P.O.D lead guitarist Marcos Curiel recalls the day the band was stuck in traffic on the way to their rehearsal room.
It was March 2001, and P.O.D were writing what would become Satellite, their Grammy nominated and highest selling album ever with seven million copies sold worldwide.
“There was law enforcement everywhere, and when we arrived at our rehearsal facility we found out that there had been a school shooting, only blocks away,” Marcos said.
The school involved was the Santana High School on the outskirts of San Diego, where two students were killed while another 13 students and teachers were injured.
“That shooting happened while we were writing Satellite, so of course the song Youth of the Nation was naturally born out of that tragedy.”
P.O.D proud of world-wide influence
Marcos told Brisbane’s 96five that the song has gone on to inspire young people the world over, even in places where English is not the first language such as Asia and South America. When quizzed on the response to February’s Parkland shooting in Florida, where 17 students and teachers were killed, and the March for Our Lives rally that followed, he says the kids have his full support.
“Some people have criticized them saying they’re too young to understand, but even if that’s true they will understand one day, and they’ll say I was so glad I was part of something. I think it [the March for Our Lives protest] is a beautiful thing because that’s what freedom of speech is.”
P.O.D (Payable on Death) formed in 1992 when high school friends Sonny Sandoval (vocals), Marcos Curiel (guitar) and Wuv Bernado (drums) began jamming and playing as many parties as they could. Bassist Traa Daniels joined in 1994, and after five years together on the independent scene the band signed to Atlantic Records.
We were influenced by acts like Carlos Santana, Bob Marley and U2…
“We were influenced by acts like Carlos Santana, Bob Marley and U2; we wanted to do something like them but in a heavier rock sense. I think we accomplished that and solidified ourselves as a band that’s trying to inspire and get people through whatever they’re going through,” Marcos said.
They released their major label debut The Fundamental Elements of Southtown in 1999, with Satellite following in 2001. The album was eventually certified triple platinum, ensuring they became one of the most successful Christian ‘crossover’ artists of all time.
P.O.D are currently in Australia as part of their 2018 Australian tour where they’ll be featuring all the hits from Satellite as well as tracks from the rest of their back catalogue.
P.O.D played at the Eatons Hill Hotel (Grand Ballroom) on Saturday April 21 and the Coolangatta Hotel on the Gold Coast the night after.