About Power Pirate
Power Pirate is DC’s youngest electronic rock band, and they’re making headlines for their unique sound, DIY philosophy, and technical skill. The trio fuses 80s-style synths with hard rock drums and guitar to create a refreshing electronic rock style. In early 2010, the group flew to California to compete in a nationwide teen music competition, from which they took home best guitarist, best keyboardist, 3rd place national ranking, a B.C. Rich endorsement, and an interview on NBC. Power Pirate then released their debut album, Plane Ticket, and promoted it at shows in DC, Maryland, Virginia, and New York. The Washington Post hails the album as “polished beyond their years.”
“Power Pirate isn’t just messing around in a garage. The electronic-pop-rock songs on their debut album, “Plane Ticket,” sound polished beyond their years.”
The three-piece band was formed in the fall of 2007 by Emily Pakulski (vocals & guitar), Michael Garate (keyboards), and Annika Monari (drums). They met when Annika and Emily hosted an informal session to meet new musicians. Among them was Mike, who stayed with them with the goal of creating original music that fuses innovation and traditional musical theory.
Above photos released for media use.
The band is determined to employ a D.I.Y. (Do It Yourself) philosophy by recording and producing their music at home, as well as doing their own graphic design, photography, promotion, and booking. The members make a strong effort to spread their spirit of self-help to other artists. According to Mike:
“We really believe in learning by doing, and this band is the ultimate example of that. We learn the ins and outs of what we do, and that makes this personal to us.”
- Mike (Keyboards & Production)
Plane Ticket, Power Pirate’s first record, depicts the difficulty of family separation and having to choose between pursuing a dream and a family life. Emily, the lead singer and guitarist, gave up living with her family in order to complete Plane Ticket. Her dad had to take a job in Belgium, and moved there from DC in August, 2009 with her older brother. In the song “Night Drive,” she shares her personal reaction to the separation:
…The headlights hurt my burning my eyes.
They won’t be coming back this way again.
We’ve lost them. There’s no going back…
- Lyrics from Night Drive (excerpt)
The cover of the album, a picture of a young girl succumbed by the powerful scenery of the sun setting behind the Washington Monument, emphasizes DC’s importance to Emily and the rest of the band.
Since their formation two years ago, Power Pirate has found its place in the DC/MD/VA music scene through catchy melodies and complex instrumentation. The group has played at popular local venues such as the Black Cat, the DC9 Nightclub, the Rock and Roll Hotel, the Fort Reno summer concert series, and many more. Inspired by modern artists such as Muse, Infected Mushroom, and Daft Punk, this trio fuses 80s-styled techno synths with hard-rock drum beats and guitar riffs to create the new, uncategorized genre unique to Power Pirate.
The band won third place overall in the finals of a national teen battle of the bands in Anaheim, CA in January. Over 200 bands from all over the country were narrowed down to 10 finalists for a live battle of the bands at the 2010 NAMM show. Emily earned ‘best guitarist’ and received a new guitar, while Mike also took home top honors in his instrument and was presented with a new keyboard. As medalists, $1000 in grants were distributed between the band members’ high school music programs to spend on new music equipment.