After 20-plus years, ten full-length releases, countless sold out shows, and over one million albums sold worldwide, Nonpoint endure through sustaining an unbreakable bond among themselves and to a diehard fan base all over the globe.
On 2018’s aptly titled tenth offering, X [Spinefarm Records], the quintet—Elias Soriano [vocals], Robb Rivera [drums], Rasheed Thomas [guitar], Adam Woloszyn [bass], and B.C. Kochmit [guitar]—not only maintain the momentum, but also amplify the intensity. I had the chance to sit down and talk to vocalist Elias Soriano about the new album “X”, touring, his thoughts on the music industry and a whole lot more. Their new album hits the shelves August 24th…Check it out! It absolutely rocks and is some of the best, if not the best, work from Nonpoint so far.
XS ROCK: Tell me about the latest band news? You’ve got a brand new album out now, right? Any new projects coming out, live shows or announcements?
Elias: So much going on. New record indeed. Ten, Roman numeral ten, X. Call it whatever you like, we’re leaving that to the imagination. The new songs we released already are getting lots of love. Chaos and Earthquakes is seeing success on streaming platforms and radio. New tour is underway with He Is Legend. All and all the train has left the station and is in full motion.
XS ROCK: So how long has the current band lineup been together?
Elias: It’s been a good while. This will be out 4th record cycle with Rasheed and Adam, 3rd with BC. Probably creeping on 5 years with this lineup.
XS ROCK: Going back to the beginning, what was your main motivation for originally starting Nonpoint?
Elias: To have fun with friends and try something new. Wasn’t in a band before Nonpoint but I liked the idea of making music and playing for people who were eager to listen. Especially when I was invited to join. Hell who DOESN’T want to be a rockstar when they’re young. Endless possibilities, open minds.. it’s a formula for good experiences.
XS ROCK: What image do you think your music conveys?
Elias: Hopefully it’s empowering. It’s normally the motivation behind my intentions. To simply motivate, empower and connect with the listener where they can create a lasting memory that carries and brings them joy or comfort through life. Music has that gift and ability to Take you back to a time and push you forward through others.
XS ROCK: How do you think the music industry today compares to when you first started out?
Elias: Outside of the obvious comparisons of music deliver and money generated, it’s definitely more of a DIY industry than it was early in my career. Studio and labels are closing left and right as technology ramps up and investing capital into new projects ramp down. There was already a trend of labels small and large leaning away from building artists to career status. In rock especially. Not very many bands are seeing themselves pass a second, sometimes even a first record with the revolving door that the people getting behind great acts are building at their entrances of their companies. Costs are up, commissions are up, promotion is expensive, touring is expensive, distribution is expensive, but incentives are low, pay is low, commitment is low and the music is suffering. We’re finding too many bands with one good song on their record as oppose to an industry of great bands with great albums. It’s because “now” is where all of the focus is as opposed to aiming for a lasting impression and building the industry on bands that are worth the effort and place in the industry.
XS ROCK: What are your current music career goals?
Elias: I want to continue into production, writing and even managing. I know I’ll always be a performer but as I find excitement in my conversations with other acts, labels and industry types, I realize that there is passion in that for me as well and I am a believer in you do what you love and you will achieve success. I love the details, the planning, the teamwork and team building. There are a ton of moving parts when building a team for releasing an act. I find that all those moving parts sometimes seem to miss important opportunities because they aren’t aware moments being created by other team members outside of their departments are even tools to help them and help entire project see success. I believe I will be part of that change as I continue my career in music.
XS ROCK: Which do you prefer? Writing new songs and recording or playing for a live audience?
