Photo Credit: Francesca Ludikar
Last week, I had the opportunity to sit down and chat with Nonpoint frontman and vocalist Elias Soriano. We chat about the band’s most recent single “Remember Me“, a touching tribute to frontline workers around the nation, the band’s most recent campaign asking fans to vote for the song that Nonpoint should cover next, the possibility of future music, and more. Read the exclusive interview below!
ST: Hello everybody! This is Sydney Taylor and I am here with Elias Soriano, lead vocalist for the band Nonpoint. Thank you so much for taking the time to speak with me this afternoon, I really appreciate it.
ES: Hey! Thanks for having me, I’m really excited.
ST: First off, how have you been just during the craziness of the last couple of months? For so many industries, especially the music industry, it’s been a pretty tough year. I know for artists in pretty much every genre, but with Nonpoint as well, you guys rely on touring and the live scene and I know that’s definitely not just monetarily, but also staying sane and connecting with fans. How has it been adjusting to what this “new normal” has been like over the last couple of months?
ES: Surprisingly it’s been exciting, it’s been an exciting creative rollercoaster of emotions, stress, successes, and you know, really heartfelt moments with our fans. For the most part, I’ve gotta be honest, we’ve been okay. Do we wish we can be making more money right now? Absolutely. We’re all doing our best with our side hustle games to keep food on the table and doing what we can with our campaigns to keep connected with our fans, but, for the most part we’re doing pretty okay.
ST: I know you guys have just recently released the single “Remember Me”, so Nonpoint has been staying busy for sure. It was an amazing tribute that you guys did for frontline workers that have been working during this whole pandemic. Not only healthcare workers, but really anyone who’s been out there during this time working. Before we dig deeper into that track, I just wanted to let you know that it’s such a great song. I think that the lyrics are so touching, and the instrumentation on it is great. The video itself was also such a beautiful tribute to everyone that you guys got together for that. What was the process like for you guys writing that song? I know it’s not uncommon nowadays to work remotely, even before the pandemic. What does your process usually look like for writing songs in normal circumstances and how did that kind of differ from writing and recording this track?
ES: First, thank you for bringing attention to it. The whole purpose of this track was to bring attention to that and to kind of shake the selfishness that unfortunately some of our population has been holding so steadfast because of whatever political view they may have. There’s examples all over the world of countries, Japan is a great example, they have less than 1,000 deaths. Never had to shut down or are going through any of the unemployment turmoil that our country is going towards. The reason that we wanted to draw attention to it is because half the people who have been thrown to this frontline aren’t people that expected that their job would put them in this kind of harms way. People like police officers, doctors, and nurses, they are constantly around infectious diseases, danger, and those kind of scenarios. They threw themselves into those positions because they were built for it. A lot of people are not and they’re scared.
It’s a thankless, faceless job normally. You go, you get your groceries, you walk up to the counter, you pay for your stuff and then you leave. Say “thank you” maybe, and that’s it, you’re on your way. But as far as how deep that “thank you” goes, and how much they feel it on their side… putting on a mask, keeping your distance, loving thy neighbor right now is going to help those people that didn’t sign up for this and will help us get through this a little bit faster and a little bit easier. That goes for everybody. People packaging up your Xbox controller because you’re bored at home and you broke the one that you got. They’re risking getting sick in a pandemic just so you can suppress your boredom. That was the intention and the goal of this and knowing that we could draw from the well of our fans to push that message forward and to put faces to that message… we just got very, very lucky. So humbly, I just wanted to say thank you to those people, on top of the healthcare workers, service workers, everyone else trying to get us through this irregardless of some stubborn people that have put them in the position of being in this situation much longer than we all should have been.
ST: You mentioned grocery store workers and jobs like that which typically, when we’re just shopping that’s not something we normally think about. You think about the whole “toilet paper” situation that occurred and the insanity that ensued when March happened and things shut down. Not only are you going out and risking your health, but you’re also dealing with people who are rude, mean, scared, and fearful.
ES: Yeah, there’s people being shot and stabbed here in the state of Michigan at the front doors of stores because they’re refusing to wear a mask. People have really gone off the rails with their moral compasses and are traveling completely in the opposite direction. If you wanted to use our forefathers as an example [of] what the true American dream was aiming towards… towards equality for all man, towards having a place where you’re not only free but you’re also not a third world country worried about a radical idea going against something like straight science to throw you into a year to two year long pandemic scenario. When, again, other countries have turned this around in a couple of months and just deal with spikes here and there. Here we are setting records every single day while other countries are watching literally in horror at what they expected to be the world wide example of what to do.
ST: Yeah, I know people in multiple different countries who’s lives are pretty much back to normal at this point. They had a little bit of – yes of course, a pandemic, they went through it, did what they were supposed to do, and now they’re out on the other side. We’re still in the thick of it.
ES: It’s because people are selfish. Plain and simple. People are being selfish, and they’re throwing their political view in the face of science and standing steadfast on something that has completely slowed any process of us getting out of this.
ST: Well, I love what you guys did with that song. This kind of subject matter and these topics are something that’s ‘not’ not familiar to Nonpoint and the things that you guys write about and have expressed in your music from day one.
