P.O.D.'s SONNY SANDOVAL: 'We're Always Having To Prove That We're One Of The Pioneers In This Game'

April 25, 2024

In a new interview with Laureline Tilkin of Tuonela Magazine, P.O.D. singer Sonny Sandoval was asked if he and his bandmates ever reflect nostalgically on their multi-platinum days of the late 1990s and early 2000s. He responded (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET): "We'll never take that for granted. We've come a long way from the beginning and everything we've done, and we've had to work for it ever since the beginning. Even now, 32 years later, I still feel like we're always proving ourselves or we have to — it's kind of like I have this invisible chip on my shoulder. Even though people say, 'Well, no, that's P.O.D.,' it's, like, we still have to come in and prove every time. When we play live, every record, every song we put out, we're always having to prove that we're one of the pioneers in this game. But because of technology and because of how fast bands can write now, it's different. And some bands have longevity and they come from the same era that we did, but they don't even write new music anymore, and they can still tour the world and play sold-out arenas and not have new music. And for us, that's never been kind of the option. We've always enjoyed making music. I don't know. Like I said, we're always trying to prove ourselves, so we don't ever go into the studio trying to write the same record over and over again. It's always us right in this moment."

Asked why he feels that, after 30 years of doing this, he and his P.O.D. bandmates still have to prove themselves, Sonny said: "I don't know. I don't know what it is. We've always had different stereotypes about our band. And 32 years ago, it wasn't common to hear rap and punk rock or reggae with metal. It wasn't common. Nowadays, it's a little bit more… everybody flirts around with different ideas. But back then, being in the metal world, it was always kind of like a no-no. You don't mix all these different worlds and cultures together. And then the fact that we are from San Diego, we are from the neighborhood, we are a band that is eclectic and culturally mixed is a whole another thing. And then the fact that we have a faith background. If I was doing reggae music or hip-hop or rap, nobody would say, 'Hey, what's your faith?' But because we're in metal or rock and roll — sex, drugs and rock and roll — we come out and people are, like, 'Wait a minute. Does that really fit into our world?' And so we've always kind of had to battle that for 32 years. And the fact that P.O.D. has been able to do what we've done and sell as many records… It's not as cutthroat anymore. There's a lot of bands now that have the same faith that are coming out and they're actually being received and looked at as, 'Oh, that's a great band,' not, 'That's a great Christian band.' So we've had to break down those walls. And I wouldn't do it any other way. I think it's part of what we've done in our career."

P.O.D. will release its 11th album, "VERITAS" on May 3 via Mascot Records.

Last fall, the band debuted the video for "Drop", which features a vocal cameo from LAMB OF GOD singer Randy Blythe. It earned quick press accolades from Metal Injection, Consequence, Revolver, Idioteq, The Pit, Yahoo! and Knotfest. They followed with the video for single "Afraid To Die", featuring JINJER vocalist Tatiana Shmayluk.

"VERITAS" was written over the course of several years, with the band typically writing a tune or two at a time with the Los Angeles-based production duo called the Heavy (Jason Bell and Jordan Miller).

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