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Articles in Reverse

Looking at history from the oldest first
A Perfect Circle on the cover of Maximum Ink in April 2000

A Perfect Circle

by Paul Gargano
April 2000

When Billy Howerdel was writing the songs that would later become A Perfect Circle’s debut, he had a very specific vision. It involved a female singer, lending her soft caress to songs that would be ambient, ethereal, and heavy. “I wanted to do soundtracks,” recalls the guitarist, “I literally wanted to do a song, a 40 minute song that can be a score to a movie.” And he adjusted more than a decade of songwriting accordingly, padding out songs and stretching them from four-minute pop, to textured voyages ten times their original length.

Then, while doing production work during the recording of Tool’s Aenima epic, Howerdel met the band’s frontman, Maynard James Keenan. Keenan liked what he heard of the guitarist’s works in progress, and asked if he could contribute vocals. “I was thrilled,” Howerdel laughs, sitting in a Los Angeles rehearsal studio where A Perfect Circle were preparing for their current tour with Nine Inch Nails. “I quickly got over the female voice thing! From there, things changed.”


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Ray Condo and his Ricochets on the cover of Maximum Ink in May 2000 - photo by Dan Zubkoff

Ray Condo And His Ricochets

by Dave Leucinger
May 2000

He’s 46 - well past living the life of your typical traveling musician, complete with vans, hotels, late nights, and lots of driving. But Ray Condo isn’t your typical anything. So he’s able to fit in quite nicely - lead the pack, actually - when the usually independent rockabilly world unites at festivals, such as last month’s Viva Las Vegas. “They’re pretty special,” he said of VLV and its kin. “It’s a ‘meeting of the tribes’ where the culture comes together once or twice a year.”

Amongst those tribes, Condo certainly rates as chief - or at least elder medicine man. The potions he mixes are old recipes - first blended in the 1930s at dance halls between Tulsa and Austin. It’s a concoction known as western swing - a blend of instrumentation and rhythm uniting the Kansas City swing of the era and early electrified country, complete with singing pedal steel guitars. “The draw of western swing is that it has so many modern elements - like speeded-up guitar and a tough rhythm section. These were the elements that formed early rockabilly and rock & roll.” Through the 1940s, artists such as Bob Wills & the Texas Playboys and the Light Crust Doughboys sent many boot heels tapping. “By the late ‘40s, Hank Williams and Lefty Frizzell stripped the music into smaller combos - they were the Louis Jordans of the western scene. They put an end to those bands.”


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Slipknot on the cover of Maximum Ink in May 2000 - photo by Paul Gargano

Slipknot

by Paul Gargano
May 2000

Ten years ago, the Limelight was a landmark for bands who performed in New York City. Women danced in cages suspended from vaulted ceilings, stained glass surrounded a stage elevated on what used to be an altar, and men and women mingled in lines for unisex bathrooms. Built as a church decades earlier, the site had since been deconsecrated, converted to a nightclub, and angel-shaped disco balls hung where a crucifix was once suspended. It was the perfect not to mention haunting and eerie setting for the inspired debauchery of sex, drugs and rock ‘n’ roll that made the late ‘80s and early ‘90s such revered times.

And almost a decade later, recently reopened, it was the perfect venue to host the live chaos that is Slipknot.


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International artist Bernard Allison on the cover of Maximum Ink in June 2000

Bernard Allison

by Dave Leucinger
June 2000

“My dad told me to never be a copy cat,” emphasized guitarist/vocalist/songwriter Bernard Allison in a recent telephone interview. “He told me, ‘you’ll have influences and idols, but you’ll need to put yourself into what you play.’” Allison, son of late titan Luther Allison, has taken his father’s message to heart in a career that reaches back more than 15 years. “I’m doing what I’ve always done – mix a 12-bar blues tune with a couple of rock tunes, and a couple of funk tunes.”

Contrary to many perceptions, the senior Allison was not the foremost musical teacher in Bernard’s early career. “There wasn’t that much teaching at the musical level,” Allison said. “I taught myself how to play guitar and sing pretty much on my own, although he showed me how to play a few things. But Our relation was more like brothers than father/son.” Bernard did note that his father gave him sage advice on other aspects of the business, however. “He did teach me about the road – but I also learned a lot from my 3 years with Koko Taylor.” That apprenticeship with Taylor, and later with Willie Dixon’s Blues All-Stars, saw the teenage Allison emerge with more of his own voice, further developed through tutoring by Johnny Winter and Stevie Ray Vaughan. So zealots who expect – or hope – that Bernard will develop into a clone of his father will be disappointed. “A lot of our music is naturally the same,” Allison said.  “Early on, there was a lot more stuff where I sounded like him. But now, you can hear a song and tell if it’s Bernard or Luther.”


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Clarence Gatemouth Brown on the cover of Maximum Ink July 2000

Clarence “Gatemouth” Brown

by Dave Leucinger
July 2000

an historic interview of this legend of the blues and grammy winner, Clarence “Gatemouth” Brown. Brown passed away in 2006. RIP Gatemouth


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the back of Zakk Wylde, Black Label Society on cover of Maximum Ink

Black Label Society

by Paul Gargano
July 2000

There’s nothing subtle about Zakk Wylde. He’s the guitar demon that laid the sinister soundtrack to Ozzy Osbourne’s No Rest for the Wicked and No More Tears, breathing insanity into “Crazy Babies,” ripping through “Demon Alcohol” and raising hell on earth with “Tattooed Dancer.” He wore his Southern pride on his sleeve with Pride & Glory, enjoying fleeting success with the project, but not completely satisfying his hunger to rock with reckless abandonment. From there he split songwriting time between Osbourne’s Ozzmosis album and Guns N’ Roses, in the process, recording his solo-acoustic Book of Shadows, an album that made for an interesting sidebar for the shredding metal phenom, but only intensified his desire to raise Caine with six-string, Sabbath-inspired salutations.

When writing with GN’R seemed a dead-end road, Wylde had a revelation—he’d sing the songs himself, give them his own voice, and create a band that fulfilled his vision of rock’s most brutal attributes. He dubbed the band Black Label Society


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