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Friday, April 3, 2020

POWERHOUSE interview W/Niko Valdez

1.Introduce yourself and your band and tell us why we should listen to you.
  

My name is Niko Valdez, and I’m the guitarist and vocals for the American Thrash/Heavy Metal band POWERHOUSE.

Why should you listen to us.. Well, are you tired of what’s popular in modern day metal? What about tired of the same material in the underground? All we’re about is, creating something we don’t hear other bands touching at the moment. If you want something different, take a look and a listen and judge for yourself!

2.What do you classify your sound as, Who do you tell people you sound like?

We like to think of ourselves as being massively influenced by our heros that were part of the 70’s and 80’s rock and metal movement. What do we sound like? Well we love Metallica, Dokken, Judas Priest, Overkill, Diamond Head, and the list goes on. Why don’t you let us know! 

3.With digital music in today's world would you vote to keep or eliminate physical media?

Definitely keep.

 Reason being is, look.. Sure, downloading a track straight to your phone is great don’t get me wrong. But, you miss the value of the personal and physical copy. Holding it in your hand, blaring it on a record player or CD player while looking at the artwork is something that I don’t think will ever completely die out and we feel it’s something that makes music special.

4.What is the reason you decided to be a musician and has that reason paid off?

To make people happy of course, but most importantly to make ourselves happy. Sure it’s a lot of work.. But when you put all your passion and heart into creating something you love, even if one person loves it and can relate, that makes it all worth it.

5.How do you feel about females in metal getting special attention? Do you feel it is fair?

Honestly, getting special attention at any level just for your gender is just weird. If you’re great, you’re great and you deserve the recognition. If you’re not, well keep trying and see how it’s received. That’s all there is to say.

6.In the world climate with hatred being at an all time high and metal being an “ angry” music
   Do you think your music contributes to anger and hatred?

It depends on the person, and how you take our music. We want to be something, that people go to as a distraction from their lives. Of course, most people’s lives are going to have some form of misery. If that distraction is dealing with a topic they feel strongly about, awesome. If it’s not, we’ve got something for you too.

7.Are you opposed to religious beliefs or politics being used in music?

Not at all, music should be whatever you want it to be. There should be something out there for every one, it’s one of the freest forms of art out there.

8.We have dive into some pretty deep issues here do you think your music sends a message and if so what is it?

If our music has a message, it’s just to think for yourself and make your own call. Sometimes the only person who understands you, is you. 



9.The market has changed and many bands believe that record labels are a thing of the past, with many labels now charging bands to “sign” how do you think a band can make it in todays scene?

Honestly, that’s a question with an answer we’re still sort of searching for. We’re definitely not at the level we want to achieve yet, but we’ve grown immensely in the 4 years we’ve been together. What we can say is, just go out and do what others aren’t doing. 

Go to the streets and hand out flyers, make connections over social media, be friendly, and don’t repeat the same mistakes. We all make mistakes, the way we grow is to learn and move on. Play hard, write hard, promote hard and take criticism with a grain of salt and improve. 

10.Why with the thousands of options including netflix , sporting events everything on demand
     Why do you think people should take the time to listen to what you have to say in your music?

Because, what we have to say and what we have to offer is what most bands are afraid to say and do. 

11.How do you feel about pay to play? Do you think it is fair for a band to have to pay money to play?

Pay to play is a weird one isn’t it. It’s a sketchy area, both bands and venues are hurt for money at some points. But if you’re asked to play, you shouldn’t pay a damn dime.

It’s definitely not fair, but the life of a musician is full of bullshit. Sometimes you have to make the best out of it. 

12.It is fact that you are the talent and the entertainment explain what you think is the most important key to success?

As corny and cliche as it sounds, the “Key to success” at any level is having passion and not giving in when times are tough. Musicians in every era, had it rough but in the day and age we live in it’s a different ball game, all the rules are tossed out the window. Being able to come out of uncertainty, and hard times is what builds your character as a unit. If each of your band mates has each other’s back, you’ll pull through. If you keep your head up, and keep going at it despite being ignored and knocked down eventually something good will happen. 

After all, At one point I was a 13 year old geeky kid that had no clue what he was doing.. Now I’m sitting here doing this interview!

13.In country music and even in some cases rock music is written and performed by different people would your band perform a song written by someone else?

Definitely not, other than covers. We love cover songs that’s how we started, but we would never put out or perform something someone outside of the band wrote for us. 

14.If you are pro female in music are you pro using sex to sell your music?

We’re definitely pro anybody being in music, using sex to sell it in our eyes definitely isn’t the right way but if it works for you, it works for you. Just don’t get bummed when you lose your charm.

15.What is your view on the lawsuits against people saying lewd or unprofessional things to women or men and how does that affect an art described as sex drugs and rock n roll ?

If you’re saying something to someone that makes them uncomfortable so they let you know, and you don’t stop.. Now that’s on you and you have to deal with the consequences. 

It really shouldn’t effect music much, it’s individuals not the material. Same argument could apply to people and violent video games. 

Rock and metal is all about attitude and being wild. Some bands say outlandish things, because it’s interesting. Live the lifestyle, have the fun. If you go out and do disturbing shit and blame the music, you should take a look at yourself because you’re the problem not the entertainment. 

16. Ok lets lighten up a bit. What is your favorite band of all time and why?

Definitely, Metallica. 

Why they’re my favorite band, is way too much of a mouthful because I love every aspect of them. In my opinion, they did things the “right way”. What I mean by the right way is.. they did what they wanted, when they wanted, and how they wanted because they felt like the only people that had the right to tell them who they could be, what they we’re going to write and how to play was themselves. 

17.What would you be doing if you were not in a band?

First of all, I can’t imagine my life not playing music but I wasn’t.. I’d love to try out fighting as a boxer. Just love the aggression and passion.

18. Do you have a favorite sports team?

Not a team sports guy, but I am a combat sports guy so my favorite boxer of all-time is Muhammad Ali.

19.If you could get on stage with anyone dead or alive who would it be?

Hands down, James Hetfield and Kirk Hammett.

20.This is your shot to let loose, Throw down your biggest complaint about the music biz

Biggest complaint? 
  

Probably the lack of enthusiasm by so many bands. In my view, if you’re not excited by your music and showing it off to people at a show and giving it you’re all.. Why should people give back? Which is something I’ve personally seen growing up in the 2010’s. Be excited, be interesting, and give every ounce of energy you have and work hard to get it in return.

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