“We needed a female vocal and Katy Perry was hanging around the studio. She came in, did it… then she got big!”: the greatest P.O.D. collaborations, in their own words

POD photographed for Metal Hammer
(Image credit: Jeremy Saffer)

POD on the cover of the new issue of Metal Hammer

(Image credit: Future)

As P.O.D. release their new album, Veritas, Metal Hammer has teamed up with the band for a very special bundle edition of the latest issue of the magazine, featuring an exclusive P.O.D. cover not available in the shops, plus an exclusive signed art card and patch.

In the new issue, the band – singer Sonny Sandoval, guitarist Marcos Curiel and bassist Traa Daniels – give us a guided tour of their hometown of San Diego, from their old rehearsal room to their favourite restaurant. While we were with them, we also took the time to talk to them about the stellar names from rock, punk and beyond that have appeared on P.O.D.’s 11 studio albums to date.

From Lamb Of God’s Randy Blythe and Suicidal Tendencies’ Mike Muir to Carlos Santana and Katy Perry – yes, that one – these are P.O.D.’s greatest collaborations, in their own words.


H.R. – Without Jah, Nothin’ (Satellite, 2001)

Without Jah, Nothin’, from 2001’s Satellite album, found P.O.D. infusing their own exhilarating style with legendary Bad Brains frontman H.R.’s groundbreaking reggae-punk aesthetic, a sonic rebellion was born.

“We didn’t even know if he was available,” says Sonny, “There’s.this whole mystique around H.R. But when we were doing Satellite, suddenly H.R. showed up at our studio. He literally showed up with this Haille Selassie headdress thing on him and he walked through the door with a parakeet in a cage! He brought his parakeet in, sat him down, went into the studio and just freestyled the whole thing and we’ve been friends ever since.”

Eek-A-Mouse – Ridiculous, (Satellite, 2001)

Cementing their commitment to integrating diverse sonic elements, this Satellite track masterfully incorporates reggae icon Eek-A-Mouse’s distinct vocal style.

“Eek-A-Mouse, at the time, was living in San Diego,” recalls Sonny. “He’s a reggae legend from Jamaica and we’ve been fans of his ever since we were kids. He’s got a unique style and voice that we wanted on that song. I think we hooked up through a homie here in San Diego and he came through on the demos and then we loved the song so much that it made the record. He came up and did it again.

Carlos Santana – America (Shaman, 2002)

In the wake of Satellite’s gargantuan success, P.O.D. guested on Santana’s Shaman album, infusing leader Carlos Santana’s virtuosic fretwork with their propulsive nu metal ethos. 

“We had been listening to and admiring Mr. Carlos for years,” says Marcos. “When we got the opportunity to work with him, we jumped at it. We were able to collaborate and jam with him at the Latin Grammys and we’ve been friends ever since. He’s been like a mentor to me and it’s been pretty awesome to get to know him and to share the stage with him a couple times, so that was awesome.”

Katy Perry – Goodbye For Now (Testify, 2006)

Not yet the pop queen that she would soon become, a young Katy Perry lent her immense vocal talents to this reflective single from 2006’s Testify album.

“We were recording in LA with [producer] Glen Ballard,” recalls Traa, “and Katy Perry was someone that he was trying to build as an artist. When we did that song, we needed a female vocal and she was hanging around the studio. Katy was young back then and we spent a lot of time hanging out with her. She came in and did that song with us and we did the video. Then she got big!”

Page Hamilton – God Forbid (When Angels & Serpents Dance, 2008)

Lending his post-hardcore pedigree to this track from When Angels & Serpents Dance, Helmet vocalist and guitarist Page Hamilton tapped into a gritty synergy with P.O.D.

“I was always a fan,” says Marcos, “and we had a connection in Hollywood when we were recording our record. The guy who was producing and mixing our album had done a Helmet record and come to find out that Helmet knew about P.O.D. and were also fans so we asked him if he’d come in and do some vocals and he did it at the drop of a hat. Now we’re just honoured to have him on a song.”

