In-person interview with Chris Marchiel and Nick Avila of Powerglove
By Aniruddh "Andrew" Bansal
March 27th 2010, House Of Blues, Hollywood CA
Andrew: The last tour you did was the support trek for DragonForce in 2008. How are things different this time around?
Nick: Well what we noticed as different this time is that our fan base seems to be a lot stronger. People already knew the songs from their childhood so they are more familiar with our arrangement. The energy has been really great. I'd say this crowd is more of a power metal crowd. DragonForce crowd was a bit more like all ends of the spectrum, the Guitar Hero type stuff. But it's been great as some of the same people have come out and the shows have been good.
Chris: I would say the same. People are definitely more into it and we have a lot more fans now. I was a little worried that we haven't toured for so long but people remembered us and came out. It's been awesome seeing people that we met two years ago, seeing them come back. I was worried about doing two tours in a row, but everyone we've met have told us they'll go to both. So in order to make them happy, we're playing different songs.
Andrew: Powerglove play 'video game metal'. How did that start?
Chris: Basically we all wanted to play video game metal. It was all in our hearts. Ever since I was little kid, when I played Final Fantasy 6, I would just put the game on pause and let the music loop. Then I would do my homework, do whatever and just live with that. So many of the sound tracks like Final Fantasy and Megaman specially are essentially metal arrangements. They sound very metal but they are played through square waves, which is what the Nintendo hardware can do. But it's an approximation of metal and rock. So I mean, it was a very natural transition. Our other guitarist Alex started recording some tracks for fun along with Bassil, the drummer. We were a death metal band at that time. They started doing some tracks for fun and I heard one, and said, I want to be in on this. From there we just made it a real band and started to take off on the internet. The other band just dropped out and we were doing video game metal full time!
Andrew: What's going on with the upcoming album? I believe you finished writing it?
Chris: Basically we spent the last year straight just recording this album. It was fun but the most work we've done with anything in our lives. The guitars took three months, 12 to 14 hours a day to record.
Nick: The bass and the drums took about six months too.
Chris: Right now I would say it's 98 per cent done. I thought we would get it out along with these tours, but in the end it was not quite done yet. The mixing and one or two other parts needed some work and we said to ourselves, we've got to make it perfect and can't make any compromises. So when we get back in May after these tours, we're going to finish it off and get it out as soon as we can.
Andrew: You are selling custom swords as merchandise. Talk a little bit about that.
Chris: Yeah the swords are starting to take off and it's really great! We always threw out free swords and we still do throw them out. We've always loved that and we started getting the idea of making custom swords. We just opened it up with swords on this tour, which is going really well. We're talking about shields, axes and another thing we are talking about is morning stars that people can spin around and stuff like that. We definitely want to expand the weaponry and make it a whole big thing at shows. I love looking out to audiences and see people holding up the swords.
Andrew: Your stage set up is always awesome. Who comes up with ideas for the stage and for the new characters?
Chris: Well the new character is our drummer Bassil's project. Planto was a piranha plant, just twisted and more evil looking. Batmo was a Halloween decoration that I saw when I was in college. I saw it in a convenience store and just laughed at that seven-foot tall inflatable bat. But this new prop Zebediah is character from the game Totally Ravs and it's this giant floating head of a creepy looking magician who shoots fog out of his mouth and his eyes light up red, stuff like that. Unfortunately the stage is too small and we can't use it tonight.
Andrew: What else do you have coming up after this tour?
Check out the band's official website.
Chris: After the Sonata tour we're going to finish up the album in the month of May. We're going to work on releasing it. After that, we're in talks to play Japan. We really want to get there. Things are looking good to go over there, so we'll do that and once the album is out, just more touring! These tours are not for the new album, so we're going to wait a little while, do some other markets and promotional stuff and then go back and do a US tour for the new album.