San Diego Rock-Punk-Reggae legends P.O.D. will release their 10th studio album Circles on Friday, November 16th. I was lucky enough to get an early listen and now the band is offering you an opportunity to do the same. Check out the full album stream and my “track-by-track” interview with lead singer, Sonny Sandoval.
Track 1: Rockin’ With The Best
Rockin’ for more than a quarter century, how does P.O.D. “keep rocking the party” show after show without missing a beat?
To me, that’s the easiest part. Live shows are what we’ve been doing since we were kids. It’s all the other industry business that I can’t stand. All of that is fake and phony whereas playing the songs that we created is the fun part. It’s the only time in this music business thing that makes sense is when it’s just us playing music for people who still care.
Track 2: Always Southern California
The bridge though! ”C-A-L… I am always going back…” When touring on the road…do you guys get homesick? What is one of your most memorable moments when you were on the road and all you wanted to do was go home to Cali?
Touring is a love, hate relationship. We’ve been touring for so long it’s just what we know. When you’re home for a while you get stoked about hitting the road and then when you’ve been on the road a few weeks all you think about is getting home. At least for me anyway. Raised in San Diego you get spoiled when it comes to the weather and the hometown vibes. My biggest thing aside from missing family is just the cold during winter season touring. I hate the cold plus the older I get the last thing I want to do is get sick and not be able to play. The worst thing I can think of is just being out of the country trying to get home when the tour is tough. At least when you’re in the states you feel like you can get home quickly if need be. Overseas is a whole different game. As rad as it is, you’re still out of your element and that could make homesickness even crazier. All in all, though I’m definitely not complaining.
Track 3: Circles
AMAZING track! These lyrics hit home for so many, what and how was this song inspired? “Poison kills the pain”….we know that going in circles is not the answer, what advice can you give to any of your fans that may be struggling with their own form of poison that is bringing their world down? How can they break that cycle?
You can look at this a couple of ways. Spinning in circles leads you nowhere but traveling or moving in a circle will always lead you back to what you know and what you trust. Life is a journey that will hopefully circle around to things that are most important in your life. The people and things that are important to us should be a form of strength that helps us get through the confusion and bad times. Everyone finds themselves, at one point in time in an unhealthy situation, whatever the case may be, and could always use help from within or from someone. Sometimes things or situations are out of our control but a lot of times we find ourselves stuck because of decisions we’ve made or continue to make. The cycle gets worse and we find ourselves spinning out of control. Staying grounded in my faith and family help me to make decisions every day to help me be the man I choose to be.
Track 4: Panic Attack
The title says it all. The ups and down moments of this track have such great flow. The ride it gives you is so inspirational…how was this song written and what inspired it?
That song started out with a crazy drum loop and the guys added guitar and bass giving it a real grimy sound. While listening back and in conversation about many things with the band the topic came up. Again we’re all dealing with something and not only do we find ourselves at times sad or depressed but also anxiety is common and that’s a whole different mood swing. People are dealing with this everywhere. It’s a scary feeling to not be in control of a situation which is normal but when you feel it within your own body it’s frightening and very overwhelming.
Track 5: On The Radio
THANK YOU!!! This track definitely keeps it REAL!!! That bass drop in the bridge is so dope! This has to be (or will be) one of your favorite songs to perform live. What advice can you give to someone so they stop falling for the world’s “fools gold”?
Thank you. I definitely can’t wait to play this one live. You have to know who you are and value yourself. We are worth more than this world has to offer. Today people have lost their sense of truth and have all become followers of nonsense. We lost our honor and dignity and settle for less than what we deserve. Know what is real and true not except it or follow it because it looks good. Be the truth.
Track 6: Fly Away
This is one of my favorite tracks on the album. The power of prayer is real and love is everything! How does it feel to connect with your fans with such a powerful, yet simple message?
You said it perfectly. I’ve been saying the same things from the first time I ever wrote lyrics for this band until now. I believe in both Love and prayer and will always promote the power and hope that Love carries. P.O.D. is unlike the majority of Rock bands. We’ve been screaming about Love and positive vibes since the beginning. The one thing we as a band have in common is the hope to inspire people with Love through music. Love is everything and along with prayer it still has the power to change the world.
Track 7: Listening For The Silence
“Nothing just might make sense”. We struggle to find answers but sometimes God gives us the answer with silence. How do you stay focused as artists and not let any negativity interfere with your journey?
There is so much evil and negativity in today’s society to make you want to run for the hills but it’s the power of God and love for one another that help us to stand up, defend and fight back. I for one appreciate my silent moments. I find peace and reflection in the times I actually have a moment to be still. In being still and silent I can reflect on God and all of His goodness and know exactly who He is. This world is loud enough so we should cherish these moments of silence and clarity every chance we get.
Track 8: Dreaming
POWERFUL! This track gave me so much inspiration. We cannot lose Faith and lose our way and letting go of bad habits can be hard to do. What advice can you give your fans to help open their eyes to a better world no matter what they may be going through?
I think recognizing that we can lose our way and we can get off track will hopefully push us in the right direction. Fear isn’t always a bad thing. There is such thing as a healthy fear or a reverent fear. It means we respect it. Recognizing that there is real evil in this world and understanding that it wants to take us out should scare us into protecting ourselves and fighting back for our lives and those we love. I believe there are real consequences for our actions not only physical but spiritually as well. We have a responsibility to do what is right and what is good. God help us to do what is right and good and to run from what isn’t.
Track 9: Domino
We need to take claim when things don’t go our way… what advice would you give other artists in their musical journey that can help them grow and inspire others?
Music is powerful and I believe we have a responsibility as artists to use it in a way that will empower and encourage everyone who listens. We’re losing that in today’s music as it has become more Hollywood than ever before. These artists don’t care about the individual anymore. They don’t create music that heals. They say whatever you want to hear, take your money and leave you lost. Lyrically I try to be as real and honest as I can in hopes that it will inspire people. Reality is often sad and depressing but we need to find the solution. Together we can find it and help unlock the good within each other.
Track 10: Soundboy Killa
Giving them what they need not what they ask for!! So dope!!! Sonny kills this track and Traa is just nasty on the breakdown…. How fun was this to record in the studio?
Soundboy Killa is just one of those songs that tells it like it is. It’s in your face and P.O.D. has been our whole career. You either love us or hate us. We’ve never backed down from anyone or anything and that’s not quite the characteristic the music business is looking for. I’ve counted the cost and will take whatever is thrown at me. All these “sell-outs” get it all and today the world spits on those of us who remain real and true. Hollywood wants their dancing puppets and they get just that. Unfortunately, they only support those who do what they’re told and try and silence the rest. At the end of it, all our voices and our legacies might just be all we were left with.
Track 11: Home
The name of the track says it all… Besides home, what are some of your favorite cities to perform in and why?
I feel very blessed and fortunate to have traveled the world doing music. There are so many things happening beyond our little bubbles. I’ve experienced so many beautiful people, cultures, food, different points of view and much more. Latin American countries have so much passion. Brazil has loyalty like no other. New Zealand has a sense of peace and kindness I love to witness. Europe has so much culture and history you can never get enough of. The list goes on. I’m grateful.
CLICK HERE to read my extended interview with Sonny, Marcos, and Wuv