Tag Archives: musician



This month for the May Edition of Fresh Blood, we present Bitter Cold.
Bitter Cold is a self-dubbed “whiskey metal” band based out of Madison, Wisconsin. Bringing elements of thrash, death, and prog metal in tow, their performances and music are always one hell of a ride from start to finish. They’re new with only a handful of shows under their belt, but with everyone’s previous (and current) experience in other bands, they take the stage like pros and enchant the audience with ease with their one-of-a-kind headbanging experience.

They already have merch available, including t-shirts that blast the phrase “FUCK WINTER” emblazoned across an outline of our state, Bitter Cold’s message is clear–“embody what you hate and tell it to fuck right off.” 

If you haven’t had the chance to see Bitter Cold yet, they have one hell of a summer ahead of them, so go over to their facebook page and give them a like so you don’t miss them at the next venue near you!


For merch

Cat Sullivan


Gearview Mirror//Mason Burglund- Guitarist: Beetlegork

Hello again, local readers and gear enthusiasts. Welcome to another look through the local Gearview Mirror. This week I am featuring the seismic tone and gear of Mason Berglund of Beetlegork. He’s got some interesting things to show us so let’s get down to business.


As usual we start with the axe. This is my personal favorite piece of his tone puzzle. I’ve always liked finding other guitarists that play “Frankenstein” guitars, and this axe is nothing short of it.  With a distressed L.T.D. body,(that has gone through hell and back) this beast gives all the right vibes.Which, you would expect from its appearance and personality when waiting for the first note. As for pickups, Mason has filled the void with B.C. Rich pulled from a broken acrylic B.C. Rich guitar.


On Masons Pedalboard building this huge tone I discovered:

A Y split pedal made by Saturnwerks that allows him to split his signal and run both signals though at once.


A Rowin Noise Gate. (Any noise gate is necessary in any board).



A Tuner Power : Tuner/ power supply. This is some creative, original, and convenient shit I first witnessed through this interview, and am getting one for sure!

A Superego synth engine is the next on the chain list.

Followed by a Tremoverb: Tremolo / reverb combo pedal. Made by Daddy Daughter pedals.



Heavy Metal HM 2 for distortion


And ending with a Nux: Time force analog delay simulation pedal.


All of these pedals are on constantly, so don’t think any bit of this unnecessary. Every step is just as important as the last when your building you “Identity” as a guitarist, and I must say his tone is certainly a diamond in in the local rough.

Mason uses a Peavey XXL Transtube series 100 for his amplifier. Although I usually find Peavey in the thrash circuit, but this baby could find a place anywhere in the versatile rock world.


The final piece of the monster that is Mason Berglund is his crazy vintage cabinet. This baby emanates age and nestalgia and has “the balls” to boot.


All in all, I can say I am very happy I decided to feature this gear. There was definitely something to take from the consistency and width  in his tone that left me feeling like I was embarking on a journey I would never forget.

Be sure to check out Beetlegork in the link below!


Thank you all for joining me back stage for another look through the Gearview Mirror.

Check out next week’s article on Beetlegork’s bassist Levi Berglund, and as always- Thrash fast and headbang hard.

-Mitchel Fulcer

Editing/video/feature photo credit: Emily Mae

Gear-view Mirror//Erik Ackerman

Hello there, local readers and gear enthusiasts! Mitchel Fulcer here with more gear for you; I hope you took time to catch a local show this weekend. Whether it  be playing a local show or providing a crowd, all support is always appreciated. That said I had the honor of sharing the stage with one of my number ONE local favorite bands: All Out Mutiny. These guys are far beyond the caliber of most national acts I have seen!

While they’ve toured in Russia, and Brazil (setting the record for most consecutive metal shows played on tour in Brazil) don’t think for a second that those amazing opportunities have gone to their heads. All four of these dudes are the most humble and loving  guys you can meet on the scene. One among them is their guitarist Erik Ackerman. The first thing I noticed about Erik, years ago when we met them in Schofield, Wisconsin, was a one of a kind personality you can feel emanate from him while he plays. You know- the kind of guitarist that can bring you back to when you were young listening to the greats and discovering what guitar really is; leaving you anticipating every future riff or solo.


A very cool contributor to Erik’s sound is his custom Sandbom guitar, hand crafted at Sandbom’s Guitar Company in Wausau, WI.

For more on Sandbom Guitar Company click the link below!



