POWERMAN 5000 Frontman Looks Back On 'Massive' Nu Metal Movement: 'It Was A Really Exciting Time'
July 7, 2021
In a new interview with Sofa King Cool, POWERMAN 5000 frontman Spider One was asked how it feels to have been part of the wave of rock bands that were responsible for creating the "nu metal" genre back in the late 1990s. He responded (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET): "I don't think anybody who was part of that thought of it that way. I definitely didn't. Where that term came from, who knows? I don't know who made that up. And we didn't really even feel like we were a part of it. We felt like we were just doing our thing, and we didn't particularly feel like a part of a scene. But now when I look back on it, it was a pretty cool time. The variety of bands from that era, it's pretty impressive.
"People like to say everything's nu metal, but when I think back, everyone was kind of doing their own thing," he continued. "It was a scene, but everybody was very different. You had us doing this weird electronic metal, sci-fi-influenced, and you had guys like [Marilyn] Manson and Rob [Zombie] doing this sort of darker, horror-esque [brand of rock], and you had LIMP BIZKIT doing party-rap music, and KORN doing this… Everybody was really doing interesting things, but somehow it all fit together.
"It was a really exciting time because it was also one of the last times where rock music was the biggest thing. It was a massive movement, and we were all playing huge shows.
"It's interesting. Rock music has kind of been pushed to the side — it isn't really part of the mainstream — but back then, we'd get played on MTV," Spider One recalled. "You'd be watching MTV and there'd be a Britney Spears video and then a POWERMAN video and a KORN video, then a Christina Aguilera [video]… It was one of the last times where rock music was actually treated the same as everything else. I feel like now if you're in a rock band, you're, like, it's tough.
"It was a great time. And there were so many of those big tours happening. Ozzfest was sort of at its peak. It was exciting — it was definitely an exciting time to have that kind of success.
"It's funny. I think for a while nu metal was frowned upon, like anything that gets really popular, but I feel like its influence, you're starting to hear it more in a lot of younger bands now," he added. "I think those bands are now discovering the '90s, like, 'Woah,' the early 2000s, and finding all these bands. I definitely hear the influence in some of the newer bands."
Essentially a fusion of rap and alternative rock (arguably born out of RAGE AGAINST THE MACHINE),nu metal inexplicably swept the airwaves and peaked for a brief period in the late nineties and early noughties, with Gregory Heaney of AllMusic describing the genre as "one of metal's more unfortunate pushes into the mainstream." Along the way, several bands associated with nu metal, including KORN, DEFTONES and SLIPKNOT, took a somewhat defensive stance against being labeled as such. Even those less apologetic nu metal groups eventually changed their sound, effectively disowning the genre that they helped pioneer.
POWERMAN 5000's latest album, "The Noble Rot", came out last year.