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Nonpoint

interview with bassist & vocalist Ken MacMillan

Nonpoint CD: Miracle
Record Label: Rocket Science
by Tina Hall
September 2010

The new Nonpoint album “Miracle” is out now on the band’s own 954 Records.The album was produced by Chad Gray and Greg Tribbett of Mudvayne/HELL YEAH. Nonpoint is comprised of three original members, Elias Soriano (vocals), Ken MacMillian (bass), Robb Rivera (drums), along with axeman Zach Broderick who makes his debut on the new album.

Maximum Ink: What were some of your earliest influences?
Ken MacMillian: Musically I’d have to say that Iron Maiden and Suicidal Tendencies really helped jump start my true appreciation for music. Before that I didn’t really look at music as ‘influential’. Just stuff to jam to.

MI: When did you first know you wanted to be a musician? And why?
KM: I was introduced to music by way of a bass guitar given to me as payment for mowing my neighbor’s lawn. A week later, a buddy of mine said he was putting a band together and asked if I played any instruments. I told him “yeah, I play bass.” I was happy to find out that when I showed up, they were all just as bad as I was. It was a hell of a twist of fate in my favor, but I couldn’t be happier with the way it turned out!

MI: How do things change with the release your seventh album as opposed to your first?
KM: We’ve been through a ton of label changes, as well as switching management in the last ten years. But I’d have to say the biggest and most influential change since our first release has been the addition of our newest member and guitarist, Zach.

MI: How is Zach Broderick working out? Are you excited to enlist new blood into the outfit?
KM: He’s an amazing addition to the band! We’ve always been creatively diverse as far as the writing process is concerned. Bringing Zach on board launched everything into a new dimension. Add that to his incredible stage presence and you’ve got a volatile mixture that any band would be happy to integrate into their lineup.

MI: What was it like to have Chad Gray and Greg Tribbett produced this album? Are you fans of Mudvayne and HELL YEAH?
KM: We’ve known those guys for about a decade now. We always knew them as “Chad and Greg from Mudvayne and Hell Yeah”. Party guys, that were completely off their rockers. But working with them in that type of professional environment helped us to see a side of them we never knew existed. Talk about being “pro”, these guys were the fucking epitome of the title. Every idea that any of us had was explored until it was either implemented into the music, or thrown away after being worked to a pulp. We were their first production project. As far as I’m concerned, they’ve got one hell a career waiting for them in that part of the industry.

MI: Do you prefer to work in the studio or on the road?
KM: I enjoy the studio for it’s creative offerings. You really get to fine tune the music and see the finished product of all your hard work. But I have way more enthusiasm towards being on tour. After so many years of being on the road, it almost seems alien at times for me to be home. I feel like I constantly have to be doing something or else I feel lazy. On tour, I never really have the luxury of privacy to allow myself to think about how to relax. It’s pretty much just go, go, go. I think when the day comes that I can’t tour any longer I’m going to have to seriously consider how to keep my tour-influenced ADD under control. Otherwise I’m going to end up driving everyone around me crazy!

MI: What can Nonpoint fans expect from the live show?
KM: Unconditional love. Complete and unbridled passion for what we do. No matter where we are, who we’re playing the show with, or how many people are in the crowd. We always give the same exhaustive effort regardless of the elements in the equation. When we take the stage, our main objective is to leave people with a footprint to the forehead. We understand that the fans pay hard earned money to come see a show. We all know what it’s like to have a shitty week at work, or to have stresses at home. Our fans come to vent, to forget about all that crap and to have a good time. That’s the fuel that keeps our fire alive. To know that we’re able to help bring a bit of solace to people’s lives by doing something we love to do is an amazing feeling. We want every person in the crowd to feel that, and know that they’re just as much a part of it as we are.

MI: What do you like to do in your spare time?
KM: I’m a gym fiend. I workout whenever I can. I don’t really have any vices to speak of, so I get my kicks off of the endorphins from lifting heavy shit. I do some graphic design to help cater to my visual art interests. I’m also a Marvel comic freak. So between my workout and diet routines, reading the hell out of comic books, doing artwork and playing shows all over the place, my day is pretty much spoken for. When I’m at home I relax a bit and play Xbox. But that just adds to my frustration of feeling like I could be more doing something more productive with my time. Although, as of late, I’m learning that recreational time is paramount to keeping one’s psyche in check. So I’m doing my best to ease off the throttle a bit more while I’m at home.

MI: What do you think you’d have become if not a musician?
KM: It’s hard to say, really. I went to art college in hopes of establishing a career in the visual arts, but that fell through after the passing of my mother. It was after that whole period in my life that I buried my head and heart in my music. It’s all I’ve really been interested in doing up till this point. Being on tour so much helped get my head back in the art game. But at this point in my life, I find more happiness in helping others get started on a path towards healthier living. My buddy Rich (from Rev Theory) really kicked my ass and got me to shape up at a time in my life when I was truly unhappy. I made a pact with myself that I’d always pay that favor forward if I was ever needed. Turns out that I’m pretty good at helping others turn over that same leaf. That being said, I feel like personal training would be my “fall back” career.

MI: What is the best advice you’ve ever been given?
KM: Don’t eat the yellow snow. Seriously…it’s fucking gross.

Purchase Miracle on Amazon.com
Download Miracle on Amazon.com

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