Another Axe you’ll see him rocking on stage is his Gibson Explorer, equipped with a Dimarzio “Super Distortion” bridge pickup, and a Dimarzio 57 Classic neck Pickup. “Being sponsored by Dimarzio is fucking awesome because despite trying EMG, and many other pickup brands, I’ve always been a Dimarzio guy.”


In order to be able to rely on his gear for touring, Erik uses a minimal amount of effect pedals on stage. Separate from his pedal board he uses a classic metal staple:

the “Crybaby From Hell wah pedal”


Leading his pedal board chain is an MXR EVH 5150 Overdrive. “With a built in Noise Gate, and Boost, it removes 3 extra pedals from my stage board and when it comes to touring sometimes less is more.”.


Erik counts on the reliability, and durability of the pedal brand Boss for his on tour rig. Although in the studio he primarily uses MXR, on stage he uses three Boss effects pedals:

Boss Flanger:


Boss Chorus:



Boss Digital Delay:


Last but far from least is his Fender Deville Blues 4/10 combo amp. “I love going to new venues and watching the sound guy judge, and react to my playing metal through a tweed Fender combo. But When I start playing, They cant believe how kick ass it sounds,” He tells me passionately. Blasting at you through 6L6 tubes and a 12Ak7 preamp, this 60 watt beast can dominate any stage setting.

As an avid heavy/thrash Metal fan I can say that this combination of classic and modern style and gear has given Erik an incredibly unmistakable tone and identity on stage. If you don’t believe me get out and catch an All Out Mutiny show! Chat awhile with Robby Ray, Zack, and Erick. If you’re lucky enough you might even get to catch their mighty stage diving front man Jason.

Thank you for joining me for yet another look through the “Gear-view Mirror” with the original inspiration of this article: Erik Akerman. As always thrash fast, and headbang hard!

Mitchel Fulcer 

Feature Photo: Emily Mae


Gear-view Mirror // Dustin Bennett // Collectors’ Edition

Hello there, local readers and Gear enthusiasts. This week, my words and rambling will be kept short as this is my attempt at a live video collectors’ edition of Gearview Mirror in an effort to change it up for you  guys and gals.

Inspiring this Idea is the humble and awesome Dustin Bennett of  Forcefield. As you will see on the video, he has quite a collection of axes and other gear alike. I had my band brother Jonathan “The Icelander” Nicewander bring me down and aid me at Dustin’s home shop in Oshkosh to get a better look and to chat with Dustin and his counterpart, also a guitarist in Forcefield, Kurt Losinske.

Please check out the video, give any feedback on it, and as always, my friends, thrash fast and headbang hard!

Be sure to check out Forcefield on Facebook:


Mitchel Fulcer 

Weekend Warriors//Metal Interviews//WRATH

Hello Music Maehem fans and welcome to our very special Weekend Warriors feature- WRATH! This amazing thrash metal band was founded in 1982 in the Chicago area. That is 36 years of metal my friends!!! Current band members are Gary Golwitzer, Scott Nyquist, Rob Noon, Gary Modica, and Jake Fromkin. They have several releases including:

  • Fit of Anger -1986
  • Nothing To Fear-1987
  • Insane Society-1990
  • Wrath E.P-2008
  • Stark Raving Mad-2014

They also have just been officially signed to Combat Records!!




The first time I saw WRATH was at the Q and Z in Ringle, WI but that was before I was working on these interviews. However I still had the opportunity to meet them then. After speaking with them they brought a kind of wisdom to me about the music scene and how amazing it was. So, of course now that I have been working on Music Maehem, my thoughts turned to them so that all of you could hear directly from the source what these guys are like. So, for those of you who haven’t met them, I formally introduce to you WRATH:

This was filmed at an amazing venue way up in the Northwoods area of Woodruff, WI! Be sure to check out Happy’s Bar!



“Like” and follow WRATH in the links below!

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/WRATH-284918710024/?ref=br_rs


Instagram: @wrath_chicago

Don’t forget to get your copy of Bullets 1.0 AVAILABLE NOW!!!


Featured Photo: https://www.facebook.com/Emilymaehem25/

-Emily Mae

Weekend Warriors//Metal Interviews//Attalla


Attalla is a doom metal band with with a classic rock n roll edge that hails from Oshkosh, Wisconsin. They have been on the scene since 2012, and have been accomplishing all kinds of things since their beginning 6 years ago. After they were recommended to us, we gave them a listen and were not disappointed. Their Black Sabbath-like twist to modern doom metal was the perfect thing for our feature. With a few tours under their belt, (including the east coast) one album release (with another new album released recently), while all of this being self-promoted, we were nothing short of impressed. We tracked them down to the Pollock Inn in Wausau for an interview, presented to you by our very own Don Niesen.  The band collectively decided that he should sit with Cody Stieg and get the low down on what Attalla has to tell us!


