San Diego's P.O.D. was one of the biggest benefactors of the late-'90s "nu metal" trend. Part of the wave of bands who successfully crossed into the mainstream with their blend of hip-hop, heavy guitars and accessible songwriting, P.O.D. was originally formed from the ashes of ESCHATOS, a thrash band who played METALLICA and SLAYER covers. Once vocalist and rapper Sonny Sandoval joined the band in 1992, P.O.D.'s sound — and fortunes — started to change. However, they were first met with resistance from those within the San Diego rock scene who couldn't understand why they wanted to blend so many styles of music.
"You'll still get a lot of people that are very hesitant, 'What is this rap stuff?' guitarist Marcos Curiel told HardDrive Radio's Lou Brutus (see video below). "Where we grew up, we would go to a hardcore show, or we would go to a punk rock show; they weren't mixed. They were segregated. We would go to a garage show, a straightedge show, or a hip-hop show, and a scene started to grow in San Diego where hardcore bands were mixing with rap. We're like 'We're from the neighborhood.' We're, like, 'Dude, I like rap. I like RUN-DMC. I like BEASTIE BOYS. But I also love this punk rock stuff, this metal stuff.' We were like 'Why don't we do our version of it?'"
"I used to sing," he continued. "Originally, we were in a thrash metal band, me and Wuv [Bernardo, drums], we started P.O.D., we were in a band called ESCHATOS. I was playing an Ironbird B.C. Rich [guitar] and I was also singing, but screaming, kind of doing the SEPULTURA/SLAYER thing. And Wuv was on drums, and we had a friend on guitar. We later were going to these shows, 'Let's get a rapper or someone who could rap. We love rap and that street vibe. You move over to playing guitar and do background screaming and let's see what we get.' Lo and behold, Sonny was doing an underground rap project in San Diego called UNLICENSED PRODUCT. Wuv was, like, 'Why don't we try my cousin out? I was like 'He's super shy; he never says anything.' It's funny because when I watched that DOORS movie [1991's 'The Doors'] when Jim Morrison wouldn't turn around, that was kind of Sonny on our first show ever at a place called Soma in San Diego. He had his back turned and I want to say the lyrics in his hand, and Wuv was like 'Turn around, dude! Turn around!'"
P.O.D.'s tenth studio album, "Circles", was released in November via Mascot.