Nonpoint will launch its new nearly month-long tour Sept. 11 in Easton, PA, but it seems like an off-cycle tour so to speak. Typically, acts tour on the backs of new albums and/or EPs, but it’s been three years since the band released its then latest album, X Given, you guys have your new hit single, ‘Ruthless’ and its video. So talk to me about the decision to launch the tour.
Elias: Traditionally speaking that is definitely the case. But we are in untraditional times and if this EP’s cycle hasn’t taught everyone about our latest string of decisions it’s that we are rewriting the way we are doing things here on Team Nonpoint. As well as how we tour and even perform. We have an extensive catalog and over 160 published songs. So we got ways to change up our sets and plan to do just that. In this upcoming set list we’re playing songs that we haven’t played in 20 years in some cases. Our fans will get a taste of some of our catalogs that will make true fans of the band happy they came. As well as getting a taste of Ruthless and who knows what else from the EP. For now Ruthless is our focus and seems to be enough to keep fans excited about our next steps.
One thing that I’ve noticed about your past tours is that Hooligans in Jacksonville, NC is a favorite place for you to play live. What is it about that venue and/or the city that draws you so much there?
Elias: 90% of the time its the fans. The other 10% is usually how nice the venue employees are that is just the icing on the cake. We can’t always anticipate a perfect stage or the people who work locally. But when both the venue is respected and the people working there are friendly it makes for those comeback spots like Hooligans for sure.
Nonpoint isn’t going out alone for its upcoming tour. You are bringing along for the ride, Dropout Kings, which is well-known in its own right, Any Given Sin and Saul, both of which are up-and-coming acts. What is it about those bands that made you decide to bring them along?
Elias: As we always have a list of bands we wish we could have that always varies due to availability of bands and of course timing. But outside of availability, for the most part we try to bring out bands we feel like our fans will enjoy seeing and carry a similar energy onstage. Dropout Kings have that swag we like in a support act. Our styles are similar so that’s always nice. Saul has a powerful sound and coincidently were an up and comer who’s schedule lined up with our plans as well as a suggestion from our agent. When we heard their music we immediately gave the thumbs up. Any Given Sin have a great buzz in spaces we also see lots of success not to mention they are under the FM Management umbrella as is Nonpoint, so it was a good fit and invited them to join us as well. It’s gonna be a great lineup for our fans all night which is the most exciting thing for the band members.
Speaking of other bands, now that Nonpoint has launched its new independent label, 361 Degrees Records, have you started looking for bands to sign or will the label be more for the band’s own releases? If you are looking at other bands to sign, can you give any hints as to which ones are getting consideration?
Elias: No one just yet. Though we are seeing success through our strategies, model and process, all of these things happen the way they do because of the team we have, their commitment to the plan and process, ability to pivot and move quickly, to have patience and understanding of their audience base and most importantly have the work ethic to follow through. It’s a lot to ask of people just looking to just perform and sleep all day. Not to mention people looking to change the way they think about the music industry in a traditional sense. It’s a big ask so we’re going to be extremely selective on our additions to the label. But anything is possible right?
Staying a moment longer on the matter of your new label, you made the announcement some time ago. In that time, has the reality and enormity of that move had time to settle in? What is your reaction to your fans’ support for your new venture?
Elias: It’s definitely settled in and it’s as expected. Some triumphs and some goals we fell short on. What we have found is what’s sustainable and what we needed to adjust. But nothing that has us turning tail and running from the independent route. Quite the contrary, every triumph and every lesson learned is driving our next ideas into lower risk realities and ultimately wins for our camp. So we say, “Bring on the mistakes.”
Switching gears back to touring, fans have always come out in a big way to see Nonpoint when it comes to town. Looking at the 361 Degrees – All things Nonpoint group page on Facebook, fans’ reaction to this upcoming tour make it sound like this run will be no exception to the rule. What does that continued support mean to you as a band?
Elias: It’s everything to our band. At the end of the day our livelihood is a career where success and failures rest on the opinions of others vs just effort and ability. We are under a microscope and at the same time broadcast around the world. So when you have that kind of support that you can count on its irreplaceable.
On a related topic, live music finally returned this year following almost a year (if not a year) shut down due to the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. I’m not trying to jinx anything, but with all the reports coming out about the virus’ Delta variant spreading, are there any concerns about the possibility of live music getting shut down again?
Elias: Who wouldn’t be concerned? I have fellow musicians reaching out that I haven’t spoken too in quite some time reaching out, gauging our thoughts seeing that we’re about to head out. So I can’t say I’m feeling any better about it. But as always we have a plan to keep our fans going if for any reason we get grounded again. Eventually we hope NONPOINT AIRLINES will fly again.
Speaking specifically to Elias and Robb, you two are the only original members of the band to date. You’ve seen other musicians come and go from the band, the most recent change being that of Jason Zellstra replacing B.C. Kochmit, who himself replaced Dave Lizzo in 2014. Jason is now the band’s fifth lead guitarist. You’ve also had now two bassists. What I’m getting at is that lineup changes always have an impact on a band especially when performing live and living together on the road. Has it ever impacted you two, mentally or emotionally, having to break in so many new members? It can’ be easy going out on the road and recording with new members so seemingly constantly.
