Power, One of the Best New Australian Punk Bands Isn't Even That Punk
Photo by Sigourney Ormston
Power is an apt name for a band that performs high voltage rock the way it was played 40 years ago. Springing from the Cool Death label -who are releasing the best punk and hardcore in Australia- the Melbourne three piece delve into a murky and loud world where hard rock and boogie is mixed with punk, metal and psych. These guys can be found plotting their next move in a basement with walls adorned with Black Flag, Stooges and Hawkwind posters and a floor littered with Bavaria cans and lyric sheets that reference pagan ritual.
Vocalist and guitarist Nathan Williams has done time in Gutter Gods and Dribble (two of the better and more interesting Australian hardcore bands of recent times) and though Power employs the same kind of energy, things lean more towards a rockier side.
We find out more from Nathan in a good old-fashioned punk fanzine style interview.
Noisey: Who is Power?
Nathan Williams: There's Isaac from Soma Coma and Leather Lickers playing bass, Penke from Krömosom and Evil Ways on drums. I sing and play guitar.
How many jalapenos can you eat in one minute?
According to the Zambrero's Jalapeno challenge in which I competed against and defeated a middle-aged woman in front of her not so impressed children- 36. With one of the 36 vouchers I received I then ordered a burrito with extra hot sauce and jalapenos. That was an hour or so before our first jam.
How has playing in Gutter Gods/Dribble influenced/changed how you play in and approach Power?
I doubt I would have picked up a guitar again if it weren't for Gutter Gods. Both bands gave me the opportunity to experiment, not just in terms of riffs and song structures but also with volume, noise manipulation and seemingly incoherent usage and abuse. I think as a result of both I discovered that improvisation is the ultimate in guitar-based music and this feels important to the band.
What is true power?
I was thinking of quoting the philosopher-warrior-hero Conan the Barbarian when he tells the Mongol General what is best in life, but thought it might come across as a bit crass, right? Maybe it's drinking beer at the tail end of a mess of a week and playing at extreme volumes with some other people. Sometimes your assault on one another gives way to these savage eruptions that can offer themselves to you when you lock into and collide with each others psycho-sphere, leaving you with a self-satisfied, shit eating grin. Mastery. Then again, maybe it's T. Rex's “The Slider”, The Stooge's “Raw Power”, Hawkwind’s “Warrior On The Edge Of Time” or the opening riff of “Sabbath Bloody Sabbath”.
What was the initial idea? Has that come to fruition or different from first envisioned?
We were drinking in the beer garden at the first Leather Lickers show and came up with the idea that we'd start a power trio doing 70's punk/rock and roll. We took band pictures with our friend Amir and didn't jam for months. Eventually we came together and thought that the best way to go about things was to improvise and jam. What came out seemed to pay homage to the styles of music that we needed to play, most importantly Australian hard rock/boogie, glam, heavy metal and Japanese psych.
What's the plan?
We've got some dates booked with Black Deity and Zodiac in Brisbane for mid-August. In the meantime we'll be in the process of finishing a song for a 7" and writing an album.
Power's cassette is available from Cool Death Records.
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