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


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.

Whosoevers Movement All About Honesty

Had the privilege back in March to talk with a guy I’ve respected for 20 years, P.O.D. frontman Sonny Sandoval, in Jackson, Miss. Such an open and inviting guy, honest and faith-driven. Finally getting around to posting more of our long conversation.

by brandon speck


The Whosoevers movement is growing. The Rep and Ryan Ries are about to embark on the “War For Your Soul Tour.” Papa Roach lead man Jacoby Shaddix was wearing a W shirt at a recent show. Brian Welch and Love & Death are tearing it up in Germany for troops on the Fourth of July.

One founding member, Sonny Sadoval said it all started as a brotherhood.

“For me, it really is just getting back to the basics of loving Jesus and being broken,” the P.O.D. frontman said before a March show in Jackson, Miss., “just being in the presence of the Father and letting Him do what He wants to do in me.”

Kids have turned to the Christian group as a source of hope, some a source of reassurance, others a source of accountability. 

Sandoval, Welch, former Flyleaf lead Lacey Sturm, Ronnie Faisst and Ryan Ries played the major roles in getting The Whosoevers going.

It’s more than going now. It’s rolling.

But exposure isn’t the point. It’s about reaching kids for Christ – young kids and old kids alike.

Kids are drawn to the experiences of the group.

“We see so much and since I’ve been in this game so long, it really comes down to how much you want Jesus,” Sandoval said.

A lot of the draw is arguably to the star-factor of the group, but that may be the trigger some need to pay attention to their message.

Sandoval says he grew tired of defending churches that let kids down or simply aren’t doing enough to reach the sometimes-difficult to reach.

“It comes down to you having a one-one-one love affair with Jesus Christ. It’s not asking them, ‘Let me see your resume before God will ever speak to you or listen to you.’ It really is, come as you are. I know that churches preached that forever but I don’t think the world feels that way,” Sandoval said. 

“As the Whosoevers, I think God’s been doing so much in our own lives personally that kids can see that and it is honest. When you have guys that have been there, not that I’ve overcome everything in my life, but it’s a journey that I’m going through with the Lord and hey man, I still mess up and I struggle with things all the time, but I’m constantly at the throne of grace with God and these kids can relate to that.”