Having recently finished recording their new album, Testify, at the Encino, California, studio of hitmaker Glen Ballard, P.O.D. are eyeing an October release. Frontman Sonny Sandoval is eager for fans to get a taste of the new material. “We were listening to the album the other day, driving back to San Diego,” he says, “and I was tripping out.”
After starting production with Greg Fidelman (American Head Charge, Slipknot) in February, the band brought in Ballard (Alanis Morissette) to add his touch. “Glen took all the demo stuff and Greg’s stuff, took the best out of both,” says Sandoval. “He’s like a mad scientist, just giving it the movement and bounce he’s so good at.”
The combination of Fidelman and Ballard, as well as more time to work with guitarist Jason Truby, who joined the band just prior to their recording of 2003’s Payable on Death, has brought a return to the aggression and diversity of their 2001 breakthrough, Satellite. Working titles include “Autumn,” which Sandoval says has a “‘Youth of a Nation’ vibe, with promise in the chorus”; and the hard-rocking “ESPN,” with the angry chorus, “Lights out, game over.”
Sandoval’s current favorite, “Brother’s Keeper,” features Hasidic reggae artist Matisyahu. “It’s hard, but it’s very positive,” he says. “When we met him, he blew us away.” “Sinister” also brings a guest: the Boo-Yaa T.R.I.B.E. “It was an eerie beat, and we had a girl sing over it,” explains Sandoval. “But it was too sweet. So Ganxsta dropped a verse. It came out amazing.”
Among the rest of the seventeen songs in the running for Testify are “Say Hello to the Bad Guy,” a song that kicks off with a furious guitar intro; “Generation,” a potential single with a huge chorus; and “Ya Mama,” a punk-meets-gangsta track featuring sirens and a keyboard interlude from Ballard.
As for the album title, Sandoval says it came from their time working with Ballard. “It’s a word we kept using in the studio, and Glen kept using it. We’re just testifyin/g about life, the things we believe in, a better tomorrow.”