Spider Of Powerman 5000 Talks New Music And ‘Death Valley’ [INTERVIEW]
You have a new TV show on MTV called ‘Death Valley,’ how would you describe it for those who haven’t tuned in yet?
It’s a horror comedy and it basically follows this group of cops called the Undead Task Force, and it’s their job to contain the recent uprising of vampires, zombies, and werewolves in the San Fernando Valley. It’s just completely over the top comedy and gore — so you’re sort of laughing your ass off one minute and then scared to death and grossed out the next. A lot of people simply describe it as a ‘Reno 911′ meets ‘Walking Dead’ kind of a thing. I feel slightly different than that but I suppose that is a concise way to put it.
It’s very much a genre fans wet dream. You’ve got guns, comedy, zombies, vampires, werewolves, hot lesbians — I can see why you fought for so long to get this show on the air.
Yeah look, it really was me sitting at home not finding anything to watch on TV and going, “You know what? I have to make a show that I want to watch.” And you know this was over six years ago that I came up with this idea after I moved to the San Fernando Valley in L.A. and decided this would be the perfect backdrop for a monster invasion. I ran around town with a camera and a couple of friends and 500 bucks for a budget and made this test trailer of ‘Death Valley’ — a very early version of it — and that eventually got to MTV and they really loved it and championed the idea and here we are with a real TV show on the air.
How long were you actively trying to get the show picked up before MTV got on board?
Like I said I shot this thing over six years ago — it wasn’t like I was actively pitching it for six years straight — but I went out and tried to get it going and it got a lot of resistance. I don’t think a lot of people understood it, but it wasn’t until I presented that trailer to MTV — and then that really solidified in their brain what this thing really was. So yeah it was a long journey. A six year journey to on the fast track to making this thing — and once they said yes, we were moving man. It went fast.
You came up with the concept and you’re the Executive Producer, that’s a title that gets thrown around a lot in Hollywood and for some it’s nothing more than having your name in the credits. I imagine you’re way more involved than that.
Yeah youre right, because the term producer is always like “what do you do again?’ I don’t think I could’ve been more involved, and that was by choice. There was nothing about this that I didn’t enjoy doing — anything from casting, to being in the writers room with the writers and script notes, and picking out wardrobes, to deciding how big the fangs should be on the vampires, and how much blood should be having poured out of the back of the zombies heads — everything I just immersed myself in. I would spend 16 hours on set and get no sleep what so ever because we shot 90% of the episodes at night. It was just an incredible journey making the show and some of the funnest times I’ve ever had in my life.
Is this your first TV and film project?
Yeah, I’ve obviously had a career in music for all these years but I’ve always had a deep love and interest in film and television but just never had a chance to do it. I just woke up one day and I said, “Now is the time to make something happen.” It’s like winning the lottery — not money-wise but certainly the odds-wise of getting something on the air. Now I’m just so addicted to the process that I have some other ones I want to get going and hopefully have some other projects happening soon.
Now that you got your feet wet is there any chance you’ll be collaborating with your brother (Rob Zombie)?
I don’t know. You know, we’ll see what happens. I know that he is very much his own visionary and I don’t think the word “collaboration” sits well with him [laughs] but I would love to at some point do something with him. It would be really fun.
On to Powerman 5000 real quick — you guys released a cover album ‘Copies, Clones, and Replicants’ earlier this year, when can we expect some new Powerman material?
Soon. We’re working on some stuff now so hopefully early next year we’ll get something out. Really excited about getting some original music out, getting back on the road, and getting some touring done.
Listen to the entire audio interview for Spider’s thoughts on ‘Death Valley’ star Brian Callen, Halloween, and horror movies.