Powerglove

An interview with Chris Marchiel and Nick Avila
by Tina Hall
August 2010

Powerglove

Powerglove

Powerglove is easily in a class all it’s own as a video game metal band. With shows that proclaim, “We are Powerglove and we are here to fuck with your childhood”,  the shows appeal to metal fans and gamers alike! It is a mix you don’t find often. The band out of Boston, MA consists of Alex Berkson, Bassil Silver-Hajo, Chris Marchiel, and Nick Avila. Their new album Saturday Morning Apocalypse is due out September 28, 2010 on e1metal.

Maximum Ink: Can you tell us a little about what led you to form Powerglove?
Chris Marchiel: Originally, it was boredom and love of nostalgic theme songs from our youth. We all played video games and watched cartoons on a pretty much full time basis while growing up, so these songs were basically our cultural heritage as well as our childhood memories. We really love and revere these songs as major parts of our lives and as we grew into metalheads and shredders combining metal with video games and cartoons was just the most natural thing we could do. Powerglove began as a side project of our former Melodic Death Metal band Revengeance (yeah we love silly names!) and later evolved into a full touring band a year or two later. We were very encouraged by the online feedback we got from our first few demo covers and eventually put a press and label demo together that went nowhere at the time, so we persisted on our own and self released our first album Metal Kombat for the Mortal Man which did well with sales and reviews and inspired us to truly focus full time on Powerglove and become a serious touring band in 2008.

MI: How would you describe the sound of your albums?
CM: Because we don’t have vocals on most of the songs, I feel that it’s much easier to combine elements from different genres of metal and keeping the overall sound cohesive. We start from a base of European power metal and American thrash metal and add spices of black metal, death metal, grindcore, progressive music and symphonic music when the song calls for it. There are a lot of ingredients in the pot, but by our first album I think we had established a band identity and sound that was unique and recognizable, which we further expanded upon with our new album Saturday Morning Apocalypse. Our music is generally instrumental with a focus on melody and harmony, a general lack of direct repetition and instead morphing and evolving themes and riffs over the length of the song, and our desire to play technical music without having the complex drumming or string shredding defeat the catchiness of the song.

MI: What can fans expect from a live show?
Nick Avila: During a Powerglove live show, you can expect oversized foam rubber armor, man eating donuts and fire plants, go go dancers, buckets of candy, and a 10 foot tall magician hovering above the stage with a look of madness and fear in his eyes. And all the while we play a speed metal soundtrack to your childhood.

MI: Are all of you fans of video games? And why?
CM: Yes, and there is no why! Have you seen real life? It’s very complicated and boring.

MI: Who where some of your earliest influences?Why?
CM: : Well, we all started with the primary thrash bands that you generally see at the top of the metal influence tree: Megadeth, Metallica and Slayer. From there we branched out into power metal and extreme metal in our formative years which provided the most direct influences to our music (although I still hear a lot of Dave Mustaine in my guitar playing, can’t help it.) For me Blind Guardian was a huge influence as far as song writing and crafting harmonized guitar leads goes. Opeth and Emperor inspired us a lot too, despite starting from a very different musical base you can still hear those bands affecting our sound. We are also influenced and will continue to be influenced by newer bands, such as Japanese power metal gods Galneryus who I discovered only a few years ago but gave me lots of new inspiration for this album.

MI: Can you tell us about the new album?
CM: Our new album is called Saturday Morning Apocalypse and consists of heavy metal reinterpretations of cartoon, television and movie theme songs that anyone in their 20’s already knows by heart.  As with our previous work, we radically remixed and added many original ideas to these songs while retaining the melodies that people will remember. Our ultimate goal is to use all those pieces and our own writing to create a great instrumental metal album that metal fans will enjoy whether they know the source material or not, but fans who grew up with these songs get the added bonus of a flood of nostalgia while headbanging. So basically, we exploit peoples’ childhood memories.

MI: What are some of your hobbies?
CM: I play video games and program games for fun, and relax with my girlfriend whenever I can.  Beyond that I have to work on the band full time now so that’s all the hobbies I can afford to have!  The other three guys work out a lot (I exercise a bit but they go to the gym and chart their progress and all that.)

MI: What do you think you’d be if you weren’t a musician?
NA: If I never picked up a bass, I would have probably have pursued a career working with animals. I found one of the first dogs I ever owned dead on my kitchen floor when I was 10 years old. After getting over his death, I was determined to become a vet, or to help find homes for abandoned injured animals.
CM: I had no noble goals such as that. I would have been a wastrel basement dweller whose parents would have to constantly lie about to save face!  Look up the word “Hikikomori” and that should give you some idea of what the parallel universe might have had in store for me.

MI: When did you first know you wanted to be a musician and what led you
to the music?
CM: I’ve been recording myself on old Tascam 4-tracks since I was about 10, so the desire was always there.  I really never thought I’d get anywhere with it though so it was a pleasant surprise!
NA: I went to my first metal concert when I was 14 years old. I couldn’t get enough of the energy, virtuosity, and the connection I felt while headbanging with thousands of other metal heads. I was hooked the second I got home and I knew from that point on that heavy music was what I wanted to do for a living. I bought my first bass the day after that concert, and formed my first band a week after that. We didn’t even know how to play, but it didn’t matter. You can always learn on the way.

MI:  Anything you’d like to say to your fans? Where can they go for the latest information on your career?
CM: Seriously, thank you guys for liking us and caring about us so much. It was not something I expected to ever get but I’m really happy some people like what we do and are proactive fans. For info, just google “Powerglove” and you’ll get our facebook, myspace, youtube , etc and you can check us out on vgmetal.com where we have an interactive band game with an RPG town devoted to Powerglove and secret levels that hold unreleased demo songs. A new flash game will be coming out soon after the album release as well.

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Powerglove
CD: Saturday Morning Apocalypse Record Label: E1 Entertainment
Purchase Saturday Morning Apocalypse on Amazon