Interview with Elias Soriano from Nonpoint; Help them stay on the road (details below) @nonpoint @razorandtie
Long-running modern metal road warriors Nonpoint continue to pound pavement, blazing through cities and towns in their unending quest to conquer the metal landscape. Though the Florida quintet has undergone some lineup changes in recent years, the key members, vocalist Elias Soriano and drummer Robb Rivera, have found freshly oxygenated blood in guitarists Dave Lizzio, Rasheed Thomas, and bassist Adam Woloszyn, rounding out their sonic attack with a power and flair that rivals their early work.
To help with their quest, the group is currently in the midst of an indie-gogo campaign to help fund their travels with new transportation (which you can find HERE,) and when speaking of their latest self-titled release, their ninth overall and first on Razor and Tie, they say “This record sounds like war coming out of the speakers.” With a description like that, how can you NOT give it a listen?
It’s great to see Nonpoint again after almost 6 years, and they haven’t lost one bit of the fire that got me into the group so many years ago. I caught up with vocalist Elias Soriano during their stop in Syracuse, NY to talk about their latest record, working with Razor and Tie, and their campaign to keep the band doing what they do best: Rocking crowds!
G- What’s going on and thank you very much for taking the time to speak with Live High Five today!
E- Thanks a lot. Thanks for having me!
G- How’s everything been going on the road so far?
E- Good good. So far, the shows have been great. The Hinder guys are awesome, so it’s a great tour.
G- Excellent! Now, You recently sustained a little bit of an injury to your back during a performance. How is everything going with you right now, and how do you feel?
E- Feeling about 80%, you know. I can’t really jump around as much as I normally do probably for, say, another week or so. But it’s just been a really, really long run. We’ve been out since February, and we’ll be out until about June, so I just gotta pace myself a little bit.
G- You guys have been out since, like, February 2004! You guys are always on the road.
G- Now, you are currently touring in support of your latest self-titled release. How has the reception been to the new songs, and have you noticed any fan favorites off of the record at this point?
E- Yeah, the fans have been great. They’ve been loving the new record, and the critics are loving it, so that’s always a good thing. Lots of fan favorites! “I Said It” is a big one, “Lights Camera Action” is another big one. “That Day” is a favorite… I think that’s the one we’re going with second (as a single.) But, you know, overall the whole scope of the new Nonpoint has been so well received that I have no complaints.
G- Excellent. And how many songs from the new record are you working into the set?
E- Even in a 45 minute set, we try to do 3, at least 3. Fans that know us know that we tour quite a bit, and they’ve seen a lot of the fan favorites often, so we like to change it up, not only for them but for us, to give them a little taste of the new stuff and allow them to fall in love with the new stuff.
G- Dig it. Now, Nonpoint has some newer members that deserve a lot of credit for being able to step up to your insane tour schedule and output… Tell us a bit about the guys and how has the transition been for them into the group? Any fun initiation rituals you can tell us about?
E- Well, it was kind of hit the ground running, so we really didn’t have any time for hazing, I guess (laughing.) But, those guys are all great guys.
Just like you said, they all quit their jobs and jumped into this with both feet, and it’s kind of scary. The tour schedule is grueling and girlfriends and parents don’t really understand it in the beginning, so I give those guys a lot of credit for being able to step right into it.
They’re learning a lot, you know? The industry is a gigantic machine, so they jumped right in and got wet, so I give them a lot, a lot of credit.
G- Good stuff! Now again, to stay with touring for a minute, your Twitter feed is like a teleport… You guys spend a lot of your life on the road, and every time I check your social media, you’re here or there or somewhere else… How do you guys maintain such a rigorous schedule and honestly, how do you occupy your time when you’re traveling the 23 hours when you’re not onstage?
E- Umm, you know, it’s hard. The hardest thing is being away from family and not having my daughter and my fiancé close by. It’s really hard on them, too. I haven’t seen my mother in almost a year, and it’s really tough. People don’t understand that we’re all living out here hand to mouth and away from our families 10 months out of the year, so fan support is dire. It’s appreciated and it keeps us going, so that’s the biggest hurdle to get over… That separation from your roots.
G- Right on. Now, we spoke a little bit about the new album, so what I’d like to do is ask you if you have a current favorite song off of the new record. And to take that a bit further, if you could only give 1 song to someone who’d never heard Nonpoint before, which has gotta be fucking impossible at this point, to try and make a new fan, what song would you give them and why?
E- Right now, I would probably give them “Another Mistake” off of our new record. Or maybe even “I Said It,” because I think those songs convert a lot of new people. You know, first listen to “Another Mistake,” it’s definitely our most laid back song on the record, but it is in NO way laid back.
G- (laughing) Right?!
E- So, I would probably give that. If it were a young kid, I’d throw “Lights Camera Action” or “I Said It” at them, if they’re under 23. If they’re older than 23, I might throw them “Another Mistake” or maybe “Love For You,” because I’m all about converting (people.)
G- Good deal! Now, to speculate a little bit… You’ve played shows with thousands of bands, thousands of venue, high profile and not, during your musical tenure, but I’d like to know if you have any dream lineups or bands you hope to share a bill with in the future? If you could pick out a 3-band dream lineup for Nonpoint to be a part of, what bands would you like to tour and share a stage with?
E- Me personally?
E- This isn’t the band? This is MY personal opinion?
E- I would like to do us, Deftones, and Circa Survive.
G- Pick one more, too!
E- Dredg. Dredg, Circa (Survive,) and Deftones I think would be an insane show!
G- Have you played with any of those bands yet?
E- I’ve played with Dredg. I would love to play with Circa (Survive.) That band is amazing! And I dig Deftones. They’re probably one of the bands that really got me into this.
E- And Rock music, in general. I was a late bloomer.
G- I saw them on Monday night in Rochester and they were great! You’ve heard the new album, right?
E- Yeah yeah.
G- It’s a wonderful album! Now, in your performance tenure, you’ve hade some interesting ones, but do you have a particularly crazy or most memorable show that you have played to date? Where was it and what was it like?
E- All the Band Camps are really cool, out in Madison (Wisconsin.) That town just loves them some Nonpoint, so I’d say any one of the Band Camps. The one that we played right before Korn, and it was awesome!
E- Yeah it was right before Korn, and that was probably the shining moment for me. I was like “Whoa… I just opened for Korn!”
G- So that was probably like an 8 o’clock set time, too?
E- Yeah yeah!
G- So you had everybody just ready for it!
E- Yeah it was great!
G- Nice! To finish up today, you’ve been doing this for a long time, road warriors you are, and the road is tough, the music industry is tough and getting tougher every day. But there are a lot of…. The music dream is still here…
E- Oh yeah.
G- And there are a lot of kids that look up to Nonpoint for inspiration and motivation. In all of your experience, what advice can you give some of the kids out here that wanna be doing what you’re doing as a profession musician, someone on the road, and want to sell releases and stay around for a while like you guys have?
E- Set your bar high with your music and your relationships. You know, you want professionals behind you because that’s the only way people will take you seriously. Management, agencies, labels, make sure they’re not feeding you bullshit, and you know, really set your bar high. You gotta realize that you’re competing with all your favorites, so find your favorite song of theirs and try to beat it!
G- Right on. Well look, you guys have a very, very long tour, so safe travels. I know the performances are going to be great, and thank you very much for taking the time to speak with Live High Five today. After 6 years, I need me some Nonpoint in my life!
E- (laughing) Alright we’ll tear it up!
G- I appreciate it, man.