Interview with Nonpoint vocalist Elias Soriano | By Nicholas Senior
On their ninth studio record, the long-running Florida hard rockers in Nonpoint sound as refreshed and passionate as ever. The Poison Red is the band’s first release with Spinefarm Records, and it showcases the band’s best collection of cathartic, melodic aggression yet.
To vocalist Elias Soriano, having the band handle everything from writing to production allowed them to stay focused. “We wanted to separate ourselves from everything that’s on the radio, because it seems to have leveled out,” he says. “It’s a bit boring, and hopefully for us, we’re going to get some songs out that will shake people up. I want people to get in the pit and feel connected to the music.”
Soriano’s focus was rather singular for the record. “Substance is now the only thing I really care the most about,” he explains. “Writing a rockin’ song is something that hopefully comes naturally to the guys. Having something that has a little more substance is the part that I won’t compromise. Take the pre-chorus in ‘No Running Allowed’ for example. I’m tired of watching the news and seeing murderers or famous people that leave their wife of 20 years because they get famous, jump on ‘Dancing with the Stars,’ and fall in love with a young woman. Then, the next week, they’re on a morning show with a smile on their face, apologizing. People aren’t being held accountable for being shitty fucking people. As long as they apologize, it’s cool. But, if a 21-year-old Latino or Black guy runs down the street and no one knows why he’s running, he’ll be tackled and put in cuffs. You can’t run in this society without being shot or arrested, but you can be a piece of shit with no consequence.”
Unfortunately, modern American society is ripe for impassioned music, and Soriano didn’t have any issue coming up with lyrics for The Poison Red. “This was definitely a well that was plentiful. There’s a lot going on the world right now to look at and shake your head,” he says. “I want to make sure people know I that I feel their plight. The depth in the music is so I can stand up onstage and sing something that I feel strongly about without being cheap. There’s a powder keg right now, and it’s very flammable right now, the country. I just wanted to get ahead of the wave and let people know it’s coming.”
Does Soriano feel any sense of optimism? “I think it’s confusion. Everywhere I go, people are confused,” he asserts. “Why is Donald Trump the frontrunner? Why is Kendall Jenner the number one most Instagrammed person, as opposed to NASA or National Geographic, something with substance? It’s confusing right now. I don’t understand why people are attaching themselves to such an intangible, pointless routine every single day, staring into their phones doing nothing but—well, nothing,” he laughs.
This plays into the theme of album opener, “Generation Idiot.” Soriano continues, “It’s across the board. I’m totally guilty. That’s why I’m so vocal about it now, because I had to change that habit. Everywhere you look, people are looking down at their phones as their lives are whizzing past them. It’s a technology that we have to use, but it’s sucking your life away if you let it.”
Nonpoint have a big summer planned. They will be touring the country first with Buckcherry and Failure Anthem, then taking In This Moment along in August. Rock music needs a jolt, but with their best record yet, tackling real, honest issues, it feels like Nonpoint may have revived it. The Poison Red feels vital, because it contains musical and lyrical substance in spades.