I’m Niko Valdez, guitars and vocals for POWERHOUSE.
When I formed POWERHOUSE, it was and always has been about wanting to bring something to the table that I felt was lacking in the modern age of metal. Born out of anger, and a vision to succeed really. Our ultimate goal, is to allow people to feel the way we feel about music.
What to I think we sound like?
As straightforward as we are, I feel we don’t sound like one particular band. Our major influences are definitely bands like Metallica, Dokken, Exodus and Judas Priest. We’re somewhere in the Thrash and Heavy Metal genre, but not what you’d expect. Take a listen, and you be the judge!
2. What part of being in a band did you not expect? And knowing now what you know what would you have changed before joining or starting a band?
One thing I didn’t expect, starting POWERHOUSE (Which is technically my first real band), was how difficult it can be to deal music scenes. Music scenes/cliques are so simple, yet extremely complicated. If you have a band and want to fit in, you have to go along with what’s popular amongst the people in that particular group. If you’re different in anyway it really makes you stand out, but sometimes it can work against you. You’ll get bashed, excluded, and treated different than the majority. In POWERHOUSE’s case, we’re very different than what’s around us, so we’ve dealt with all of it. Knowing what I know now, I wouldn’t change a single thing. It’s been difficult, and we have to work twice as hard to get just a little something.. But there’s something about achieving your goal, on your own terms that’s just so important. What we do is working for us, and I wouldn’t have it any other way.
3. How long did it take you to figure out that talent has much less to do with things and money had much more to do with things?
Although money does have a major hold on people’s music career, talent at the right time with the right people, with the right material, with the right attitude is also important. Money does contribute to popularity, but sometimes you find the rare occasion where talent takes all.
4. That being said how many bands out there do you think made it on talent and how many made it on money?
I think a lot more bands made it on talent, than people give credit it for. Don’t get me wrong, there are an ungodly amount of bands that made it off of money, but when you look at the metal greats it was made on talent.
5. Do you still believe in good song writing knowing it doesn't really matter?
Good song writing definitely matters, and in my opinion it should be the number one priority for every band. It certainly is for us in POWERHOUSE. You could be the fastest, most technical band out there, but it doesn’t matter on a larger scale if the song itself is below average.
6. Honestly, how does it make you feel knowing there are bands with women who show their t**ts and get big tours and bands with women who don’t and are playing the bars?
It is what it is, honestly. There’s a market for it. Those bands compared to the “female bands” that don’t do that, won’t make it as much in the long run. As the music in those bands evolve, people start to understand the looks fade.
7. Why do you think we, including you, are so scared to say our political beliefs? And why are people afraid to say if they don’t like an artist? Is it ok to have different opinions / beliefs and still be united as people?
Because it’s extremely divisive, and completely polarized now. If it’s against the mainstream narrative, it could really do some damage to people’s “bubble”, and ultimately you’re career. “Cancel Culture”. It should be okay to have different opinions, you don’t have to agree with everyone about everything all the time.. There’s no such thing.
8. Without a simple question, if you broke a law that could cause you to lose your children would you break it fair or not?
I don’t have kids, but I’ve seen families torn apart by bad decisions. I wouldn’t do anything to lose those close to me.
9. Who would you pick to produce your next album and why? Only one catch it has to be a pop star.
If he was still alive, Michael Jackson. Put the technicalities aside, his ear for music is one of the greatest in my opinion.
10. Who is your worst nightmare as a tour manager?
Probably someone who’s just along for the ride, and doesn’t do their job. If the band is doing their job, so should the manager. It’s not all a party, it’s work time.
11. If everything you did on tour was on video and you had to sit and watch it with your parents and little sister would you watch it or choose to never tour again?
We haven’t been on our first tour yet, but I’d imagine it’d be pretty intense. I have no clue how to answer that haha. I would watch it, no way I’d give up touring.
12. A lot of people consider Metal as a satanic, drug and alcohol fueled tornado of criminals, in honesty would you feel better playing kids Possessed or Kanye West? And why?
Definitely Possessed. Although Possessed is extreme, following along could give you an appreciation for metal and music as a whole.
13. Ok, we believe it is ok to have hatred, you hate someone, we all do, who is it and why do you hate them?
Hatred really drives people, to accomplish things they wouldn’t normally. For people like myself, a lot of it is internalized. You hate who you were yesterday, so you can be better tomorrow. Fuel to the fire.
14. Your wife’s leg is caught underneath your car after a terrible accident after you grab _______ do you call 911 and try and help her. Now answer that question and replace the word wife with your singer………
Of course I’d save her, and with myself being the frontman saving myself would be the ultimate full-circle moment haha.
15. Who are the biggest crooks in the music industry?
Depends on how you look at it, the biggest crooks could be the record companies, streaming services, YouTube, or if you want a deeper look.. The people who listen to music but don’t pay a dime for it, or pirate absolutely everything. All of these, have some accountability.
16. Lastly, who are you droppin’ the d with even if you get COVID?
I could give you a lame Drop D joke, but I won’t. Haha, I’d rather suffer than spread it!