P.O.D. w/ Love & Death Ft. Brian "Head" Welch & Icon for Hire
“Music comes down to passion,” says P.O.D. frontman Sonny Sandoval. “There are not a lot of bands out there
today who have that. But I think that feeling is coming back around again.”
P.O.D. (Payable on Death) certainly has the right to talk about passion in music. Passion has been front and center
since the band formed in 1992 in San Diego, CA, and all the way up to the release of their eighth and latest record,
Murdered Love. Over the last two decades, the group has sold over 10 million albums (including 2001’s triple
platinum record Satellite), garnered four No. 1 music videos, three Grammy nominations and over a dozen rock
radio hits, including “Southtown,” “Alive,” “Youth of the Nation” and “Goodbye For Now.” Music trends have come
and gone, but P.O.D.’s fanbase has seemingly only grown stronger.
Still, after the release of 2008’s When Angels & Serpents Dance, the band took a lengthy hiatus. “You can blame me,”
says Sandoval. “The record business was changing, and we all wanted to get back to our personal lives and families.
When we do P.O.D., we want to enjoy what we’re doing, and not to do it to pay the bills or tour just to tour.”
Fortunately, the time off served the band, and Sandoval, well. “Yeah, I got in a good place again. P.O.D. means so
much to us and our fans – there’s a lot of love for what we do. I wanted to keep inspiring and encouraging people.”
The band initially reconvened with a few jam sessions and the intent to put out a hardcore, Bad Brains-style EP
and tour a little bit. But the initial recordings were strong enough to convince the group to tackle a new album. “By
taking a break, we kind of got back on the same page,” says guitarist Marcos Curiel. “Now, everyone has the same
attitude going forward, the same feeling we had when we did those first two first two big albums The Fundamental
Elements of Southtown and Satellite.”
The most startling aspect of Murdered Love lies in its diversity and the band’s songwriting having penned every
track on the album. The opener “Eyez” might be the band’s heaviest song yet, with a cameo by Hatebreed’s Jamey
Jasta. It contrasts sharply with “West Coast Rock Steady,” a playful hip-hop ode to their San Diego roots featuring
Sen Dog of Cypress Hill. Meanwhile, “Panic & Run” is full-tilt punk, “Bad Boy” brings a funky swagger and first
single “Lost in Forever” ties it all together with an equal mix of aggressiveness and melody.
“The band is a fusion of all our musical passions,” says Curiel. “We can jump from punk to reggae to rap to metal.
And funk -- people forget we had a little funk on our first few indie releases. So on a few songs here, we took it
back. The whole process was really organic.”
Lyrically, the record finds P.O.D. at its most thoughtful and introspective as the band contemplates their lives and
the world around them. On “Lost in Forever” Sandoval shows a mixture of hope and unease to questioning the
cruelty of man, as the band also does in the brutal title track “Murdered Love.” “It’s about people who have died
when all they brought was love” explains Curiel. The sparse, catchy “Beautiful,” contemplates the afterlife while
the teeth-rattling album closer “I Am,” finds Sandoval opening with the vivid line: “I am the murderer, the pervert,
sick to the core” and never lets up. It’s the band at its darkest and most confrontational.
“I had been doing a lot of outreach to kids, talking at a lot of schools,” says the singer. “I see what they go through
– suicide, rape, addiction –and that song is just about being vulnerable and honest. They’re wondering if they’re
screw-ups, if they’re deserving of love and compassion. “
The band recorded Murdered Love with Grammy-nominated producer Howard Benson (Kelly Clarkson,
My Chemical Romance, Daughtry), a long-time friend of the group and the man behind three of its biggest
records. “He’s family,” says Sandoval, then laughs. “He has the power to choose who he wants to work with, and I
think he wanted to go back and make a real rock record.”
To promote the record, the band has already set up a late spring/early summer headlining tour, as well as hitting
a number of festivals and larger shows this year. “It seems like there’s Warriors in every city,” says Curiel, noting
the band’s affectionate nickname for their diehard fans. “They’re loyal. And it’s great, because we’ll see people who
loved us around the Satellite era bringing their kids.” Given the closeness between the band and their fanbase, it’s
no surprise that P.O.D.’s new logo was the result of an online contest with their fans.
In the end, Murdered Love showcases a band at its most energetic and vital, nearly two decades after its debut.
“This is the best record we’ve ever done,” says the singer. “And that can only come from what we’ve put into this.
We’re the same four down-to-earth guys we were when we were putting out indie records. There’s an honesty and
an underdog vibe to everything we do that you can definitely hear in our music.”
