On “Yore Favorites” I look back on memories of my favorite music of yesteryear and see how I feel about it today.
P.O.D. is Sonny Sandoval on vocals, Wuv Bernardo on drums, Traa Daniels on bass, and Marcos Curiel on guitar. They released their first album in 1994 and have been going strong ever since. The lineup has stayed consistent aside from a three-year stint with former Living Sacrifice guitarist, Jason Truby, subbing in for Curiel. They have a Gold (Payable on Death), Platinum (The Fundamental Elements of Southtown), and Triple-Platinum album (Satellite) under their belts. “Youth of the Nation” was a number one single on the Alternative charts, and that song, along with “Alive” and “Goodbye For Now”, charted on the Billboard Hot 100.
I was the target demographic: A young, angsty, Christian kid. I had recently come out of a phase of really loving R&B and hip-hop, and I was just starting to discover Stone Temple Pilots and Metallica. Nu-metal was really the right thing at the right time for me. However, the vulgarity of Limp Bizkit and whining of Korn really didn’t appeal all that much to me. It was the second wave that hooked me: Linkin Park, Papa Roach, and P.O.D.
I don’t remember the first time I heard “Southtown”, the lead single from The Fundamental Elements of Southtown, but I’m pretty sure it was via some rock video show on MTV. Not long after that, “Rock the Party (Off the Hook)” was charting on TRL, and would eventually claim the top spot. It was around this time that I became pretty obsessed with this band. You should see my first copy of this CD, scuffed beyond use. It was always in the CD player.
The first time I saw P.O.D. in concert was at the local Christian rock festival, Ichthus. I waited patiently all day to be in the front row when P.O.D. took the stage that evening…and then I almost died from getting smashed hard into yellow rope for the first few songs. To the back of the crowd I’d go to finish watching the set. Being in the back set me up pretty well for a good spot in line at the autograph tent, where I scored signatures from my favorite band. An autographed Fundamental Elements cover would be framed and hung on my wall with pride.
Satellite would release on September 11, 2001. After being glued to the news most of that morning, I realized Best Buy was open and I needed to acquire my copy of Satellite ASAP. I know that sounds like my priorities were out of whack, well they were. I was an 18 year-old kid who was newly obsessed with rock music. I picked up the CD and then went to hang out with a paranoid, special forces-bound friend.
On the Satellite tour, I would travel out of state to catch the show, the first time I would do so without going to see a CCM band with my mom. Fitting, since this was also the first time I got a contact high from the girl smoking weed in front of me all night. I also became a fan of Blindside on that night, as they opened and impressed. I still love them to this day, assuring me that it wasn’t just the aroma messing with me. I went on to see P.O.D. several more times, but my memory of the details is non-existent, and I didn’t even accidentally get high at those shows.
By the time the next, self-titled release came out, Marcos Curiel had left the band and been replaced by Jason Truby. I was pretty shaken by Curiel leaving so unexpectedly, but I was pleased that he was replaced by a member of another band that I had recently become a fan of, the legendary Christian metal band, Living Sacrifice. There were some solid songs on the album, but my interest in the band was beginning to dull. This is about the point in time that I was branching out well-beyond mainstream rock and nu-metal. I had been completely sucked into the Christian underground behemoth known as Tooth & Nail Records.
I was discovering new bands like crazy, and while I still enjoyed P.O.D., by the time Testify came out in 2006, I only had mild excitement about it. Metalcore and post-hardcore were dominating my music-listening time at this point. The next album, When Angels and Serpents Dance, would be the last P.O.D. album to enter my collection.
P.O.D. still release new music, and I usually give their new albums a listen, but they never seem to do much for me. I guess that connection I had with this band was mostly a product of the times and circumstances, though I must admit I do think Satellite is a quality album. I still throw on my old favorites on occasion (especially the two songs linked below), and I do find them somewhat enjoyable. I concede that this band once rocked the party all night long in my world, but morning has long since come.