POWERMAN 5000's SPIDER ONE Reflects On 2003 Split With Record Label: I Thought We Were 'Done'

December 25, 2022

In a new interview with Australia's Heavy, POWERMAN 5000 frontman Spider One reflected on the band's 2003 split with its then-record label, DreamWorks. Asked if that was a difficult time for the band, he responded (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET): "Yeah, it was. In fact, in all honesty, I thought that was it. I was, like, 'Well, that was a fun ride. I guess we're done.'

"2003 was a weird time because things were starting to change — downloading music was starting to become a thing; CD sales started to go down — but it wasn't over yet," he explained. "For a lot of bands, your identity and your survival was based on whether or not you had a record deal. Which is funny now, because no one wants a record deal. But back then, it felt like, 'Oh, if we don't have a record deal, what are we doing? What are we gonna do?' So when DreamWorks closed up shop and we had no label, I remember finishing this tour out and we all kind of looked at each other and said, 'Well, that was fun. I guess it's time to find a job.' But a funny thing happened. Maybe it was a year later. I was kind of just not sure what I was gonna do. And I found there was a video game company and they put out a request for music supervisors to find them music in the style of POWERMAN 5000. And I was, like, 'Well, you can have the real fucking thing. I'm still alive.' So I reached out to them, and they [went], 'Hell yeah!' And I wrote them some original music for the video game. And that's when the light bulb went off. I'm, like, 'Wait a minute. This thing still has value. I don't need a record label.' And that's reinvigorated the whole thing and then [we] just kind of started going on more of this independent route. And fast forward 20 years later, and we're still here."

POWERMAN 5000 is continuing to tour in support of its latest album, "The Noble Rot", which came out in August 2020.

In May 2020, POWERMAN 5000 released its reimagining of the classic '80s new wave smash "We Got The Beat". "We Got The Beat" was originally released in 1981 as part of THE GO-GO'S' multi-platinum debut album "Beauty And The Beat".

"Tonight The Stars Revolt!", POWERMAN 5000's second album, was released on July 20, 1999 by DreamWorks. It has sold over one million copies and achieved platinum status on the back of such hits as "Nobody's Real" and "When Worlds Collide".

In a recent interview with Jai That Aussie Metal Guy, Spider One spoke about the increased importance of touring for rock bands compared to how it was when POWERMAN 5000 first started out. He said: "For a band like us, [touring is] the lifeblood of the band. We're not going to stream enough on Spotify to matter. Unless you're, I guess, the top of the top of the top — Drake or Post Malone or something — streaming is not a source of any income for probably any rock band; maybe METALLICA or something. So you play live.

"It's funny how, as much as things change, it all comes full circle back to when you started the band and you had nothing and it was just you and your band and a couple of crew guys and you went on the road and you played and fucking hawked some t-shirts and booked a couple of rooms at the Holiday Inn," he continued. "It's kind of always been that and will always continue to be that — no matter how much technology changes with music distribution. Because it's the one thing so far that hasn't been able to be replicated by technology. So if you want that experience, there's only one way to get it."

Spider One also talked about what it has been like for POWERMAN 5000 to return to performing live after the pandemic. He said: "After COVID and being off the road for a couple of years, it was weird. We went back [on the road], and I was, like, 'I wonder what this is gonna be like,' if people were gonna be, like, 'Eh, I don't need that anymore.' And at least for us as a band, when we went out, I found more enthusiasm and the shows have been more fun and crazier than they were before. So I'm hoping that meant that people really learned to appreciate what it's like to [be in a room] with a few hundred sweaty people and just fucking rock out. So I found the experience to be really positive after the whole COVID lockdown."

Image credit: FrontRowOrBust

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