad luck behind them with the addition of permanent drummer by the name of Daphna Ron, who also contributes backing vocals.

Shot To Hell has two full albums worth of songs to release, which they will record at their own Psyclops studio in La Crosse. Next month they are going to have a remix version of their song (If you) Think I’m Dumb on the Georgia based Illbilly Records compilation “Dropped On The Head - Vol. 2”


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Milwaukee's The Buzzhorn on the cover of Maximum Ink in August 2002

The Buzzhorn

by Sarah Klosterbuer
August 2002

“We just wanted to kinda get back to rock.” The phrase may be a bit of a cliché, but is the perfect description of what The Buzzhorn is all about.

Recently signing with Atlantic Records, the Milwaukee-based band is taking its first steps into the national limelight, with high hopes and realistic expectations. “As far as the national level and everything, you can keep your fingers crossed and hope that it all goes well. We just want to keep playing, and that’s really it,” reflects vocalist Ryan Mueller.

The Buzzhorn are one of Milwaukee’s hottest bands, but were relatively unheard of outside of the city until recently. Advertising extensively and barely getting by financially, The Buzzhorn developed a strong, energetic fan base in the Milwaukee area. Ultimately, this, in combination with the band’s musical talent, caught the eyes and ears of Atlantic Records, offering The Buzzhorn the opportunity every band dreams of. On August 6 of this year, “Disconnected” hits stores, with the first single, “Ordinary” currently being added to radio play lists nationwide.


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Midnight Oil on the cover of Maximum Ink in July 2002

Midnight Oil

by David A. Kulczyk
July 2002

Midnight Oil has been playing their own kind of music for twenty-seven years now with only two changes in personnel. They actually started in 1971 as The Farm. That says a lot when you think about it and think is what Midnight Oil does. Throughout their thirteen releases Midnight Oil has never let up on their causes of social awareness, inequalities and environmental justice. They have also never let up on their hard rocking and sing-along passionate music. 

Fronted by the seven foot tall, shaven head singer, Peter Garrett, Midnight Oil is loud and energetic in their live performances. They have been known to play guerrilla shows on flatbed trucks, once even in front of Exxon’s New York City headquarters, midday during the week. Garrett, who has a law degree, ran for the Australian Senate on a Nuclear Disarmament ticket, losing by only a small margin. The defeat only strengthened his objective of speaking out on political matters as his conscience saw fit. You can’t really argue with a seven-foot tall bald man, can you?

Selling millions of records all over the world, Midnight Oil broke onto the American scene with 1987’s “Diesel and Dust,” a monumental album with unforgettable songs like “Beds Are Burning,” “Sell My Soul,” “Sometimes” and “Put Down That Weapon.” The follow up, 1990’s “Blue Sky Mining” was just as great with the anti-war song “Forgotten Years” and “Shakers and Movers” being as good as anything recorded in that decade.

Midnight Oil’s new CD is “Capricornia” and they are touring the world in support of it. I interviewed Peter Garrett, via e-mail as he was at his home in Sydney Australia.


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Guided By Voices - photo by Daniel Coston

Guided By Voices

by Kurt Stream
June 2002

“Eh, I’m getting old,” causally remarked Robert Pollard, referring to his recent on-stage back injury from his home in Dayton, Ohio. The 44-year-old, former elementary school teacher is the singer, songwriter, and only permanent member of Guided By Voices, one of the greatest bands that most radio-friendly ears have never even heard of. But once exposed to the Guided By Voices empire, many will become borderline worshipers. Magnet magazine publisher Eric T. Miller has said that Pollard has written more great songs than the Beatles, the Who and the Rolling Stones combined. Last year, San Francisco Mayor Willie Brown went as far as declaring April 3, 2001 “Guided By Voices Day” in the city. In an age of utterly disposable bands like Limp Bizkit selling millions of records, this well-merited praise comes to a band that, after 17 years, finally made it to the billboard top 200 last year, peeking at 168.


