Energy Suppliers: How Powerflo are rebooting rap-metal

A press shot of powerflo

It’s a well-known fact that most supergroups are a bit rubbish, but Powerflo are about to buck that trend in no uncertain terms. Fronted by Cypress Hill’s Sen Dog, this rap-rock behemoth are about to remind us all exactly how potent and explosive the hip hop/metal hybrid can be when executed by experts. With an impressive line-up that also boasts Biohazard’s Billy Graziadei alongside former Fear Factory bassist Christian Olde Wolbers, ex-Downset guitarist Roy Lozano and Worst drummer Fernando Schaefer, Powerflo are very much the real deal. As Billy explains to Metal Hammer, it was an obvious collaboration that simply took a long time to arrive.

“We’ve all known each other since Biohazard recorded State Of The World Address in Los Angeles back in the early 90s,” he states. “We asked Sen Dog to come down and do a song called How It Is, and we’ve been close friends ever since. We’ve known the other guys for a long time, too. I’m always down with anything Sen wants to do, but at first I came on board more as a writer and a producer. I wasn’t into leaving my family more than I already was for Biohazard. So I was a little sceptical, but as things progressed in the studio, I turned to Sen and said, ‘You know what? This is the fucking team right here! I’m down, let’s do this!’”

A thunderous barrage of hardcore grooves, rapid-fire rhymes and balls-out aggression, Powerflo’s eponymous debut harks back to the early days of rap-metal, when albums like the legendary Judgment Night soundtrack (featuring Cypress Hill and Biohazard along with numerous other big names) brought the hip hop and metal worlds thrillingly together. More than two decades later, that cross-pollinating formula has been vigorously used and abused, and yet Powerflo’s brutish anthems sound weirdly fresh and distinctive amid today’s overpopulated scene.

“I saw the funniest thing someone posted on our site. They said, ‘Wow, this is refreshing, because everything else out there sounds like Meshuggah!’” Billy laughs. “I love Meshuggah. I love them to death, they’re fucking genius, but I agree! So many bands sound the same today, so this is a breath of fresh air, for us and for everybody. We didn’t try to be anything in particular. We just let it flow and what came out, came out.”

With plans to hit the road at full pelt, Powerflo already looks like much more than just another transient all- star side-project. This one is definitely for keeps.

“Oh man, this band is like getting a hot new girlfriend!” he grins. “Right now, everything is fresh and new. We’re all really fucking excited to get out there and give it everything we’ve got.”

Powerflo is out now via New Damage

Powerflo - Powerflo album review