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An Interview with Elias Soriano of NONPOINT

by Alicia Downs - September 2001

    The cool life that I live: I had the extreme pleasure of checking out Nonpoint twice in one weekend. First at the Camden, New Jersey Ozzfest show and the next day at the KROCKATHON in Syracuse, New York. In between all that I got to sit and chill with the ever so cool front man, Elias Soriano, to talk about the band.

    But this would not be a complete submission by me if I did not mention how intense the live Nonpoint show was. Drummer Rob was totally the highlight for me - it is not very often that the drummer steals the show (as a matter of fact I don't think that ever happens) - but Rob played with utmost ferocity and I was just in awe. Oh yeah, and those other guys are pretty fucking good too and the album, well that kills as well. Hell, these guys are just an all around musical package.

Rough Edge: Let's talk about Ozzfest- how's it going?

Elias Soriano: It rocks. The last couple days have actually been pretty entertaining, a lot of the bands are all starting to really hang out and become good friends. 

RE: How would you describe your sound for those unfamiliar?

ES: I guess it is a mix between heavy and not so heavy (Interviewer's note: This sounded strange to me but allow me to add my own personal translation: It's like heavier than NSync but nowhere near Sepultura.) We try to leave at least a little bit of room for our band to grow, I'm in love with ballads - I'm a ballad person - my bass player is not in love with ballads and my guitar player isn't as well - neither is my drummer but they all have their own individual likes and dislikes and we kind of just make our sound. 

RE: The album is quite melodic - was that an intentional goal or natural evolution from where you were?

ES: We were intentionally going in that direction - I was just sick of screaming.

RE: Was it weird having your manager [Jason Bieler] produce the album?

ES: No, actually, because he was around from the beginning. He's recorded before and he made it really comfortable. I think we're recording our second album with him. We realized the mistakes that we made on the first album ...

RE: What mistakes? 

ES: Just like levels and stuff like that. There is a couple of things that we would like to be louder.

RE: So what are you going for on the next album? 

ES: A live-er sound.

RE: You were going to do a cover of "Evil Ways" ...

ES: We did. It's on a free sampler that comes with our album - it's from a Best Buy promotion.

RE: See, rumor had it that it got nixed...

ES: Well, supposedly, we were not allowed to use it because Santana does not approve anything - the people that own his publishing do not approve any of his songs to be covered. But somebody got permission and we were able to release it for free.

RE: So it is out there? 

ES: Yes. 

RE: And people can get it? 

ES: Yes. I hope that a movie or soundtrack wants it because it came out awesome.

RE: I read that you feel sick before you go onstage - why? You getting over that at all?

ES: No. It's just the way I get. I just get nervous.

RE: What about when you get up there? 

ES: As soon as I get up there everything is fine. Its just like before - if you come up to me ten minutes before a set I'll be like "get away." I am just nervous - just for a few seconds - I get to be somebody else when I go out there, I get to be a little fucking rock star and it's like I'm nervous.

RE: Is that your alter ego then maybe? 

ES: I guess. In a not so cheesy kind of way. 

RE: You are from Florida ...

ES: Ft. Lauderdale 

RE: How did that scene spring you guys 'cause it's total dance dominated there? 

ES: It's the heat - 'cause it makes you mad - you're like, if the temp goes up one more degree I'm writing "Victim."

RE: Where did the metal domination come from?

ES: It came from the same places it would if you were in New Mexico or El Paso. I got interested into metal later - the first metal band that I really liked was Korn so like I did not really listen to Slayer, Black Sabbath or Metallica - I did not listen to them. I came in real, real late.

RE: Korn and then techno before that?

ES: Yeah I listened to that.

RE: Still listen to it? 

ES: Not really- I can still dance to it but I don't dislike it. The last CD I got was DJ Hype and that was a long time ago. 

