P.O.D.'s SONNY SANDOVAL On Upcoming 'Veritas' Album: 'It's Rocking All The Way Through'
October 2, 2023
In a new interview with Radioactive MikeZ, host of the 96.7 KCAL-FM program "Wired In The Empire", P.O.D. singer Sonny Sandoval spoke about the band's upcoming studio album, "Veritas", which will arrive next spring via Mascot. Asked if the new P.O.D. material is heavier or more melodic than previous releases, Sonny said (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET): "I would say this album is definitely more rocking. It was a different writing process because of COVID and all that stuff. It wasn't like we could all sit in a room like we're used to. So a lot of it was just piecing things together. And so it was basically song by song. And then by the time we have an album's worth, it's kind of, like, that's just what it's supposed to be. And a lot of people are saying, 'Did you guys get to do your reggae kind of swing, any more punk-type stuff?' And, actually, I think it's just rocking all the way through."
Sonny went on to say that renowned session drummer Robin Diaz laid down the drum tracks for "Veritas", marking the first P.O.D. LP that doesn't feature the band's longtime drummer Noah "Wuv" Bernardo Jr. Regarding Robin's contribution to "Veritas", Sonny said: "He tours with all the bands, but he's pretty much one of the — I would say next to Josh Freese, he's probably the main man in Hollywood. And he's an old-school friend of ours, and, dude, he came in and just nailed it. So there's a different feel on that too, because it's the first time without my cousin Wuv. So it's a rocking feel."
Last month, P.O.D. released the official music video for the first single from "Veritas", a song called "Drop". The track features a guest appearance by LAMB OF GOD frontman Randy Blythe.
"'Drop' is another one-of-a-kind, unparalleled banger that sets this band apart from everyone else," Sandoval said in a press release. "When you hear it, you know it's P.O.D.!"
"Dude, it's the sickest thing ever," P.O.D.'s Marcos Curiel said of "Drop", which was inspired by the guitarist's longtime love of electronic music. "When that drop hits, everyone knows it," he added. "We needed to create a song in that way… P.O.D. style."
In a recent interview with Ethan Jackson of Topeka's rock radio station KDVV/V100 conducted at this year's Rocklahoma festival, Curiel said about the "Veritas" album title: "It's the old Latin dialect. You know, the old one that the priests are laying down when people are demonly possessed. It stands for truth. It's our truth because we wrote this record during the pandemic. Individually and collectively, it's our truth as a band, what we've been through, what we've all been through during that time, dude.
"I can't wait for you guys to hear it, man," the guitarist added. "It's pretty cool. We also got Tatiana [Shmailyuk] from JINJER on a track. And we have Cove Reber. He sang for SCARY KIDS [SCARING KIDS] and SAOSIN. And he also sings in a new band called DEAD AMERICAN. He's on a track."
Fan-filmed video of a recent performance of "Drop" can be seen below.
In August, Sandoval told "The Jesea Lee Show" about the progress of the songwriting and recording sessions for the three-time Grammy Award-nominated rock quartet's next studio album: "It's been a long progress, just because of COVID and everything. Once COVID hit, everybody thought, 'Well, we can make records and get everything out and get it ready to go.' But it was kind of a difficult thing for us because we're used to being together and writing together. So, it was a different process for us, but now it's mixed, mastered, ready to go, but we aren't releasing it till next year, because, you know, the way labels work. But it's cool, 'cause they're gonna waterfall like a bunch of different singles and stuff like that. So it should be cool. So hopefully by… The plan is by the time the record comes out, you would have already seen three videos or [heard] four or five songs."
Asked if the next P.O.D. album will see him and his bandmates returning to their "old-school" sound or if it will represent "a whole new era" for the group. Sonny said: "All we know how to do is be ourselves. But I think this album is definitely more rocking. The last album, 'Circles', was a little bit more on the alternative side and a little bit of all the elements of our styles and flavors. But this one, it's just kind of rock, you know what I mean? But I dig it. I think it's kind of the album that we needed. Not everybody gets all the different flavors and styles and the soulfulness of P.O.D. Sometimes I compare it to… I don't eat McDonald's, but they're the number one food chain for a reason. People, they know what they get, they know what to expect. I'm more of a foodie, so I like a great burger or maybe a steak. But people love their McDonald's, so sometimes you just kind of give 'em what they want."
P.O.D.'s last album, "Circles", was released in November 2018 via Mascot Label Group. The disc saw the band collaborating with the Los Angeles-based production duo called the Heavy (Jason Bell and Jordan Miller),who ensured the album is contemporary sounding without losing any of the band's core sonic signifiers.
P.O.D. dropped "Satellite: 20th Anniversary Edition" as a double-CD and digitally in September 2021 through Rhino. Released a few days before the album's official anniversary, the 27-song collection introduced a newly remastered version of the original album, plus a selection of rarities, remixes, and four previously unreleased demos, including "Alive (Semi-Acoustic Version)". A few weeks later, "Satellite: 20th Anniversary Edition" was released on vinyl as a double-LP as a part of Rhino's Rocktober campaign.
After debuting at No. 6 on the Billboard 200, "Satellite" went on to sell more than seven million copies worldwide, including three million in the U.S. The record generated four singles: the title track, "Alive", "Youth Of The Nation" and "Boom". In addition to its commercial success, "Satellite" earned P.O.D. three Grammy nominations for "Alive" ("Best Hard Rock Performance", 2002),"Portrait" ("Best Metal Performance", 2003) and "Youth Of The Nation" ("Best Hard Rock Performance", 2003).
"Satellite: 20th Anniversary Edition" has a bonus disc that includes B-sides like "Critic" and "Sabbath" that were initially released in Europe, plus remixes for "Boom" by THE CRYSTAL METHOD and "Youth Of The Nation" by Mike$Ki.
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