After forming back in 1992, P.O.D was finally reaping the benefits after years of hard work in 1999! After releasing their third album ‘The Fundamental Elements of Southtown’, Sonny Sandoval (Lead Vocals), Marcos Curiel (Guitar/Vocals), Traa Daniels (Bass/Vocals) and Wuv Bernardo (Drums) got to see just how much appreciation the world had for them; their single Rock The Party (Off The Hook) reached #1 on MTV’s Total Request Live, also apprearing in Little Nicky alongside other singles Southtown and School Of Hard Knocks. After going RIAA certified platinum P.O.D had the world as their oyster, however it wasn’t until after following up with ‘Satellite’ in September 2001 that P.O.D were launched to greater heights than ever before. Songs like Alive, Youth of the Nation, Satellite and Boom were not only receiving such great demand on MTV and MTV2, but the first two songs were Grammy nominated for Best Hard Rock Performance 2002 and 2003 respectively. The icing on the ‘Satellite’ cake was that the album ended up reaching RIAA certified triple platinum!
If you haven’t seen the news, P.O.D are making their long await trip back to Australia in April next year. When asked about the excitement levels regarding P.O.D’s first trip to Australia in six years, as well as the fact they get to play more than one show on this trip down under, frontman Sandoval let out a huge laugh before proudly proclaiming that “we’re always excited to get down your way! If it were up to us, we’d be there at least once a year! Unfortunately it’s just the business you know; bookings, promotors and music industry politics, so it didn’t always work out. So after 25 years, we’re still like kids when it comes to travelling and getting to go to some of the most beautiful places in the world!”
With the upcoming trip to Australia, P.O.D are focusing it on their biggest album ‘Satellite’; this interviewer was curious as to why this was the case, instead of focusing it on albums ‘Murdered Love’ and ‘The Awakening’ as both of these were released after the last time P.O.D were on Australian shores. Sandoval gave a very relaxed but eye-opening answer:
“This is the thing; overseas the music is still alive and very appreciative when it comes to our genre of music! Even America is thankful, but they’re also a little bit more spoilt for choice when it comes to touring; if a band comes through your town, you can choose whether you want to see this month or next month. The scene is just so over-saturated with bands and shows in America, so when it comes to not being able to come down to Australia as often as we’d like we wanted to do something that would be familiar to the fans. A lot of times now, we can put out new music and it never makes it overseas just because of label and distribution politics; so with us having a platinum record down there, we thought it would be fun to just go old-school!”
Considering that P.O.D haven’t played all that many shows on our shores over their twenty-five year career, this interviewer was curious if there was a city or state that the band were most looking at getting to visit and perform in again; Sandoval couldn’t contain his excitement about getting to come back to Australia to be able to pick just one place:
“I think every time we’ve gone to Australia we’ve hit up the major cities, but from memory this is the first time that we’ve hit up Perth or Adelaide! We’re getting to visit a couple of new places this time around, which is pretty awesome and exciting. Trust me, every city is exciting for us (laughs) When it comes to a city we’ve been to before, we’re hoping for a bit more of a bigger turnout than last time we were in town, but with the new places they are always an adventure. The fans in the bigger cities have always been amazing to us; I think the last time we came to Australia was with Disturbed and Alter Bridge so it’s been quite a while!” When this interviewer mentioned how he saw that P.O.D have only done seven shows on Australian shores over the years and that number is almost being doubled on this tour, Sandoval let out another laugh before commenting how “that’s great, hopefully we’ll be able to come back sooner than later and add to that number!”
With Satellite being the focal point of this tour, this interviewer wanted to speak to Sandoval on a more personal level and find out if there was a specific song that he preferred to perform most; Sandoval gave such a professional answer that ended up giving a major insight into the set-list creation that P.O.D go through instead:
“When we decide to make a set, it’s because we love and enjoy playing it; having said that, Satellite is our most successful record. We were able to go around the world and play it, as our record label at the time was a machine and we had singles around the world! When we play songs like Youth of the Nation, Alive or even Boom; there’s been so much exposure with those songs from movies or sporting events, that whenever we play it people just know it and we get the biggest crowd response and reactions. That right there is what’s most amazing for us.” Sandoval then gave further insight into a few lesser known songs from the same album, commenting that “I think there might be one song off that record that we’ve never played live, as well as songs that we haven’t played in over fifteen years that I’m looking forward to playing; songs like Anything Right, Ghetto and Portrait that will be a real blast from the past! We’ll still have to rehearse at least five or six songs, because we haven’t played them in forever.”
With this being a celebration tour of ‘Satellite’, this interviewer was curious if P.O.D were going to play the album from beginning to end. Sandoval mentioned how “I think that’s the plan; we’re gonna shoot from beginning to end and then look at throwing in some fun songs off different records that will be crowd pleasers. We actually tour the States in January-February and then we have a three-day residency in Houston, Texas; we’re going to trial it out there and see how it goes before the upcoming Australia and New Zealand trip.” Before delving further into what fans can expect to see at the upcoming run of Australian shows:
“We’re a live band; we’ve been around a long time and to the purest form, we’re still those hard-core punk rock kids playing in a garage! We still set up, plug in and play our own instruments, we love crowd participation as it’s the old school that we come from. We get up and we’re playing the tracks, there are no computers or robots playing our music (laughs); what you see is what you get! We’re an old school band and there isn’t too many of us left out there, so we still give everything we have twenty five years later as that’s just what we know best. There doesn’t have to be big production or smoke and fireworks; it’s just guys getting up there, turning it up loud and having fun. I don’t think we’d still be a band if it wasn’t for the excitement that we get every time we play; everything else is just super fun! Writing and being in the studio is always fun, but there’s nothing like a live show; everything else is just politics and business that we can’t stand. We’re glad to be in a position where we play what we want and record what we want, as we get to call the shots a bit on our own instead of chasing anything.”
Before concluding the interview, Sandoval was given an opportunity to say anything he wanted to the Australian fans who have long been awaiting P.O.D’s return; even though he kept it short and sweet, there was so much passion in Sandoval’s final statements!
“First off, sorry it’s taken us so long to get down there! We hope that you understand that if it were up to us and we had the means/budget, we’d be there at least once a year! We love Australia and you guys have always been so good to us; we’re just looking forward to getting there again, recommencing from our last shows and hopefully it will seem like we haven’t been gone all that long!