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Nonpoint’s Elias Soriano Talks ShipRocked, Upcoming Album and Love for Sevendust + Korn

Liz Ramanand, Loudwire

Fans who were on this year’s ShipRocked cruise are still having dreams of the sunny weather and multiple stages of music. As fans met and chatted with numerous musicians who walked all over the ship, lots of people talked about how approachable and pleasant Nonpoint frontman Elias Soriano and the rest of band were to their fans. When Loudwire sat down with Soriano, we couldn’t help but agree.

While at the Bacardi Beach Bar in the Bahamas, Soriano chatted it up with fans before the interview and had a little speaker with him which played Bob Marley to set the tone. As we found some shade and a view looking at the Norwegian Pearl, Soriano talked about being part of this year’s ShipRocked experience, an unplanned appearance at Sevendust’s acoustic show on the ship as well as his bromance with the 7D members. He also spoke about how going to see Korn live for the first time changed his life, as well as working on a brand-new Nonpoint album. Check out our interview below with Elias Soriano of Nonpoint:

For Sevendust’s acoustic performance on the cruise, you got onstage and sang ‘Angel’s Son.’ Was that planned?

Not at all, I used to do that song with them – I want to say four years ago? I think it’s just the vibe of this cruise. Clint [Lowery] saw me down there and he nudged at me for the first song and I’m like, “No, no I’m not running up there right now. No way.” [Laughs]  Then they started playing ‘Angel’s Son’ and he looked at me again and I was like, “Alright, this one I’ll do.”

What would you say is your favorite part of this mad experience that is ShipRocked?

The fact that there’s so many similar people around. It’s the fact that there is a rock community all on vacation. That doesn’t happen. You only get this kind of gathering at big shows like Metallica or something like that. This is definitely something special. I think the people are what make it the best not even us just the people all around us. They’re all tattooed and all wearing black on the beach [Laughs]. It’s f—ing awesome.

We were talking earlier and you mentioned you were on ShipRocked before. Were you on one of the first years where the boat was shared between rock fans and non-rock fans?

Yes! There were definitely some head turners. You know what’s funny too, the people expecting a regular cruise come on the boat and they’re like, “What is all this noise everywhere?”

If you could front in any other band currently on the ShipRocked boat, who would it be and why?

[Laughs] Oh man. I would have to say Sevendust, just because I love those guys. If there’s anyone in this industry that’s like my family, when I see all of them I well up because I love them so much. They’re really family to me, it’s no joke. What you saw onstage last night during the acoustic performance was just us being happy to see each other because we love each other. It’s definitely a bromance there. But Papa Roach are an immediate second. Tobin [Esperance] and Jerry [Horton] — I just love watching them play. They’re just one of the bands that still throw down onstage. God, I love watching them play. They are an extremely close second.

We’re on a private island – if you ever got stuck on this island and could have the entire album collection of any one artist, who would need to have with you.

Full collection, that I can’t live without. I would think it would have to be Bob Marley. It would either be a toss up between Bob and – oh man, you’re killing me with this question. Okay it’s a three way tie, Bob Marley, Circa Survive and Deftones. Those three because well Bob was practically a prophet with his message, Circa and Deftones just because they always impress me by doing something different and better and growing. I like watching bands grow. Right now it would probably be Deftones because they have a bigger collection. Circa are one of my loves, I love that band to death but yeah it would be one of those three.

Personally for me, being from a Caribbean background, metal wasn’t deemed the “normal” music to gravitate towards.  From your perspective, as a person of color, did that have any impact on the music you listened to growing up?

You know what’s funny, it did. I didn’t get into hard rock or metal until very late in high school and college. For the most part though I went to a predominately black high school, maybe 95 percent was black. My love for hip-hop and R&B and classic Motown and Soul – I grew up on a lot of that.

My stepfather loved classic rock, that’s where I got my Boston and my Journey and my James Taylor and Pink Floyd. All that stuff got played every Sunday while my parents were cleaning the house and s—. Luckily I had the best of both worlds but me listening to metal music in my high school probably would have gotten my ass kicked.

When I got into college, it was a little bit more diverse. I became friends with people who were big fans of Korn and brought me to my first Korn show. I saw them back in 1995 or ’96. It was life changing, it really was. I looked up and was just like, “Wow.” It was new and because I loved music before I got into rock and metal, it was actually interesting in my mid ’20s to fall into a new genre that I love. Normally that’s s— you work out in your teens. I fell into rock and had at least 15 years to catch up on so I was a sponge when it came to Pantera and people that started paving the way for people like me.

It was hard getting my foot in but once I got my foot in because I was so different, it really helped. It was a blessing and a curse. I have program directors in the South saying they won’t play me because of who I am. At the same time, too, they go, “Man I wish I could because of what you guys do.” I don’t mind so much, the world’s changing.

Would you say the Korn show you mentioned earlier influenced you to want to front a rock band?

Oh, it was pivotal. That was the one. Limp Bizkit opened, Helmet was main support and then Korn. It was on the ‘Life Is Peachy’ tour. They had the chain link fence with the stuffed animals tied to it. It was about 3,000 people, it was insane.

What does 2014 have in store for you personally as well as Nonpoint as a whole?

 For me personally, it’s a healthy year for me. I’m going to get healthy again, healthier.

Getting healthy after ShipRocked right?

[Laughs] Oh yes, after ShipRocked. For Nonpoint, we go into the studio with Johnny K on May 1 to do another record like we did last time. We figured we had such an amazing time on the last record, we got such a great product out of it. You don’t fix what ain’t broke so we’re going back to Johnny. We release in the summer time.

We’re talking about going to Canada and doing a couple tours overseas and releasing a Spanish version of our record. A lot of big stuff for us, next year will be a busy and big year for us. We’ve been playing a song that we think will be our first single for a couple of people and it’s getting a pretty positive reaction.

How has the writing process for the new album been for you?

This time I guess it was a bit easier and relaxed than last time. We have the new members and thank God we got them because they really helped our band move in the direction that we wanted to be sonically. The last record really set the precedent for things to come. I think more so than anything the next year will be about the new record.

Our thanks to Elias Soriano for taking the time to speak with us during the ShipRocked cruise. For the latest on Nonpoint, visit their Facebook page.

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