It's sweet that in all the press coverage that's followed Nate Powell's rise in the comics world, his music invariably comes up. In this interview with Robot 6
, we get short history of Powell's music career along with the impetus behind each. Mike Lierly (Soophie, Tem Eyos Ki) plays guitar Powell's latest, Universe
Given your love of music (as evidenced by your years running Harlan Records) and more recently, your new band Universe–do you ever work out storytelling challenges in your musical pursuits and vice versa?
Powell: Yes, but usually narratives are lent to whatever medium works better. I was in a band from ’92 to 2007 called Soophie Nun Squad that had lots of narrative focus in its songs—we did skits, rock operettes, lots of hip hop narrative, and reflexive song referencing. Soophie was also comprised of many visual and performance artists, so we all leaned on the side of wanting to tell stories. After Soophie, I was a one-person narrative hardcore band called Wait. Wait was an attempt to bridge these two creative sides; I’d yell and play bass with a slide show or flash-card sequence, or a little busted puppetry. A more recent project called Divorce Chord had narrative focus as well, but my new band Universe is intentionally un-narrative, with the exception of one song thus far. Universe covers ground I miss by NOT doing zines and shorter comics so much anymore—the songs are more emotionally raw and immediate, less filtered, and more reactionary at times.