New look, same hustle: Nonpoint returns to ToledoWritten by Mike Bauman | | firstname.lastname@example.org
To fans who are skeptical about what hard rock mainstay Nonpoint will sound like on its latest album after label and lineup changes, they should check out the track “I Said It.”
Vocalist Elias Soriano unapologetically channels his feelings in the song, particularly in the lines “Knock you over with a statement that will shock/Your mother shoulda left you in the balls of your pops.”
“Well, I kind of wrote that song so I didn’t have to get into specifics or [go into] detail,” Soriano said of those hard-hitting lines in “I Said It.” “That was something I had to just get off my chest. My close, personal friends and people that know me knows the company that I keep. I’m sure that they can derive their own answers to that, but I’d like to plead the Fifth on that one.”
Though not every song is as in-your-face as “I Said It,” getting feelings off his chest is just what Soriano does on Nonpoint’s forthcoming self-titled record. On Sept. 6, Toledo fans will get to see him do it live when Nonpoint performs at Headliners in a show that also features Surrender the Fall and Cold Conspiracy.
“This past year and a half of my life has been really stressful,” Soriano said. “There’s been a lot of things going on with the band and with the industry as a whole. I just felt like this time around, I really wanted to just speak about something that I was really, really dealing with.
Due Oct. 9, “Nonpoint” will be the band’s first album with Razor & Tie Entertainment and fits irst to feature new members Dave Lizzio (guitars), Rasheed Thomas (guitars, vocals, percussion) and Adam Woloszyn (bass), all of whom played together in the Chicago-based group Inn Cinema.
For Soriano, the lineup changes were not only necessary, but also gave him and fellow original Nonpoint member Robb Rivera an opportunity to get a fresh start after a rough patch for the band.
“Robb and I were having issues with our guitar player Zach [Broderick],” Soriano said. “The chemistry wasn’t falling into place where we wanted it to be. Being in a band is a marriage, so when we realized that we weren’t on the same page we decided to move on without him.
“In reaction, I guess, [former bassist Ken MacMillan] felt like Robb and I had a purpose and an idea of what we wanted to do with this band from the very beginning, and he bowed out.”
Through that struggle, however, Nonpoint headed in a positive new direction with Razor & Tie and the new band members.
“It all worked out for the better, so I really can’t complain about it too much,” Soriano said. “I did all my complaining in the writing, and I feel like I did that silently.”
For Nonpoint’s new material, Razor & Tie suggested producer Johnny K (Disturbed, Sevendust, Staind). After Soriano met with Johnny K and saw his enthusiasm, Nonpoint entered Groovemaster Studios in Chicago this past winter to record with him.
“He has a great perspective,” Soriano said of Johnny K. “He’s great at what he does. He’s really open-minded, but at the same time, too, he makes sure that everyone’s focus stays on the prize, which is writing a great song.”
Also featuring help from Brian Virtue and Rob Graves, “Nonpoint” is heavy but diverse.
“My livelihood is something that I literally pull out of the ether,” Soriano said in regard to the theme behind “International Crisis.” The song is about a time in Nonpoint when certain people thought they could press a button and end the band, he said. “I’m creating something out of nothing, and you can never keep that from anybody.”
With a fresh start at a new label, a fresh lineup and fresh material — not to mention being a father to his little girl Marley — Soriano is happy with where Nonpoint is after 15 years and is looking forward to getting the new stuff out to fans, including those in Toledo.
“Pretty much for the entire 15 years that we’ve been a band, Toledo has always been a stop for us,” Soriano said. “We’ve played a ton of venues there. It’s always nurtured us, so we’d like to keep coming back to places that nurture us.”