RE: Have you heard any reactions to "Tribute," maybe from fans. Metal is kind of not ... (Interviewer's note: Elias never let me finish this because he kind of knew where I was coming from but just to clarify, the question was something along the line of 'Metal is kind of not receptive to the idea of crossing into Busta or Method Man covers.')

ES: Yeah, that was just a track that we put on the album because it got such a great response - people were really saying that they liked the track - they really, really, really wanted us to put it on the album, but it's a two person song so its not something that we can really do live - we're going on tour with Darwin's Waiting Room so we might be doing it then because everybody wants to hear it. 

RE: That's because it's just such a fun song.

ES: Yeah that's exactly it - its a fun song.

RE: Yeah, for me, I listened to rap and hip-hop growing up ...

ES: So did I. Like "Ready to Die" (Interviewer's Note: I am hoping I did not have to include this but just in case, that is Notorious B.I.G.'s debut album and is one of my all time favorite albums)

RE: I was just listening to that in the car ...

ES: Really? I just listen to "Big Poppa" in my head over and over again. 

RE: Did you see the "Behind The Music?"

ES: Yeah. 

RE: It's like everybody remembers where they were when they heard Biggie died.

ES: I remember where I was, too. 

RE: Where? 

ES: Biggie Smalls died on my Birthday - March 9 - and I found out when I woke up. 

RE: It was like weird 'cause I was all shocked. 

ES: That's where I get my rhythm from, rap and R&B. 

RE: What do you think your audience takes away from your live show or maybe what are you trying to prove when you go out there is a better question ...

ES: That our band will jump around more than any other band. Our band doesn't suck. We go out to wreck and it happens every single time.  

RE: How's it going? You think they're feeling it? 

ES: Definitely. Cause we play after Hatebreed and that is a hard act to follow because their music is heavy and like fitting for this tour. We're a little less heavy but our groove, I think, gets people going. By the end of the set we walk off and they want more and that's what I like. 

RE: So where do you think that you all fit in musically? 

ES: We're just a rock band. 

RE: Just rock, not metal? 

ES: We're not Hatebreed. No, we're a metal band - we're not nu metal as in rap metal - nu metal as in Deftones or Incubus. 

RE: Like start a new category and call it melodic metal. 

ES: Yeah. Not so like not rap - I know I can rap. I've done it, I know I can do it and it's been done so like I don't want to do that anymore. I like the direction of our music and the guys in the band like it when I sing so that's what we're going to do. 

RE: Your content with that.

ES: Yeah I'm real happy about that. 

RE: Do you think you are at the place where you are just comfortable with your sound? 

ES: I tell you what I could walk into the studio with my guys and rap an album and no doubt it would be quadruple platinum because I can and I know I can but the thing is that it's not what I want to do and I'm doing what I want. 

RE: So you found your niche? 

ES: Absolutely, it's just that the band is happy where our sound is now and what we're writing and none of that is a throwback. 

RE: You have been doing some off-dates too - how are those going? 

ES: Awesome. Taproot is awesome. Drowning Pool just got on the bill and it's great. 

RE: So you are liking playing in the clubs? 

ES: Are you flirting with me? 

RE: What? 

ES: Are you flirting with me? 

RE: What? 

ES: 'Cause I was flirting with you? 

RE: I've just heard what a flirt you are ...

ES: From who? 

RE: Everybody. We all know 

ES: I'm all embarrassed now. 

RE: No, don't be, you're probably just sociable like me. 

ES: No, now I have like a reputation. I don't want one. 

RE: It's not bad. You're just outgoing and charismatic front man. You're cool. So what plans do you have when this all wraps up in like three weeks? 

ES: We do a headlining tour for about a month and then we go to Europe for a week. We hit UK and Paris, Germany and Amsterdam and then we come back to the US and start recording our new album. 

RE: So you have already got the material you're working out? 

ES: Yes. 

RE: That's cool.

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Copyright 2001 by R. Scott Bolton. All rights reserved.
Revised: 23 Aug 2016 22:57:10 -0400