So the band was formed in 2012, the year the world ended, what have been some of your accomplishments after you survived this?

2012 was when we got together and worked on and recorded the self titled concept album Attalla, which was released in July 2014. 2015 was our first tour east, which was all self promoted. There were great crowds and great feedback due to online promotion from reviews and interviews we sustained crowds throughout the tour there.


So, Glacial Rule is your next album?

We began writing and recording in 2016 and it was released in 2017. Glacier Rule was recorded at Howel Recording Studio in Milwaukee. All the songs on the album are inspired by natural things found in Wisconsin, such as how the glaciers shaped our state and the power it took to do that. The album art was designed by Adam Burke from Portland, Oregon. It was hand painted on a very large scale canvas. Please be sure to look up his artwork!

(We did our detective work and found his instagram which is the handle @nightjarillustration–be sure to follow it!)

We had vinyl albums made as well as special editions. 100 of them were fire red and we sold all of them in one month after the release. Then, we made 400 frostbite clear blue vinyls that are currently available. We have had great reviews and over 50,000 views on our Youtube!


So, back to the tour for Glacial Rule, how did that go?

In 2016, we spent a month touring the west coast, which went well and had even bigger crowds. Since we had already toured the east coast, it made booking the west coast much easier. Then, we kind of ran into a hiccup with drummers so in 2017 we went through 3 drummer changes from the time of the release to September. That kind of complicated things but we kept moving forward. In September of 2017 we booked another tour to the east coast. It was 17 shows and our following had grown so we had larger crowds there as well. As of November of 2017, we have started writing material for our third album and have been doing 3 to 4 shows a month locally here in the Midwest.


Have you had any radio airplay or podcasts?

We sent out 100 press kits to radio stations and it didn’t really amount to a whole lot. We were featured on the 94.7 on the Edge on the Razor. It’s not a main goal to impress the radio but whatever exposure we get from it– great! We are on Spotify, and it turns out that there is a rapper with a same name and the same spelling which is causing a conflict for the rapper, even confusion for the rapper’s management. We are on bandcamp and Facebook of course. Social media is a great way to get our name out there.


I see you’re playing at the Doomed and Stoned Festival in Chicago, what can you tell us about it? Where can we find tickets?

We are playing June 1st which is a Friday with six other bands. The festival is three days (Friday, Saturday and Sunday) and it features seven bands per night. This festival has been going on in Indianapolis for two years and this is the first year they are adding a Chicago location. The tickets are $20 a day or $50 for all three days. You can find them at the Doomed and Stoned Web page. (Link below)



Thank you once again to Attalla for spending time with Music Maehem! It was a pleasure to meet them and we look forward to seeing them again on the scene! As always, be sure to like and follow them on Facebook and other social media!


Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/attallawi/

Bandcamp: https://attallawi.bandcamp.com/

Below is a peak at their album Glacial Rule. 

Don Niesen  



Fresh Blood//Order Of Unukalhai

Welcome back to our monthly feature Fresh Blood, where we introduce you to one of the new bands making noise on the scene. This month we introduce you to Order Of  Unukalhai. You may have seen them around the scene lately, for they have been booking a lot of shows and making their name known fairly quickly.  Order of  Unukalhai describes themselves as “Extreme metal from Wisconsin” which if you want more of an in depth description on what that may entail, I would say something along the realm of doom or black metal with their own personal melodic twist.

Their debut album (self titled) can be found in the link below!




They are also teaming up with the band Beetlegork and are releasing a new split single!! We will be talking more about this at a later time, but it is due to be released this month so be sure you keep and eye out for it!

Some events coming near you from Order of Unukalhai:

March 9th at The Back Bart in Janesville WI


March 17th The Reptile Palace in Oshkosh WI


March 30th Franks Power Plant in Milwaukee WI


To keep updated with what is new for Order Of  Unukalhai be sure to follow them on Facebook!


Emily Mae 


Gear-view Mirror// Jake Schultz- Squid Hammer Metal

Hello, local readers and gear enthusiasts! This week, I am proud to present a look through the mirror at my great friend and personal inspiration, Jake Schultz of Squidhammer Metal. First of all, not only are “The Squids” the most entertaining band in Wisconsin, but they are the most honest, humble, and real motherfuckers you will ever meet. These guys are the real deal, man, and I am honored to be a part of the undeniable impact they have made on the Wisconsin music scene. Keep two eyes wide open for their upcoming album, because I guarantee it will blow your mind, Jack!


