"If you throw a rock into a pack of wolves, the one that screams the loudest is the one that got hit," says the quartet's guitarist, Marcos Siega, when asked about the abundance of nihilism and atheism in heavy music. "A lot of these bands like the Tools and the Perfect Circles and the Nine Inch Nails and the Marilyn Mansons say they don't believe in God, but they scream about it the whole dang time. They're contradicting themselves. They obviously have issues with God, and they don't want to accept that."
Siega may not be the one to speak of contradictions, though. A founding member of P.O.D., he claims that the band is Christian without being religious at all. Sound confusing? Certainly, but he wishes everyone would look beyond the band's beliefs anyhow. "If that's what it takes for someone to identify with us, then whatever. But we see ourselves as a rock band," he says. "You can label us what you'd like."
Labels aside, P.O.D. is a rock band in the best sense. Their new CD, Satellite, is an eclectic gathering of various rock styles that somehow end up meshing into a cohesive album. Straying a bit from the rap-metal sound that helped the group break through, Satellite incorporates elements of prog-rock, reggae and hardcore punk (check out "Without Jah, Nothin'," featuring guest vocalist H.R. from Bad Brains). Most importantly, the band has honed its abilities to craft remarkable melodies. The standout songs on the album, like the modern-rock radio staple "Alive" and the visceral closer "Portrait," are simple yet soaring.
Satellite has struck a chord with teenagers everywhere who are looking for something a little different to spice up their heavy metal diets. Yet with so many bands in the genre sounding similar, what exactly distinguishes the group from everyone else?
"Positivity," says Siega. "Heavy metal hasn't seen a positive influential band in a while. The bands we listen to -- Santana, U2, Bob Marley, Bad Brains -- always influenced us because they were so positive. [Positivity] sets us apart from all of the whine-rock that's out there."
P.O.D. is by no means a new group. Conceived over 10 years ago in the San Diego ghetto, the band has been rocking house parties since Linkin Park was in junior high. "We always say that we are a 10-year overnight success," Siega says. "A lot of people see us on MTV for the first time and say, 'Oh my gosh, it's a new band!'"
When P.O.D. played its first gig in the early '90s, fans grasped for comparisons. "We'd been doing this style for 10 years before it became trendy," says Siega. "When we were first getting started, [our sound] was getting compared to Suicidal Tendencies and Body Count. Then Rage came along, and people would say, 'You sound like Rage.' The same happened with Limp Bizkit. And now, kids are like, 'Dude, you sound like Linkin Park!'.
And while some of its peers may criticize P.O.D. for a rather un-metal outlook on life, the group couldn't care less.
"We're not a band that holds grudges," Siega says. "We just do what we do, and we believe that in the long run people are going to realize what's really going on."
When making gratuitous marijuana references and screaming, "Everybody, stick your middle fingers in the air!" is the easiest way to get a metal crowd going these days, it takes a different sort of band to feed off positive energy. That P.O.D. succeeds at it is all the more unusual. "We get on stage," says Siega, "and tell everyone, 'Hey man, why don't you love one another?'"
P.O.D. plays Sat., Nov. 17, at EarthLink Live, 1374 W. Peachtree St. Doors open at 7 p.m. $21. Fenix TX and Blindside open. 404-885-1365. www.earthlinklive.com.
You've got a few of my faves listed here, plus a bunch I've never heard…
This is such a cool idea and the performance is great (I've been twice) but…
Ugliest bunch of girls I've ever seen.
Shuddup ya dumb beatnik