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Powerman 5000

There are a couple things you can do when your older brother is a major Rock star. You can work in a record store, smile politely when people ask the inevitable question and answer, "Yes, he's my brother. He was always kinda out there." Or you can follow in your brother's footsteps and be constantly compared to him. Mike Cummings chose the latter fate. A couple years after older brother Rob made the transformation to Rob Zombie, Mike picked up the MC Spider handle (later changed to Spider One).

Interestingly, the Cummings boys did not come from a musical family yet both traveled down the same Thrash Rock path though Mike, with Powerman 5000, incorporated funk and rap elements. In early '89 the 12-inch single "Much Evil" was released under the MC Spider banner. Its success in hometown Boston, led to the formation of PM5K with Dorian Heartsong-bass, Allan Pahanish-drums and DJ Brian. Guitarist Adam Williams (a.k.a. Adam 12) signed on in '91. Also, percussionist Jordan Cohen joined in '93 but left in '97.

Soon the group built a serious East Coast cult following that led to the '95 indie release "The Blood Splat Rating System" (named after a magazine's violence rating for gory films).

Two years later, with DJ Brian out and guitarist Mike Tempesta on board, "Blood Splat" was re-mixed. A couple of new tracks were added and the whole thing was released as the dark and brooding "Mega! Kung Fu Radio." The EP "True Force" also appeared in '97. The maniacal "Tonight The Stars Revolt" roared out in '99.

As often happens, the fictional story is more interesting than the actual one. The initial explanation for not releasing "Anyone For Doomsday?" had to do with the album being too dark and negative for the time following the September 11th terrorist attacks.

Actually, the set was slated for an August release but Cummings thought it sounded too much like their previous effort. It eventually arrived but not before brewing conflicts led bassist Dorian 27 (Dorian Heartsong) and drummer AL3 (Allan Pahanish Jr) to leave the band. They were replaced by Ad7 (Adrian Ost) and Siggy Sjursen.

There was a measure of success when Powerman 5000 released a cover of the Frankie Goes To Hollywood hit "Relax" which was heard during the end credits for the '01 film comedy Zoolander.

But following the release of "Transform" the group's label was bought by Interscope who had no interest in Powerman 5000. Cummings countered by releasing a set of rarities "The Good, The Bad And The Ugly Vol. 1" on his Megatronic Records.

Then guitarist M 33 got bounced for starting fights with bandmembers while fellow guitarist Adam 12 decided to pursue other creative outlets. New members were added and the group rolled out their '06 effort "Destroy What You Enjoy on the DRT Entertainment imprint.

"Somewhere on the Other Side of Nowhere" dropped in '09 and was supported by a number of North American tours over the next year and a half.

"Copies, Clones & Replicants" was, as the name implies, a covers album. Powerman 5000 ran songs from Devo to Van Halen through their interpretive mill.

Getting back to producing original music, Cummings referenced "Somewhere On The Other Side Of Nowhere" as the starting point for their next album "Builders Of The Future."

"We are not trying to reinvent the wheel this time," stated Cummings." Just trying to make the wheel bigger and louder!"

Now working with Pavement Entertainment, Powerman 5000 issued "New Wave" in '17.

Powerman 5000  Discography


1995 The Blood-Splat Rating System
1997 Mega! Kung Fu Radio (remixed version of "The Blood-Splat Rating System" with added tracks)
1999 Tonight The Stars Revolt!
2001 Anyone For Doomsday?
2003 Transform
2004 The Good, The Bad And The Ugly Vol. 1
2006 Destroy What You Enjoy
2009 Somewhere on the Other Side of Nowhere
2011 Copies Clones & Replicants
2014 Builders of the Future
2017 New Wave

It would be hard to top "Mega! Kung Fu Radio" as Powerman 5000's premier effort though "Tonight The Stars Revolt" is no slouch. "Mega!" features the breaks, belches and raspy noise of "Public Menace, Freak, Human Fly" and the Rockin' comet "Car Crash." "Tonight" roles out the sci-fi lyrics, earth shakin' riffs and plenty of hooks.

PM5K has had their songs show up all over the place, including but not limited to, "MTV's Return of the Roc-Vol. 1" ("When Worlds Collide"), the exceptional "Dracula 2000" soundtrack ("Ultra Mega"), "Scream 3" ("Get On, Get Off"), "Jailbait," "End of Days," "Titan A.E" and the "Bride of Chucky."

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