Interview: Elias Soriano Of Nonpoint On Their Upcoming Tour with (Hed) p.e.

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Interview by Tracey Moyle.

With a career spanning over 20 years, and 10 studio albums under their belts Nonpoint have created their own energetic sound with a seamless fusion of metal sub genres, continually carving out the path for the next wave of creative musicians bringing a new edge to rock and metal.

Their latest studio Album, ‘X’  confirms this, with a blend of songs from the rapid-fire intensity of the opening two tracks Empty Batteries  and the first single off the album Chaos and Earthquakes, to vocalist Elias Soriano, showing his impressive range with the somewhat slower paced Fix This  and the melodic Feel The Way I Feel.  The high energy level of their music along with enough disparity in their songs to keep the crowd in a constant frenzy of moshing madness has anyone who knows their live shows, eager to see their return to the Australian live circuit.    They will be hitting our shores and venues in June, and promise to not only put on their best show but to take the time to meet with the fans who have supported them throughout their career.

This week Tracey Moyle spoke to Elias about the up coming tour supporting (hed) p.e., their love of Australian bands, the importance of keeping up with changes in the music industry and much more.

Thanks for talking to Good Call Live! we’re in Brisbane Australia.  I hope we’ve got you at a decent hour with the time difference, it’s 8.40 in the morning here, what time is it there?

“Oh, good morning.  It’s 3.20 in the afternoon here.  It’s ok, I’m actually helping out a band from Brisbane named Tai Sui, so I’m use to the time disconnect.”

That’s awesome, how did you get to know Tai Sui?

“The singer is an old friend of mine, now the band themselves are friends of mine.  They needed some help and direction on how to get the word out on the band and they asked me to help out.  I adore their band and the brand so much, the visuals, the songs the videos, everything it’s just on spot.  It’s the first band I’ve ever attempted to (help out).  I believe in them, they’re amazing.”

That’s so good, we need more support in the music industry especially rock with our upcoming bands.    

“Yeah, we’re getting them on that show in Brisbane so you’ll be able to take a look at them.”

The upcoming tour with (hed) p.e. will be amazing.   I can only imagine the energy in the room that night.  Is this your first time touring with these guys?

“No we’ve toured with these guys in the past, quite a bit, a long time ago. And then we revisited a tour and did this in the States and it was amazing so when they invited us to come out to Australia and open up for them, we were like, we definitely need the exposure there so we will happily reciprocate and do the same.  We are happy to get the offer, we’re happy they’re bringing us over with them. It’s going to be high energy and reminiscent of all the times we did it in the past.”

You’ve toured with so many amazing artists over your 20 plus years are their any tour partners you have on your wish list? 

“I’d love to tour with Glassjaw again.  I know those guys are making the rounds these days.  They’re one of my favourite bands for the last 20 years.  So to see them doing it again would be a blessing.  Same thing with Deftones, I would love to tour with those guys. I’ve always wanted to do a tour with them. That would be an outstanding opportunity.”

Any upcoming younger bands you’d like to take on the road with you?

“We’re going to pull out the guys in Hyro da Hero.  We think that they’re making waves and they have a great, very high-energy show so we’re excited to bring those boys on.  You know, there’s a whole new genre/ wave, that I feel’s coming around the corner, that I feel is going to be doing some serious damage to the clubs here in the States but I’m excited to see what Australia has to offer.  We’re going to have some bands opening up for us there, you know I love some of the your best bands, Karnivool and 12 Foot Ninja are some of my favourite bands.  I’m excited to see what you guys have going over there.”

We have some great young, upcoming talent.  Its amazing when established  bands like you guys come out and take them on tour and give a chance to get out there and be seen and heard.

“You guys are writing some great music over there, you really are. You’re challenging the genre and you’re really doing something different and serious kudos over there.”

It’s great that people can see that, so good to hear. ..You’ve just released a 20th anniversary live album. You’re tenth studio release aptly named X came out August last year and has had pretty awesome reception. I love it. It has a great melding of metal sounds. Your music has been put into so many metal genres from groove, rap and nu metal to hard rock. You seem to have a good grasp on your own sound. I imagine that comes from everyone in the band having their own influences and input into the song writing process? Is that right? 

Yeah, yeah, that’s exactly right.  Everybody puts their loves into the pot and what you hear is always Nonpoint because we give everyone that same equal voice in the band where everyone can contribute and do what they know they can do best.  Why wouldn’t you allow someone to write not only what they love but what they play amazingly, you know, because its in their wheelhouse.  I like to take advantage of the creative minds in the band and give everyone the freedom to spread their wings creatively and we get together in a room and figure out what  drives us and what starts to drive the song.”

