A band called P.O.D. (Payable On Death) emerged onto the rock scene in 1999. Their major label debut, “The Fundamental Elements of Southtown,” invaded radio and MTV with their hit single “Southtown.” The band immediately became a hit for their sound of combined hard rock, hip-hop, and reggae styles.
Their musical sound is not all that makes the quartet different from the rest. While many other bands are singing about social angst, anger towards their parents, and hatred for whatever they could hate, P.O.D. sings about the unity of people, love for their families, friends, and love for their Lord. With their spiritual influences, most people would simply classify P.O.D. as a Christian rock band, but they are much more than that. They are not just singing about God. P.O.D. sings about everything and he tries to teach us.
Despite the fact that P.O.D. didn’t hate the world, their fan base quickly grew and helped them move towards the top. MTV gave, and still gives, more support to P.O.D. than most rock bands; radio stations across America blasted their singles in the regular rotations. Everything was going well and stardom was coming rather easily. What most don’t know, however, is that getting their music known and their path to stardom wasn’t always this easy for the band.
The band formed in 1992, in San Ysido, California, which the guys refers to as “Southtown.” Friends Wuv, the drummer, and Marcos, the guitarist, started jamming while Wuv’s cousin, current vocalist Sonny, sat and watched them practice. Sonny loved the energy created by the two but was too shy to get involved. He was also trying to cope with the loss of his mother to cancer.
Soon Wuv and Marcos decided that they wanted to move on with what they were doing, so they asked Sonny, who was in a rap group at the time, if he would do vocals for them. Reluctantly the shy rapper took the position. Like young Jim Morrison, another young Californian, Sonny actually did their first gig with his back to the audience for the entire show. The crowd loved them still while their popularity rapidly rose in the local club circuit. A year later they grabbed their bassist Traa from Wuv’s uncle’s funk band to solidify the band.
P.O.D. recorded their first album, “Snuff the Punk,” on the band’s self-financed indie label Rescue Records in 1994. The interesting title of the album is explained in the title track: “When I say punk or chump I don’t mean you/Talkin’ about the Devil and his crew.”
Since the album’s sales did well for a local band, they released a sophomore effort, “Brown,” in 1996. Again, the title is explained in the title track: “Believe, Receive, Obtain, Withstand, Never die.” After “Brown,” they released a live album, “P.O.D. Live,” in 1997.
The “Warriors” EP was released in 1999 on Tooth and Nail Records as what was intended to be a demo for “The Elements of Southtown.” Since the recent success of “The Elements of Southtown,” the three earlier albums have been re-released with cover art changes.
Today P.O.D is back in the game with their newest release “Satellite,” which debuted on the Billboard 200 at #6. Their hit single “Alive” has been rocking the air waves everywhere and has been #1 on MTV’s TRL for two weeks, beating all those pop bands.
With powerful songs, like the God praising “Alive” and the song-for-the-children “Youth of the Nation,” this love-preaching and hard-rocking band is sure to stay at the top for a long time. For more information on P.O.D. and their upcoming tour with Fenix-TX and Blindside, check out www.payableondeath.com.