Elias: I am going to be 1000% honest here even though I know it may not only surprise but disappoint some of my fans seeing how much I enjoy to perform onstage and feel that connection. That flood of emotion and energy. It’s beautiful. But I know in my heart I was made to write music. I walk around all day writing songs. Every conversation has a song. Everyday I wake up tapping, head bobbing, dancing through a room, turning up a song, singing to my wife or daughter.. and ever night when my head hits the pillow I am scratching a pattern on my pillowcase and tapping my foot to the point my wife has to tell me to stop. Then I continue writing the song in my head and eventually start up with the scratching and I am convinced my wife sometimes just let’s it slide because she understands. It’s me. I can’t help it. And to be completely honest I don’t want to. Writing music is imbedded in my DNA. It spirals and chains itself to everything I do and I am. That all starts with a song. And that starts with me. A responsibility that I welcome. Some nights I’m not gonna lie, it’s tough to get onstage and put on the uniform. In my worst of conditions I’m ready to write a song.
XS ROCK: What is the single most important thing to you as a musician?
Elias: Attention to everything in the song and how it all works together. Every note, every beat, cymbal, guitar tone, delay, reverb, compression. Not saying I always achieve it personally but it’s top of mind all the time. My mind works on music like an octopus. Central mind, many arms reaching out to unlock the magic or work out a problem.
Do you have any outrageous tour stories from the road?
Elias: Too many. Danger on snowy mountains in the dead of winter, drunken nights in Vegas, blurry days in Amsterdam, the best coffee in Australia, fans who drive 14 hours or fly halfway around the world to see one show, crowds I couldn’t see the back of and crowds so small we brought them onstage with us. Like I said, too many moments.
XS ROCK: What’s the strangest request that you’ve ever received from one of your fans?
Elias: I came off stage, and if you’ve seen our show you’re gonna know that I was drenched in sweat. Then from a very excited fan said, “Hold my baby.” Then handed me her 8 month old child who made the same face I did. It was a face that was a combination of discomfort and horror.
XS ROCK: Are your friends and family supportive of your choice to play in a rock band?
Elias: I’m lucky in that my family has always been supportive of my choice to take the stage and write music. My mother always said I would be a comedian or actor. She wasn’t too far off.
XS ROCK: What advice do you have for new bands trying to get started?
Elias: Set your bar high and stay positive. Your meant to be you, in your band. Don’t compare yourself to other bands or expect their success without being aware of who you are and what kind of success you’re working for. They got dealt their hand and played it the way they did. You play your hand best you can and play it with a realistic sense of where you are in your journey.
XS ROCK: What are your favorite tracks to play live?
Elias: I’m a fan of the songs that lift and drop the listener whether it’s musically or lyrically. Songs like “Last Dying Breath” off of THE POISON RED or “Milestone” off “TEN aka X”
XS ROCK: Which band or artist originally inspired you to perform? Why?
Elias: I think Billy Joel, MJ and Prince were the powerhouses in my youth so they were the bar I saw being set. Then it was Zeppelin and most of classic rock because it was some of the most complex music I was listening to.
XS ROCK: If you could design a dream tour for Nonpoint, who would be on the bill?
Elias: Deftones, Nonpoint and Glassjaw
XS ROCK: What do you consider your greatest accomplishment so far?
Elias: Coming this far
XS ROCK: If you weren’t performing in Nonpoint what kind of career do you think you would have?
Elias: Something that I enjoyed. I like managing lots of things at once. It’s when I am the most productive, when I have many things on my plate.
What do you think of the current music scene?
Elias: It’s not as strong as a community as I’d like to see it be. I remember everyone hung out, made it a point to introduce themselves on tours. It died off over the years. Attitudes began to harden and egos grew. Next thing you know I was following suit and hiding in the bus and dressing rooms myself. Would be nice to see everyone hanging again.
XS ROCK: For anyone that doesn’t know you, what would they be surprised to know about you?
Elias: That I’m decent swimmer. Was a lifeguard for a little while.
XS ROCK: Is there anything that you’d like to promote or say to your fans out there?
Elias: Seeing us live is where it’s at, so get your ass to a show.
XS ROCK: Thanks again Elias, for taking the time to talk with us at XS ROCK!