P.O.D on the road … again: A video chat with Sonny Sandoval

@brandonspeck

NASHVILLE – It’s been more than a year since P.O.D. released Murdered Love. I caught up with Sonny Sandoval in Nashville to talk about the response to the record, along with a plethora of other things.

“It’s been great, man. It’s got legs on it. We’ve been touing from before the record and we’re still going,” Sandoval said. “The response has been awesome, can’t complain.”

POD had just gotten back from Europe to launch the “Murdered Love” Tour across the US. Nashville marked the 10th show – with Flyleaf, Stars in Stereo and Manafest. After closing the tour last week at home in San Diego, a short break is all they get before heading back out for a September trip out West, then back to Asia and Russia.

POD lit up the Nashville show, a headlining gig that showcased their eight-album catalog, opening with “Boom,” playing “Murdered Love,” and “Set It Off.” Sandoval closed with a fun reggae take on Sublime’s “What I Got.”

The nu metal group can tear up a rock show, but on the road, Sandoval said reggae is one thing spinning around him and 6-year-old son Justice. 

“I like stuff that’s more relaxing,” Sandoval said, then laughed. “I think when you’re on the road I listen to the least music because you’re around it so much. Then when I finally go home, throw on Pandora, cycle through old school R&B, all kinds of crazy stuff.

“Some of the new music’s just going over my head right now, the alternative stuff again, all the DJ type stuff, I don’t get it. I just like bands that get up and rock and have some soul and some groove.”

Latest single “Beautiful” isn’t the typical heavy POD their base fans are accustomed to, but the groove is certainly there, just like it was with “Youth of a Nation” from Satellite. Sandoval says the response has been good. First-timers are coming to show because of the single.

“I think they’re more surprised how heavy we are live,” Sandoval said. “We’ve got some heavy tracks. You really have to be a connoisseur of our records where you see we have a broad spectrum of influences and where we go. And “Beautiful” is just one of those mellow moments on the record. But you know, today’s rock ‘n roll, let’s introduce you guys, try to capture some ears.”

P.O.D. was joined on the tour by the new-look Flyleaf with new lead singer Kristen May taking over from Lacey Sturm. Sandoval recorded on new Flyleaf single “Something Better,” part of a five-song EP to familiarize fans with the new lineup.

“I think she’s killing it. It’s a new face,” Sandoval said. “Until they hear new music from them, everybody’s always going to put Lacey’s face on the band. She was huge part of that group.”

Sandoval has more than music on his mind. He’ll be part teacher as well. JD will start his first grade ciricullum on the road. 

“Its awesome, he keeps me grounded and rooted and reminds me that I’m a husband and a daddy first, before all this rock and roll facade, and he’s my little partner in crime. He’s soaking up so much stuff.”

One thing he’s soaking up is the Bible. Sandoval posts verses on the bus wall for both father and son to see and read. JD has the example to follow. Sandoval said his Bible reading habits don’t focus on one particular verse or one particular time of day.

“That’s the cool thing about God’s word. It’s not one particular scripture. You can read scripture one day and then all of a sudden when you’re actually going through it, you re-read it, you’re like ‘Oh my gosh, this is the most powerful thing I’ve ever read in my life.’ You’ve already read it before, but because it’s applying to you in the here and now, it means so much more. 

“I’m not a buffet kind of guy, you just pig out in one setting,” Sandoval said, then laughed. “I need it like all throughout the day.”

More on video … 

• Father-son Sonny and JD read through JD’s Jesus Calling for Kids and phone apps during their Bible times. 

• A marathon set one day? P.O.D has plenty of songs to pick from from its eight albums over the last two decades. How about one big giant rock show one day and play them cover to cover? 

• SD to Miami: Sonny and the boys well-remember going wherever they were asked to play a show. “It’s a hustle, but if you believe in it and love doing it, it’s not work,” Sandoval said.
bwspeck@gmail.com

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