Elias: It’s never fun losing a member or feeling like you have to part ways from someone because of creative chemistry, personal issues, lifestyle or even in some cases substance abuse. Again, we roll with the punches, hope for the best, try to give people the benefit of the doubt and get ourselves back on our feet. But what’s the point holding grudges or bitching about it? We’re all human and shit happens. Get up and get back on the horse.
Getting off that topic, your fans are constantly polling each other on their dream set lists (and band lineups) for your tours. Going back again to the All Things Nonpoint group on FB, do those interactions play any role in your own decisions on your set lists or even the bands that you bring with you on tour?
Elias: Of course we do! Honestly, who wouldn’t want to know what their fans want to hear? It’s like a cheat sheet for a test you gotta take. Our goal is to get an A and impress the teacher. So let me get your answer to #12 homie.
I wanted to go back to the launch of your new label again for a bit. Nonpoint nation as a family is clearly excited about the band launching 361 Degrees Records. When you first hinted at the announcement, there was rampant speculation that the band was going to announce it was calling it a career. I’m sure you read the comments. So what was your reaction to your fans’ reactions to the then cryptic statement ahead of the big announcement? What does that reaction mean to you as a band?
Elias: Honestly you’re the first person to mention it to me so I truthfully don’t have an answer to that particular moment. If you want me to address it on our current timeline I guess I’d simply say, SIKE!
Staying on that topic, I and thousands of others watched the video that made the announcement of the label’s launch. Nonpoint obviously is not the only band to launch its own label. Dropkick Murphys has Born & Bred Records. Dry Kill Logic has Psychodrama Records. The list goes on from there. Just as with anyone reaching that point at which they decide to make a career change, I imagine there was a specific point at which you as a band made the decision to go independent. Maybe I missed it in the video, but what was it that led to the decision? What was that proverbial straw that broke the camel’s back? When did that moment, that realization happen?
Elias: We did address it in the documentary, so I’d say you definitely want to watch it for the details to that answer. But simply put, we saw an opportunity to do so during a very lucrative time in our careers. So we took it.
Expanding from there, ‘Ruthless,’ your new single and its video have gotten only positive reaction from audiences and radio stations alike. Audiences are already chomping at the bit for the band’s next single. Can you offer an update on a time frame for its release?
Elias: Our timeline is based on what our team and our audience can absorb in a given time. When we take our next step it will be as thought out as Ruthless. That took time and attention. Seeing there is still much to be accomplished with our Ruthless Pre-Order going out, the tour and our next release already on deck, there will be plenty to chew on in the very near future.
One last question and I will close this out. Since we’re talking music, we know the band is working on a new EP that is sue out sometime late this summer or during fall. Can you offer an update on its progress or release date? Is a new album coming, too?
Elias: Plans as we mentioned in the documentary series are to give fans a full presentation of the EP song by song and video by video, repeating for 2 more EP’s till we deliver a final body of work (full LP) containing all the EP’s and an entire new grouping of songs. It will be our most ambitious project ever and our fans will be along for the ride every step of the way.
Thank you again for all your time. Best of luck on your tour, guys. I for one as a loyal member of the Nonpoint Nation family am looking forward to what’s to come from you all.
The full schedule for Nonpoint’s upcoming tour is noted below. Tickets are available here. The announcement of the new tour comes more than two months after it premiered its latest single, ‘Ruthless.’ The band premiered the song’s video last month.
I’m About To Explode Tour Pt. 1 with special guests: Saul, Dropout Kings, & Any Given Sin
09.11.21 – One Centre Square – Easton, PA
09.12.21 – House of Independents – Asbury Park, NJ
09.14.21 – Wallys – Hampton Beach, NH
09.15.21 – Lost Horizon – Syracuse, NY
09.16.21 – Beachland Ballroom- Cleveland, OH
09.17.21 – Music Factory – Battle Creek, MI
09.19.21 – Emerson Theater – Indianapolis, IN
09.21.21 – Piere’s – Ft. Wayne, IN
09.22.21 – Rock City Bake Company – Charleston, WV
09.23.21 – Shagnastys Grubbery And Pour House – Huntsville, AL
09.24.21 – Amos – Charlotte, NC
09.28.21 – Capones – Johnson City, TN
09.29.21 – Hooligans – Jacksonville, NC
10.02.21 – Club LA – Destin, FL
Dates with Atreyu, Tetrarch & Another Day Dawns:
09.03.21 – Epic Event Center – Green Bay, WI
09.04.21 – Ovation – Newport, KY
09.05.21 – The Sylvee – Madison, WI
09.07.21 – Temple Live – Wichita, KS
09.08.21 – Temple Live – Fort Smith, AR
Dates with Seether & Plush:
09.30.21 – House of Blues – Mrytle Beach, SC
10.01.21 – Tabernacle – Atlanta, GA
10.10.21 – Marquee – Tempe, AZ
Nonpoint will be appearing at the following festivals:
09.10.21 – Blue Ridge Rock Fest – Danville, VA
09.18.21 – Fall Fling – Peoria, IL
09.25.21 – Rebel Rock – Orlando, FL
January 22-27, 2022 ShipRocked
More information on the band’s tour, the band’s new EP and more is available online now along with all of the band’s latest news at:
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