Boom! Sports anthem mainstays P.O.D. bust back into the biz
Published: Thursday, September 22, 2011
Updated: Friday, September 23, 2011 11:09
P.O.D. brought us countless arena rock classics at a time when teen angst anthems were fist-pumping on high. They transcended the Christian band label by just being their dreadlocked selves and although they never rose too far above the fray, ESPN doesn't care that a decade has passed since Satellite was released. After a brief hiatus following the release of When Angels & Serpents Dance in 2008, bassist Traa Daniels feels the band of humbled "scumbags" who walk the Earth "by the grace of God" are ready to get back into full swing.
College Times talked to Daniels about the band's legacy, what he did with his break and the band's reunion with the producer who believed in them when no one else did.
College Times: Do you remember what songs were played at sporting events before you guys released "Boom"?
Daniels: [Laughs] You know, that's a hard question. […] You know, I can't remember sporting events and hearing anything but "Boom" in so long.
The goal for the new record should be to help us [and ESPN] get over "Boom."
We're dying to. We have a new song out called "On Fire," which we're hoping will take over from where "Boom" left off. It's only for download only [at payableondeath.com].
On this tour, will you guys be playing anything new?
We have about five or six [new] songs that are actually done and, you know, our management has them and stuff, but the only new song we're playing is "On Fire." That's the only thing people have. […] That's the only thing we're playing that's new. The rest of it is older songs. This tour is great for us because it's a reintroduction to everybody and letting everyone know P.O.D. is still around.
Where have you guys been as a band the last few years? Have you been keeping in touch?
Yeah. One of the things that's always been really important for our band is inspiration and having something to be inspired to write about. I think sometimes bands just kind of get burned out and for us I think we did a lot of stuff. Of course, our families are No. 1 in our priority. We just needed some time to take off to recharge. I've been doing a lot of studio work and trying to keep my musicianship fresh. […] I've gone through a few different phases. I took a shot at maybe working with artists, doing artist development. I wrote a book about the music industry, which actually has been doing pretty decent, but what I think I kind of realized is it takes a certain kind of person to be successful in this business [and] a lot of sacrifice. I realized a lot of musicians and a lot of bands aren't willing to make that sacrifice. So I kind of moved away from that and have been doing production and being a musician playing music and being inspired by other musicians.
You managed a band called The Wrecking. What kind of insight did that give you into the industry?
The insight I got from working with the bands is like I said before, it takes a lot of sacrifice [to be successful]. I know for us, as a band, we paid a price to be here. Most of the bands that are at the level we have achieved have paid a price. From that, I realized that's not where I needed to be.
What kind of sacrifices did you make for the band?
We spend a lot of time away from home. We miss every birthday and anniversary and Christmas. It was being poor […] and just going for it. I remember, we got signed with Atlantic Records and we were probably about three or four months into it and my car and my drummer's car got repossessed on the exact same day. It was like, 'Bro, I can't make the practice.' 'Me neither.' I was like, 'What happened?' He was like, 'My car got repossessed.' We had this big, huge laugh about it because we had been together for six years and had seen P.O.D. grow and grow and grow and you can still do all that stuff and – it was just a lot of sacrifice. It's Top Ramen and sleeping in the van. You know, it's traveling 1,500 miles and playing in front of 15 people.
You guys took a break from working with Howard Benson [who had produced every major P.O.D. album, except the band's last two released], but you're back in the studio with him [for the first time since 2003]. How'd that happen?
When we first got signed to Atlantic Records, Howard was that one person who caught the vision of what P.O.D. was about. We did three records with him and after that we kind of ventured off. He realized we were getting back together as a band about a year ago and he was as excited as [us]. Howard approached us and was really excited and was like, 'Let's take it for one last spin. Let's knock it out of the park. Let's have that chemistry we had when we first got together.' Howard has always believed in us when no else did and saw the bigger picture.
Does it feel the same as the first time?
You know, it feels exciting as it was and as fresh as it was when you first started. P.O.D. has always been about staying true to who we are and not necessarily changing with the times.
Buckcherry w/Papa Roach, Puddle of Mudd, P.O.D., Red, Crossfade, Drive A, Mesa Amphitheatre, Sept. 23, 3 p.m., $35