Inspired by his uncle at the age of nine, Jake quickly became a huge fan of the intense guitar styles created by artists, such as Dimebag Darrell and Zakk Wylde. Today, those influences are striking and have grown far beyond anything I’ve seen as he molds these legendary techniques into his own amazing tone and identity on the stage.  

A huge part of said tone is his Dean Dime Signature Series diamond plate guitar. This baby looks sick as hell and rips the ears off your skull, especially now that it’s equipped with the strings I use personally, D’addario NY/XL.


I was happy to learn that, through much trial and error, Jake decided to minimize his pedal board to three pedals. He has a raw sound that you cannot mimic, even through a full chain of pedals, but his sound is, at the same time, so full. I have personally witnessed him flood the stage with sound without a bassist or rhythm guitarist with what seemed to be effortless power.


To get such high output, he plugs into an MXR modified custom badass O.D. Overdrive pedal, and let me tell you, boy, this puppy is hot! I have never seen one until I met Jake about a year ago, and I’ve compared every overdrive pedal to it since.


Naturally, with the aforementioned Dimebag influence, he also uses a CFH (crybaby from hell) wah pedal. They cover Pantera better than any local band I’ve seen yet, and with that kind of style, this wah is a necessity.   


As most overdrive pedal users know, you need a noise gate to clean up those palm mutes and kill extra background noise. Jake uses a Boss noise suppressor to get the job done and done well.


For live sound Jake uses a Dimebag Sig Krank 100 watt Krankenstein amplifier. This amp looks just as sweet as it sounds, and definitely lives up to any hype you may have heard.


Off the stage he uses a Randall Warhead amplifier.


For a speaker cabinet, he has a Fender 4/12 Metal Head 4 ohm cabinet that lets any amplifier open up as wide as possible. The low end on this cabinet will literally rattle your skull!


In conclusion, my friends, if you have any interest in seeing a band that loves to shred at 110% every time and love jaw dropping entertainment, check out Jake Schultz and his band Squidhammer Metal. They will become an instant favorite, I guarantee it.
28383259_553095155060132_899019406_n (1)

Thank you for spending your time here with me and, as always, thrash fast and headbang hard.  


Weekend Warriors//Metal Interviews//Shokker


Today, we are taking our eyes to the metal scene in Chicago, where we find the band Shokker! Influenced by old school metal bands such as Y&T, Accept, Diamond Head, Thin Lizzy, Iron Maiden, Saxon, UFO, Death, Van Halen, Kix, Judas Priest, Ratt, Led Zeppelin, Racer X, and Rush they really bring their best foot forward!

Formed on Valentine’s Day of 2011, they really made their presence known, especially after the release of their EP in 2015. When I heard their song “Blessed Be”, I was immediately hooked and wanted to hear more! The power of this song completely took me by surprise and the place in my heart where 80’s metal lives on forever was like “Whhaaaa!?”

At times, I tend to be stubborn when introducing a female vocalist onto my list of bands that I love, but Rachl “Raxx” Quinn won my heart in an instant! I was blown away by the power and force of her voice. Followed up by the other extremely talented members Casey Tremont (lead guitar/vocals), Jorey Guillermo (bass) and Dan Dash (drums), there is just no way I could resist adding this band into my favorites and of course my list of must-sees! Just from what I have heard, I can only imagine how that energy must feel when they are on stage. I’m sure that much like when I saw Anthrax perform, it will be like time travelling back to the 80’s, one of the greatest eras in metal history!

Inspired by what I had heard, I wanted to know more about Shokker, so, naturally I set up an interview with them.


I have to say, as an old school metalhead myself, I am not only very impressed, but also relieved to know that there are musicians out there continuing this bloodline of metal, especially here in the Midwest! What can you say about your journey so far in the metal scene? 


Our metal journey has been awesome so far. There have been many high points, and it has been incredible connecting with many fans and creating music. It’s a fantastic feeling to have people identify with what we write. We’re doing what we love to do, and having a great time doing it.


Your first EP was released in 2015 and it received a lot of positive feedback. Since then, you have released your debut album III, which was selected as metal album of the year on drmusic.org and in the Top 20 albums of 2017 on glisteningmetal.com. I can definitely see why! What was the inspiration behind this album and where can fans find it? 

