It ain’t everyday that a metallic space-van pulls up to G4tv and five guys dressed in space suits pile out. But that’s exactly what happened when sci-fi power-pop punkers The Phenomenauts arrived to perform on The Screen Savers’ Live Music Fridays last Friday. With their Dickies-in-space sound and Devo-meets-Man or Astroman? outfits, there guys were quite a fest for the ears and eyes.
Comprised of vocalist/guitarists Commander Angel Nova and Corporal Joe Bot, drummer Major Jimmy Boom, stand-up bassist Captain Chreehos and a new keyboardist whose handle I didn’t catch, The Phenomenauts just recorded their first full-length release, titled Re-Entry. These rocket-roll visitors are assaulting the west coast to support the album, bringing their spaced-out antics to a club near you.
We had a quick chat with the band’s fearless leader, who gave us some insight into their travels, game preferences, and why not playing video games sn just uncivilized.
Hi there. Can I get you to introduce yourself to the G4 audience?
Commander Angel Nova, Phenomenauts Ultra-squad.
You guys have a new album out, right?
Yeah, it's called Re-Entry and it's on Spring Man Records.
What are you guys doing down here in L.A.?
We're from Oakland, so we're down here doing a couple of shows, then we go home for a little while before heading out for national tour in June and July.
Your touring van is pretty amazing. How long did it take you to build it?
It’s taken four or five BBQs to bring it up to where it’s at now. It’s Galaxy class, it’s a Beta series. We had another Phenom-A-Bomber but it tragically exploded, so this is next in the series.
How do you play video games on the road?
We have a PlayStation 2 in there and also have an emulator that plays mainly Super Nintendo games. We have a TV screen that has a DVD player and other stuff, and also a separate screen for the emulator and the Navitron, which would show you anywhere you are on Earth. There are many super-systems in the Phenom-A-Bomber.
That is pretty super. Does playing video games make touring more fun?
Oh, it’s uncivilized to try and drive hundreds of miles without something to lull your brain. It’s essential. At least movies, but video games have a way of holding you in so you don’t realize you’ve gone several hours.
What video games have you guys been playing lately?
Mercenaries. In fact we actually tested it for LucasArts. I’m a big fan of the Tomb Raider series. Grand Theft Auto. I liked Colony Wars, too, that 3-D flying space game, where there’s no real up or down and you can fly in any direction.
What about old school games?
We have the emulator, which we call the Command Center Time-Wasterater, and have Galaga battles all the time. It takes quarters, too. A couple of years ago we got an Atari and spent hours playing Combat, which still holds up to games today. There are all sorts of strategies as far as playing against other players.
And it’s all about strategy, right?
For more info, visit www.phenomenauts.com.