Mike Muir – Kaliforn-Eye-A (When Angels & Serpents Dance, 2008)

P.O.D.’s collaboration with Suicidal Tendencies frontman Mike Muir was a convergence of eras, encapsulating the relentless spirit of Southern California’s underground.

“I’m a huge Suicidal Tendencies fan,” explains Sonny, “and I’d heard that Mike had never even done a collab before. I don’t know if he has ever since. So we reached out and Mike came through. He’s one of those guys, too, where you hear that old saying, ‘Never meet your heroes,’ well he came in and he was like a big homie. Haha He went in, heard the tune, came in and did his thing like he does.”

The Marley Sisters – I’ll Be Ready (When Angels & Serpents Dance, 2008)

Late reggae superstar Bob Marley is one of P.O.D.’s biggest influences, and this song from When Angels & Serpents Dance plugs into his immense legacy via the presence of The Bob’s daughters Cedella and Sharon Marley.

“I flew to Miami to [Bob’s song] Stephen Marley’s compound,” says Sonny. “His sister, Cedella, she’s the boss. We used Stephen’s studio. We just went in and the sisters just came in and did what they do. I think even [another of Bob’s offspring] Damien Marley  was there. I was in shock, haha. But the sisters banged it out. They loved the tune. It was an honour to hang with them.”

Jamey Jasta – Eyez (Murdered Love, 2012)

Before incorporating hip hop and reggae into their sound, P.O.D. were old school hardcore kids. This collaboration with Hatebreed’s Jamey Jasta, from their eighth album, Murdered Love, was both an innovative step forward as well as a celebratory look back at their roots. 

“We’ve always been fans of hardcore music,” says Marcos, “and we’ve had a friendship throughout the years and we’ve been such fans of what he does. We met them on Ozzfest and when we found out that we could get him on a track, we reached out and he was into it. It came to fruition really quick and I’m proud to say that we have Jamey on our song.”

Maria Brink – Criminal Conversations (The Awakening, 2015)

P.O.D.’s ninth album, 2015’s The Awakening, saw the band shaking up their formula and releasing a concept album, complete with dialogue between tracks. In The Moment singer Maria Brink’s contribution is not merely a vocal, but an atmospheric shift, lending the track a layered, cinematic quality.

“We met them on Uproar” says Sonny. “We didn’t know but they were fans of P.O.D, too. That was a concept album, so obviously there was a character to play and we had been friends with all those guys. I think it was just a text, ‘Hey, we need a dope female vocal,’ and obviously she’s amazing. We just asked!”

Randy Blythe – Drop (Veritas, 2024)

P.O.D. first met Lamb of God frontman Randy Blythe when both bands performed on the Shiprocked cruise. Bonding over their shared love of 80s music, hip hop and Bad Brains, a friendship was forged and when they needed help on Drop,. from new album Veritas, they knew who to call.

“Randy didn’t just say yes right away,” says Marcos, “but he’s like, ‘I wanna hear it and if I like it, I’ll do it.’ Then he came back and said, ‘I’m in. I like the song.’ He was probably the easiest to deal with.” “Just a sweetheart of a guy,” adds Sonny.

Tatiana Shmayluk – Afraid To Die (Veritas, 2024)

The Jinjer frontwoman brings a biting, visceral intensity to this single from Veritas, pushing P.O.D. into darker, more complex realms. “She’s actually married to Alex Lopez, from Suicide Silence,” says Sonny, “and Alex is drumming with us right now, live. We wanted a female vocal and obviously the chorus is ‘we,’ it’s a gang vocal, and we wanted a female. We know how amazing she is, so Marcos asked Alex, ‘Hey, do you think Tatiana would want to do it?’ Come to find out, all of Jinjer are P.O.D. fans from the Ukraine and she came through.”

The brand new limited edition P.O.D. bundle is available exclusively to buy online. Order it now and have it delivered straight to your door.

P.O.D. Metal Hammer bundle

(Image credit: Future)
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