“They’re some of the most underrated musicians in our genre,” Sandoval says of his bandmates. “They’re all self-taught musicians. If you listen from demos 26 years ago to now, they just continue to get better and better. They continue to get more creative. My guys are players. They jam, they hear the music, they feel the music. They’re musicians first.”
Check out my extended interview with the P.O.D. right here, and don’t forget to grab a copy of Circles on November 16th.
How old were you when you got your first tattoo?
I believe it was either 18 or 19. My family always said you need to be of age and you can’t be living at home. I moved out and got a tattoo.
Which piece of ink is most meaningful to you and why?
Over my chest/heart, I have praying hands with my wife and kids names around it. I love that as I added each name in order as life continues. My wife was first and then my daughter, 2nd daughter and finally my son. Hopefully no surprises down the road.
Have you, while on tour, spontaneously gotten a tattoo?
Luckily for us, our boy traveled for years on the road with us tattooing wherever he went. He learned how to tattoo by trying it out on all the homies when we were young and eventually got good at it. Unfortunately, most of my tattoos are from him and my body was his personal learning canvas. I only wish I had room so he could actually do a decent tattoo on me. Hahaha…
Who has the most random tattoo and what is the reason behind it?
Who knows… we’re all covered and pretty random. Recently Marcos got the PRS (Paul Reed Smith) guitars birds going down his shin. Actually came out dope. He still has some room on his legs.
What was your longest tattoo session? What is it and how long was the session?
When my boy first started tattooing he made a tattoo machine from a motor of an old cassette deck, a BIC led pencil housing and a guitar string. Back then it would take hours to do the smallest piece. I believe he spent 12 hours one night on Marcos doing the worst tribal armband you’ve ever seen.
Which band member has the most ink?
I believe I do. Don’t have my neck and back of hands done but everywhere else is tatted.
Do any of you have matching/brotherly tatts?
Yes. Along with a bunch of the homies we all have a brother piece with 2 hands interlocking. I know Marcos, Wuv and I all have a trinity and a P.O.D. somewhere.
Moving on from tattoos, on a more personal note, with the spiritual inspiration from your mother, how did starting off as an emcee in SD, to becoming a Grammy-nominated – platinum-selling artist, help you grow spiritually as a person, as an artist, and as a father?
When I first started rapping with my friends we were just goofing around because we loved the culture. After my mother passed and I accepted Jesus as God and Savior and I was just trying to live my life differently than before. I had no intentions of being in a band until they guys asked me and I realized that I would be able to use this platform for the better. I never thought we’d leave San Diego of course but obviously, God had different plans in mind.
The Whosoevers – what an amazing outreach for our youth. What inspired you to collab with other artists to start this organization?
At first, I had no intentions other than being surrounded by people who understood. There were a handful of us who were in the music industry and extreme sports industry that were believers and wanted to break bread with other like-minded brothers and sisters. Myself, Brian “Head” Welch/Korn, Lacey Sturm/Flyleaf, and my boy Ryan Ries/Circa Skate had an opportunity to share our stories at a church full of young people and that really sparked the vision afterward. We put on some great outreach events, speaking engagements and are now currently speaking in public high schools.
How does it feel to be an artist that the Lord uses to inspire our youth to discover their purpose?
When I first started I was still a youth myself believing I was speaking to my friends. I believe it’s a calling and grateful to still have a voice to our kids. It’s an honor and a blessing that I don’t take lightly. Speaking truth and worth into the lives of our young people and helping them through this crazy world is something I will always do even beyond P.O.D.
How dope was it when you and Wuv used to jam sesh back in the day as Escotas? I know you guys have some memorable stories of those times…. please share one with us!
It was super dope! Escotas, WOW! lol.
Ummm, I’d have to say our 1st ever recording in Wuvs garage. 4 track recording. It was with Wuvs dads band guitarist at the time. His name was Don H. Lead guitarist of the band Crosstalk.
We were so young and excited. We actually thought it was sooooo cool. Hey, it’s where it all began. Wouldn’t change a thing for the world.
What is your most memorable solo on stage and how did you feel at that moment?
My most memorable solo on stage was when Mr. Carlos Santana invited me on stage to jam in front of a hometown crowd. (San Diego)
I was nervous but I took the bull by the horns. Not many people can say that Carlos invited them on stage to jam at one of his shows:) I’ll never forget it. His tech handed me one of his guitars. Mr. Santana said it’s in the key of ‘E’ and we were off. We traded solos back n forth a few minutes. Definitely one of the coolest moments in my life. He’s one of the main reasons I even play PRS guitars to this day. Rock n roll!
Okay…a basic but must-ask question… Top 3 guitarists, that have inspired you in your musical journey?
There is obviously more than 3. Since I had to choose, these would have to be my top 3:
1)- Carlos Santana
2)- The Edge
3)- Jimmy Page/ Jimi Hendrix
Were you born with drumsticks in your hands? From unique breakdowns and crispy, accented triplets, who
influenced you in your early musical journey?
I would have loved to been born with Drumsticks in my hand….but I did have a young father that gave the love and passion for drums at a very young age, around 5 years old. Also, some of my biggest drum influences came from bands my Dad listen to – John Bonham, Zeppelin, Phil Rudd, AC/DC, Steward Copland, The Police… bands like that…
Your versatility is amazing, from hard metal rhythms to groovy reggae drum patterns, how great is it that God
has blessed you to create music to gift this world with positive inspiration and good vibes?
I always feel blessed to be a part of a band and play music… especially when we add in all the types of music we love, like reggae music, hard rock all that…we all have been very blessed to play this music, especially for this long.
Touring with your son has to be a dream come true, especially for both of you! How is it having him on tour
with you and how has he grown as an artist himself?
Hahaha…. having My my Son Niah Drum tech for me was Very special… He’s been watching P.O.D since he was born, so to have him on the road sharing in the full experience was one of my happiest times on the road…