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Stage Buzz Q&A: Nonpoint at The Forge of Joliet

| November 28, 2018



Recent transplants from Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, alt-groove metal band Nonpoint now call Chicago their second home. Vocalist Elias Soriano, drummer Robb Rivera, guitarists Rasheed Thomas and B.C. Kochmit, and bassist Adam Woloszyn make a quick return to Chi-Town on their latest tour, playing The Forge in Joliet on Nov. 28. On the band’s 10th studio album – aptly titled X (think Roman numeral, not the letter) – Nonpoint hits the mark with ten condensed tracks at a perfect 37-minute runtime.

Miraculously, the band recorded the album in only 22 days with experienced knob-twirler Fred Archambault (Avenged Sevenfold, Atreyu). Elias Soriano gave IE the latest update on the band’s new album and current tour.

Mosh: You took a nearly year-long hiatus after touring for your previous album The Poison Red. Did the band need a bit of a break?
Elias Soriano: We needed some time to ourselves for a few months just to kind of decompress and step away from the project a little bit. Refresh and come back with a little bit more of a clean slate in your head, where you don’t have a lot of stresses or past situations jumbled in your mind. We gave ourselves a little bit of time, and when it was time to get back together, we all knew it, and we started [again].

Mosh:  You recorded X in only 22 days. How did it go so quickly and what did producer Fred Archambault get out of you in the studio?
E.S:  We were prepared. We did a lot of pre-production, and the tones and everything were pretty much set. We had the ability to use two studios. A lot of times there were two things going on at once. People laid down scratch guitars, doubles and solos in the other room while vocals, drums, and bass were sometimes going on in the main room. We were organized. [With it] being our tenth record, it gets a little bit easier every time because we’re used to the process. And having Fred at the helm, it went relatively quickly.

Mosh:  No song overstays its welcome, and the record has a massive replay factor. Did you consider that when you were compiling the tracks?
E.S.:  Yeah, we wanted to put together a “body” of work as we always like to do. There’s going to be standouts on every [album], but once we started nailing songs down and deciding what makes the record and what doesn’t, we wanted the bulk – if not all of the record – to be just like you said, to have a replay value that could stand the test of time. We chose wisely.

Mosh:  Opening track “Empty Batteries” is an explosive start to the album. Was it the clearcut opener for the record?
E.S.:  Yes, it was already set to be the opener during the writing process. Once all the tracks are done, you start putting them together, seeing which ones seem to flow the best from the others. Lots of times it’s what story is going from one to the next and keeping things that are relatively close together so that way you continue that sentiment from the song before it. It’s definitely a process, and we’re as methodical as we can be without overthinking it.

Mosh:  What was your lyrical inspiration for the album?
E.S.:  Outside of just the basic product of songwriting and writing lyrics being therapy, it’s just basically what’s in my heart and my head that I want to get out. If it’s not honest about how I feel about something, then it’s not going to fare well when I play on stage. If it tends to lean in that direction, it’s because those are the kind of feelings and subjects that drives my creativity, deeper, stronger, more recognizable subjects. Emotions are normally what translates to people, and that’s the whole goal – to translate to the listener.

Mosh:  How was shooting the video for “Chaos and Earthquakes”?
E.S.:  I gave (director Eric Richter) a general direction of what the lyrics were all about, gave him some image ideas and he really grabbed it and took it to the next level. We had a great place where we shot, and we had a good actress, a good crew and two cameras. It came together really nice. It was fun. We got to play with fire, red tape everywhere, we got to build an office and play FBI. It was pretty cool.

Mosh:  You and Robb are the only original Nonpoint members. After 20-plus years together, what do you attribute to the band’s longevity?
E.S.:  I think not putting an end-cap or putting a “well if this happens then it’s done” thing [on it]. We’re not about putting limitations or boundaries on our project because it’s fueled with creativity. If you start setting too many rules or start giving yourself too many ways out, you’re going to find a way out. We’re committed to the project and committed to our fan base and committed to the art of writing music.

Mosh:  You’ll be at The Forge on Nov. 28. What do you like most about playing in Chicago?
E.S.:  It’s where the majority of us live now. It’s turned into a second home base after leaving South Florida. Robb moved to the Midwest. I ended up moving to the Midwest, I’m back down in Florida now, but Rashid, Adam, and Robb are in the Midwest. We still travel a lot out of the Chicagoland area. People know that’s where we’re based now and they tend to come out and show their support. Chicago’s a great town. [It’s] very creative; the music scene’s great and the food’s amazing.

See Nonpoint with P.O.D. and Islander November 28 at The Forge in Joliet.

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