is a Van Halen
song and the opening track on their 1991 album For Unlawful Carnal Knowledge
. Poundcake was the first song to be released as a single from the album making #1 on U.S. Mainstream Rock charts and #74 in the U.K. single charts.
The song features Eddie Van Halen
using the sound of a power drill both in the introduction and during the guitar solo. Using a power drill in conjunction with electric guitar wasn't a new concept as Paul Gilbert
and Billy Sheehan
had used them while playing with Mr. Big
, though Van Halen took a different approach on the idea. While Gilbert and Sheehan used drills with guitar picks attached to them to strum their strings very quickly, Van Halen didn't actually touch the strings with any part of the drill, instead using the electromagnetic interference
generated by the drill's electric motor
. The pitch of the sound changed with speed of the drill and the volume of the sound changed with the proximity of the drill to the guitar's pickups, letting him actually play notes in a method similar to that used with a theremin
The music video for "Poundcake," directed by Andy Morahan, shows Eddie using the technique with a Makita
cordless power drill painted in his trademark red, black and white stripes. The video itself cuts between scenes of the band playing and a woman who wishes to "audition". After extensively spying on other girls inside the changing room through a hole in the glass door, she leaves after being assaulted by one of the others using a large drill.
The video is also preceded with a young girl describing what "little girls are made of", and ends with an outtake of her as well.
In pop culture
The song was used by pro wrestler Rob Van Dam
as his entrance music, when he debuted in ECW