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Dweezil Zappa

Zappa Plays Zappa

Touring the Roxy, the Pabst, & Elsewhere
by Sal Serio
August 2013

Zappa Plays Zappa returns to Wisconsin with a new tour, celebrating Frank Zappa’s classic live ‘Roxy & Elsewhere’ album. In advance of the September 8th Pabst Theater concert in Milwaukee, Maximum Ink had the opportunity to speak with band leader Dweezil Zappa. [author’s note: Zappa Plays Zappa is also performing the “Roxy & Elsewhere 40th Anniversary Tour” at the Barrymore Theatre in Madison, Monday, February 17, 2014.]

Maximum Ink:  Are there plans to release new original Dweezil music in near future?

Dweezil Zappa:  Yeah! There’s a project I just finished working on, that will come out in a few stages. I do a music camp called Dweezilla, and this year I invited other guitar instructors to be a part of it, and we did a comprehensive guitar course. In years past, just my band would teach, and you could have drum, bass, keyboard, [or] saxophone lessons, but this year was only guitar. I used that as an opportunity to collaborate with some of the people that I invited to be guitar instructors. So, there will be a Dweezilla guitar release, and the first installment of it will have four songs on it, I think. There’s music that has sections for seven different guitar instructors to improvise on. My piece of music is called “Dinosaur” and will be coming out, probably, around the same time as the tour, or may come out in time for the October tour.


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Dropkick Murphys live at Summerfest 2013 - photo by Peter Murphy

The Dropkick Murphys

An interview with drummer Matt Kelly
by Joshua Miller
August 2013

“For Boston.” These are the words prominently displayed on the front of t-shirts created and sold by Irish-punk rockers the Dropkick Murphys as part of their efforts to help raise money for victims of the Boston Marathon bombings. Donations from these shirts went to Claddagh Fund, a charity started by founding band member Ken Casey. They also supplemented those donations through benefit shows at Boston’s House of Blues and Boston Garden, where they sold their new EP “Rose Tattoo: For Boston Charity.” On the EP, Bruce Springsteen joins the band for a re-recording of their song, “Rose Tattoo.” According to Rolling Stone, the band raised over $300,000 in total donations. Earlier this year the band released their eighth studio album “Signed and Sealed in Blood,” a title that could be applied to the band’s pride and loyalty towards their home city and staying true to its ideals. Prior to his band’s headlining slot at Harley-Davidson’s 110th anniversary celebration Thursday, Aug. 29,  drummer Matt Kelly took a few moments to answer some questions over e-mail about helping their city, finding plenty of inspiration for “Signed,” as well as his connection to Harleys and memories of playing Milwaukee.

Maximum Ink: On “Signed and Sealed in Blood” there are some atypical story songs like, “The Season’s Upon Us” (which describes a dysfunctional family at Christmas). How does the songwriting on it, in general, compare with past albums?

Matt Kelly: Well, it was a refreshing and relaxing change from the challenge of making “Going Out In Style”, which was a concept album. As fun as that was (and it was a blast, don’t get me wrong!!), “SSIB” was a bit more free-form and written more off-the-cuff, much like a lot of the songs on our first album, “Do Or Die”. Songs came together quickly, and in some instances, with less effort than on some past records. 

We’re psyched about it, and since debuting some of the songs live six months before it even came out, our supporters have really dug it, too. The response to the new stuff really blew us away, and the fact that people went out of their ways to familiarize themselves with new stuff via Youtube videos, etc., really surprised us. We’d come through a city and you’d see people singing along to the new stuff that wasn’t even officially released yet. Pretty damn cool!


