Ten minutes with Spider One

Powerman 5000 frontman talks with Time Out ahead of his Thu 16 gig

You might recognise him as the younger brother of metal veteran Rob Zombie, but Spider One (aka Michael Cummings) has been rocking out with his own alternative metal group, Powerman 5000, for more than two decades. As the sci-fi-inspired band bombard Beijing for the first time, we find out what they’re all about.
Where did the name Spider One come from?
Spider was a nickname that I had from a very early age, and it never went away. At a certain point, we started to add numbers as our last names. I chose One. Having a number as a last name really fits into the science fiction overtones of the band.
Do you take the view that playing in a band is a job?
No. Playing in a band should never feel like a job. I do it because I love it, not to make money. It is something that you do because at some point in your life, you felt as if you didn’t have a choice. Music chooses you. You don’t choose music.
Being the only original member of Powerman 5000, have you ever found it difficult to collaborate with new band members?
I never found it difficult to collaborate with new members, though it is a challenge because everyone is different and brings their own talents and strengths. I feel like it is my role to get the best out of each member.
Who was the worst new band member you ever hired?
Well, that is hard to say. Each and every member has had their own difficult moments!
I’ve seen band leaders being really mean and difficult with new members – have you ever got into fights with any of them?
I’m not mean or difficult. Over the past 20 years of being in this band, I have only attacked one band member – but he deserved it!
Are you surprised that the band has lasted so many years?
I am surprised! I never thought that it would last this long. Every time we make a record, I think it will be the last one, but somehow we keep on going. As long as it stays fun, I will keep rocking!
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