Inside the bands upcoming new record, with frontman, Spider One
Powerman 5000 is officially back and riding a ‘New Wave’. Now 23 years since the band debuted in Boston, and roughly three years since their last record, Builders of the Future, frontman, Spider One, is as enthusiastic about the music as ever. New Wave will officially be released on October 27th, and the band will hit the road on a fall tour starting October 20th in Portland, OR.
I recently had the chance to check in with Spider One on the inspiration behind the new record, the excitement of hitting the road, and reflecting upon where it all began in Boston.
You are roughly two weeks away from the official release of your new record, with all that has transpired leading up to this point, how do you feel? What is the emotion of it all for you?
This will be our 11th album. By now I should be used to it, but honestly every record seems like the first. Each new album comes with the same challenges. You always have to please yourself first. Make something you are excited about and then send it on it’s way and hope that people will connect with it.
From an artistic standpoint, what was different for you in writing these new songs?
I’m not sure if anything was particularly different. You just fall into wherever your head is at at the time and try and capture that sentiment in a bunch of songs.
How has your Boston roots influenced your music?
Growing up, I spent a lot of time checking out local bands. I would go to the all ages hardcore shows at The Channel and other clubs like the Rat. These places are gone now but they had a huge influence on me. I wanted to be a part of the scene. It was a really exciting time seeing bands like SSD, The Proletariat, Gang Green.
I don’t live in Boston anymore. I moved to Los Angeles many years ago, but I do look back fondly on my time there. The music community was very close back then. We would rehearse in Fenway in a converted tire factory. Everyone knew everyone else. There was a real scene and a lot of really cool bands. We worked hard back then to rise to the top of that scene and became sort of the big fish. That’s when we decided to move. We didn’t want to get stuck. It was a great time and a great city to be creative in.
On your new record, there are some very strong song titles, “No White Flags” being my favorite. What can you say about the themes you were going for in this record?
I think the overall theme of this record is about trying to hang on to rebelliousness. Life, society and social pressure will suck the life out of you if you let it. Little by little the fight is taken away from you. I think I was examining the idea of that and why most people let it happen. They give up or at least just give in.
What personally inspired you most when creating the new songs on New Wave?
I wanted to make a record that I wasn’t hearing in the rock world. I can’t say I’m much of a fan of what I’m hearing these days. Rock has become pretty controlled. There is a very middle of the road feeling I get from most bands and lyrically I hear a lot of generic sentiments. So, I guess personally I was frustrated and inspired to do something that went against all that.
What are you most looking forward to on the upcoming tour?
I’m looking forward to feeling like I’m in a band. A lot of time and energy is spent on stuff that is at odds. Getting on stage and making noise is the purest part of being in a band and ultimately the most important.
I’m sure there’s an anticipation and excitement to perform the new songs live. How do you feel they will translate? Will you be performing all of the new tunes?
I think that most of the new record will translate well live. We approached the new songs with that in mind. We will be playing some of the new songs on this tour and probably add more as people become familiar with the record.
Check out the video for Powerman 5000’s lead single, “Sid Vicious in a Dress” and the just released new video for “Cult Leader”:
For a full list of tour dates and ticket information visit Powerman5000.com
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