Brian Head Welch
Brian "Head" Welch was born June 19, 1970. He grew up in Bakersfield, California. At the tender age of 11, Head picked up a guitar and found his original calling. Barely out of high school, he helped found the nu-metal band Korn. The band quickly became a Grammy® award-winning, multi-Platinum selling band, and quickly rose to the top of the music world. While with KoRn, Head received six grammy nominations, winning two, while selling some 40 million records worldwide.
In early 2005, Head rocked the music world by announcing his resignation from Korn. At the time, Head was committed to moving away from the crazy KoRn life to continue to care for his daughter Jennea, as a single father. Additionally, Head committed his life to Christ with the goal of touching people's lives and giving back to those most desperately in need. Only months from his Korn exodus, Head traveled to India to open up his first Head Home, an orphanage that provided housing, food, and education to some 200 orphans in the most unreachable parts of India. Head also continued other philanthropic efforts in other areas in the United States.
Significantly, and perhaps most importantly, upon his resignation from KoRn, Head made clear to the music world that although he had resigned from KoRn, he had not retired from the music and entertainment industry. With his new found calling; Head is committed to changing the youth of this nation through his music and other entertainment ventures. In this regard, Head penned a biography of his life, picked up and released by HarperCollins Publishers in July 2007, entitled, Save Me From Myself. The book quickly hit the New York Times "Best Seller's" list (non-fiction). Harper was so impressed, it quickly exercised its option for yet a second book shortly after the release of Head's first book. The second book, Washed by Blood, was released June 24, 2008; and is a young adult version of the Best Selling autobiography released in 2007.
Additionally, during this time, Head began producing, composing and recording his Debut Album. Significantly, Head's entire freshman effort was written, composed and arranged by Head himself, while also playing lead guitar and singing vocals. Head employed a few renown musicians such as Josh Freese (drums—A Perfect Circle, Nine Inch Nails) and Tony Levin (bass—Peter Gabriel, David Bowie) to assist with his effort. Nearly completed in 2007, Head spent the first quarter of 2008 editing and mixing the Debut Album, and joined forces with two other industry proven executives to create Driven Music Group. Head's Debut Album, also entitled "Save Me From Myself," was released on September 9, 2008 through Ryko Distribution (Warner Music Group); Word Entertainment (Christian market), and Warner Music International (ADA Global—Canada). The Debut Album opened at #13 on Billboard's Hard Rock charts; and continues to impact the market. The album has been described as a "heavy metal epic, with a positive message." Reviews of the Album by industry experts have repeatedly described the Album as a "pick hit," with consistent 4+ Stars reviews.
Head embarked upon a 30 day, cd promotional tour on September 9th, to promote the Album. During that time, Head appeared at traditional retailers, as well as an entirely new market for Head—the Christian market. Head's salvation and spirituality has been vigorously embraced by even such conservative Christian organizations such as CBN (Pat Robertson—The 700 Club) which recognize that Head has the power to reach a market heretofore untapped by traditional Christian organizations. Some of Head's largest turnouts and most zealous supporters have come from the Christian market. Additionally, Head's re-entry into the music world has generated substantial interest from the television media as well, where Head recently taped appearances on "L.A. Ink" and "VH-1's Top 100 Rock Songs," both of which are to air in November, 2008.
Of immediate importance to Head and his label, Driven Music Group, is the process of putting together a team of session musicians to meet a few obligations on several late night television appearances which are in the negotiation stage. Driven Music Group's intent is to also work quickly to book several live appearances for Head before the end of the 2008 Calendar year. Immediately thereafter, Driven Music Group intends to announce a full U.S. tour to commence in early 2009.
Icon For Hire
Tooth & Nail Records proudly announces the signing of creative rock/pop talent, Icon For Hire. Female fronted and hailing from Decatur, IL, Icon For Hire is comprised of Ariel (vocals) Shawn Jump (guitar) and Adam Kronshagen (drums). Since 2007, the band has been establishing their strong following by touring extensively across the Mid-West. From the beginning, the band has written music with a positive view without downplaying the hardships in life, which is a vision the label understands and supports.
"We are thrilled to be joining such an established and well-respected group at Tooth & Nail," shares the band upon their signing. "It's a label that has a history of consistently putting out good music and really working side by side with their artists. Because we've been doing this thing on our own for over two years, it feels great to partner with Tooth & Nail. We can't wait to record our debut full-length and see where this road takes us."
Icon For Hire will be hitting the studios with famed producer Aaron Sprinkle (Anberlin, The Almost, Acceptance) this fall. Writing for the last several months, the band is anxious to get into the studio to formulate their sound of combining heavy, rock-oriented sounds and modern pop elements with a strong focus on the production.
"We feel like it's a common misconception among new bands that once a band gets signed, the hard work is over. We're approaching this completely different, we realize that now's when the real work begins and we're up for the challenge. We're three very driven people, and we're not gonna stop until we fulfill our goals."