POWERMAN 5000 began soon after founder and frontman Spider One dropped out of the prestigious School of the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston Massachusetts. “I loved painting” Spider recalls, “but I figured I could do that when I was 80. I was spending all my time in the clubs of Boston, like the Rat and the Channel. I was watching all of these great local bands and I wanted to be apart of that scene! So I dropped out of school without a clue but was determined to start a band.”
After years of false starts and various incarnations, Powerman 5000 eventually released it’s first EP, TRUE FORCE, in 1994 which quickly became a Boston rock favorite, catapulting the band to the top of the local scene. “We were very different than everyone else. At the time Grunge was exploding and all the other bands where chasing that sound.” Spider explains, “We had no interest. We were smashing together a bizarre mix of Rap, Punk and Metal. We worked hard and killed it live and people noticed.”
In 1996, PM5K followed up with their first full length, THE BLOOD SPLAT RATING SYSTEM. That album, along with the bands growing fan base and infamous live show led to a major label deal with DREAMWORKS RECORDS. Dreamworks released an extended and remixed version of The Blood Splat Rating System now titled MEGA! KUNG FU RADIO. The record went on to expand Powerman’s following to a national level and allowed them the opportunity to tour with rock heavy weights such as KORN, MARILYN MANSON and KISS as well a slot on the first ever OZZFEST.
After a year of non stop touring Powerman 5000 returned to the studio to record what would be the album to blast the band to new level of success. 1999s science fiction opus TONIGHT THE STARS REVOLT! would go on to sell 2 million copies and turn the band into MTV regulars and rock radio mainstays. Sold out headlining tours followed along with sharing stages with the likes of METALLICA, PANTERA, KID ROCK and others.
“Tonight the Stars Revolt changed everything. We went from being this weird little band with a cult following to being this weird little band in rotation on MTV along side Christina Aguilera. It was all very strange.” Band members and label changes followed over the years. 2001s ANYONE FOR DOOMSDAY was shelved for what would become 2003s TRANSFORM (the final record for Dreamworks Records). “When Dreamworks went under and we were without a label it was a difficult time. Back then a record deal was very important and pretty much the only way to have major success. I won’t lie, for a moment I thought that was it, but I didn’t want to stop and was determined to not give up.”
After the dust settled, a stronger more DIY Powerman 5000 came back swinging with the punk influenced DESTROY WHAT YOU ENJOY (2006), the very spacey SOMEWHERE ON THE OTHER SIDE OF NOWHERE (2009), a collection of cover tunes called COPIES, CLONES AND REPLICANTS (2011), BUILDERS OF THE FUTURE (2014), NEW WAVE (2017) and THE NOBLE ROT (2020).
Spider sums up the bands long history this way, “After all these years, I feel like the band gets better with every record and tour. I’ve never lost the enthusiasm that I had from those early days and always want to treat each new album as if it’s our first. I’m not interested in the past, just creating the future. A big, loud, crazy future!”