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Altered Five

Altered Five

by Teri Barr
December 2014

It’s been a great couple of weeks for the members of Altered Five. The Southern Wisconsin Blues Band’s new C.D. is just out, and already trending high on a few notable radio and on-line charts. Lead singer Jeff Taylor, guitar player Jeff Schroedl, bassist Mark Solveson, Raymond Tevich on keys, and Scott Schroedl on drums worked with a Grammy-winning producer on their latest effort, after taking home a few awards of their own this year. Somehow, in the middle of it all—- they took time to answer some questions from me about their history together, and with their music hitting a high note—what’s next for this groovy group.


MAXIMUM INK:  What is the key to Altered Five’s success right now?
JEFF SCHROEDL: We all bring different musical influences and experiences to the band, and our music is really the result of that melting pot of sounds. The five of us have been able to blend our ideas and styles really well. There’s no formula; everyone is just able to create interesting parts that gel and support JT’s voice, the lyrics, and overall song.

MI: How did the five of you connect?
MARK SOLVESON: Well, Jeff Taylor is our frontman and lead singer, Jeff Schroedl on guitar, Scott Schroedl on drums, Raymond Tevich plays keys and I’m the bassist. We formed in 2002 and have performed and recorded steadily ever since. We’ve logged quite a few shows and have a pretty large repertoire of songs. We’ve always been blues-based, of course, but we’ve evolved to play many more original tunes over the past four years or so. Our music is best described as “contemporary blues.” It’s groove-based, edgy, soulful and at times really rockin’, but it’s all grounded in the blues.


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Dan-o Stoffels, MAXMas Producer and Party Guy - photo by Eric Winegarner

MAXMas V: The Search for MAXMas IV

An interview with the team behind MAXMas, the Madison Area Christmas Compilation
by Mike Huberty
December 2014

The “Madison Area Christmas Compilation” or MAXMas as it’s abbreviated, is irreverent, non-traditional, ridiculously vulgar, often offensive, and completely awesome. It’s a Madison music scene spin on Christmas and a total artistic triumph that they’ve pulled together an album four out of the past five years. Herding a group of Madison bands together to write, record, and produce an album in a span of two months and then holding a big release party with almost all of those bands participating is a recording engineer and stage manager’s worst nightmare. Somehow, though, the guys who lead Kuhler Music and producer Dan-o Stoffels have pulled off a memorable album and ridiculous party every time. It’s a goddamn Christmas miracle. They’re even putting out a sexy MAXMas 2015 Calendar this year. We talked to Jon Kussow and Jeremy Gehler (who’s helping commandeer the operation from his new home in southern California) from Kuhler, along with Dan-o and calendar coordinator Audrey Martinovich, about what inspired them to bring back the Holiday hijinks for this year’s “Maxmas V: The Search for MAXMas IV”, to be released at the Frequency with a pair of wild parties.


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Joey Broyles - photo by Adeline Peck

Joey Broyles

Singer-Songwriter Joey Broyles leads a Future Pop Revolution
by John Noyd
December 2014

Raised in Sun Prairie, Madison musician Joey Broyles distinctly remembers playing all the parts of Snow White and the Seven Dwarves for his family as a young child. A born entertainer, Broyles also remembers making up songs all his life without ever thinking he could actually write a song. In fact, it wasn’t until a few years ago that his artistic vision took root and he applied his skills as a self-taught pianist and young Garageband dabbler to create a stage persona and musical identity. Inspired by a performance from local scensters Sexy Ester and mentored by the sure-handed production skills of multi-instrumentalist Son Voyager, Broyles soon caught the attention of the Madison musical community, eventually going on to win RAW Madison Musician of the Year 2013, MAMA Breakthrough Artist 2014 as well as a recent semi-finalist in 105.5 Triple M’s Project M Songwriting competition before completing this fall his full-length debut, “Future Pop Revolution.”

A realist with vision, a futurist shaped by a difficult past, Broyles pairs an extravagant imagination with a crusader’s sense of integrity; a renegade individualist who collaborates with a large network of artists and performers. As a founding member of arts collective and on-line publication Project Famous, the whirlwind entrepreneur enlists film-makers, costume designers and visual artists to help manifest his ideas whether it’s a video shoot, album artwork or a club date. As a performance artist, image and presentation are integral to Broyles’ message which he insists gets communicated with substance and pizzazz. Citing the ADD generation filling the clubs, Joey knows people want to be entertained but he also wants to provide more; specifically a role model for acceptance, championing the LGBT community and putting ideas back into pop music.

Drawing from his experiences being bullied as a young teen and time spent in the Foster care system, Broyles is well equip to confront social injustice and societal pressures. His rainbow-strewn storm-trooper debut tackles mindless music, gender expectations, corporate hypocrisy and rampant consumerism; often assuming the identity of his targets to uproot their weakness and duplicity. Popping Big Brother’s bubble with a court-jester cackle wrapped in royal trappings, “Future Pop Revolution,” styles alien grooves in a satin pageantry, heralded by a flourish of synths, bold beats and rock-hard guitar. Unconcealed and extra-real, Joey tickles fancies as he liberates fallacies, slyly dividing sarcastic travesties by undermining labels and breaking free of preconceived notions.

A dystopian perfectionist whose subversive mirth and unlocked mockery carry a message of self-expression to everyone everywhere, Joey confronts modern reality with defiant flair; shining, not hiding, demanding to be heard through lush synthetic power chords and swooning cut-throat harmonies. After the success of, “Future Pop Revolution,” Broyles is even keener to maintain his domain, absorbing new music software with an almost Zen-like appetite and digging into his childhood influences of TLC and Salt-N-Pepa to supplement his freshman Prince and Madonna obsessions while mining the past year spent immersed in a gossip-fraught bureaucracy for new song ideas. A pervasive presence on the web, it is as a live performer where Broyles fulfills his potential, combining music, theater and dance into a fiery mirrorball of provocative thought. Watch out world, this quick-witted misfit has just started to spread his wings. Catch him December 13th at Madison’s Inferno.


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2336 ViewsPermalinkJoey Broyles Website
Alice Stuart

Alice Stuart

An interview with American Blues songstress Alice Stuart
by Tina Ayres
December 2014

American Blues and folksinger/guitarist Alice Stuart has toured with Van Morrison, Mississippi John Hurt, and many others. During the 1970’s she first gained notice as one of the only women in rock n roll to write her own music, front a male band, and play lead guitar. She can currently be found performing alongside Marc Willett (The Kingsmen) and Steven Flynn (Chuck Berry,Jr. Cadillac) in the band The Formerlys.

Maximumink: What was your childhood like? What are some of your most fond memories from those days?
Alice Stuart: My childhood was pretty miserable. My mom parked me at 2 years old with my aunt (her sister) and went off to work at Bechtel (of all places). She came home a couple times a year. Very sad for me. My aunt and I (although I learned a lot of practical things from her) were pretty much like oil and water trying to mix together. I was a nervous wreck, allergic to practically everything. All I cared about was music.
MI: Do you happen to remember what your very first favorite song was?
AS: Beethoven when I was playing piano, then Buddy Holly and Chuck Berry and Jerry Lee Lewis.
MI: What was it that first led you to discover your love of music?
AS: Always loved music. First piano, then drums, baritone ukulele, and then graduated to guitar.
MI: Why do you think music has always had such a strong appeal throughout time? Why do you the Delta style has always struck such a chord in the hearts of listeners?
AS: People need a connection to their soul and the Delta style really connects you. It’s the real deal. I still prefer it.


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