Powerman 5000 released the DVD Backstage and Beyond the Infinite this week, but the hard rock act is already talking about its next release: an album the quintet is finishing now in the studio.
"It's a lot more aggressive than the last record," Spider One reports of the band's third album, which it is currently wrapping up with producer Terry Date (Deftones, White Zombie, Pantera). "It still sounds like us, of course. It's the same people, but it's much heavier and much more guitar-oriented than the last record. We looked at the last record as a starting point, figured out what we did best on that record, and started from there."
Spider One points to the new song "Bombshell" as an example. "I just get this vibe from it that it's like [previous single] 'When Worlds Collide' [multiplied by] 100," he says. "It's real exciting, and when I hear it I get the feeling that it's something good that's going to work."
The key for Powerman 5000 — which also includes guitarists Adam 12 and M. 33, drummer Al 3, and bassist Dorian 27 — was to write with the live show in mind. "You can make the most interesting album and do something experimental, but you take it to the stage, and it just falls flat," Spider One says. "If you're Radiohead, then you don't really care. But when you're Powerman and you have to do 200 shows this year in front of kids who love bands like Pantera and Slipknot, there's certain obligations to give the fans a live show that they are going to remember and be able to get involved with."
And boy did those fans get involved, especially during Backstage and Beyond the Infinite, which includes fan footage that the band solicited from fans. "It's not like we got any backyard wrestling tapes or anything," Spider One jokes. "[But] there was some pretty strange stuff. The burning Barbie dolls and seeing people's rooms with Powerman stuff from floor to ceiling — that's pretty crazy."
The band built its devoted following with its breakthrough second album, 1999's Tonight the Stars Revolt!, which went platinum and put it on the radio and on stages around the globe. Songs like "When World Collide," "Nobody's Real," and "Supernova Goes Pop" were radio staples.
Backstage and Beyond the Infinite runs a bit over an hour and includes five videos, live footage, and a history of the band. "That was a pretty big undertaking," Spider One says. "It started out as something that we thought was going to be this simple little project to throw together to get something out between albums. It turned out to be much more than that. I think for the die-hard fans it will be a pretty interesting thing to see."