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16volt

About 16volt

Eric Powell formed 16volt as a one-man industrial rock band that recruits members for live touring. 16volt is credited with starting the music genre ‘coldwave’. He was originally inspired by artists like Ministry and Skinny Puppy.

Powell founded 16volt in 1988 and released three albums on the indie Reconstriction record label in the mid-90s. He achieved widespread underground success, charting well on college radio in the US and getting coverage in Alternative Press, Kerrang, CMJ, Rolling Stone and Billboard magazines. Touring member Mike Peoples joined the band officially in 1996.

16volt then signed with Mercury / Polygram and recorded the more rock-oriented Supercoolnothing in 1998, but the label was bought by Seagram’s and the band was sidelined. Powell convinced an investor to buy the album. A deal was then struck with Sony to release it as the soundtrack to the PlayStation video game Primal and release it as a standalone album proper.

Powell then ended 16volt for six years, until Capitol Records took an interest in 2005. However, after Capitol wanted the band to compromise too heavily, Powell instead went to Metropolis Records, who would not only release three more of the band’s albums, but buy the rights to the band’s previous records as well.

In 2014, 16volt went on hiatus when Peoples quit the music business, but Powell revived the band a couple years later to release the 2016 album The Negative Space and 2017 EP Dead On Arrivals.

Despite Powell’s father having worked for a record label at one point, he insists that did nothing whatsoever to help him in his 30 year career in the music business:

My father is the executive of nothing but failures and abandonment. He did work at an indie label for a while — before he was no doubt exposed as a pathological liar and an alcoholic.

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