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Articles in Reverse

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W.A.S.P. - artwork by Ian Chalgren


by Jeff Muendel
February 2010

Those who have encountered the band W.A.S.P. are not likely to forget the experience. Like them or hate them, their stage antics tend to be memorable. The group almost literally clawed their way out of the early eighties Los Angeles heavy metal scene the same fertile ground that produced the likes of Mötley Crüe, L.A. Guns, and Ratt. These groups paved the way for many more hair bands to come, but W.A.S.P. was a little bit different. While many of the other groups from that era focused on a cross-dressing, bad-boy image, W.A.S.P. was just plain twisted and scary; the group was more Alice Cooper than Rolling Stones. Band members had circular saws sewn into the crotch of their trousers. Raw meat was cut up and thrown into the audience. Blood was a common stage prop. All of this accompanied aggressively sexual lyrics, buzz saw guitar riffs, and pumping double-bass drums.

At the heart of the group, then and now, was Blackie Lawless. In fact, he is the only remaining original member, and for all intents and purposes, W.A.S.P. is his artistic vehicle. Lawless was born Steven Duren on Staten Island, New York. Famously, or perhaps infamously, he got his first break playing with the legendary New York Dolls. The group was in its final death throes, but it introduced Lawless to New York Doll’s guitarist Arthur Kane. After the New York Dolls finally split, Lawless followed Kane to Los Angeles.


Harmony Bar - 20th Anniversary

by Mike Huberty
March 2010

As one of the area’s most carefree and nonchalant taverns, Madison’s Harmony Bar on Atwood Avenue has been delighting local residents with music, food, and drinks for the past two decades. Twenty years in business makes it one of the city’s longest-lasting live music venues in an industry that usually chews up clubs and spits them out. To celebrate the launch of their third decade, owner Keith Daniels is sponsoring an all-day anniversary party on March 14th at The Barrymore Theatre right down the road.

And the rationale behind it is simple. “I wanted to throw a party.”, Daniels says. “I wanted to throw a good party for all the good people that have been coming for twenty years. We’re having Bunky’s (a cafe also on Atwood and another near-east side of Madison tradition) do the catering because I want all our people to have the day off. And I still thought that we should do a little something for the neighborhood. So, we decided to put a five dollar cover on it and it all goes to the Goodman Community Center.” So, it’s not only a party but a benefit for one of the area’s most valuable programs for at-risk youth as well.




by Sal Serio
March 2010

Fort Lauderdale based Nonpoint are true survivors of today’s competitive hard rock scene, having recently parted with their original guitarist, and experienced label change trauma. Not a band to dwell on adversity, Nonpoint are emphatically BACK with a new digital download acoustic EP, Cut the Cord, and their new full length CD Miracle is due out April 27. The current line-up is vocalist Elias Soriano, drummer Robb Rivera, Ken “Bastard” MacMillan on bass, and new guitarist Zach Broderick. Catch Nonpoint on tour March 5 in Minneapolis, March 6 at The Rave in Milwaukee, and March 7 at Appleton’s new club Revolution. I had the pleasure of talking to Elias and Robb recently - here are the highlights of our conversation.

MAXIMUM INK:  When you chose the five songs to record unplugged for Cut The Cord, was it the popularity of those songs that made you want to put a new spin on them, or did (they) lend themselves to that kind of arrangement?
ELIAS SORIANO:  Both. We’re the type of band that doesn’t like to cover songs as they are. Other than “Five Minutes Alone”, that we just did for the Dimebag tribute, if it’s rock you kinda got to keep it as rockin’ as possible, but taking a song like “In The Air Tonight” that really wasn’t rock, we elevated it to that genre. We try to do the same thing to our acoustic stuff, take our songs and change (them).

MI:  Was “In The Air Tonight” the biggest single you’ve had?
ROBB RIVERA:  I think “Bullet With A Name On It” was.
ELIAS:  But “In The Air Tonight” was so many years prior to when everybody got an ear of it. We had done that in 2004, and “Miami Vice” didn’t come out until 2006 or ‘07, so it gained new respect and got a little bit of momentum later on.
ROBB:  “Bullet” live has been the most (popular), but as far as use in TV shows it’s been “In The Air Tonight”. It’s been in the Olympics, movie trailers, and stuff like that.
ELIAS:  It’s helped us stay in the eye of the industry.


Soil - formed in Chicago in 1997


by Chris Fox
March 2010

Backing a new album and hitting the road, SOIL will be in both Madison and Milwaukee on April 2 and 3 respectively. SOIL plans to hit The Annex and The Rave harder than ever. Going out on a limb from their previous albums and getting back to their early rock roots, they have developed an album that “took them back to their youth”.

The new album, Picture Perfect, was named so because “it really is the sound that we have always wanted,” according bassist Tim King. The album delves on a common rock vibe, but adds an extra element with a heavier sound. “We finally got it right on this one,” explains King, “We managed to encompass all classic rock stuff, but get the heavy sound with down tunings and more distortion. We went back to square one, and back to what we wanted to sound like.”

There is a dark side to SOIL that really comes through. Without this darker element the album would be a standard rock record. Their extreme metal influences, however, have added a biting edge to the new music.


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Tegan and Sara (Canada)

Tegan and Sara

by John Noyd
March 2010

Canadian twins Tegan and Sara Quinn went from their high school graduation to a summer tour opening for Neil Young. Since then, their songs have been performed by, among others, the White Stripes and Ryan Adams and prominently featured on movie and television soundtracks. 2010 finds them touring America to promote last fall’s strong, sixth album, “Sainthood.” In preparation for the band’s appearance at Milwaukee’s Riverside Theater March 25th, Tegan Quinn talked to MAXIMUM INK about Sainthood, song-writing and happiness.

MAXIMUM INK: What separates “Sainthood,” from your previous efforts?
TEGAN QUINN: It was completely opposite from, “The Con.” For, “Sainthood,” there was a lot of pre-production where the five piece came into the studio and recorded live off the floor. We are all stronger players and writers since, “The Con,” and we wanted something that translated easily into a live setting. “The Con,” had lots of post-production with layers of overlapping tracks where, “Sainthood,” had very few overdubs.


G. Love & Special Sauce

G. Love & Special Sauce

by John Noyd
March 2010

Deconstructing preconceptions, Philadelphia’s G. LOVE set 1993 on fire as a “white boy” daring to integrate the blues into hip-hop. Seventeen years later he’s still tearing up the joint, jamming and jiving. Appearing March 5th at Milwaukee’s Turner Hall and March 6th at Madison’s Barrymore, G. was kind enough to sit down with MAXIMUM INK and answer a few questions.

Maximum Ink: According to Muddy Waters the blues had a child and called it rock and roll. Where does funk and hip-hop come in?
G. Love: I think funk was basically blues on the one. John Lee Hooker would do his blues on the one and then James Brown and that generation flipped the backbeat and it was a whole new sound. Hip Hop is basically musically simplified funk with the voice of the youth on top. Hip Hop became the voice of the next generation (for the past 3 generations).


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