September 14, 2018 Interview – Elias Soriano of Nonpoint
In twenty years, a lot can happen. In a world that is constantly changing, social trends can shift, wars can be waged, and society could appear to be on the brink of disaster. Amidst it all, Nonpoint would be one of the few bands to emerge from the late ’90s that are still alive, kicking, and relevant to this day.
A success story that continues to be written with the recent release of their milestone, tenth studio album, X, this is not a band about to sail into the sunset. Instead, Nonpoint are firing on all cylinders, eager to get out and unify audiences with their new music as they embark on tour after tour. Taking few breaks in between it all, Lead Vocalist Elias Soriano sat down to chat about the lengthy history of Nonpoint, the objective behind X, keeping healthy on the road, plus more.
CrypticRock.com – Nonpoint has been going strong for over two decades. In that time, you have released ten studio albums, toured all over, and really solidified yourselves as a top Hard Rock/Alternative Metal act. First, tell us, what has the journey been like for you?
Elias Soriano – It’s been a long one. (Laughs) I’ve been doing this a while, we are on our tenth record, and it takes about two years to pump them out. Doing something for twenty years, it always feels fun to do. I still have the same vigor I had in the studio on record number one. I love to write music. Though it’s a long road, it’s definitely one I don’t see a cul-de-sac anytime soon.
CrypticRock.com – That is great to hear. Nonpoint came out in the late ’90s during the Nu Metal movement. A lot of the bands from that time are not around any longer, but Nonpoint continued to progress and have sustained themselves. What do you think has been the key to the longevity?
Elias Soriano – I hope it’s been our music. The fact that people want to still keep funding our records and having us put out records. As long as people want that, and fans keep coming to shows, we are going to keep on going.
CrypticRock.com – And Nonpoint keeps putting out very good records. Your latest, X, much like your previous albums, comes across heavy lyrically, as well as musically. What was the writing and recording process like this time around?
Elias Soriano – It was a great process. We challenged ourselves a lot harder on this record than we had in the past. This being our tenth record, we wanted to leave people with milestone memories during a milestone moment. Knowing it was our tenth record, we walked in there well aware that we would have to leave people with a serious impression.
CrypticRock.com – Most certainly, releasing ten albums is a great accomplishment within itself. Lyrically, you always have gone more than skin deep. This album is very topical, without getting political, it gives you an idea of what is going on in the world today. Was that the objective?
Elias Soriano – Basically. Not every one of our songs are politically driven, although we’ve had politically driven songs in the past. For us, it’s about connecting with our listener. It is about giving themselves what they are feeling. Also, giving them something to walk away from with an understanding that we know what they going through so they are getting some sort of therapy through the music I write.
CrypticRock.com – It is that connection that is vital to music. The single “Chaos and Earthquakes” is a extremely striking song. Was it a no-brainer that this was going to be the single?
Elias Soriano – Actually it wasn’t. Our radio team and label sat down and listened to the record from top to bottom. When you are just coming out of the studio, and you are trying to figure out what song you want to go with first, it’s not always a good idea being as deep as you are into a record deciding where you are going single-wise. You are very close and connected.
You have a team of people that know what’s going on in the pulse of radio playlists. Our radio team told us – we feel you guys can go heavy, and should go heavy, it is what you’re all about. They said we love this song and we want to go with it first. Did I want to go with it first? Absolutely! Did I expect them to pick it? Absolutely not. I’m glad maybe trends are changing and we are drawing a little more to songs that are a little more varied on the Rock charts.
CrypticRock.com – It is refreshing to see that. It is good to see songs with a message out there. That is what it’s all about.
Elias Soriano – Absolutely. I am about giving people a voice through our platform.
CrypticRock.com – Through the long journey of Nonpoint, yourself and Rob have been there since the start. What do you think has been the key to the chemistry you two share?
Elias Soriano – I think it’s us having a common goal. We know what we’re about. We know what kind of show we want to put on. We want players/members of this band, to not only be well aware of that, but to be able to execute. We choose our people with that in mind.
CrypticRock.com – Yes, and this lineup you have now has been pretty strong for a while. What is like working with this group of players over the past several years?
Elias Soriano – It’s great, we’re definitely all friends, and that’s a great beginning. We enjoy each other’s company. We don’t fall short in the chemistry of having a band that understands what each other’s doing on stage and what kind of impression we want to leave.
CrypticRock.com – Nonpoint has always put on a great live show. Being on the road can be exhausting, what is the key for you to bring it all every night the way you do?
Elias Soriano – Protect myself, make sure I stay healthy, and not sick. (Laughs) Eat right, and not party too hard – save it for days off. To let my voice rest, because it’s about the show when you’re out here.
CrypticRock.com – Speaking of which, you are out on the road right now. How is the tour going thus far?
Elias Soriano – It’s going great. We’re hitting a lot of cities we never played before and we are still trying to gain fans there. All the cities we have played from Ft. Lauderdale to Orlando were amazing shows. We are coming back through some cities we are familiar with too. It’s going to be a great tour.
CrypticRock.com – It should be a great tour for sure. You mentioned about staying healthy. As a vocalist, you are very diverse – you can sing, rap, scream, and all within mere seconds. Is that taxing on your voice?
Elias Soriano – Yea, of course it is. Again, I try to protect it as much as a I can and I do my best. Sometimes you have to let your emotions get ahead of your senseability in order to find a magical moment in a song. I am willing to sacrifice to show that conviction.
CrypticRock.com – That shows on the studio albums and in the live shows. Judging by the music Nonpoint has put out through the years, your seem like very diverse music lovers. Tell us, what are some of your influences?
Elias Soriano – I listen to a lot of Classic Rock and R&B. I definitely have some interesting records in my collection – Steely Dan, Billy Joel, James Taylor, Prince, Michael Jackson, Kansas, Journey. All the bands that were there when you are growing up in the adolescent years when you were dealing with all the hormones and emotions that you really attached yourself to. Those are the ones that started to pave the road early in my life.
I am thankfully because all those people are real musicians and craftsmen when it comes to their music. I proudly blast James Brown in the back lounge for hours sometimes – the same thing goes with anything else I mentioned.
CrypticRock.com – It is great to have a diverse taste in music. Have you noticed that some of the stuff you grew up loving, as you get older, sounds different? You find new brilliance in the music you may have not heard in prior listens.
Elias Soriano – Absolutely. The more you become aware of songwriting, instruments, layers, tracks, effects, compression, etc, you have a new respect.
CrypticRock.com – Agreed. Last question is about films. If you are a fan of Horror and Sci-Fi films, do you have any favorites?
Elias Soriano – Oh yea, I am a huge Sci-Fi buff. As of late, the campy Horror films are really cool. The stuff Robert Rodriguez does, hand-in-hand with Quentin Tarantino. I am a huge fan of Quentin Tarantino, I love monologues, even if they are set in the back-in-the-day writing style where it seems almost over the top and over-acted. All that stuff has its moment. I’m a huge fan.