Metal is Alive and Well as Nonpoint Comes Full Circle

Nonpoint (Photo by artist)

Nonpoint are a nu-metal band from Ft. Lauderdale, FL. The band’s 10th album, appropriately titled X, was released this past summer. The metal scene has gone through peaks and valleys throughout the digital era and it seems to have an uptick heading into 2019. Bands old and new are putting out more content online and touring relentlessly, all for the love of rock.

Elias Soriano is the front man commanding the microphone and stage. He’s led his band across the country and worldwide screaming melodically, and building a fan base organically. The Weekly spoke to the singer recently as the band prepares for their Full Circle fall tour, a supporting role for San Diego’s own, P.O.D. We discussed the ever-changing shift in the music business, playing small town shows versus festivals, and what it takes to have a lasting career doing what you love.

OC Weekly (Michael Silver): What does this project mean to you and have you had time to reflect on your body of work over the years?

Elias Soriano: That’s what this record is all about. It’s all the things we’ve accomplished in one. We look back at our catalogue, wanting to make sure we represent the past nine records properly, and giving everyone a little something different that they only get from us, song to song.

You’ve been in the music biz for over 20 years. What has changed since your early years and what has stayed the same?

Think back to 50 or 60 years ago. The only way to get music then was through vinyl or hearing it on the radio. Slowly every decade has a complete flip, from delivery to style, what’s popular and what’s not. In our 20 years, you have to think about the internet, things are moving three times as fast. Now it’s every three or four years there are big changes in music and you have to adjust.

Apple made the MP3 popular and everyone thought that was the way of the world, and now it’s all about streaming and subscriptions. That means it doesn’t leave a lot of skin in the game for bands and find other ways to make revenue. Everything is constantly changing. The beginning of nu-metal was amazing and watching it turn from emo to screamo to hardcore to metal core, it keeps moving.

Is Spotify an ally? An enemy? Is it part of the business that you have to embrace? I feel like that’s the platform everyone is being forced to use.

Yeah that’s pretty much it, the new platform. The record industry always adjusts, look at music modernization. Things are going to change man, if you sit around bitching about it too long your best records are going to pass you by.

On the new fall tour your supporting P.O.D., do your bands know each other well and how excited are you to hit the road, playing the new record for fans?

We’ve been friends for a while and tried to do this tour together for years. I believe it’s the fourth year in the making. Sometimes things aren’t timed right and you can’t run your business based on the timeline of someone else’s. Now the timing is right. We’re available, they’re available, and we both have new records going. We’re excited and it’s going to be an awesome show.

Who are you listening to right now? Any new artists to look out for?

This band Tai Sui out of Australia is awesome, with a great front woman. Just different, she spits like anybody’s favorite hip-hop artist, sings big and huge, she’s got everything. The band itself is super socially conscious and has a deep message which is rare these days.

Do you prefer playing intimate club shows with the diehard fans or the massive festival type lineups?

I think a festival gives people an opportunity to let loose and for some reason it gives you a little bit more from a live setting. For the small crowd at the club it’s normally for those diehards that are there hear their favorite songs, so each experience has it’s own pluses. I love them both but there’s nothing like rocking a big crowd.

What can fans expect from this new tour? Any surprises in store?

If you’ve never seen a Nonpoint show in SoCal we’re one of the very few bands that surprise and shock people, that we will start a pit and it won’t finish until the end of the set. We work an LA crowd and won’t miss out on the fun when we’re on stage, it’s great.

Nonpoint play with Islander and P.O.D. at the Whiskey A Go Go Nov. 15 and The Observatory OC Nov. 20.

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