1998 – present (19 years)
If Rob Zombie was a bartender at the edge of the universe and he poured Alice in Chains, Metallica, and a dash of Guns N’ Roses into a stainless steel shaker and squeezed in a tiny peel of Stevie Ray Vaughn, he’d have a delicious new drink he could name Powderburn.
Powderburn, a hard rock foursome that calls Austin, Texas home is; Ken Lockman on vocals/guitars, Eric Anthony on lead guitar/vocals, Greg Enkler on bass/vocals and Patrick Swift on drums.
With classic head banging percussion, lightning fast guitar solos, crystal clear vocals and thought provoking lyrics, Powderburn is raising the bar on heavy metal and hard rock.
They recently released their 4th album titled “One Fix.” It is their most ambitious and polished work to date. Drummer Patrick Swift explains, “One Fix” is the culmination of what we’ve all been dedicating our lives to so far. It represents all of us and what we like, but at the same time elevates us above what we’ve done before. This is the first Powderburn album you can’t ignore or easily pigeonhole. You can like this album or hate it, but I think you’ll still respect the craftsmanship of it.”
Powderburn is heavy, melodic, catchy and dark all at the same time. This is not your typical noisy death metal band. This is a group of guys that’s serious about success and reaching as wide an audience as possible. In fact, they’ve decided to build their band more like a start-up company than a traditional rock band. They didn’t want to wait for a record company to give them their big break.
“When you are building a business, you need to create money out of nowhere. And that’s what we did with Powderburn. We found a way to get sponsorships from big companies like Jagermeister, Budweiser and Sam Ash. None of us have taken any business classes on how to do this, we’re just figuring it out as we go,” vocalist Ken Lockman says with an easy laugh.
What makes Powderburn different is that they are true to themselves and their music and not so caught up in being true to any one particular genre. In the past, metal music has been about keeping more mainstream listeners out. Powderburn is changing the game by inviting everyone in.
“We get forty year old soccer moms and thirteen year old kids wearing Jonas Brothers t-shirts buying our albums. We seem to have some kind of broader appeal that expands beyond the sometimes cliquish metal genre,” Patrick says.
Powderburn formed in November of 1999 in a tiny apartment in Austin, TX. To get the right sound, vocalist/guitarist Ken Lockman enlisted a pair of childhood friends, and former East Coasters, drummer Patrick Swift and bassist Greg Enkler. Now all they needed was a guitarist with hypersonic chops and precision execution. They found their man with lead guitarist Eric Anthony.
Powderburn released their debut full-length album, “A New Sin” in December of 2000. Their sophomore self-titled album came out in December of 2003 and in January of 2007, they put out an EP/DVD entitled “Echoed in Red.” Fall 2009 sees the release of their latest effort “One Fix.”
Powderburn likes to work hard to build their fanbase. They’ve played over 300 clubs in 11 states spanning half of the U.S. They are particularly proud of their live performances, which feature lighting design by a trained professional. They’ve shared the stage with some of the biggest names in metal and hard rock including, Slayer, Slipknot, Disturbed, Machine Head, Three Days Grace, and Staind. They’ve played at Austin’s world famous South by Southwest festival for the past 5 years in a row. And they show no signs of slowing down.
The song “Slowly Divide” off their latest album “One Fix” is potentially the bands first break-out hit. “Slowly Divide” is a pained power ballad delivered with piercing vocal clarity. The buildup and payoff are reminiscent of “The Unforgiven”, by Metallica.
Ken describes the process of writing the song, “The guys were all working together; the music itself was calm, yet uneasy, depressing, and very moving. I ran across the street to a gas station and grabbed a bottle of red wine which I proceeded to drink like a homeless man while in my own world as the guys continued to jam on this song. Eric was coming up with solo after solo on the spot while Greg and Pat laid down the foundation. I was truly hearing the music as a fan and every once in awhile I'd realize. . ‘Oh, wait. . I'm actually IN this band and I'm going to get to sing over this.’ Without even trying to think of lyrics the word "DON’T" kept repeating in my head. When they'd switch guitar parts the words ‘I barely believe it. Slowly I'm starting to see it’ kept lingering in my brain and out of nowhere and I knew I had something.”
“Black Untold” is a heavy metal anthem for a new generation. The lyrics declare: “This is the writing on the wall. This is the path that we all saw. This is it. This is time. This is time to say goodbye.”
Powderburn don’t like to give away too much about each of their songs, they want their fans to create their own meaning from them. One thing is certain, you’ll want to get up off the couch and make something happen after hearing “Black Untold.”
“One Fix” is destined to be a heavy metal mosh pit classic. And yes, you can dance in the mosh pit. Think of the Nine Inch Nails hit “Head Like A Hole” and that will give you an idea of the feeling and tempo of “One Fix.”
What’s next for Powderburn? They’ll continue to focus on three things; their music, their fans and constantly improving their live show. With nearly 10,000 friends on MySpace and over 80,000 downloads of their most recent Jagermeister promotional video, Powderburn is poised to do something that few metal bands have been able to do, reach mainstream success, while remaining true to themselves.
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