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Stuck Mojo on the cover of Maximum Ink in April 19998 - photo by Paul Gargano

Stuck Mojo

by Paul Gargano
April 1998

When zealots declared “The South will rise again!” the farthest thing from their minds was a black man leading the charge, fronting a band inspired by Twisted Sister and World Championship Wrestling. But obviously, the people that swooned over “Sic Semper Tyrannis” had never heard of heavy metal music, let alone Fender guitars, Pearl drums, and Marshall stacks that project a din loud enough to stifle any Civil War cannon blast.

Enter Stuck Mojo, Atlanta’s metal godfathers, the South’s reigning kings of musical fury and onstage chaos, and underdogs turned favorites to topple the loud rock hierarchy.

Selling a combined 75,000 copies of their first two releases on Century Media Records, Snappin’ Necks (1995) and Pigwalk (1996), Stuck Mojo are indie-metal’s marquee attraction, having chiseled a name for themselves through aggressive touring, explosive live shows, and an attitude that defines heavy metal as it was always meant to be.


Lorenzon Music on the cover of Maximum Ink in March 1998 - photo by Rokker

Lorenzo Music

by Jeff Muendel
March 1998

Despite grumblings about the supposedly long lost Madison music scene, new and talented bands keep rising up as if nothing had ever burned or closed down. The better ones, like anywhere else, are those that seem to defy easy categorization. You hear a hint of this and a reference to that, but you can’t pin the group down. Such is the case with Lorenzo Music.

At the core are two musicians who have experienced the changing musical tides here between the lakes. Tod Schwenn spent a good amount of time in Rapscallion during the late-80s and early-90s, around the same time Tom Ray was in Fallacy. After those bands broke up, the two decided to start jamming and writing together. The songs came together so well that they decided to form a permanent band and, after finding the right musicians, did their first gig in March of 1996.

Lorenzo Music explores many areas of sound, going from keyboard- driven, Doors-like jams to lounge swings to power guitars in a single song. The key is that they do it gracefully, at times almost unnoticeably. Most of the keyboards are done on a vintage Rhodes electric piano that Ray bought for $150 when such instruments were out of style. Schwenn supplies the guitar and the two share the vocal work. Every musician in this band has experience: second guitarist Brandon Krueger was in Peep Show, bassist Mark Whitcomb played in Insanity A.D., Carl and Swiggo, and drummer Scott Beardsley also gigged with Swiggo as well as Mindox (which also featured Buddo of Magic 7 & Last Crack).


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Coal Chamber on the cover of Maximum Ink in February 1998

Coal Chamber

by Paul Gargano
February 1998

A decade ago, glam bands ruled Los Angeles. As big hair poked the ozone, the Sunset Strip resembled a drag show, and talent was judged by the quality of your groupies, not the integrity of your music.

No one was really surprised when the scene became a parody of itself, but they might be surprised if they took a look at the new breed of bands forging a path through the spoils of outdated leather and spandex. Say hello to Korn, the Deftones, and the latest heavyweights to take up prominence on the downtuned metal scene: Coal Chamber.

Frontman Dez, guitarist Meegs, bassist Rayna, and drummer Mike are a truly motley crew that have spent the better part of the last year on the road with OzzFest, Megadeth and Pantera. Along with fellow newcomers Sevendust


Milwaukee's Pyschedelicasi on the cover of Maximum Ink September 1997


by Kevin John
September 1997

An interview with Paris Ortiz, then guitarist for the now-defunct Milwaukee band, Psychedelicasi


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Madison's Bugattitype 35 on the Cover of Maximum Ink August 1997

Bugattitype 35

by Mike Bumm
August 1997

Bugattitype 35, long since defunct, featured film director and owner of Coney Island Studio Wendy Schneider, former Wheelie King bassist/vocalist Per Farney and drumme Rice Christensen.


