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The Nod from Madison, Wisconsin

The Nod

by Mike Huberty
March 2010

As one of the acts making the most noise from the University of Wisconsin, THE NOD, takes influences from Barenaked Ladies to Weezer to come up with unconventional and fun alternative rock. All the members hail from around Midwest and met here in Madison, a place they refer to as “College Disneyland”. They’re playing a special free show on March 12th at the heart of State Street at The Pub. Last year, they released an EP, Shoddy Heart to the masses and since then, graduated, and are now entering the post-college music scene. We took some time to talk about the band with Brett Newski, the band’s lead singer and rhythm guitarist.

Explaining what people can expect to hear from THE NOD, Brett describes the band, “We’ve always tried to explain the music as the quirkiness of Cake, with the drive of The Strokes, meshed with the early Weezer guitar sound”, he says. “We’ve been told we’re poppy and accessible. The hook brings you back, as John Popper once said. Lyrically, I’ve listened to a ton of Cake and Barenaked Ladies, I work hard on lyrics but don’t want it to be too abstract. I’m not afraid of pop culture, and I despise cliche lyrics. For examples, how many times have we heard ‘save me from myself’? C’mon. It’s my ultimate goal to be interesting.”


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Puscifer on the cover of Maximum Ink's 14 year anniversary issue!!

Puscifer

by Andrew Frey
March 2010

Recently I was fortunate enough to talk to Maynard James Keenan and get the down low on his most recent happenings. He may be your rock n’ roll hero from his past projects, Tool and A Perfect Circle, but he has a few new tricks up his sleeve. He would like to introduce you to some new adventures in his well of creativity: Puscifer, and Wine Making.

This is the first of a two-part article that will showcase the interview.

Maximum Ink: What is this Puscifer thing and why should you go see and experience it?
Maynard James Keenan: “Puscifer is a troupe, not a band,” he begins. “It’s a performance not a concert. It has more in common with the “Sonny and Cher Show” and “Hee Haw” than Tool or A Perfect Circle.”


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Canadian actress & singer Sass Jordan

Sass Jordan

by Tina Hall
March 2010

U.K. born, Montreal raised Sass Jordan has proven she can make it in the rock world as well as the acting world. Her singing talents have been promoted by Gene Simmons of KISS, as well as the late composer Michael Kamen and hung out with counterculture guru Timothy Leary. Sass has recorded and toured with such acts as Aerosmith, Alice Cooper, Cheap Trick, Van Halen, Carlos Santana, and Joe Cocker.

Sass took on the world of acting starring as Janis Joplin in the off Broadway “Love Janis.” She enjoyed a show stopping run in the Canadian version of “The Vagina Monologues” and was given a guest role on the NBC show “Sisters”. For six years she was a judge on Canadian Idol.

Her newest release “From Dusk Til Dawn” is set for March 16th on RBE Music/Kindling Music/Fontana. It features a remake of Tom Waits’ “Ol 55” along with her newest offerings. I recently had the opportunity to ask a few questions.

Maximum Ink: Did you mother, being a ballet dancer and actress, influence you to partake in acting yourself?
Sass Jordan: Not really, because she wasn’t actually working when I knew her. She quit it all to be a full-time Mom.


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500 Miles to Memphis

500 Miles To Memphis

by Mike Huberty
April 2010

Continuing in the great Ohio cowpunk tradition of artists like TWO COW GARAGE and DAVID ALLEN COE, Cincinnati’s 500 MILES TO MEMPHIS (named after the distance from their home city to the birthplace of rock n’ roll)  blends roots, punk, and country with influences like Green Day and Ben Folds to Waylon Jennings and Merle Haggard. They just released their newest record, We’ve Built Up To Nothing on Valentine’s Day and are touring the country to support the release.

“It was Bohemian Rhapsody by Queen”, says main songwriter and frontman, Ryan Mallot, is the first song that inspired him to be a musician. “I had a fake microphone and would sing Queen all day long and it just grew from there.” So he got the bombastic rock in right away, but started into Americana early as well. “When I listen to country it’s a lot of older stuff. When you first learn to play guitar it’s just way easier to play.”


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Cracker Acoustic Duo

Cracker

by Justin Beckner
April 2010

Since their formation in 1991, Cracker has existed on the fringe of the mainstream, riding the dangerous line between country western and alternative rock, probably best known for their Platinum 1993 release “Kerosene” which contained the breakout hit, “Low”. It was Johnny Hickman and David Lowery who decided to do an acoustic duo tour as part of their relentless touring regimen. Check out a show when they hit your city. As someone who has seen Cracker several times I can tell you that you will not be disappointed. Below is an interview with Cracker’s lead guitarist, Johnny Hickman.

MAXIMUM INK: What is your least favorite interview question?
JOHNNY HICKMAN: What’s you favorite Cracker?  I often answer “A racist one” just to get a reaction to this banal question that I’ve heard for 20 years. I don’t mean to be cruel, but it’s just exasperating you know? Come on!


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Marc Rizzo

Marc Rizzo

by Tina Hall
April 2010

Marc Rizzo is a guitarist for both Soulfly and Cavalera Conspiracy (formed by Sepultura co-founders Igor and Max Cavalera). His solo work demonstrates a wider range of styles than the metal he is best known for including classical, flamenco, and jazz. His new solo album, “Legionaire” was recorded over a two year period while touring with both bands.

Maximum Ink: Your playing style varies widely. What are some of your main influences in those various genres?
Marc Rizzo: I like any style of music that has virtuoso guitar playing. That can be jazz, flamenco, death metal… whatever. I just love the guitar and like to hear music played on the guitar in all styles. I really listen to a lot of instrumental guitar music. My favorites are Paco de Lucia, Al Dimeola, Slayer, Dimebag, Zakk Wylde, Van Halen. I could go on and on.


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