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Tommy Lee on the cover of Maximum Ink in June 2002

Tommy Lee

by Paul Gargano
June 2002

Tommy Lee became synonymous with drumming in the late ‘80s and early ‘90s, his solos setting the standards by which all future drummers would be judged, and his presence one of unparalleled rock ‘n’ roll excess. Since those heralded days in Mötley Crüe, a lot has happened, but Lee’s focus hasn’t shifted. Through tabloid headline after tabloid headline, he’s kept his music close to his heart, all the while, his personal life being run through the American psyche as if it were made for prime time television. And while the hooplah may have been more than most men could handle, in sitting down with Tommy Lee as the release of his sophomore solo effort approaches (this time the project is simply called Tommy Lee, and the album, appropriately, Never A Dull Moment), it’s practically chilling how sound both in mind and body the international superstar has become. It’s as if the more he’s been through, the more he’s learned, and Lee savors the newfound knowledge with an enviable zest for life. The same zest that he applies to his music. On the eve of the band’s departure for the road in support of Lee’s latest solo outing, Maximum Ink sat down with the drummer-turned-frontman to discuss life as an icon, and the albums that have come as a result…


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Supersuckers on the cover of Maximum Ink in May 2002

Supersuckers

by Sarah Klosterbuer
May 2002

There are two types of country music. There’s the whiney, poppy, overproduced dribble, and then there’s the kind produced by the Supersuckers - the good kind.

To say the least, the Supersuckers are a bit bipolar when it comes to musical styles. They’ve opened for White Zombie and Motorhead and also backed country legend Willie Nelson. Producing primarily rock albums, the band also delivered a country disc in 1997, providing the material for their latest live release, “Must’ve Been Live.”


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Tenacious D on the cover of Maximum Ink in April 2002

Tenacious D

by Michelle Harper
April 2002

Yes! Finally, an original and innovative musical group pierces the rerun neo-metal trend of the new millennium. Of course, musical geniuses such as Brittany Spears and the Backstreet Boys (pre-rehab visits) have made it almost impossible for anyone to look good, or even competent, in comparison. But, the hilarious sarcasm of Jack Black and Kyle Gass are making a run for glory despite the uphill trek, riding their mighty steeds with a guitar in one hand and a scepter in the other. Their mission? Tenacious D wants to kick some ass, rock your face off, and allow you the privilege of witnessing the “greatest band that ever was”.

It all began in 1996 when Gass and Black met in the L.A-based theater group, The Actor’s Gang. Gass instructed Black on some guitar techniques, and the two became fast friends. The duo has made cameo appearances in such flicks as Bio-Dome, Cradle Will Rock, and more recently, an HBO short documenting the hilariously intense rise to ass-kicking stardom - Tenacious D-style.  Black has made a name for himself as an actor as well, appearing as a clerk in John Cusak’s record store in High Fidelity, and the Farley Brothers’ flick Shallow Hal with Gwynneth Paltrow.  Finally, after six years, with the help of Dave Grohl of the Foo Fighters and production team The Dust Brothers , Tenacious D is on their way to selling 11 million records, just as Black so grandiosely predicted.


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Electric Hellfire Club on the cover of Maximum Ink in March 2002 - photo by Rokker

The Electric Hellfire Club

by Andrew Frey
March 2002

“My motto is “Failure to evolve is exactly that, failure.” If I sounded the same that I sounded in ‘93, then I fucked up somewhere along the line. The intention of the band was not to create a formula and make a million dollars. The intention of the band was JUST to make music,” states Thomas Thorn, lead singer and founding member of the infamous Electric Hellfire Club.

Electronomicon is the fifth full-length release from Satan’s little helpers, and is certainly no failure. In fact, it is their most ambitious and best sounding album to date. Part of the genius lies in the fact that it was recorded at the famed Abyss Studios in Sweden, and produced and engineered by Tommy Tagtgren. EHC was the first American band to ever record there, (and may be the last, as studio owner Peter Tagtgren has decided to close the studio.)


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Madison's Muzzy Luctin featuring former members of Inner Sanctum, Last Crack and Magic 7

Muzzy Luctin

by Sarah Klosterbuer
March 2002

The release of Symptoms of a Simple Life has been a long time coming for Muzzy Luctin.  Initial writing and recording for the album began in 1999, but scarce studio time and busy personal and professional lives for Muzzy Luctin’s members caused the final release to actually materialize almost three years later.

The time stretch proved to be a positive aspect in a number of ways for the band. Guitarist Paul Schluter took on mixing responsibilities for the disc, and quickly admits to being a perfectionist, refusing to be satisfied with anything less than excellence.  Perhaps even more significant than studio perfections, or even a more accepting rock scene than that of two years ago, is what the time has done for the personal dynamics of the band.  “You really find out whether or not you can stay together as a band, because we went through [a lot],” recalls Schluter.  “At least as bad or worse than some bands, and we stayed together.” Stressing the variety within the band, he continues, “[We have] different personalities, but we’ve all been able to compromise and work together and make it work, and that’s what’s gonna make us stay together.”


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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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