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Alex Anders

Alex Anders

An interview with Alex Anders
by Tina Ayres
April 2015

Alex Anders came onto the music scene as a singer/guitarist in his teens. He has since went on to add harmonica, organ, and drums to his repertoire. While he prefers to perform county music he has also worked in rock, alternative, and acoustic genres. His debut release This Memory can be found at digital outlets everywhere from Potomac Records. The new single Those Were the Days can be found on iTunes and all digital media outlets Tuesday March 17, 2015

Maximum Ink: Since there isn’t much known about you yet, can you tell us a little about yourself?
Alex Anders: I am 22 years old, born and raised in Northern Virginia, and currently residing in Fairfax, VA. Since I can remember, music has always been my passion and what I’ve always gravitated toward – to escape from routine as well as to let my creative juices flow. Music has always provided a sense of belonging, and singing and writing is part of who I am – to put it in simpler terms, music simply defines me. I have been pursuing a musical career since my teenage years, with a clearer definition, goal, and a stronger determination now that I’m in my twenties. I love music, I just want to perform, write, and always make music.

Maximum Ink: What did you love most about growing up in Northern Virginia? What are some of your most fond memories from that time in your life?
Alex Anders: The thing I definitely loved most about living in this area was the amount of family I had growing up here. My aunts, uncles, and cousins always seemed to be just down the street from one another. It was nice never having to travel more than 10 minutes to get to one another’s home. It always made for awesome holiday get togethers, birthday celebrations, cookouts, and many other family events. It was really nice knowing the people that meant the most, were always so close to me. This enhanced the fact that Northern Virginia has a very diverse culture, vast history, wonderful attractions, and activities that appeal to a worldwide audience. In addition there is its growing music scene which has contributed greatly to shaping me into the artist that I am today. Northern Virginia is also the home of Potomac Records, who are doing an amazing job in cultivating and supporting the local music scene, including myself. Putting all this together, Northern Virginia has been and will always be the best place in the world for me.

Maximum Ink: Can you recall what you very first favorite song was?
Alex Anders: I have always loved music and how it made me feel, but it wasn’t until I heard Bruce Springsteen’s Rosalita, The Dance by Garth Brooks, and Motorcycle Drive By by Third Eye Blind, who are admittedly one of my favorite bands, that I got more and more interested in the wonderful world of music.

Maximum Ink: When did you first become interested in guitar?
Alex Anders: I first remember wanting to seriously pursue guitar after seeing my older cousin play her guitar. I was always going over to her place and seeing her strum along and sing to popular songs on the radio. I had always been infatuated with guitar and drums and wanting to learn how to play an instrument of my own from a pretty young age. But it was probably around 10 or 11 when I really decided that I would pick it up and start teaching myself. I haven’t put it down since.


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Wayne Nelson

Little River Band

An interview with Singer/Bassist Wayne Nelson
by Tina Ayres
April 2015

Wayne Nelson is best known from his work as the lead singer/bassist for Little River Band. Founded in Australia in 1975, the band has sold over 30 million albums worldwide, and are the first band to achieve the record of having Top 10 hits for 6 consecutive years.

Maximum Ink: When did you first discover your love of music?
Wayne Nelson: My earliest memories are infused with music. My parents constantly had music in playing in our home…Chopin, Beethoven, Tchaikovsky, Mozart, et al from my mom, and marching music from my dad who was a drum major in college. And both loved Broadway music and plays. They also both sang in the church choir, and were active in local theater groups. So I went with them to rehearsals and services. Rhythm, harmony, and composition were in the air on a regular basis.
MI: Who were some of you earliest influences?
WN: Once I was able to choose new music that I wanted to hear, I loved the Four Seasons, The Beach Boys, The Turtles, and Dion…lots of vocal harmonies and great songs. Next came Motown, The Beatles, The Stones, and Cream. Then horn bands like Chicago, BS&T, EWF, and Chase. From there I started listening to jazz and more esoteric music like Yes, Weather Report, Miles Davis, Jaco Pastorius, Pat Metheny, Spyro Gyra, and Michael Walden.
MI: What was it like to have had the chance to hone your musical skills in Chicago? Do you feel privileged to have had the chance to play in an area so rich in rhythm and blues?
WN: Chicago was a great town for seeing bands and soaking up live music. Although there was a lot of blues on Lincoln Ave at the time, it hadn’t become as commercialized and popular as it is now. I spent more time seeing CTA and Styx and Cheap Trick at clubs and college venues. What was very hard for any young band in Chicago was to play R&B, which is what all of my friends and fellow musicians were into…Stevie, Motown, EWF, etc. And it was never an easy town to work in…6 sets a night, loading in and out with wind chills of -10, ice on the pavement and at the doorways. Chicago was boot camp for me.