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Sweden's Drain S.T.H. on the cover of Maximum Ink - photo by Paul Gargano

Drain S.T.H.

by Paul Gargano
June 1997

Looking for the foolproof way to ruin a perfectly conversation? Drop the phrase “girl band” while talking to the members of Drain (they write the name Drain S.T.H. to specify they’re from Stockholm, not the Butthole Surfers side-project). The Swedish quartet got the break of a lifetime when Type O Negative asked them to be a support act on their recently completed tour, and they took full advantage of the situation, winning over crowds with metallic grind, heavy crunch, and a foreboding presence. As a result, they earned a spot on the second stage on this summer’s Ozz Fest tour. When they settle into a groove, vocalist Maria Sjoholm, guitarist Flavia Canel, Bassist Anna Kjellberg and drummer Martina Axen can channel their energies just as powerfully as any of their testosterone-driven peers, carving their won little niche in a heavy genre dominated by men.


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Sevendust on cover of Maximum Ink one month after changing their name from Crawlspace.... April 1997


by Paul Gargano
April 1997

They say hindsight is 20/20, but in the nonchalant manner Sevendust drummer Morgan Rose recalls the addition of vocalist Lajon to the Atlanta quintet’s mix, you’d never imagine this band was the latest focus of attention for indie juggernaut TVT - the same label that launched Nine Inch Nails into the national spotlight, turned Gravity Kills into one of the last years most amazing success stories, and is nurturing Sevendust’s ascent ot the top of the heavy metal market.

“We thought that if we could find a singer who could sing over the heavy music, it might sound original,” Rose explained at New York City’s Coney Island High, the site of Sevendust’s coming-out performance April 12 (only three days before the release of their self-titled debut), their first Big Apple show since singing with TVT less than a year ago.


Man... Or Astroman? on the cover of Maximum Ink in October 1996 - photo by Craig Gieck

Man… Or Astro-Man?

by Paul Gargano
October 1996

Give Alf an electric guitar and a few Dick Dale records, lock him in the attic for a night, and the results might just rival Man or Astro-man? and their musical barrage of space-age surfscapes. The members of Man or Astro-man? aren’t quite as furry as television’s Alien Life Form, but they’re also trapped on earth until they can fix their interplanetary wheels.

“Originally we came from a place, not a planet,” began founding drummer Birdstuff, backstage after a recent show in Providence, R.I. “Planets are very archaic devices, we actually came from a grid sector, grid sector 23-V61. Star Crunch and I took the intergalactic starship-your guys’ station wagon-out on a joyride, and somewhere we mis-vectored.”


Paul Schluter of Madison's Magic 7 on the 7th cover of Maximum Ink in September 1996 - photo by Craig Gieck

Magic 7

by Paul Gargano
September 1996

What’s so magical about Magic 7? It depends who you ask. For fans of Last Crack it’s the first time writing duo of Paul Schluter and Buddo have worked together in more that five years. For the former member’s of Madison’s best known hardrock outfit, it’s an opportunity to put the past behind and focus on the present.

“This wasn’t pieced together just to get all of the members of Last Crack, except for the drummer, together in another band,” said guitarist and principal songwriter Paul Schluter in a recent interview. “We’ve all worked together before, we’re in each other’s heads and it’s a great starting point, but I think the thing that makes this band special is that we’re relying on mostly new music. Last Crack was fun for us, but it was in the past. What makes this band worth being around is that it’s a whole new style of music for us, a lot mellower at times, a lot more melodic, a lot more mature, and at times completely different sounding.”


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Joan Osborne on the cover of Maximum Ink in May 1996 - photo by Dave Leucinger

Joan Osborne

by Dave Leucinger
May 1996

If God were one of us, and his tour of duty brought him to Milwaukee, it’s a safe bet that he’d fill more seats than Joan Osborne did at the Modjeska Theater. Not as safe a bet is whether he’d be able to sing as well.

With five Grammy nominations under her belt, the question wasn’t if Osborne would sell out the 1,800 seat Modjeska, it was how quickly. Imagine the surprise when hundreds of tickets remained minutes before the Kentucky native took the stage May 11. The crowd was sparse – you could walk to within ten feet of the stage without a problem – but its diversity read like an open book on Osborne’s critically-acclaimed major-label debut, Relish.

There were the pop fans, weaned on the radio friendly “one of Us;” the music fans attracted to the show by Osborne’s endearing spirit and warm, folkish charm; and those that fell in between, more than willing to bask in the glow of songs that aren’t motivated by anger and rage.


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