P.O.D. had some pretty major hits and records back in the day. Their third studio album, The Fundamental Elements of Southtown from 1999, went Platinum and spawned the hits “Southtown” and “Rock the Party (Off the Hook)”; while Satellite from 2001 went triple Platinum and featured four hits – “Alive”, “Youth of the Nation”, “Boom”, and “Satellite”.

Despite their popularity, P.O.D. never quite caught the nü-metal success wave that their peers in bands like Korn, Deftones, Limp Bizkit, and more did. P.O.D. vocalist Sonny Sandoval weighed in that during a recent interview with Classic Rock, expressing his confusion about why that might be.

“We’re among the pioneers in this game!” said Sandoval. “Every time we do a record or play a show, we don’t understand why we don’t get the same respect as bands who came later. People might think we’ve got these big songs, so it’s all just money in the bank, but for some reason we missed that boat. Our friends are playing arenas and have money to burn, but here we are proving that you can do it.”

Sandoval then touched on the fact that P.O.D. would be compared to bands like Body Count, Rage Against The Machine, and Limp Bizkit despite coming up at the same time as all those other bands.

“When we first started, people would look at it like: ‘They’re heavy, but they’re rapping. They must be like Body Count,'” said Sandoval “Then the same thing happened with Rage Against The Machine. Then Limp Bizkit comes out and we’re being compared to them. ‘Nu metal’ was just another name. Before that it was rap rock, or rapcore… We didn’t care because we were just doing it. Now we embrace it; if someone says: ‘You’re my favourite nu-metal band’, I’m just happy to be their favourite [laughs].”

Interestingly, Sandoval recently said in an interview with The Jesea Lee Show that Limp Bizkit‘s “Nookie” was the song that made him realiz that nü-metal was going to be huge. Sandoval said he felt Bizkit was really nailing what it meant to be a rock band at the time, but also knew deep down that “Nookie” would be the thing that launched a million nü-metal bands that maybe weren’t as good.

“When I think of like the TRL hype, and then I think of the visual and the crazy side of it, I still remember, and again, I didn’t know what nü-metal was, we didn’t call it that. But I remember seeing the Limp Bizkit ‘Nookie’ video for the first time. And it didn’t matter whether I was a Limp Bizkit fan or not.

“When I saw that, I said, this is freaking huge. It encompasses everything. It encompassed rock and roll, rebellion, sex. It had everything. It was just visually stunning. I’m not saying that defines nü-metal or classifies it, but I remember thinking that whatever this is going on, it’s going to crossover to the pop world and all that stuff.

“Cause even though Korn was popular at the time, I never saw them as pop. They were still dark and mysterious. Limp Bizkit wasn’t mysterious. They threw everything out there and said, I don’t care what you think. And if you like me or not, and that’s what rock and roll was supposed to be anyway. I don’t care what you think. And that is probably what sparked most of those bands that came out after that just were horrible and decided to go from whatever music they were into at the time to now, ‘oh, I wanna be in a nü-metal band.'”

Sandoval continued, discussing the eventual fall of nü-metal thanks to disingenuous artists looking to make a quick buck.

“Once bands came in and kind of started to mimic it, I think that’s when it got oversaturated with guys that it wasn’t their lifestyle, you know? I mean it wasn’t their culture, you know? When you get bands from like whatever – Timbuktu – and all of a sudden they’re acting like they’re from the streets. They’re looking like they’re from the streets and they’re trying to rap– it’s not quite there, but it was, it became a genre.

“What happens when it becomes popular? People start to get it. And I think, you know, people got over it after a while. I think it kind of came and gone and people threw it away because of the artists that were doing it or trying to copy it instead of looking to the authenticity of it.”

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