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Blind Melon in Maximum Ink in March 2008

Blind Melon

by Mike Huberty
March 2008

The two associations that Blind Melon will always have are with the girl in the yellow and black bee costume from the video for their 90’s alternative chestnut, “No Rain” (a tune which reached #20 on the Pop Charts and even earned a Weird Al parody), and the drug overdose of their original lead singer, Shannon Hoon, in 1995. Indeed, when I met him as a underager in 1993 after sneaking into Marquette University in Milwaukee to see them, drugs was a subject he mentioned almost immediately. Although an album of outtakes and live performances followed (named Nico after the newborn daughter Hoon left behind) and the band went on a search for a new singer, the public would not accept them and the band broke up before the end of the decade.


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The Mekons in Maximum Ink in March 2008 - photo by Derrick Santini

Mekons

by Mike Huberty
March 2008

From straightforward rock and loud punk to reggae and alt-country, UK band, The Mekons, have been kicking out the jams almost as long as this phrase has been around. Formed in Leeds by art students in 1977 (and named after a villain in the popular British comic, Dan Dare), they’ve existed as a loosely-knit group of musicians, almost a collective, for over thirty years. These years have included taking time off and reforming whenever the mood called. While they’ve been popular with critics and hipsters forever (including rock uber-critic, Lester Bangs, who wrote that they were “better than The Beatles” on the liner notes of their 1982 album, The Story of The Mekons), their sometimes awkwardly eclectic mix of music has brought them near to commercial success (as well as high profile releases on A&M Records in the 1990’s) but never brought them completely over into the pop world.


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Clutch on the cover of Maximum Ink in April 2008

Clutch

an interview with Clutch vocalist Neal Fallon
by Andrew Frey
April 2008

From the first time I heard the song, “A Shogun Named Marcus” in the early 90’s, Clutch has been one of my favorite bands. They have been around for quite a few years and have garnered numerous accolades. This hard rockin’ and hard workin’ outfit from Maryland has produced 10 enthralling full-length releases with the most current being, “From Beale Street To Oblivion.” After all this time and numerous tours both stateside and abroad, I was lucky enough to capture a moment of time with the sardonic, yet nonchalant vocalist for the group, Neil Fallon. The band is completed by guitarist Tim Sult, bassist Dan Maines, drummer Jean-Paul Gaster and organist Mick Schauer.


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Enon in Maximum Ink on April 2008

Enon

by Kimberly E. McDaniel
April 2008

The name Enon has the Biblical meaning of “cloud” or “mass of darkness.” Now it also refers to a quirky trio situated in Philadelphia, although the band has been known as part of the New York music scene. Enon was formed by guitarist/vocalist John Schmersal in 1999, and was named not for its Biblical connotation, but for a small town in Ohio, near Schmersal’s hometown of Dayton.

Schmersal was originally part of the legendary 90’s experimental band, Brainiac, with Rick Lee and Steve Calhoun.  When singer Timmy Taylor died, Schmersal formed Enon with Lee and Calhoun. After the release of their first album in 1999, Believo!, Calhoun left the band and was replaced by Toko Yasuda on bass and Matt Schultz on drums. Lee followed Calhoun and left in 2002. The band has continued to make their unique sound heard by touring and releasing their fourth studio album, “Grass Geysers…Carbon Clouds” through Chicago-based Touch and Go Records.


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Madison's Know Boundaries in Maximum Ink in April 2008

Know Boundaries

by Dan Vierck
April 2008

Know Boundaries, speaking simply, is indefinable. Calling them rap-rock is misleading because they’re, you know, good. Allowing for a more complicated definition, they describe their intention “[to] mix hip hop and rock and not make them two separate styles of music but just one music using the power in both.”

The six-piece, six-year Madison veterans have opened for groups as disparate as Cypress Hill and the Gin Blossoms. They’ve been sponsored by Budweiser’s True Music program, won multiple Madison Area Music Awards and have been showcased at numerous industry conferences.

The band is exceptional in that it follows through on its intention. The music of Know Boundaries has the energy and power of all exciting and powerful music, tastefully brought together in one sound. The rhythm is heavy - a deceivingly simple drum beat paired with an ambitious and audible, but not overpowering bass. This leaves the guitar to flit around on the high end mostly, ducking back into the general groove for the lush hooks and choruses. Out front the band flaunts a cooperative rap-rock ying yang. An easy symbol of the band’s musical ambition, the rapper and singer twist around with each other, always in support - never detracting from one another’s parts. Through all this the keys (a decked out and supplemented-with-gizmos Rhodes) steer this would-be chaotic ship through melodies that don’t get old when they repeat-they get stronger.


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Milwaukee's Big Dumb Dick in Maximum Ink in April 2008

Big Dumb Dick

by Mike Huberty
April 2008

Milwaukee hard rockers who’ve shared the stage with metal and heavy bands from Saliva to Disturbed to Motley Crue, BIG DUMB DICK was one of the Brew City’s most reliable rock acts through the late 90’s and early Aughts. They would perform regularly at events like Summerfest and Harley Fest as well as touring nationally. Their shows were known for body-passing, moshing, dancing girls, and pyrotechnics, making them one of the city’s best draws. This also garnered them representation from big players like Kid Rock’s management company and serious interest from major record labels. After being at the center of the maelstrom, lead singer and founding member, Travis Mantsch decided to take some time off from BIG DUMB DICK to clear his head and start a family. Three years later, the songs he had created in his home studio took on a familiar tone and now the band is back and releasing a new record, See You In Hell.


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