ES: It’s funny because when you bring up these things on our pages, people say: “Why are you guys bringing up political views?” and I’m like, have you been listening to our music for the last twenty years?
ST: People do that with Rage Against The Machine as well. I see Tom Morello always shares on his social media about people who reach out to him and go, “You know, you should just stick to music and not politics.”
ES: What ‘machine’ did you think I was raging against?
ST: Right! This is what it has always been about. I always love that you guys shed some light on these tough topics and especially with the new track “Remember Me.” Congratulations on that, I hope that it continues to get more recognition as we continue to go through this.
ES: Well, thank you for being a platform that asks the smart questions that get these kinds of conversations going. I appreciate that as well.
ST: Other than the new track, you guys are also working on something that is really interesting. You guys are doing a fan campaign where you’re asking fans from around the world to vote for what song you guys are going to be covering and releasing next. I know you guys are in the final round right now, right?
ES: Yes, today is actually the final round. It looks like Prince is gonna take it, which we’re all excited about. Once it started to get into the semi-finals, and we saw Prince and Metallica starting to overtake most of the voting, we could forecast what was coming. So, we started to toss around which one we would like to cover the most and Prince was the one. We’re excited to see that happen.
ST: Of course if you covered Metallica it would be a great rendition as well, but to go a little bit outside of the metal genre and to turn something that’s more ‘pop-esque’ into a metal cover, I think is way more interesting and is way more exciting for you guys I’m sure.
ES: I think our fans saw that too. Coming off the heels of songs like “In The Air Tonight”, I could see them doing that math in their head and finding us where we are right now. Prince being such an iconic artist, and that song [“When Doves Cry”] being honestly one of the ones I used to lip synch in the mirror when I was a kid, to see it come all the way full circle this far is… I’m excited to get started on the song honestly. I’m hoping some Metallica fan-club doesn’t come at the eleventh hour and go, “we’ve been holding on to our votes the whole time!” and take it over. We’re keeping our fingers crossed. I don’t wanna count my chickens before they hatch.
ST: I’ve been seeing so many comments on your social media on these posts regarding the voting that a lot of people would actually be rooting for you guys to do a record including a lot of these covers. Is that something that you guys have ever thought about?
ES: It really has. Our only issue with that is honestly, for us, we have so much music that we love to write. We don’t want to pigeonhole ourselves into being just a cover band or a band that does good covers. But, our fans have been asking for years what our next step after “In The Air Tonight” would be. I feel like with… and this is just me coming off the top of my head, I haven’t even discussed this with any of the guys… outside of us talking in the past about doing any cover EPs, honestly every band thinks about that. For us, I feel like with what’s going on with the pandemic, it may become more of a reality option of what we may want to do. Especially if coming off the heels of “When The Doves Cry” we have a lot of fun doing it. After we get through our next three campaigns which are already scheduled into the fourth quarter of our cycle here, it’s something that we could toss a coin around. We’re looking at new music too, so. We’ll see. Like I said, we’re really focused on “When Doves Cry” right now.
ST: You just mentioned, and I know in following you guys, that you’re always writing and always working creatively in some aspect. I’m sure, obviously being quarantined, has helped a little bit in giving you guys some more time. Talking about new music, is there anything in the future that might be coming up for you guys regarding a new album? What can we expect from you possibly later this year or even in early 2021?
ES: When it comes to new music, I probably wouldn’t expect anything from us until early 2021 just because we want to be able to tour and support it. Until we get some kind of national response where things are starting to do what other countries are starting to slowly do… socially distant shows, checking spikes afterwards, we don’t know what we’re going to be dealt month by month. If I had to guess for the sake of the question being asked and me answering it, I would say I would aim somewhere between early next year, January or February and no later than probably May is when you’re probably going to hear something new from us. And this is only because I know how much work we have slated until Christmas this year because we knew we were going to be in a pandemic, so we immediately got to work, got with our creative director Francesca, and figured out what we were going to do.
ST: We’re always excited to hear new music from you guys whenever it does come. Before I let you go, at the end of every single one of my interviews I ask five rapid fire questions I call the Metal From The Inside Five. You can answer them fast, if you want to think more about them you can too. Number one, if you weren’t working in the profession you’re currently in, so being the lead singer of Nonpoint, what would you be doing?
ES: I’d be an administrator of some kind of company. I’d definitely be some other kind of entrepreneur. I work well with others but I’m better at being my own boss.
ST: What is something that you wish everyone knew about you?
ES: That I work just as hard and vigorously as I do onstage, offstage.
ST: If you were stranded on a desert island and you only had three records that you could take with you to listen to, what would they be?
ES: Circa Survive ‘Blue Sky Noise’, Pink Floyd ‘Wish You Were Here’, and Anderson .Pakk ‘Malibu.’
ST: What is one piece of advice that you would give to your younger self?
ES: I would say, “Go after your personal dream even more.”
ST: If you could have one super-power, what would it be?
ES: Super knowledge.
ST: Alright, well thank you so much for taking the time out of your afternoon to speak with me. It was such a pleasure to chat everything Nonpoint with you and everything that’s been happening over the past couple of months.
ES: Thank you, thanks for having me.
Thank you so much for checking out this interview with Elias Soriano of the band Nonpoint!