P.O.D. (Payable On Death) Biography
They have released seven studio albums and have sold over 12 million records worldwide. Over the course of their career, the band have also received three Grammy Award nominations, contributed to numerous motion picture soundtracks and toured internationally. With their third studio album, The Fundamental Elements of Southtown, they achieved their initial mainstream success; the album was certified Platinum by the RIAA in 2000. Their following studio album, Satellite, continued the band's success with the singles, "Alive" and "Youth of the Nation", pushing it to go triple platinum.
Early years (1991–1993)
In 1991, friends Marcos Curiel and Wuv Bernardo engaged in jam sessions, with Marcos covering guitar and Wuv playing the drums with no vocalist. Calling themselves Eschatos, they started playing at keg parties doing Metallica and Slayer cover songs.
After his mother's fatal illness, Sonny Sandoval converted to Christianity and was asked by his cousin, Wuv Bernardo, to join the band as a way to keep his mind straight as mentioned on their DVD, Still Payin' Dues. They got a bass player, Gabe Portillo, and eventually changed their name to P.O.D.
Debut releases (1994–1998)
After recording a demo tape, Traa Daniels joined the band in 1994 when they needed a bassist for some shows to replace Gabe. P.O.D. signed with Rescue Records, a label created by Wuv's father, Noah Bernardo Sr., who was also the band's first manager. Between 1994 and 1997, they released three albums under the label, Snuff the Punk, Brown and Payable on Death Live. Longtime manager Tim Cook was first introduced to the band when he booked them to play his club The Where-House in Bartlesville, Oklahoma following strong local word of mouth support. He later described their performance by saying: "I stood at the back of the venue with tears in my eyes – it was the greatest thing I had ever seen." By that point, Bernardo Sr. was looking for someone else to take P.O.D.'s career further and so Cook took over as manager.
Shortly after the release of Payable on Death Live, Essential Records offered P.O.D. a $100,000 recording contract, but Sonny Sandoval spoke for them all when he politely but firmly told band manager Tim Cook to decline the offer because, “God has a bigger plan for P.O.D.” When, in 1998, Atlantic Records A&R John Rubeli first came across P.O.D.'s demo "he didn't quite get it", as he later told HitQuarters. It was only when he saw them play live at The Roxy on the Sunset Strip and witnessed not just an enthusiastic audience singing every word but the centre of a vibrant youth movement that he become convinced by the band. The band was quickly signed to a major-label deal. P.O.D. soon released The Warriors EP, a tribute EP to their loyal fans as a transitional album from Rescue Records to Atlantic Records.
Mainstream success (1999–2002)
P.O.D.'s third studio album, 1999's The Fundamental Elements of Southtown, spawned the hits "Southtown" and "Rock the Party (Off the Hook)", which was their first video to reach #1 on MTV's Total Request Live. The song "School of Hard Knocks" was featured on the soundtrack for Little Nicky while both "Southtown" and "Rock the Party" appeared in the movie. All three music videos endured heavy play on MTV2 and the songs were rock radio hits. The album went on to become RIAA certified platinum.
On September 11, 2001 P.O.D. released their fourth studio album, Satellite. The album's first single, "Alive", went on to become one of MTV's and MTV2's top played videos of the year. The video's popularity, as well as the song's positive message, helped the song become a huge modern rock radio hit and it was Grammy nominated for Best Hard Rock Performance in 2002.
The album's second single, "Youth of the Nation", was influenced in part by the school shootings at Santana High School, Columbine High School, and Granite Hills High School. It was Grammy nominated for Best Hard Rock Performance in 2003. The 2002 singles, "Boom" and "Satellite", also became quite popular. In addition, the concluding track of the album, "Portrait," was Grammy nominated for Best Metal Performance in 2003. Satellite went on to become RIAA-certified triple platinum. The author of Encyclopedia of Contemporary Christian Music has described P.O.D. as "One of the biggest success stories in recent Christian music."
New guitarist (2003–2006)
On February 19, 2003, guitarist Marcos Curiel left the band due to his side project, The Accident Experiment, and to "spiritual differences." However, Marcos argued that he was actually kicked out of the band. Curiel was replaced by Jason Truby, former member of Christian metal band Living Sacrifice, and assisted with the recording of "Sleeping Awake", from The Matrix Reloaded soundtrack. In an interview with Yahoo! Music, Sonny stated that Jason is the reason why the group is still together. On November 4, 2003, P.O.D. released their fifth studio album, Payable on Death, which saw the group shift from their well known rapcore sound to a darker, more melodic metal sound. The album was hit with controversy due to its "occult" cover, which led as many as 85% of Christian bookstores across the United States to ban the album. With the help of the album's hit single "Will You" and "Change the World", it went on to sell over 520,000 copies and was certified Gold. Sometime after the tsunami in Asia, many singers, musicians, and actors/actresses, including Sonny and Wuv, participated in the recording of, "Forever in Our Hearts", with all proceeds going to benefit the tsunami relief.
