AMERICAN IDOL And The Future...
By: De Fen
On June 9th Death On The Radio debuted w/ their freshly changed name and electric ensemble sharing a bill with Jeremiah Saint, LysolGang and ComaStation at the Universal Bar and Grill in North Hollywood. Death On The Radio is: Bloody Mary/Mary Powers on vocals, Neili A Go-Go on percussion, Evil on bass, Mike Murder on guitar and Kevin Kutter on drums. This self described, tribal-horror-punk band started out as an acoustic trio called The Modern End consisting of Bloody Mary on vocals, Neili A Go-Go on percussion and Mike Murder on guitar. "Tribal-horror-punk" is a fair descriptor. Their percussionist, Neili A Go-Go has traveled the world Studying African drum/dance and works well with Kevin Kutters to set the pace to a sort of chase scene. Guitarist Mike Murder, formerly of NY metal/punk band The Black Heart Blisters brings heavily deconstructed guitar riffs while bassist, Evil lends a jutting pulse to the scene.

DOTR bring a nice mix of theater and dark punk. As frontwoman Bloody Mary/Mary Powers puts it: "I try to create an emotional wave when I map out the set list. The music must have that wave of ridable energy. The entire show has a beginning, middle and an end. I go from victim to preditor or vice versa depending on the night." And this is well accomplished. Some will likely remember Mary Powers from American Idol Season 9. She's played with members of Christian Death, Legal Weapon, and a fourteen piece hip hop group called Candyman and the Havenotz. Her vocals are somewhere between Pat Benatar and Kathleen Hanna with maybe a little bit of Liza Minnelli. All told they work amazingly well together and I def look forward to hearing more of them. By the sounds of things we will all likely be hearing much more of them, as they've been popping up on show bills in Southern California and are currently mixing a soon to be released EP at Downtown Sound. I had a chance to talk with Mary Powers after the Universal Bar and Grill show about music, American Idol, and much more. Enjoy.
Punk Globe- Thanks for taking the time to do this interview. Can you tell the Punk Globe readers what just happened here tonight?
Mary Powers- Fucking magic happened. My band is called Death On The Radio and tonight was the debut of our full electric band so it was pretty important for us.
Punk Globe- How did you like the crowd?
Mary Powers- For a Thursday night it was awesome. It sucks for the bands before me because they were awesome too. There was hardly anyone there and then all of a sudden I looked off from the stage and there was a good crowd in the house.
Punk Globe- You did an awesome version of Psycho Killer. Any reason you picked that song to cover?
Mary Powers- I chose Psycho Killer by the Talking Heads because first and foremost I love that band. The song also ties together the transition between songs, Elizabeth Bathory "Im not scared of the fate that I know too well, Lock me up in my own cell, Darlin I will escape from Hell- and Bloody Fingers " Hey, I won't be bound by things I say, Behind your back, My Bloody Fingers tear your heart out. " story wise. Psycho Killer fits snug in between: "I cant sleep, Beds on fire, Don't touch me, I'm a real live wire."
Punk Globe- Nice. So, the end of The Modern End and the debut of Death On The Radio. I'm sure many of your fans will be curious as to why the name change. Can you talk about that?
Mary Powers- I liked The Modern End, but I'll be honest it always made me think of furniture and I don't want to be thinking of furniture while I'm standing on stage. I'm not going to lie, my dream is to be famous. My dream is to be someone on the radio making a difference in music for a lot of people so it has to be a name that means something. I feel like Death On The Radio means more. If you break it down, "death" is change and we all want a change on the radio. Also, a lot of our songs are about death and we want our songs on the radio. We do want death on the radio...and I don't have to think about furniture.
Punk Globe- And this is all very recent. When did you officially change your name?
Mary Powers- About a week ago. We're starting to become known n the community and before we get anymore known...boom, we just had to do it.
Punk Globe- This is a bad one. Did The Modern End have any particular meaning? Both names seem to signify finality.
Mary Powers- The Modern End meant a new way to end the story. A new way to die, to change the ending...a fade to black kind of thing. And then Death On The Radio. I suppose we're a little bit obsessed with the death aspect. You know, we're more horror punk than the flashy Green Day punk.

