Powertool Records is the brainchild of Andrew Maitai, originally began as a vehicle to release the projects that he was involved with, the first being his band Joed Out and then bandmate Ben Barrett‘s solo project Feyodor. The name Powertool came from his day job business Ace Powertools. The early Joed Out recordings were recorded on four track in the Ace Powertool showroom.
Things got a little more serious with the release of the compilation ‘Here come the bulletholes‘. This was at the time to be a sampler of the handful of bands on the label. I also included friends and associates like Chris Knox, Voom and Mary to fill the cd up. It was a very successful release that gained a ton of exposure on the B-Net stations and attracted attention from overseas. The release gig mid 2003 had a total of fourteen acts all performing very short sets and established Powertool as a recognized brand.
The success of the ‘Bulletholes‘ release gig got me thinking that an evening with lots of acts doing short sets was a good idea. In August 2003 I created the Kaleidoscope World Series. Besides having lots of bands play on the same night, I included a sampler cd featuring one song from each act. I wanted to keep the variety alive and decided to make a rule that once a band had played one they became ineligible to do another for a period of twelve months. What happened from this is besides bands crossing over to each others audiences, I also gained a ton of contacts. I then started signing acts I liked. 2004 has been a rollercoaster ride that has seen the roster expand and the catalogue grow immensely with no sign of letting up.
Early 2004, I decided to also do our own nationwide distribution. Besides our label, I am also distributing labels from overseas that I have a relationship with and a number of independent acts. This is also growing rapidly.
Mid 2004, I decided to produce our own fanzine called ‘Drill‘. Besides being a handy promotional tool, it is also a great read. It includes bios from bands on Powertool or who are being distributed by us.