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Todd Rundgren

Todd Rundgren

The Wizard Goes "Global"
by Sal Serio
April 2015

Never an artist to rest on his laurels, the ever-evolving Todd Rundgren is back with the new “Global” album, which is a curious mash-up of Philly soul, new wave pop, and electronica. Maximum Ink’s Sal Serio, a restless artist in his own right, had the opportunity to speak with Rundgren about “Global”, and his upcoming tour, which stops in to the Pabst Theater in Milwaukee on Tuesday, April 21.


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The Fine Constant from Madison, Wisconsin - photo by Chris Lotten

The Fine Constant

An Interview with Sarah Longfield
by Teri Barr
April 2015

What would individual artists—influenced by jazz, EDM, and a little mix of metal—sound like playing together as a group? No reason to wonder, as this band already exists. The Fine Constant has been making its unique style of music for less than a year, and is set to embark on a several month cross country tour in support of a new, original album being officially released at its Madison show on April 9th. But who is this group, and why is the leader a bit of a beautiful surprise? Sarah Longfield recently took time out of her busy, getting-ready-for the-road preparations, to answer these questions and more, for Maximum Ink: 

Maximum Ink:  Your technique on guitar is pretty incredible. It’s unique, and really difficult. How long have you been playing?
Sarah Longfield:  I’ve been playing guitar for about 10 years now. I started off playing piano when I was about 8 and have taken up various instruments since then, but guitar is what comes most naturally!
As for my playing, I don’t know much about theory or proper technique, but I like to think having to work around that is what has helped me to develop my own style.

MI:  Who’s in the band, and with your different interests in music, how’d you get together?
SL:  My two band mates are Steve Meyer on drums, and Steve-O Wilkes on guitar. Steve has been playing drums for 18 years and Steve-O has been playing guitar for 14 years. We ended up together because Steve was seeking a guitar player for a jazz band while I was looking for a band to play the solo material I had written and recorded in my basement. After jamming a couple of times, it all sort of fell into place. Steve-O then came into the picture a short time later, after our original guitar player left the band.


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Royal Blood

Royal Blood

An Interview with bassist Mike Kerr
by John Noyd
May 2015

Brighton, England’s two-piece blues-rock monster ROYAL BLOOD have been making waves ever since their self-titled debut came out last August. As perpetrators of rafter-rattling grooves whose ferocious approach to tight-knitted riffs trip in head-banging bliss, bassist Mike Kerr and drummer Ben Thatcher have spread their particularly heavy brand of cosmic gospel around the world, including a jaw-dropping stop in Madison last fall. Circling back around with a headline gig at Madison’s High Noon Saloon May 31st, MAXIMUM INK was fortunate enough to ask hard-wired squire Mike Kerr a few questions before their arrival.

MAXIMUM INK: A lot of accolades came your way since you were last here opening up for the Pixies. Has it been great, a distraction, weird or no big deal?
ROYAL BLOOD:
It’s been great, it’s always nice to have people saying complimentary things, especially peers and people that have influenced you and inspired you. At the same time, you don’t dwell on it, you just carry on doing what you’re doing.

MI: You’ve covered The Police’s, “Roxanne,” and Pharrell’s, “Happy.” Is there any song that Royal Blood cannot take on?
RB:
Haha – I’ll let you in on a secret, it was a kind of backs against the wall scenario with those covers. But they came off well(just about!), not necessarily our number one choice of covers. It’s difficult to choose songs to cover, you’re programmed to create new music so it’s testing to deviate and then to cover someone else’s music!

MI: Have you ever refused a musical challenge?
RB:
Never. As I said above, doing the covers were a musical challenge, but they allowed us to bring our own musical style to it, so it all worked out in the end.


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The Skizzwhores

The Skizzwhores

An interview with Madison punks, Skizzwhores
by Mike Huberty
May 2015

With its classic-sounding punk rock, Madison’s Skizzwhores takes the energy of Fear, the aggression of The Melvins, and throws some Bikini Kill over the top. Vocalist/guitarist Ashle Quinn, Bassist Evan Christiansen, and Dave Bonson (the most drummer-sounding name ever) took some time to discuss the band, their upcoming album, and their upcoming shows.


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