Nonpoint released their heaviest album so far
Hard-working American heavy metal band Nonpoint has released their eighth full length record ‘The Return’. I had a chat with founding member and singer Elias Soriano about the material on ‘The Return’, Nonpoint’s upcoming touring plans and his feeling about record releases just before the release of the album.
Marc: Your new album ‘The Return’ will be released at the end of September. What can you tell me about the new album?
Elias: We are excited. The record was produced and mixed by Johnny K (Disturbed, Megadeth) and Daniel Salcidoto who did the last record. It has thirteen songs of probably the strongest material we’ve ever written. We went in prepared, literally maybe made one or two changes to a couple of songs and cracked it in three and a half weeks. We pretty much knew exactly what we wanted to do when we went in. Then Johnny got behind the mixing board and put his magic onto it and turned it probably into our best sounding record to date.
Marc: Is the new album a natural continuation from your last record or did you implement bigger changes this time around?
Elias: This time around we focused on big melodies and we focused really deep into a couple of the songs to make them monster songs. This record is a new Nonpoint. If you are looking for ‘Statement’ or ‘To The Pain’, you know, we’ve gotten heavier than some of the songs on those records. In some case we’ve gotten more melodic than some of the stuff we did on ‘Statement’, but as an overall piece of music – when we sat down to do this record – we wanted a record that everybody could put in, press play and sit back and enjoy it. So we are hoping that’s what people get out of the record. It’s a complete record.
“We’ve gotten heavier.”
Marc: Do you have a favourite song on ‘The Return’?
Elias: Right now ‘Phrases’ is probably my favourite one. It’s fun to play, it’s got a monster riff in it. The lyrics and the vocal line are very aggressive. Our core following really loves this part of us. We make sure to showcase it in that song.
Marc: How does the song writing process work for you in 2014?
Elias: With all of us living in different places – we alive an hour, in some cases three away from each other – so we use the Internet to send music back and forth, riffs, vocal lines. The music writing and the file exchange doesn’t stop. We normally are constantly sending music back and forth. This time it was really no different. We’d come up with something that we thought it was the start of something good whether it would be just one vocal line with no mucus behind it a tempo. I let the guys do their thing. They let me do my thing. They send me a collection of four, five riffs that all go together and I frankenstein all those riffs and chop them all up into a million pieces moving them around and creating something that they gotta re-learn because I made so many changes to it. They give me that freedom and I give them the freedom to write whatever guitar riff they feel like they need to get out. Everyone does play their part in the band.
Marc: You said already you recorded the album in just three weeks. You obviously put a lot of effort in pre-production and rehearsals?
Elias: Absolutely. Mainly knowing that the songs are there already was the main goal in pre-production. As Johnny listened to the demo he was like ‘Hey, these are there. Maybe move this one little part over there but I really wouldn’t touch anything. You guys have a monster album. Let’s just make it sound better than the last one.’ And that’s what we did.
“Record releases are always scary. You gotta understand that my livelihood depends on that thing.”
Marc: What do you actually do on a day when an album gets released? Do you have a routine?
Elias: I hide. I’m scared. I hide. I don’t answer my phone (laughs). It’s a scary thing, you know. Record releases are always scary. You gotta understand that my livelihood depends on that thing. Whether or not someone thinks I’m cool or whether or not they think I’m dressed right or they think I’m cute or I have a nice stomach or this is an ok song – all this weighs whether or not I eat tomorrow. When it comes to releases, radio singles and record sales or all that other stuff, it can be a nerve-wrecking situation. So I learned over the years my career isn’t based on initial reaction because sixteen years later I’m still releasing records and I’m still touring the world. I have to base my success on my happiness. I’m happier on that day when I hear about it the next day (laughs).
Marc: Talking about the livelihood of being a musician I think probably the biggest part of it these days is touring. So can you run me through your touring plans?
Elias: We are currently on a tour that finishes in twelve days. We take a week off and then we get back on the road. Right now we are with Iced Earth. Then we pick up the next run with Gemini Syndrome and Islander which will go until December. Then I believe from there we are looking at heading overseas. We are trying to finalize things for the UK and Germany and wherever we can play while we are there. Then we are gonna come back home. Or maybe do some more shows overseas. A couple are in the works that I’m actually not allowed to say anything about but we are hopefully out and about overseas come early next year. Then we’ll head back to the States for a spring tour through to summer. Then we may go back overseas for some of the summer festivals. And then back the US to pick up another tour. Touring, touring, touring.
Marc: Three years ago you did the Soundwave Festivals in Australia. Is there still a chance that you might get on the bill for the upcoming Soundwave Festivals in February and March 2015?
Elias: My fingers are crossed. Our team is working on it. They are about to announce the second group of bands and I’m hoping we are gonna be in that announcement. We definitely enjoy our time over there. Hopefully we get that invitation.
Marc: Do you have a message for your Australian fans?
Elias: Stay connected with us. Get on our Facebook, get on our Instagram, get on Twitter. We try to stay connected with you. There is always new news. If you have any questions or if you wanna reach out don’t be nervous, don’t be scared, reach out. We wanna hear from you.