For P.O.D. this week, Youth of the Nation (the tour) had to take a backseat to "Youth of the Nation" (the song).
The spiritual rap-rockers canceled a gig in Madison, Wisconsin, Wednesday and flew to Los Angeles to shoot a video for the tune, the second single from Satellite.
"Youth of the Nation," a powerful number written the day of the Santana High School shootings in the band's hometown of San Diego earlier this year, is scheduled to hit radio and video outlets next month, according to Atlantic Records. The track includes the verse, "Maybe this kid was reaching out for love/ Or maybe for a moment/ He forgot who he was/ Or maybe this kid just wanted to be hugged" (see "P.O.D. Launch Satellite, Address School Violence"). The song's chorus is chanted by a group of high school students.
"We were never trying to address an issue, it just kind of went that way," singer Sonny Sandoval said at Wednesday's shoot. "The first verse is more about school shootings, and the second verse is more about a young lady and a young man just in a life situation, and the ending verse is more like, 'Where do we go from here?' "
The video follows a young man as he travels across the country and befriends people in New York, through the Midwest and along the West Coast. "[It's] basically [about] kids coming together," guitarist Marcos Curiel said.
Footage of P.O.D. performing the song in front of a backdrop of giant yearbook photos will be interspersed into the clip. A close look reveals that some of the photos are distorted. It is a somewhat eerie sight, Sandoval explained, but the video could have been worse.
"We could have definitely gone with a dark, dark video with this song, but we wanted to keep it to a lighter side of things," Sandoval said.
"That's one reason why we wanted to use [director Paul Fedor]," Curiel added. "When we got the other treatments, a lot of different directors were just totally following every detail Sonny was saying. Where is the creativity in that? This is a little bit more abstract, but it still gets the message across."
"Youth of the Nation" is the follow-up to the current hit "Alive," an inspirational tune listeners have clung onto since the September 11 terrorist attacks. Like that song, "Youth of the Nation" has taken on a new meaning since the tragedies.
" 'Youth of the Nation' can be a lot broader now," Curiel said. "Like the chorus, just like being as a nation. I think that when Sonny talks about certain things, a lot of kids are relating with it in different ways and it's like a piece of art everyone gets a little something different out of it."
"We have always made encouraging music and positive music and because of the past current events, people are starting to notice it," Sandoval added. "As a band that wants to bless people with their music, that makes us feel good. It's cool that people are feeling it."
P.O.D. bassist Traa Daniels said the band has been getting e-mails from fans all over the country explaining how different songs from Satellite are affecting their lives. "Even people from New York City and Boston," he said. "We're like, 'What!' We didn't know how relevant our record was until this happened."
The band resumes their Youth of the Nation Tour with Fenix TX and Blindside Friday in Indianapolis. The band recently added several dates to the trek, including an additional week. The tour now ends December 1 in Portland, Oregon.
Youth of the Nation Tour dates, according to Atlantic:
- 10/26 - Indianapolis, IN @ Egyptian Room
- 10/27 - Cincinnati, OH @ Bogart's
- 10/28 - Detroit, MI @ State Theatre
- 10/29 - Grand Rapids, MI @ Orbit Room
- 10/30 - Cleveland, OH @ Agora Theatre
- 11/1 - Boston, MA @ Avalon
- 11/2 - New York, NY @ Roseland
- 11/3 - Washington, DC @ Nation
- 11/4 - Philadelphia, PA @ Electric Factory
- 11/6 - Birmingham, AL @ Five Points Music Hall
- 11/7 - Sauget, IL @ Pop's
- 11/8 - Tulsa, OK @ Brady Theatre
- 11/10 - Austin, TX @ La Zona Rosa
- 11/11 - Dallas, TX @ Bronco Bowl
- 11/12 - Houston, TX @ Aerial Theatre
- 11/14 - St. Petersburg, FL @ Jannus Landing
- 11/15 - Boynton Beach, FL @ Orbit
- 11/16 - Jacksonville, FL @ Edge 2000
- 11/17 - Atlanta, GA @ Earthlink Live
- 11/19 - Pittsburgh, PA @ Rock Jungle
- 11/20 - Toronto, ON @ Kool Haus
- 11/23 - Milwaukee, WI @ The Rave
- 11/24 - Omaha, NE @ Sokol Auditorium
- 11/25 - Chicago, IL @ Riviera Theatre
- 11/26 - St. Paul, MN @ Roy Wilkins Auditorium
- 11/30 - Seattle, WA @ Moore Theatre
- 12/1 - Portland, OR @ Roseland Theater