Q. I want to start off talking about your song Frontlines... as an Air
Force veteran I can't tell you how it feels when a band you respect
and are such a huge fan of already puts together a song like
Frontlines. Everything thing about that music video, from seeing my
brothers in uniform raise a slow salute, to seeing Elias pouring his
heart out amidst the graves of patriots, it gives me cold chills and
makes me proud to have served and also proud that we do have men
willing to continue stepping into that line of heritage. Thank you
for that. Who first brought up the idea to give back to the military
with a tribute song and how did you get partnered to help USO efforts?
A. When we first wrote frontlines, it was a far more broad topic as far
as the lyrics were concerned. Chad and Greg (Mudvayne/Hell Yeah), who
produced our Miracle album, sat with Elias and really had him fine
tune the military sentiment in the song. They really helped us sculpt
the song into something far more appreciative than we'd started with.
And the USO charity was landed by our management. We all felt that
since the song was dedicated to, as well as inspired by the soldiers,
we could take the extra step and make a bit more of a difference by
donating part of the proceeds from the song to benefit our soldiers.
Q. The latest album (Miracle) came out with great success and stories
from the road seem to be telling that despite an economy and industry
still struggling things look to be going great for you guys? It must
be a great revival of spirit to know that your music has withstood the
test of time seven albums into your career...
A. Our continued success is a true testament to our fans. They're the
whole reason we've been around for as long as we have. Without their
unrivaled support we would have fallen by the wayside long ago.
Q. Shauna "Whiskey Chick" Castorena from my friends over at Country
Music News Blog asks "they came out with a raw and unbridled sound in a time
when others were slowing down and adding the emo "safety net" to their
releases in order to capitalize on the teen market. Besides the generic ethics
answer, what REALLY kept them from cashing in and selling out? It's not like
we're living in the heyday of music industry economics. Was there a moment
when they stood at that fork in the road and KNEW they were making that
A. As artists, it's not like we're trying NOT to make money by what we
do. But we've never been very compromising in our approach. We've
always just written whatever we felt moved us. Trends come and go, and
if you follow them too closely, you'll be right behind them on the way
out. By blazing our own path we've created a longevity that most other
bands in our genre haven't had the opportunity to enjoy. We've been
doing this for so long that we could put out a Christmas album and our
fans would just take it as a natural part of the band's productivity.
We're truly lucky in that aspect. It gives us complete creative
freedom without having to worry about being accepted by a group of
fans we were trying to cater to. The dollar might be the end result
most artists are looking for, but the creative journey we take during
the creative process is where the true value lies.
Q. I saw Nonpoint this summer while on tour with long time touring mates
Sevendust... it was an amazing show! Though I must caution readers
not to drink to the intensity you guys play at, by the end of the show
I had taken over the mosh pit and had the mosh pit just as fast band
together against me. Luckily as I was crawling my way off the floor
Zach saw me and thanked me for the PBR I had bought him earlier in the
show. I had seen him standing next to me in the crowd and thought the
jager/jack combo was playing tricks with my eyes but he acknowledged
even though he was part of Nonpoint now he still loved to watch
Sevendust as a fan. The (Live and Kicking) album remains one of my
favorite cd's because it managed to capture one of the wildest nights
of my life and is scribed "thanks for the beer - zach".
How has it been working with Zach?
A. Zach is one of the most appreciative fans of music I've ever met. He
was destined to become a rock star, and is truly a fan at heart...
I couldn't think of a better fit for the writing style of this band.
He really helped bring out the best in our music during the writing
process of Miracle. We've always had somewhat of a trademark sound,
but Zach's addition helped tweak it in a very good way. And he's had a
blast being on board thus far.
Q. After touring/playing/befriending bands such as Sevendust, Cold,
Disturbed, Mudvayne to name a few... who of those did you have the
most fun touring with? Any crazy road stories that would explain why
that is? Is there anyone else that you have always lusted to play
A. It's far too difficult to choose one band that has shown us the best
level of touring entertainment. Each tour has it's own experiences
that can't be compared to the last. To try and choose our "favorite"
wouldn't do justice to the rest of our friends in the industry.
Suffice it to say, we have plenty of stories that we'd like to share,
but out of respect for those involved, I won't divulge any details.
Internet social networking has already destroyed the once sacred art
of secrecy. Someone has to lead us back to sanity by example!!!
Q. And as I wrap it up, what advice would you give to local bands
debating whether they should change their sound to tailor to radio
A. I can only suggest that you do what feels right. If making money is
the only reason you're playing music, then man up and admit it. Don't
act like a starving hipster in the press and be rolling in a BMW with
all your royalty money when no one is looking. But if you truly have a
love for what it is you play, then be true to it and it will never
lead you astray. The fans that support you will know you're the real
thing, and they will carry you to a greater height then you could
possibly imagine. You only get one shot at this life. Make it worth
the effort it took to get you here.