Old-school Nonpoint fans who were disgruntled by the melodic vocals and musical hooks of the band's third record, Development, will be pleased to know the band plans to release a grinding, cathartic EP in early 2003 that will overlook tunefulness in favor of rage.
"A lot of our fans were expecting something a little bit more on the edgier, heavier side," vocalist Elias Soriano explained. "But unfortunately, this is our livelihood and we have to be smart about the way we write music. But we have a Pro Tools rig in the back of the bus, so we've been writing a couple songs and we're gonna put together a five-song EP to satisfy the small group of our fans that need the crazy, heavy music that radio won't play."
Soriano admits that the band's current style of songwriting was partially influenced by its desire to get played on the radio, but stressed that the songs on Development are more melodic mostly because the band has developed since writing the stomping aggro tunes of its 1999 self-released debut, Struggle, which will be re-released at the end of this year.
"I'm 27 years old, and when we wrote that first album I was 21 and I was just starting to listen to metal music," Soriano said. "My exposure was Korn and Rage — heavy, screaming kind of stuff. But I grew up singing choir and Broadway music onstage, so we wanted to take advantage of my voice this time, and that's why the more melodic stuff came out this time."
Another reason Nonpoint wanted to mix up the vocals on Development was because they're getting tired of the fist-in-face fury of most nü-metal bands. They still want to be loud and intense, but they're interested in finding ways to communicate energy without stressing anger.
"I'm a lot more blessed than a lot of people," Soriano remarked. "I have the opportunity to do what I love so I can't be that upset about things. So many bands have this let's-beat-each-other-up-in-the-pit kind of sound, but that's just not me. I try to keep our messages and shows positive. There's no parental advisory sticker on this album."
In addition to crafting a more musically diverse album, Nonpoint wanted to be more conceptual than they've been in the past. All the songs on Development are about the growth of the band from its infancy up to the present day, and the tracks are bridged with snippets from a nature program about the development of a frog.
"This whole album is about trying to get security in what we're doing," Soriano said. "It's about us trying to make it as a band, so we decided to use the frog metaphor to show how difficult [it] is surviving from tadpole to adult frog."
On September 10, Nonpoint released the DVD The Story So Far, which features their video for the Development track "Your Signs," along with "Endure," "What a Day" and "Mindtrip" from their 2000 disc, Statement. The DVD also includes behind-the-scenes clips and concert footage shot in Europe.
Nonpoint just got off the road with the Sprite Liquid Mix Tour, where they played the second stage alongside Blackalicious and Borialis. The main attractions for the event included Jay-Z, 311, Nappy Roots, N.E.R.D., Hoobastank and Talib Kweli (see "Jay-Z Intros Blueprint 2; Hoobastank, N.E.R.D. Challenge Security At Tour Launch" ).
"We usually play to fans who know who we are and are there to see either us or bands like us," Soriano said. "This tour gave us an opportunity to get in front of people who didn't come to see what we do, but by the end of the shows we had 2,000 or 3,000 people watching, which was really cool."