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Janesville's VERSUS ME - photo by Elizabeth Wadium

VERSUS ME

An interview with Janesville metal band, VERSUS ME
by Mike Huberty
September 2017

Janesville’s VERSUS ME is talented AF. If you like hard rock there’s lots to like. Singer James Milbrandt has a fantastic voice when he’s singing, usually on the chorus ‘cuz the verses are always gutteral, more percussive than melodic. Bassist Lee Milbrandt and guitarists Patrick Thompson and Clint Greendeer are super heavy (but maybe give the 6-stringers a solo a sometime, c’mon!) On recordings, drummer Dustin Helgestad sounds like triggers and MIDI, but that’s the way heavy rock sounds now, if he can even play half of it live, then he’s awesome.

Alright, this all makes me sound like an old man (back in my day, drummers had to do cardio to be able to double kick!) The fact is, these guys are on the upswing with cool videos, major label level production, and you just know that they’re going to be rock n’ roll heroes with the hometown Janesville crowd at WJJO Sonic Boom - and they’re better than half the stuff JJO plays most of the time. I watched all their videos and then talked to them about their upcoming performance, influences, and more. Sunday October 1st they’ll be performing early, so don’t get too drunk on Saturday and come down and see these guys!


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Sassy Come Home

Sassy Come Home

Interview with drummer Dave Bonson
by Teri Barr
September 2017

As a kid, Dave Bonson created a heavy, punk music scene in a place better known for its Hodag Country Festival. Today, he continues to create a scene, though now in the Madison area, and more grunge-influenced. Bonson took time to answer a few questions about the 5th Annual Grrrls Kick Ass Fest, happening at The Frequency on September 23rd. He also shared a peek into his latest project, the Sassy Come Home Band.
 
Maximum Ink: You got involved in music while growing up in Rhinelander, in Northern Wisconsin. What influenced you there? 
Dave Bonson:
Yeah, it started in the small town of Rhinelander, home of the Hodag. I got really into Nirvana when I was young and picked up bass. Then I moved on to guitar. However, there were few drummers in the area, and none of them really clicked with what I wanted to do. So, I picked up drumming, and fell in love with it, then eventually found some awesome people to play with in a band.


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Greta Van Fleet plays Sonic Boom 2017

Greta Van Fleet

Greta Van Fleet plays Sonic Boom 2017
by Tommy Rage
September 2017

Greta Van Fleet guitarist Jake Kiszka talks about playing Sonic Boom on Sept 30th, hanging out in the rain with Madison fans, and domestic responsibilities. Read More…


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Gear & Beer Fest II

Gear & Beer Fest II

an interview with founder Wendy Schneider
by Teri Barr
September 2017

Musical gear, and craft beer. It doesn’t get much more Wisconsin than this event. The must-attend gathering is Gear and Beer Fest, and it’s happening at the East Side Club in Madison, starting at noon on Sunday, September 24, 2017.

And the brains behind it?

The fearless leader of Coney Island Studios in Madison, Wendy Schneider, best known recently for her work on the Smart Studios documentary. “Coney Island recorded bands for a long time, around 20 years ago,” Schneider says. “I’ve resurrected the idea of Coney Island as a brand for local music, but instead it’s now focused on presenting events, and producing films that include local or midwest-based music at the core.”


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Jackyl's 25th Anniversary

Jackyl’s 25th Anniversary

An interview with Jackyl's Jesse James Dupree
by Tommy Rage
August 2017

Jesse James Dupree discusses Jackyl’s new release, writing pop-songs, and playing at the up-coming Harley Davison Rally in Milwaukee. Read More…


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Theresa Marie of The People Brothers Band on stage at AtwoodFest 2017 only days before appearing on the Cover of Maximum Ink - photo by Jason Tish

People Brothers Band

an interview with singer Theresa Marie
by Teri Barr
August 2017

Have you been touched—truly touched—by The People Brothers Band brand of love, peace, and harmony?
It’s a feeling. It’s a sound. It’s an energy.

And it’s something you can’t describe. It has to be experienced.

My own The People Brothers Band experience happened just a few years ago, though the band itself has been together since 2009. (I know, where have I been?)

I’ve been fortunate in more recent years, to really enjoy the band’s joy. Prior to one show, to also have the opportunity to spend time backstage with them before introducing the group to a big crowd—I was left beyond impressed.

Teresa Marie is the only woman in The People Brothers Band, but don’t think she gets any special treatment. She sings, writes, and performs her heart out, just like everyone else in the “family.” Teresa knows she is part of something special, and took time to share her thoughts about it, just before the popular People Fest, August 10-12, 2017, at their own Driftless Gardens music venue.


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J Marsden

J MARSDEN

An Interview with Singer/Songwriter J. Marsden
by Mike Huberty
August 2017

Former WALL OF FUNK leader J. MARSDEN has consistently been one of Madison’s most underrated guitarists. With plenty of technical skill, a great sense of melody and most importantly, a surplus of heart, Joe’s first solo album, Gravity is a mix between ALICE IN CHAINS (Sap and Jar of Flies specifically), DAYS OF THE NEW (lower-register vocal melodies and hooks), and RADIOHEAD (expert guitar work ala The Bends).


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Anthrax

Anthrax

An interview with Charlie Benante
by Tommy Rage
July 2017

Anthrax drummer and song writer Charlie Benante talks about the new Anthrax album, his South American travel secrets, and his other true passion in life….


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Tesla

Tesla 2017

An interview with vocalist Jeff Keith
by Tommy Rage
July 2017

Tesla’s lead singer Jeff Keith talks about coming back to Madison after 30 years, what’s it like recording a new album & single and buying his first 8-tracks after his very first concert


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SIMO on the cover of Maximum Ink music magazine

SIMO

SIMO comes back to play AtwoodFest 2017
by Teri Barr
July 2017

The bluesy tunes of J.D. Simo have hit a new high. He has written hundreds of songs, traveled the world, and J.D. has even cut his trademark shoulder-length hair since the last time we talked with him for Maximum Ink just after a successful performance at AtwoodFest a few years ago. But his history in music remains the same; he grew up in Chicago, quit high school, and moved to Nashville. He became a young studio musician and played on more than 500 albums. He says many were popular names we may recognize which made him recognize he didn’t want to play sessions the rest of his life. He formed the SIMO trio, and this second chapter of his music history is still being written.

Here’s an update on some of the things we talked about during our first interview:

Maximum Ink: You’ll be back for a second AtwoodFest show in July, but you’ve played Madison a couple of times since your first AtwoodFest show. What is it about playing here that draws you back?
J.D. Simo: We try not to have expectations of a place when we play there, but Madison is beautiful, and I felt a creative contingent of people, similar to Boulder or Asheville. That’s a feeling that sustains you as you get on stage, and it helps you get into a rhythm. It’s what I did at the first AtwoodFest show, and after a few songs I looked out to see the place was packed. It’s something I want to remember! I’ve actually had people tell me, sometimes as a band is climbing, you forget to live in the moment, so you have to enjoy it. It really was a show we’ll never forget, and I’m looking forward to playing AtwoodFest again!

MI: SIMO is a three piece, but you have always sounded so much bigger. Not louder, but bigger. I saw you recently, and the sound is so consistent.
JD: I am so very proud of the three of us! We are so conscientious of our sound, and it’s why we use vintage gear, in the context of our heros like the James Gang or the Jeff Beck Group. We want to earn a stake in that lineage. Plus, as a trio, you have to give 100% of your talent, and energy. You have to be completely committed to the music, and we aim to do that every night, so we know not one of us can slack off on it.


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