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Madison's Steez

Steez

by Mike Huberty
September 2009

Combining elements of jam rock with electronica and improvisation, Madison band, STEEZ, has been slowly shaking their way through the Midwest since 2003 after forming as classmates at the University of Wisconsin bonding over luminaries of the genre like Phish and The Grateful Dead. Their first album, entitled Creepfunk Crusade, was just released in August on the Mason Jar records and STEEZ just finished an east coast tour to celebrate the new CD.

First of all, what’s the name all about? Guitarist and founding member, Steve Neary explains, “We used to be called Super Nintendo Entertainment System back in 2003. We were just sitting around night looking at a Super Nintendo and thought it would be a cool name. But then were worried about a year later that we’d be sued if we ever decided to take the band seriously“, he laughs. ”We couldn’t get our keyboard player to agree on anything that didn’t involve Star Wars or (keyboardist) Bob James, so we eventually settled on STEEZ, which is slang for style, so we thought it fit our M.O. a little bit.“


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Chad Smith's Bombastic Meatbats

Chad Smith’s Bombastic Meatbats

by Mike Huberty
September 2009

Red Hot Chili Peppers’ drummer, Chad Smith, doesn’t take vacations, he makes records. With the funk-rockers on hiatus, Smith has not only recorded and released a record with supergroup, Chickenfoot (with Montrose vocalist, Sammy Hagar, Van Halen’s Michael Anthony and guitar maestro Joe Satriani) but is releasing an instrumental record this month with CHAD SMITH’S BOMBASTIC MEATBATS called appropriately Meet The Meatbats. While in Boston on tour with Chickenfoot, Chad took a few minutes to talk about the new release and their upcoming Japanese tour.

First of all, part of the reason Smith used his name as the title of the band wasn’t his idea. “It’s not in any way my band”, he laughs, “that’s in name only. We were doing a tour of Japan and only the promoter thought it would help sell tickets. I said I was okay with it if it helps out. If you’re a Chili Peppers fan or a Chickenfoot fan, I hope you like it.” The band started when Smith, Ed Roth and Jeff Kolman were playing as the backing musicians for Glenn Hughes, former vocalist of Deep Purple. Smith says, “We would just jam if Glenn was late for practice. One day I thought we should record some of the tracks and have fun.” That was in January of 2008 and they were joined by Kevin Chown on bass in the recording studio. The sessions went well, as Smith recalls, “We made this record and were really proud of it and we’ve already finished recording another record!”


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Madison's Hum Machine

Hum Machine

by Mike Huberty
September 2009

Going for broke in the Midwest during the mid-90’s alternative rock scene, HUM MACHINE was started in Madison in 1995 by four people with influences from late 80’s and 90’s indie and punk bands like Pavement and Mike Watt. Releasing their debut album, Speed Kills The Dying Beat, in 1996, HUM MACHINE spent the next decade writing songs, recording albums, playing shows for record labels, and generally chasing the rock and roll dream. In 2003, they even attempted to set a Guinness Book of World Records record for consecutive shows by performing 65 dates in a row throughout the United States. While that tour and world record was derailed by the vicious Hurricane Isabel of that fall, the band still went on to release one more album, Songs Before The Blackout, in 2005 before taking an extended hiatus. While the members of the band have continued to stay busy with the group, Shazy Hade (featuring former New Recruits blusterer, Shinky) and avant-garde jazz project, Voltress, they haven’t performed in their home state for three years. Deciding that it is high time to get the band back together, HUM MACHINE has something a little ridiculous in store for their next move.


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3439 ViewsPermalinkHum Machine MySpace
vintage Blood, Sweat & Tears

Steve Katz of Blood Sweat And Tears

by Sal Serio
September 2009

Steve Katz’ initial guitar motivation came from folky blues great Dave Van Ronk and the Reverend Gary Davis. I asked Katz about his first guitar and his connection to Van Ronk. “(It) was a Gibson J200 acoustic. I never even played electric until I joined The Blues Project. I took lessons from Dave when I was just a beginner. Both Van Ronk and Rev. Davis will always be major influences on me.”

Inspired by the folk and jug band music that was popular in the early/mid 60s Greenwich Village scene, Katz found himself in a group of like-minded friends and musicians, including Stefan Grossman, Maria Muldaur, John Sebastian, and David Grisman, forming the Even Dozen Jug Band and recording a self-titled album in 1964 for Elektra Records. Steve commented to me on this early group of eventually high profile performers, “The great thing about the jug band was the diversity of styles of all the members. There was a blues, bluegrass, and a ragtime contingent. We were all friends and it was a great way to bring all our musical interests together. We performed at Carnegie Hall, on The Tonight Show, and a TV show called Hootenanny.”


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All That Remains - photo by Adam Bielawski

All That Remains

by Chris Fox
September 2009

Pounding their way through the country, ALL THAT REMAINS find themselves coming to Madison. Bringing their heavy yet melodic sound and raging voice, this quintet of about ten years has helped redefine the new sound of heavy metal and bring a no bullshit attitude to an increasingly theatrical music scene.

Their most recent album, Overcome, takes another step in the progression of music. As Jeanne Sagan (Bass) explains “when we were writing this album we concentrated on writing songs and whatever the part naturally called for,” and with the combination of more clean vocals yet utterly brutal instrumental work, ALL THAT REMAINS has been able to reestablish their sound without losing their heavy roots.  These roots, Sagan says, are “influenced by the live shows… this underground world of music where people seemed to give a shit and energies of the crowd were intense.” The utter epicness that is the sound of their band draws on inspirations from across the board, Sagan lists, “chicken wings, relationships, and castles” in no particular order. As she digresses, “everyday is its own animal” but there is no denying the utter power behind their sound.


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Drummer, the band

Drummer

by Joshua Miller
October 2009

In this unsettled world, it’s important to treasure all your feel good moments.

That’s the mentality members of Akron, Ohio, band DRUMMER apply to their music and lives. As the frigid winter kept their state tightly in its grasp this past February, the five musicians of Drummer - including Patrick Carney, drummer for critically acclaimed band the Black Keys - set out in the settings of Carney’s basement to renew old friendships and have a good time making music.


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2934 ViewsPermalinkDrummer WebsiteDrummer MySpace
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