I blogged about David Powers last week, but I had yet to actually hear much from him in regards to his music.Â Powers, if you missed it, is the type of musician who can take you for a trip down 80s memory lane (in your red Camaro, Betamax tapes scattered across the back seat) with his lazer-like guitar solos.Â His band isn’t about the covers, though, as you’ll read below. And believe it or not, he likes playing acoustic, too.Â Just not as much as shredding-
TH: Tell us a bit about yourself.Â Are you a lifelong Putnam guy?
DP: I was born in Bronxville Hospital and lived in Westchester until I was 20. Then I moved to Putnam (Brewster) and have been happy here for a while…It’s my kinda town! I moved around for a while but came back to Brewster to make it my home.
TH: What do you like/not like about the music scene here?
DP: There is really no place to play original rock music anymore… and not too many people come out to support it unless you play cover songs. Which is OK, but it is much more satisfying to play my own music. We play a few select cover songs in our original set just ’cause we love those songs, but we play them our way so they sound closer to originals than covers.
TH: Do you have a family?Â A significant other?
DP: Mom and Dad and three siblings.Â No family of my own yet, but I do have a girlfriend of 10 years.
TH: You’re obviously a huge Van Halen fan. What was your first rock album?
DP: I was brought up on all kinds of rock…my parents loved rock music and played it in the house all the time. My first rock memory was listening to Pink Floyd and Led Zeppelin, but that soon blossomed into Van Halen and Sabbath. I like lots of rock from the late-60s through now, but Zeppelin and Van Halen hold a big place in my musical heart.
(Zep guitarist and rumored deity Jimmy Page, rocking the Olympics with British pop star Leona Lewis–AP Photo)
TH: Who inspired you to play guitar?Â Was it by VH?
DP: No actually… it was Jefferson Starship, and the first guitar solo I learned was the solo from “Jane.” [Off 1979’s Freedom at Point Zero]Â That song still rocks.
TH: Who inspired you to play guitar?
DP: Soon after “Jane,” I discovered Van Halen, and my guitar player life changed forever. The sound of his guitar was like nothing else I had ever heard and I knew what my destiny was, right then and there. I think the first time I heard “Eruption” my hair grew about eight inches, and all I wanted to do was play guitar for the girls and party!
TH: Who else influenced you?
DP: Actually, lots of guitar players influenced me, including Randy Rhoads, George Lynch, Steve Vai, Michael Schenker, Jimmy Page and Jimi Hendrix.
TH: How old were you when you mastered “tapping,” a la Eddie Van Halen?
DP: I somehow got it right away.Â I was lucky to be able to do the basics quickly, but I practicedÂ a lot to try and master different techniques and alternate patterns. Randy Rhoads was a master at that.
TH: Do you ever write quiet, sensitive songs?Â Acoustic songs?
DP: Yes. I have a stable of acoustic songs and ballads that I sometimes put on my albums, but I prefer the rock!
TH: How do people respond to them?
DP: People love them when I play them and I have been thinking about doing an acoustic set for a while… maybe some local restaurants or something.
TH: What’s the most memorable concert that you’ve been to?
DP: I saw Bon Jovi on New Year’s Eve in their hometown of NJ, and it was a party! Non-stop, and man did they rock!!!Â David Bowie was my first stadium concert and it was awesome…something i will never forget.
TH: Who’s your favorite band of the 70s? 80s? 90s?
DP: It would be Van Halen for sure. But a close second would be Led Zeppelin.
TH: Is your song “1984” autobiographical?Â Any connection to the Orwell novel of the same name?Â If you had to choose between the book and the VH album, which would you choose?
DP: Oh, definitely an ode to VH.Â The book was cool, but living the rock life in the 80s was way better!
TH: Do you ever feel like you want to leave the past decades behind, and embrace
the rock music of today?
DP: I feel that I am doing that right now. Even with my music having the flavor of past decades I feel as though it has a new sound that is current-yet-familiar to the listener. My albums reflect all of my influences from all my favorite bands, but I always look to the future of rock.
David Powers photos courtesy of David Powers, via MySpace