There are some great tracks on ‘X’ (Ten). Being your tenth album did this make any impact on your approach to the way your went about the creation the music? I heard you guys took a break for a while, did this make a difference?   

“Yeah, definitely.   It’s good to get that down time and you hit the reset button and you get the fire back when you’ve been pushing so hard and we were touring a lot on that last record.  We just needed a break, you know, just  mentally.  So, you know, we took a quick break.  Give the rest of us enough time to get the itch again, and we started feeling like we needed to start writing again and we started writing and a lot of that, you know, initial fire, gave us Chaos and Earthquakes, that gave us songs like Dodge your Destiny and stuff like that so, you know, the time was right.”

The first single of ‘X’ was Chaos and Earthquakes, it’s brilliant and I imagine is a killer live.  Will we be hearing many songs off the new album on this tour?   I guess choosing a setlist after 10 albums can get kind of hard? New ones come in but much loved old ones get a rest.

“We know that a majority of the people are people who have seen us before in the area so we definitely look back to make sure we aren’t doing too many of the same thing but at the same time we got to play the ones that we know that they love and their going to want to sing along to. We’re not the type of band that is like ‘we have new music so you’re going to have to listen to it like it or not’.   You know, we know why people are there and we going to give everyone a great entertaining show and a lot of that has to do with some of the things they love to hear and have loved and supported for years so, I want to reward that with them getting the opportunity to finally see it live.”

I have a lot of Nonpoint songs in my plethora of playlists and to be honest if it wasn’t for Spotify I probably wouldn’t know half the bands I love.   Artists either love or hate the way music has changed with streaming taking over.  It’s the balance of physical sales vs getting the music out there to a wider audience.   Being in industry for so long how do you feel about the rise and evolution of music platforms?  

“Its something we are all going to have to adjust to. It’s a bigger animal than one or two brands can really complain about.  It’s the way that society wants to hear their music and get their music, at least the majority of them feel a convenience and almost a freedom for discovery, that they feel like music has, so as long as, you know, the powers that be and those gatekeepers, keep that level of play and you know, revenue even enough for us to survive, it will just be a new way to get your music so we’ll adjust, you know, we’re gonna keep writing music.  The way people receive it and the way we sell it, it something that seems to change at lease every 10 to 15 years, and for a band that’s been around for as long as we have, we’re use to those transitions. We see them coming around the corner and we try to get a team around us that sees these things coming so that way we can prepare for it so that we adjust and move on to these new technologies with our music so that way we don’t get left behind.”

That’s just like any business really, its just about good business technique.

“Yeah, you just kinda got to roll with the punches.”

If you could go back 20 years and give your younger self some advice what would it be?

“Keep an afro, don’t do the dreds.”

Fashion advice, that’s great.  I think everyone wishes they could do that. (laughs).

“I’d have half the neck problems that I have right now if I had done that (laughs). But no, I would say, just watch everything under a microscope.  You definitely want to know what’s going on.  You know you can’t just trust what you feel like is people’s intentions. You have to affirm them and make sure that you’re aware of everything that’s flowing through your brand and your business.  So I would say, buy a microscope.”

What’s next for Nonpoint?  Is there anything you want to accomplish that you haven’t yet?

“Yeah, we going to be conquering our overseas situation as I said before we’re starting to open up those lines of communication and starting to invest more in getting ourselves to some of these markets that have been waiting for us for, like in some cases, decades, you know.   We’re going to head overseas, we’re going to head to Japan, and head over China, hit Russia you know, like while the crowds are still requesting that we go.”

That’s great news.  It gets frustrating hearing bands announce world tours and they forget about us here in Australia.  It’s great to hear.

 “It’s good to hear it’s going to be well received because it’s at the top of the list.”

Any down time while you’re here or just the tour?

“It’s mostly going to be just running around getting from venue to hotel, it’s literally back to back to back.   So our downtime is going to be spent drinking amazing coffee and winding down with an amazing Australian beer and that’s going be the majority of our down time because we going to be spending a lot of time travelling.   And we’er going to be spending a lot of time with the fans at the merch table, you know, we’re most likely not going to have a dressing room and we’re going to park ourselves at the merch and get up close with everyone.”

That’s something that’s important to the fans it’s good to hear that. 

“We always go out after every set her in the States so we’re definitely going to do the same there.”

Nonpoint hail from Fort Lauderdale, Florida with vocalist Soriano, drummer Robb Rivera, rhythm guitarist Rasheed Thomas, bassist Adam Woloszyn, and lead guitarist Bradley Kochmit

If it’s metal, soaked in high energy and laced with rap, funk and melodic undertones you love, then do not miss this tour. Grab your tickets HERE. 

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