P.O.D.'s sixth studio album Testify was slated for a December 2005 release, but was pushed back to January 24, 2006. On November 15, 2005, P.O.D. released The Warriors EP, Volume 2, which featured demos from the upcoming album, to help build up the fans' anticipation for the pending January release. The album's first single, "Goodbye for Now" (with a vocal tag by a then-unknown Katy Perry) went on to become a #1 video on MTV's TRL, along with having a solid radio presence, it also became the band's unprecedented 4th number one video on Total Request Live. The second single off the album, "Lights Out" was a minor hit, but was featured as the "official theme song" to WWE's Survivor Series on November 27, 2005. In another contribution to WWE, they performed fellow San Diego native Rey Mysterio's theme song "Booyaka 619" at WrestleMania 22. To promote their latest album, P.O.D. went on a nationwide tour called the "Warriors Tour 2: Guilty by Association", which began in April, and included the bands Pillar, The Chariot and Maylene and the Sons of Disaster.
On August 11, 2006, P.O.D. announced in their online newsletter that they had left Atlantic Records. On September 16, 2006, P.O.D. announced that they have teamed up with Rhino Records to release a greatest hits record simply titled, Greatest Hits: The Atlantic Years, which was released on November 21, 2006. They shot a music video for their single "Going In Blind", one of the two new songs they included in the tenth album, and they had meetings with various record labels to begin working on new material for an album they hoped to release in mid 2007.
In a statement made by the band's manager on their MySpace page, it was officially announced, on December 30, 2006, that Jason Truby had left the band. They had said "God worked it out because Jason decided to leave the band the same day Marcos asked to rejoin." Marcos performed with the band for the first time since his departure on the 2006 New Year's Eve episode of Jimmy Kimmel Live!. Marcos was scheduled to appear at this show before returning, which is why he was able to do it literally the day after he was announced as being back in the band.
On February 2, 2007 the band made a new record deal with INO Records.
On June 1, 2007, at the Rockbox in San Diego, the band performed and revealed a new song entitled "Condescending", along with another new song performed on June 16, 2007, at the Journeys Backyard BBQ tour entitled "Addicted". They also revealed the title of their new album to be When Angels & Serpents Dance. On August 4, 2007, the band played at Angel Stadium of Anaheim's annual Harvest Crusade where they revealed a new song entitled "I'll Be Ready", originally thought to be entitled "When Babylon Come For I," for a crowd of 42,000.
The album cover was officially revealed on December 10, 2007. The title track was released for free download on their site in January 2008. The first single "Addicted" was released on February 19 and peaked at No. 30 on the Mainstream Rock chart. The album was released on April 8, 2008 entitled When Angels & Serpents Dance. On July 28, 2008, the group played a free public performance at the Orange County Choppers headquarters in Newburgh, NY, with OCC The Band opening. The band also played on August 16, 2008 at the Angel Stadium of Anaheim's annual Harvest Crusade. During September 2008 P.O.D played alongside Redline, Behind Crimson Eyes, Alter Bridge and Disturbed as part of the Music As A Weapon tour 2008 in Australia. In November 2008, P.O.D. started their first tour in South America with five shows in Brazil, one in Chile and one in Colombia. P.O.D. then went on hiatus after touring in South America. This was confirmed when they canceled the 2009 European tour with Filter in summer 2009.
Recent years (2010–present)
In March and April 2010, P.O.D. played an 11-date South America tour, visiting countries such as Argentina and Colombia.
In May 2011, P.O.D. headlined the first annual Spring Jam Fest. They appeared on the Rock of Allegiance tour during summer 2011. On July 25, 2011, P.O.D. released new song "On Fire" as a free download on their official website.
On October 6, 2011, P.O.D. announced a new multi-album artist deal with Razor & Tie. On April 5, 2012, P.O.D. posted an article on their website that allows fans to download and listen to the track "Eyez". P.O.D. also announced on their website that "Lost in Forever" will be the first single off of the new album, entitled Murdered Love, is set to be released on July 10, 2012. The album, produced by longterm collaborator Howard Benson and recorded between December 2010 and January 2012 was described by Curiel that set the band "back to our roots. A little bit of hip hop, a little bit of punk rock, or reggae".