Live-Metal.net recently conducted an interview with Spider of POWERMAN 5000. A few excerpts from the chat follow:
Live-Metal.net: What would you say is the biggest misconception about yourself or the band?
Spider: Good question. I think that there is an idea that when we blew up and had our big record, which was "Tonight the Stars Revolt!", that we were some sort of overnight, record label contrived band. The reality was that I had been in this band for eight years playing every shitty little club there was on the East Coast before any record label even looked at us. I think that we are actually beating that rap now. It's funny because we have been around so long and been through so many ups and downs, labels and member changes, that we have finally turned the corner where there is a certain amount of respect for this band. It's like, "Wow, man, they are still fuckin' doing it!" A lot of bands, the second there is trouble, they are gone. The second that the label or success gives, they are gone. For me, it is either you do it or you don't. You can't judge yourself on what label you are signed to or how many records that you are selling that particular month or whatever. You are in a band.
Live-Metal.net: You mentioned the success of "Tonight the Starts Revolt!" Was that something that you expected?
Spider: No, it was so weird, man. The funny thing about that record was that the record before that was a small, underground hit, "Mega!! Kung Fu Radio", and we were just doing our thing. Then I was like, "Let's do this weird sci-fi record and wear these fuckin' spacesuits." The label was like, "This is the worst idea that we have ever heard!" I remember record label people showing up at our photo shoots and just shaking there heads and they thought we were crazy. I remember our A&R guy sitting us down in his office and saying, "Watch this, just watch this." And he puts on these videos like DEFTONES and says "See, they have like baggy pants and chain wallets and they are skateboarding. That is what you should be doing! What is this spacesuit shit?" And it's funny because ultimately a lot of kids thought that the whole sci-fi thing was a label idea and that they made us do it. The fact is that they [the label] hated it. I honestly didn't expect it to do anything. It just seemed so ridiculous that I thought only a small amount of people would even get it. Then all of a sudden it was like, "Boom!" and we were on MTV and going on tour with every show sold out. We would roll into town and listen to the radio and listen to their top five countdown and we would be number one above NINE INCH NAILS and bands like that. I couldn't believe it. It was so fuckin' weird. We made this weird record about fucking robots and shit that I didn't think anyone would get except for some nerdy comic book kids. But that is how it works though. That is why you can never try to have a hit. You can never try to make a record for anyone but yourself because you never know what is going to work.
Live-Metal.net: Being in the music industry as long as you have, are there still surprises?
Spider: I feel like I have seen it all, ya know what I mean? It is just surprising how much more difficult it has become to sell records and draw crowds. It is just a tougher game now. Radio stations are going away. There is something surprising: New York City doesn't have a rock station. That is something where you think, "How is that even possible?" The biggest city in America with no place to get your song on the radio. There is a station called MTV that doesn't play music videos. Where else do you go other than tour? If you aren't a good touring band, it is really hard to survive.
Live-Metal.net: When do you think "Chinese Democracy" will be released?
Spider: [laughs] Yeah, that is a good question! I hear that it is supposed to come out this year, but then he has been saying that for years. I think that he should have released that thing about 10 years ago. He seems to be popping up more and more recently, so maybe he is gearing up for it. [laughs] That guy is a nut!
Read the entire interview at Live-Metal.net.