I saw the music business drastically change in front of my eyes. We had most of our traditional success--selling CDs, having a platinum record--in the 1990s, and then suddenly there wasn't music on MTV, radio wasn't relevant. So we realizd you didn't have to do it the old way. For a band to succeed, you have to make your own rules and do what's right for you and your audience. For us, that meant we didn't have to be on tour constantly.
On juggling Powerman 5000 with his other projects: I also started to expand my world from music to other projects; I'm trying to produce some properties for TV; that's an interesting challenge in itself. But being in a band is hard to let go of becuase it's so rewarding and fun. It's something I've always wanted to do, ever since I was young and saw the Clash and all those other punk bands. I thought, I could do this--you don't have to be the world's greatest musician to do something great and relevant. I never realized I would still be doing it (after all these years), but now I feel like I'm just figuring it all out. [Music] doesn't get old.
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On being one of the pioneers of electro-metal and how technology influences the band: That's how Powerman came to be--we always wanted to bring the live band in with electronics. I was a fan of rock and metal but also electronic music, so it was a natural process. These days, we very rarely write all together by jamming in a room with all the musicians in a place. More often than not, everyone just goes to work on ProTools and presents ideas to each other. Technology has definitely changed the way we write music. For a band like us it almost adds to the uniqueness of our sound, in a way.
On Powerman 5000's latest record, Somewhere on the Other Side of Nowhere: In some ways it's a return to the sound of Tonight the Stars Revolt!, our biggest selling record. It's a return to big loud metal riffs with electronic elements, sci-fi overtones and pop culture references. It's like we came full circle and went back to what we do best. It's kind of cool to go back to that sound and feel good about it--like we improved on a sound we started out with years ago.
On wearing costumes and Powerman 5000's theatrical live shows: After 1999, we pulled back from wearing costumes because we didn't want to get pigeonholed. But then it got boring and we missed the over-thetop weirdness of the old days. If you come to the show now, you'll see we're back to being theatrical, we have these crazy robot helmets and we look like guitar wielding robots on stage. It's so much fun.
Powerman 5000 perform at the Galaxy Theater on Saturday, June 26, 8 p.m.