We were sitting on material we had been working on for a long time, and really wanted to put out an ass-kicker of a metal album. We play our own special brand of metal, and we feel we write it well. We just had the desire to show the world who we are as a band and what we have to offer in our music, and we let them be the judge. You can find “lll” at Reckless Records on Milwaukee Ave. and Broadway St., Laurie’s Planet of Sound, and Raffe’s Records in Chicago. We also take orders via online people can email us at shokkerusa@gmail.com.


You all have quite the following! Do you have any kind of national tour planned? 


We have many ideas, we just need to figure out how to implement them. We’ve played across the United States and are very much looking forward to getting overseas to Europe, the UK, South America, etc. We have plans, but we want to make sure it’s done right. We want to share our music with the rest of the world.


You opened for Queensryche, one of my FAVORITE metal bands of all time–I miss them so much! What was that show like? Did you get to meet them? 


It was an incredible experience! We love Queensryche! Yes, we did get to meet them, and they are a very nice and talented group of people. They were very genuine and gave us some great compliments about our set and advice for the future. We got a standing ovation of a sold-out room of Queensryche fans that didn’t know us, and that was the best feeling in the world. The theatre owner was impressed by our set and invited us back the next night to open for Y&T as well. We had one hell of a great time.


I’m sure you all have SO many amazing shows coming up this year! One of them is AMB Fest in Barrington IL. What can you tell us about this show? 

 AMB Fest is a show that  a booking agent, who is a good friend of ours, puts on every year. It’s always filled with great bands and is always a complete blast. We’re looking forward to playing it. We are also opening for Saxon in a few weeks, we were invited back to play the M-“Pre” Party in Columbia, Maryland, and are looking into booking various festival dates going forward.


 Keep your eyes open for more news on Shokker! They are always doing something new so don’t miss out! You can follow them in the links below!!

Youtube- shokkerusa
Instagram- @shokkerband
Twitter- @shokkerband

Also check out their song “Blessed Be” off of their new album III  and others as well on Youtube!

Extended Play// Micromanager- Mile 134

Welcome Music Maehem readers to our new feature: Extended Play. This is where we introduce you to the newest EP releases that the talented bands on the local scene have available to you.

For those of you who may be unsure of what an EP is, EP is actually short for Extended Play. EP’s are more tracks than a single but less than a full album; usually about 3 to 5 tracks are featured on an EP. Today, they are used as a way for a band to release content while they are still in the process of working on a full album. With all of that information out of the way, I introduce you to our very first feature: Mile 134 from Argyle, Wisconsin.

Mile 134 is a two piece band of brothers Tristan Waage (Drums, vocals) and Trey Waage (Guitar, vocals). When they perform, they really come at you with a lot of energy that reminds me very much of a lot of bands from the post-grunge era. They exude the same attitude and drive that everyone had back then and bring it to the now. This made complete sense to me when going in and reading up on the band’s profile and finding out that they actually were once more of a 90’s alternative rock influenced band that has been becoming more on the heavy side, as they have developed in their career. Their lyrical content is angry, angsty, intense and relateable.  They have a good balance of clean and guttural vocals, and very catchy riffs that are paired with low pounding drums. With Mile 134, it seems like you get a little bit of everything rock and metal has to offer.

Mile 134 just released their newest EP Micromanager, which is the beginning of their new sound as they make the full transformation from 90’s alt rock to hard rock/metal. While listening to Micromanager, I was reminded of some of the greats of hard rock such as Seether, Slipknot, Stone Sour, and Chevelle. However, there were still hints of their 90’s influences as well, especially in the vocals and picking patterns. I could feel things in there that reminded me of both Nirvana and Deftones, both bands that have a place in my heart. Honestly, there is just something that I love about a band when I can tell they are influenced by Nirvana, or if a musician is influenced by Kurt Cobain in general. I think ultimately it has something to do with knowing how to be raw and real with your emotions and reflect them in your art and work overall. There is definitely a place in the scene for Mile 134 and I can see them playing with some big acts in their near future! Beginning with a spot on Summer Fest 2018!

Below is a link to their lyric video featuring their track “Frown”  Be sure to look out for their newest  video “Apoplectic” coming out this summer!


To enjoy the rest of the tracks from Mircomanager  follow the links below:





Be sure to like and follow Mile 134  on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/mile134band/

To catch them live in the scene you can see them on March 17th at T n D’s Bar and Grill Monticello House


Emily Mae