By: Walter Kovacs
After a small hiatus, Driving Force is back. For this installation of Driving Force, we have an interview with undoubtedly one of the best band out of southeastern Arizona, Powered Wig Machine.
Their infectious blend of hard stoner-rock with a heavy metal chaser is habit forming. Some describe their music as being a fluid mix of Clutch, Queens Of The Stone Age, and Kyuss. If I had to compare them to a mixed drink, I would say that they would be akin to something like a Sazarac, big flavor with a strong powerful kick, a little spice and flair, and a whole lot of satisfying smoothness.
After about 22 listens, according to the count on my iPod (which does not count all the plays on my work computer) I cannot get enough of their 2006 EP Bearded Goddess. The first song on the album, my personal favorite, “Mullet Man” not only displays the stylistic shredding capabilities of Wayne Rudell and Brian Gold, but it also displays the superior groove of the rhythm section made of up of Joey Rudell (bass) and Daniel Graves (drums).
They have just finished up filming a new video, are putting the final touches on a new studio recording, and are planning a tour. In-between all of their endeavors, I asked Wayne to answer some questions and share his outlook on music with us.
Wayne, what would you say gives/gave you inspiration when you are/were writing music?
I would say I am 75% inspired by what state of mind I am in. I seem to write the best when I am in a good place, and feeling happy. The other 25% is solely influenced by the media.
Are there any films/books/paintings that have proved to be a recurring influence the way that you look at your art?
I have a few albums that I always go back to when I write. These albums are the founding fathers of sort of speak of the Powered Wig Machine sound. I will always go back to Captain Beyond's Captain's Beyond, Black Sabbath’s Sabbath Bloody Sabbath, Clutch's Elephant Riders, and Queens of the Stone Age's Songs for the Deaf.
Lyrically I take my greatest inspiration from comic book lore and cult movies. I am a big fan of The Hulk comics that Jeff Loeb writes. I love comic book lore because the stories are so developed and intricate. Planet Hulk, The Infinity Gauntlet, The Watchmen, those are some of my favorites complete stories. As far as cult movies are concerned, I love Old Westerns, '70's horror, and old muscle car movies. Powered Wig Machine songs are all stories that are collections and collaborations of the fiction world.
Are there any habits/rituals that you and/or your band mates have when writing music?
As far as rituals, during the songwriting process, we don't really have any that I can think of. We usually just grab some beer and close the door.
Have you ever written music while on tour? If so, how did you arrange songs while being away from you studio and in a different environment?
I have never written anything on tour. Haha. Well no, mostly because we haven't toured yet. We will be touring our first mini-tour this spring.
I write a lot of my riffs while I am work. At my job I get to listen to music for several hours at a time, and when I come up with something I usually just sing the riff into my phone's voice memo, and then work with it when I get home later. I have to record it in my phone or I almost always forget the riff. I found this an awesome way to write.
What sort of influence does the music and writings of your peers influence what you create?
The guys in the band have a big influence on what I write. Musicians are either active or reactive. Some guys are good at coming up with music, while others are good at taking an idea and developing it. In PWM we have a good mix of both. I will usually come up with a "starter riff," then Joey and Daniel will develop the groove and work how the song hits. Brian then will add texture to the song to let it breathe. After we hear how the song is development then Joey or I will have a better idea for more progressions. Haha. We have been writing so long together it is like a underground riff rock assembly line.
Nice one. So, how long have you guys been performing together?
We have been playing together for over 11 years as musicians. We did a progressive rock project from 2000-2004 called 12tone then got burnt out with it and started up Powered Wig Machine with all the same guys. A lot of guys play in a lot of bands before they land one that works out. I consider myself extremely fortunate to have the opportunity to be playing with the same guys for so long. I think you can really pick up on that on our live show with our "no set list" style that keeps it natural.
Thanks Wayne for taking the time to do this interview with us!
Make sure you check out Powered Wig Machine on Bandcamp, Reverbnation, or on Facebook!
On a side note, check out what the people at Drinkify think of them. Until next time, Cheers!