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Chicago's Alkaline Trio

Alkaline Trio

by Chris Fox
November 2008

Riding the release of their latest album, “Agony & Irony,” ALKALINE TRIO has hit the road. The band started in late ‘96 with an upbeat, melodic sound with dark, realistic lyrics that slowly but strongly developed a dedicated following. Though big on the punk scene, the band strives to cross barriers and bring in fans from all walks of life.

Derek Grant (drums) said the new album is “getting back to the basics” as they put more concentration on content rather than layering and perfecting instrumentations. Through several previous albums, the writing fashion had become monotonous, so they took a stripped down, more natural approach to the production of “Agony & Irony.” The essence of their songs has remained the same and as the fan base continues to grow, the songs remain relatable and tend to touch a nerve that most bands avoid. Grant says, “we’ve never taken the easy route in any shape or form, we aren’t a band that is born out of convenience,” and this, he explains, is why their following remains strong.


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Chicago's Cameron McGill

Cameron McGill And What Army

by Dan Vierck
November 2008

Cameron McGill is a pop-fectionist. What should be needless to say, is that this has nothing to do with aesthetic, marketing or sales. Be it McGill solo or with his Chicago-based band What Army, the music doesn’t just take center stage, it’s the only thing meaningful thing on the stage.

McGill’s music is the new smooth voice of the Midwest. People like Bright Eyes, Devandra Banhart, Margot and the Nuclear So and So’s, Jentri Colello and Madison’s whole alt-country scene plus so many more have started or taken on this quest of giving our green plains an audible, distinct, interesting and unique musical pulse. McGill’s place in this line up is on the radio.


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Uriah Heep's Mick Box

Uriah Heep - Mick Box

by Jeff Muendel
November 2008

Mick Box has been the lead guitarist of Uriah Heep since the band’s founding in 1969. If my math is correct, that’s 39 years ago. The group, rightfully referred to as both classic rock and heavy metal pioneers, was one of the first to use overdriven Hammond organ as part of their big sound. Box’s guitar was the heaviness on the other side of the stage, however, and mixed with singer David Byron’s distinctive lyrics celebrating all things wizards and unicorns, the group attracted a large audience quickly.

Despite Uriah Heep’s progressive rock experiments, the group is perhaps best known today for the song “Easy Livin,” a straight-up hard rock song that became a biker anthem in the United States. The band (whose name, by the way, was taken from a Charles Dickens character in the book David Copperfield) has never ceased being in existence despite the death of David Byron and many lineup changes along the way. Now, almost 40 years later, the group has released its twenty-first studio album entitled Wake The Sleeper. It is true to its musical roots with chunky Hammond organ riffs, loud guitars, and fanciful lyrics. Maximum Ink recently spoke to Mick Box about the album and all things Uriah Heep:


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Los Angeles' Buckcherry on the cover of Maximum Ink in November 2008

Buckcherry

by Mike Huberty
November 2008

Originally coming on strong at the end of the 90’s with their fists-in-the-air ode to cocaine addiction, “Lit Up”, SoCal hard rockers, BUCKCHERRY, experienced a sophomore slump with their second album, Time Bomb, and the original band broke up.  After flirting with what would eventually become Velvet Revolver, distinctive screamer, Josh Todd, and guitarist-songwriter Keith Nelson reformed the band in 2005 with new members and have led the group to even bigger success in this decade with their biggest single (the ubiquitous “Crazy Bitch”) and two new albums. The second of which, Black Butterfly, was just released in September and the band is hitting the road in November with Avenged Sevenfold to promote their new release.

Keith Nelson is excited when talking about BUCKCHERRY’s resurgence. “We just came home from Japan and before that we were on Cruefest [the Motley Crue summer festival] and it was a lot of fun, a summer camp for the criminally insane and a rolling circus,” Nelson says, “now we start the new tour on November 4th.” That’s Election Day in the United States, so I ask him if there’s any candidate they’re supporting. “Well, in Japan they call it Erection Day,” he jokes, to which all I can do is groan, but at least he’s got a lot of life in him. “I don’t think any candidate really wants BUCKCHERRY in their corner,” he laughs, “politics is something that we decidedly do not get involved in.”


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In This Moment

In This Moment

by Chris Fox
November 2008

After the recent release of their new album, “The Dream” on September 30, IN THIS MOMENT find themselves on tour. Somewhat familiar with Wisconsin, after hitting the stage hard for Band Camp ’07, they have returned, opening for Five Finger Death Punch.

The band has gone through a lot of sound adjustments in their four years together and have developed what Chris Howorth (guitarist) defines as “melodic rock and roll with a little bit of heavy metal.”  The new album concentrates more on song development rather than the almighty riff.  Maria Brink’s (vocalist) screams are less apparent than their previous release, but the band still manages to stay heavy with melody.  Howorth and Jesse Landry (bassist) account their changing sound to the diverse musical choices of the group. Howorth is the appointed “metal guy,” but they account everything from Kiss and Pantera to Ratt and Def Leppard as influences.

Each band member seems to have their own preferences as to which of their songs was the favorite, but their live favorite was a resounding, “Daddy’s Fallen Angel.” Landry explained that it was one of their heaviest songs in the set list and really seemed to click with the more rambunctious crowds. The live show seemed to be their favorite part of the whole lifestyle, and even though budgets are tight these guys plan to continue doing what they love.


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Sleighriders - Steve Grimm pointing to the sky!

The Sleighriders 2008

by Kristen Winiarski
December 2008

The Sleighriders with their cast of ever changing members, continue their fundraising activities at the Benefit for the SafeZone Community Art Project, taking place at Shank Hall in Milwaukee on December 15th. This year’s performers include: Eddie Butts, Steve Cohen, Warren Wiegratz, Gregg Koch, Sigmund Snopek, Annie Dennison, members of Bad Boy (including Steve Grimm & Xeno), Blue Hand, Crisis, Speakeasy, Dirty Ernie, Boogie Men and many others. The Brandon James Band opens the show this year.

2008 marks the 26th annual charity event by the Sleighriders. It is an event to encourage kids to get involved in making music and discover their potential. The money raised is given to buy instruments and musical instruction for children in the community. Their newest cause is the Safezone Community Art Project, which they have been raising money towards for the past five years.


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