Nonpoint's Elias Soriano: "Spotify paid us $2.72 for two million plays!"

The boys are back for Soundwave 2015...

Good day, Elias, you’re currently on tour, right? Where are you right now and what have you been doing on your days off (if you have any)? "We’re off right now for about 8 days while we gear up for our December run here in the states. We’re bringing out our old friends in HedPe. So finally after only having 3 days off during our last 4 week run I have decided to spend my time at home shutting the fuck up. God knows my voice needs it."

How’s the tour going? How is latest album The Return working out in a live environment? "The tours have been great. We’re mainly headlining so it’s been our crowd. As for the new music, it’s been getting the best reaction during our set.  I think our fans are ready for new Nonpoint. They know the old stuff. They wanna hear the new songs that are slowly becoming the new Nonpoint anthems."

The Return is Nonpoint’s eighth album, how do you see the music/lyrics evolving from Separate Yourself (1998) to now? "Life is really what changes our direction or lyrical content. Talking about what is fueling or stifling my life is always what makes for the deepest and most detailed feeling and subject matter when I’m writing lyrics. I’ve learned being honest about what I’m talking about allows me to stand behind it shamelessly and gives me the balls to yell it from stage. Even if its an embarrassing moment I don’t care because I know what I’m saying is going to connect on some level with the listener." 

And the track Know Thyself; is this a comment on the industry? Do you get disillusioned the business aspect of it all? "The support this industry pretends to have on the bands they decide to champion at the time is so influenced and politically driven it has sucked the life and development of music and artists and forced it into the hands of researchers and accountants. Fans don’t realise that their laziness has given the keys to a gatekeeper that thinks they know what you need to be listening to. No one calls into stations until they hear their favoUrite band on that station. People are choosing a large pizza and Starbucks coffee instead of buying a concert ticket and a record from a band they listen to everyday on Spotify (which paid our band $2.72 for 2,000,000 spins of one of our songs last year). When we can’t make money on our music, how are we expected to make records in the future? Eventually it’ll be one single and a video of that song you like, by that band you can’t remember... no live shows. No rock clubs. No favourite bands and your favourite record of theirs. All because we let music get chosen for us instead of championing bands and demanding the industry and radio stations do the same. They don’t know as much as they think they know and we give them power for."

You worked with Johnny K on Nonpoint in 2012 and again with The Return; you must enjoy working with him? What does he bring to the process? "Perspective and a great mix. We understand each other and share similar views on what we want songs and tones to sound like. So it's easy, professional and to top it all it’s close to home. So it’s a good working relationship."

I see Nonpoint are down for the 2015 Shiprocked cruise; how bizarre is it playing on a cruise ship? "Bizarre? Try AMAZING! Tattoos, piercings, dreadlocks, frozen drinks with umbrellas, rock music, on a tropical island with nothing but metal fans?  Sounds like my dream job." 

Also you guys were here for Soundwave 2011; how was that for you? What recollections, impressions and/or memories do you have of it? Looking forward to returning to Australia? "It was amazing. Aussie fans do it right. They showed up early and rocked out till the wee hours. The people, the beaches, the food and beer are all amazing.  So we are excited to get back there especially with all the bands/friends we will be sharing the trip with."

You guys covered Phil CollinsIn The Air Tonight, on Recoil (2004), what prompted you to cover that track specifically? You also covered Billie Jean in 2011; what makes a good cover tune for Nonpoint? "We released that song on our Recoil record two years before the Miami Vice movie was even in the works.  We chose it because it wasn’t a rock song.  We like to make cover songs our own.  We leave some elements untouched but we feel like its an opportunity to give a fresh look to a great song.  So a great song that we can make our own are the only real requirements for a cover for us."

The band has had some pretty major line-up changes; all stable now? "Yes it is (laughs)... Hey, life is forever changing and unpredictable. People change, attitudes sour, bones come flying out of the closet and you deal with them for the sake of the survival of the band.  Look at the football players here.. A running back loses his temper and knocks out his wife in a casino elevator because she said he had a little dick or something and they catch him on camera. Not the team’s fault. So he gets replaced. Life goes on... Robb (Rivera) and I decided years ago that we won’t let years of hard work fall apart because people don’t wanna get on the same page."

How are the newest members slotting in? What do they bring to the band? "Everything. Mainly commitment, a great work ethic and a better live show.. Our show is what we’re known for, so it was at the top of the list of requirements of any new members. Then to top it all, they all have talents that help us be a better business. One of my guys has a home studio and another is a web designer and graphic artist. So they bring a ton."

Was it a conscious decision to do ‘nu-metal’ – do you even considered yourselves ‘nu-metal’? "I don’t think it’s any band’s decision to ‘DO’ any specific genre. I’m sure every band will agree we all want to be our own thing. All the labels all come from outside sources."

And what about future plans? Keep touring on The Return?" Couldn’t have said it better myself... That’s about all there is to do when you drop a record."

Nonpoint will be hitting Soundave 2015 next year.