Paid in Full
CoC interviews Payable on Death
by: Alex Cantwell
Payable on Death is a name that you will definitely hear more of in the very near future. Having just signed a contract with Atlantic Records and embarking on yet another DIY tour, they are ready to take their music to the next level... of fans, that is. Their humble beginnings are evidenced on their 1994 debut _Snuff the Punk_, put out on Rescue Records, which was started by some relatives of drummer Noah Bernardo Jr.. They blew everyone away on their second release _Brown_, which infused punk rock with a touch of hip hop and reggae into their hardcore sound. Don't let that scare you off, though, because they are HEAVY. Live, they throw down like no other band can, and have a knack for completely engaging their audience. To the uninitiated, seeing and hearing a bunch of lunatics screaming chants like "the plagues are coming, the plagues are coming, I feel the breath of the death beast!" and then head walking, jumping, and moshing themselves into frenzy might seem a bit strange, but that is just PoD live. 1997 saw the release of _PoD Live at Tomfest_, which displayed to those who would listen what this band was capable of in a live setting. For 1999, they broke tradition with putting out releases under Rescue Records and have done a one-off release with Tooth and Nail Records: _The Warriors EP_. With the backing of Atlantic Records, these guys have the platform to reach the masses. I recently sat down with vocalist Sonny Sandoval (the band is completed by Marcos Curiel on guitar and Traa Daniels on bass) before a recent show in Las Cruces, New Mexico (my sixth time seeing them!!!) to see what was up.

CoC: So when is the new record coming out?

Sonny Sandoval: August 24th.

CoC: And what's it called?

SS: _Fundamental Elements of South Town_.

CoC: Tell me everything about the Atlantic deal; what it involves and what it's going to mean for you guys.

SS: We've been around, you know, almost six years on our own... so we started shopping major labels, and through all of the different people that we have talked with, it seemed like Atlantic was the deal, so we went with them. They knew our whole history and story. We basically told them that, you know, we've been doing this by ourselves for six years and we'll continue to do it with or without a major label, but we know that Atlantic has the capabilities of going worldwide, and we told them that that is something that we want to do. So we discussed it with them, and they didn't ask us to change anything, they just said that "you guys have something about you... and you guys definitely, without a shadow of a doubt, believe in what you're talking about, and we don't want to take that from you." And so, we just got done recording. We've spent the last three months in Hollywood recording, and we're going to do this tour, and then hopefully after this is done, we're going to do some festivals, then they are going to put us on tour, and then our album will come out on August 24th. Right now they are trying to get us on the Family Values Tour in September.

CoC: And that's with Korn and Rob Zombie?

SS: Korn is not on it this year, I think Limp Bizkit is on it this year, and I think Soulfly, Kid Rock, and another rap group that I can't remember the name of. But last year it was Korn and all them.

CoC: So that's like a real deal? I mean you guys are going to get it for sure, or...

SS: It's the only major festival that's not booked up already, and since we're coming out in the ball game right now, that's the only one we have a chance for. But all the booking agents that do them, they want us for sure.

CoC: So how has Atlantic got your name out there without having an album released through them yet?

SS: They haven't done anything; we've done it all ourselves, basically. I mean, that's what they love so much about us, that we've already made a name for ourselves. It's the people that have been faithful, and came out when we come out to the little places, and have continued to play our stuff and show their friends, wear our t-shirts, and tell people about us, and it's through that that Atlantic is like "wow, these guys have been around, and these guys work". One thing that they told us about all the artists that they have is that they have to make a name for them. They have no base, they have no establishment, and that's one thing they loved about us, even the fact that we booked this tour with Blindside and Project 86. They couldn't believe that we had booked this tour, and that we did it on our own. They were just like, "woah", you know, and that was just showing them [that] "yeah, they don't need us". Basically, the way we look at Atlantic is that they are just a bank to us, you know what I mean? They have the means to be able to put out a quality album, and then do the marketing and promotion to get it out to kids that we would never, ever have the opportunity to reach, you know what I mean?

CoC: Tell me about "ghetto shows".

SS: What ghetto shows?

CoC: That you all used to do. Didn't you guys play house parties and abandoned houses, and stuff like that?

SS: Yeah, we still do if they want us. We're nobody, you know what I mean, we don't need to play a coliseum. We don't need to play a big venue, you know what I mean? If one of my friends says "hey, you want to play at my house?" or if somebody I know around town says "hey, I'm throwin' a big keg party", then we're going to be there to play where they all party. We'll always continue to do that, that's where our heart is, you know what I mean? I just think that everything is just moving up. It's going up levels, although we'll play any party that we possibly can.

CoC: So what's the new material like?

SS: There are some songs that are absolutely heavy, and there are some songs that are just catchy, they just groove. We got a reggae song... we've never really been labelled to a certain genre of music. It was never like "oh, those guys are hardcore, those guys are metal, or punk". It was like "those guys play what they like", and I think with this album we've pretty much done that. I mean, all the way from doing a cover of "Bullet the Blue Sky" by U2, we have an old song that basically sounds like an old Bad Brains song, an old punk-like song, and we got just those groovin' songs, and we got the heavy all-out songs. So it's a mixture, man. It's basically going to be up to the listener to decide what they think.

Contact: WWW:

(article submitted 15/6/1999)

RSS Feed RSS   Facebook Facebook   Twitter Twitter  ::  Mobile : Text  ::  HTML : CSS  ::  Sitemap

All contents copyright 1995-2023 their individual creators.  All rights reserved.  Do not reproduce without permission.

All opinions expressed in Chronicles of Chaos are opinions held at the time of writing by the individuals expressing them.
They do not necessarily reflect the opinions of anyone else, past or present.