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1231 ViewsPermalinkDropkick Murphys Website

John Waite

An interview with Singer/Songwriter John Waite
by Tina Hall
August 2013

John Waite began his career in 1975 with the band The Babys, followed by his solo career that spawned the timeless hit Missing You (as later recorded alongside songstress Alison Krauss in 2006). He also enjoyed moderate success as the frontman of Bad English. His last studio album Rough & Tumble featured the ballad If You Ever Get Lonely, co-written by Matchbox Twenty’s Kyle Cook. June 11, 2013 saw the release of the iTunes exclusive Live All Access which featured the song live. The track is also being covered by Love and Theft and is currently climbing the country music charts. He can currently be found on tour in select cities.  I was honored to have the chance to sit down and talk with the man behind the music that we all know and love.

Maximum Ink: Can you tell us a little about yourself as a child? What was it like growing up in Lancaster? When did you first discover the power of music? Can you tell us a little about that?
John Waite: Lancaster is an historic town. It has a castle and a river runs through it. I was raised in a cottage facing into the countryside. There were fields and a huge park opposite the front door. My family was very musical, so music came to me pretty naturally. I joined my brother’s band occasionally to sing R and B or whatever we could think up. Country and Western was huge as a kid as it was songs about cowboys. When you’re 5, it’s all cowboys and Indians. Big Bill Broonzy came next with the blues then Hank Williams and then the Shadows; all incredibly exotic for the northwest of England in the 50’s. I wanted to be a cross between Popeye and Hank the Cowboy. (I’m almost there). I discovered the test card on the T.V. had music playing behind it. There was this sort of Magnificent Seven chord change in the middle. Blew my mind! I used to sit there with my brother waiting for it to come ‘round.

MI: Why do you think music has been such an important entity in society throughout the ages?
JW: I’m not really religious but defiantly spiritual. Music is the closest thing to religion in my life. The only god in this world everyone believes in is money! Frightening, but true. Music is free! Always was.


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Walter

Sun Prairie Blues Fest 2013

by Max Ink
September 2013

Sun Prairie Blues Fest- 2013

Attention, blues-lovers!  It’s time again for the annual Sun Prairie Blues Fest, featuring “10 hours of Blues for 10 bucks”.  Fest attendees will enjoy the musical stylings of a unique mix of exceptional performers who have studied at the side of many of the best blues musicians that have ever lived. As a bonus, the fest will also feature performances on a variety of homemade “cigar box” instruments.


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Vanishing Kids

Vanishing Kids

An interview with Nikki from Vanishing Kids
by Mike Huberty
September 2013

It’s been a long road for post-punk outfit VANISHING KIDS’ new album, “Spirit Visions”. Band founders and married partners, Nikki Drohomyreky (stage name: Nikki Nads) and Jason Hartman, have been recording and playing with different lineups since founding the band in 2000. Their 2005 album, “Selfish Mirror”, was a dark and brooding piece of New Millennium reflection on 80’s nostalgia produced by Invisible Records’ Martin Atkins and it gained the band some serious media attention on release. They moved from Madison to Portland in 2006, released a single in 2009, and have since returned to the Midwest. Their new album drops this month and we took some time to talk to them about the release.


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1928 ViewsPermalinkVanishing Kids Website
Jefferson native Paul Filipowicz on the cover of Maximum Ink September 2013 - photo by Nick Berard

Paul Filipowicz

Wisconsin Blues Legend
by Dave Leucinger
September 2013

For guitarist/vocalist/songwriter Paul Filipowicz, making music isn’t about the big theatric shows at stadiums or huge halls. Although his shows are no less intense, his venue of comfort and familiarity is the American roadhouse – a rough-and-tumble venue for a rough-and-tumble style of music. “There are still quite a few out there – even some new ones,” he said in a recent telephone interview. “A lot are still out in the middle of nowhere. We just played at one in the middle of nowhere – Lohrville – it’s between Oshkosh and Stevens Point, outside of Redgranite. We got there at three – just the bartender and one of his staff there. We were set up on a trailer – and two hours later, there’s a hundred people there – many riding in on cycles. That’s one of the interesting things I’ve found about Wisconsin – you can get there when nobody is there, and two hours later, you have a big show.”


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