When you initial it, we're D.O.T.R. Yes! In your face Jack Grisham! You're not the only one with letters!
Punk Globe- What is the lineup of Death On The Radio? Did it change?
Mary Powers- On guitar we have Mike Murder, Evil on Bass, Neili A-Go-Go on hand percussion, Kevin Kutters on drums and I'm Bloody Mary on vocals. The Modern End started with me, Mike and Neili. We would play the songs acoustically. We had Neili on the hand drums and she would rock it like a full set. Now she has a chance to pull out the massive drum.
Mary Powers- I used to make up songs into a little pink tape recorder when I was like five years old. I have video footage of me in my friend's back yard when I was about ten and I was going off on these really meaningful (laughs) improvs.
Punk Globe- So you were a musical kid.
Mary Powers- Yes, always singing and dancing.
Punk Globe- Did you come from a musical family?
Mary Powers- No. Though, I come from art. My mom is a designer. I used to do modeling for her when she was still in school. She does clothing and textiles. She puts on art shows now too, but she's really in the film industry. She's had her hand in almost every major motion picture that came out within the last ten years.
Punk Globe- Do you have any musical influences?
Mary Powers- I really love Siousxie Sioux from Siousxie and the Banshees. I have Nina Hagen's pictures on my wall, she's amazing. When I run on the track I listen to a lot of opera. Heart, Bad Brains and The Misfits are also influential.
Punk Globe- Can you tell the Punk Globe readers about The Havenotz? I have the understanding that you were in a fourteen piece hip hop group.
Mary Powers- Yeah, Candyman 187 and The Havenotz. I was a Havenot. I guess I still am in the family because once you're a Havenot you always are. Candyman came from the whole Tupac crowd. That's his brother...
Punk Globe- Wait. Candyman is Tupac's brother?
Mary Powers- Like family, protege, really tight. So we'd do live hip hop. They still do it. I was their lead back up singer. I added a lot of punk and high vocals. They had two guitar players. We sounded like Black Eyed Peas meets gangsta rap with a little bit of Lincoln Park.
Punk Globe- Nice. You also played with Christian Death back in the day. Can you tell the Punk Globe readers about that?
Mary Powers- I was in a Brian Hansen who was the original guitar player from Legal Weapon. I was around the Christian Death crew a lot when I was about fifteen. I would run away a lot and end up there. That was when Rozz was still around.
Punk Globe- They're locals, relatively. Did you grow up around here?
Mary Powers- I came out here with my mom for the film industry so I've been out here for a while. I didn't grow up here. I'm originally from Cincinati, Ohio.
Punk Globe- You left a pretty good mark on American Idol, Season 9. Can you tell the Punk Globe readers how you came to audition?
Mary Powers- I didn't really watch or care about the show, but then I caught some of Season 8 and it seemed cool. You get to do stage shows and they had Adam Lambert on. So I auditioned, they loved me and I was there.
Punk Globe- What was going on in your head when Simon chided you for "looking too much like a rock star"?
Mary Powers- That's the odd thing about editing. That whole clip was thirty seconds, maybe? There was actually about ten minutes of conversation between he and I. He made that remark casually and then he and I were bouncing ideas back and fourth for quite a while. Nobody got to see that. Oh whatever. (Laughs) At least he didn't tell me I sucked.
Punk Globe- Overall, how would you describe the American Idol experience?
Mary Powers- I think it's pretty cool that I made it through the machine. There's a lot of people who have gone on there and don't pursue music afterwards. I have fans in Iceland, India and all of these faraway places who would never have known about me otherwise.
Punk Globe- Do you have a favorite cast member?
Mary Powers- My favorite cast member came to see me tonight: Jareb Liewer. He was there during Hollywood Week and he was my rock.
Punk Globe- Did you have a favorite judge?
Mary Powers- Simon. He and I were really close during the Hollywood Week time.
Punk Globe. Nice. Your daughter seemed very wise for her age. Would you say that's true? And is she still a huge Simon fan?
Mary Powers- She's a huge me fan. Whatever I'm doing, she's all for it. And she is very wise for her age. She's the coolest chick ever. She's going to be a cartoonist and a lifeguard. That's what she wants to be when she grows up.
Punk Globe- Ok so, reality television in general: What did you think of it before American Idol and what do you think of it now?
Mary Powers- That's the other thing about American Idol. I didn't count it as reality television. When I was there I didn't feel like I was on a reality show. I was there to be a singer. I was in a singing competition just as an ice skater would be in an ice skating competition.

It's very, very difficult to be in that reality machine. There are cameras on you at all times, which is great experience, but it's also extremely stressful. And as for reality shows...
"Jeannie Pepper"- (interrupting) You were fabulous! I mean fucking fabulous!
Mary Powers- Thank you so much! You're awesome too!
"Jeannie Pepper"- (motioning towards her companion) He's a CSI guy and I'm a porn star! We love you!
Mary Powers- That was Jeannie Pepper. Apparently she was a porn star back in the before Jenna Jameson. She was all for me. That's awesome.
Punk Globe- Yeah, she was all about you. Right on. Shifting gears: Is it true that you do voice overs for cartoons?
Mary Powers- I kind of put it down for a second, but I do a lot of work for Keith Fay of Titmouse. They're the people who made Metalocaplypse. I'm a read voice in a cartoon that's about to be picked up and Gina Shock form the Go Go's is involved in that. Cartoon voice overs are fun.
Punk Globe- Do Bloody Mary and Death On The Radio have any upcoming releases, tours or other news we haven't touched on?
Mary Powers- We will be playing the Pomona Tattoo Convention in early July. We're working with Philco Raves from Mystic Records at his new studio in L.A. called Downtown Sound and producer Ian Down. We're mixing our EP right now and that should be out in July. I'm also doing work with Rebel Music TV.
Punk Globe- Wonderful. I have to ask because there's this big media blitz surrounding this dude: Do you have any thoughts on Rep. Weiner?
Mary Powers- What? Whose that?
Punk Globe- This poor guy with an unfortunate last name.
Mary Powers- Am I supposed to know him?
Punk Globe- He's just in the news. I usually ask a question about current events or whatnot. Good for you if you've managed not to hear about it. I'm sick of hearing about it. I feel half bad for mentioning it, ha.
Mary Powers- No way! I love when shit like that happens! His name is Weiner and he's showing his weiner. That's why I'm a singer. I can be weird on stage and everyone is like, "Yeah, she's weird!" (laughs) None of that.
Punk Globe- Thanks so much for a great show and answering all my nosey questions. Do you have any parting words for the Punk Globe Readers?
Mary Powers- Thank you Punk Globe for supporting us! And to the Punk Globe readers: Be who you are and know that that's ok! Be sure to come see Death on The Radio on July 16 at The Redwood Bar and Grill 315 W. 2nd Street. We are playing with White Trash Debutantes.. It will be an awesome show..