On March 25, San Diego rock group P.O.D. filed a lawsuit against their record label, Tennessee-based INO Records, in U.S. District Court in Nashville. In the filing, P.O.D. claims that the company breached its contract by preventing the group from recording their next album.
Band members were not available for comment but in a statement issued by P.O.D.’s Nashville-based attorney John R. Jacobson, the agreement with INO included two option periods in which the label was required to advance $400,000 for each contracted album. INO released the first album, When Angels & Serpents Dance, in 2008. In November of 2010, P.O.D. advised INO it was prepared to begin recording the second album, but INO has so far refused to pay the advance. It is not known whether the suit also specifies damages; Jacobson did not return calls or emails by press time.
According to L.A.-based publicists the Brookes Company, P.O.D. tried to negotiate with INO Records for the past few months in what was called an amicable effort to have the record company honor its contractual commitments. When both sides reached an impasse, P.O.D. proceeded with litigation.
Talk of a follow-up to Angels & Serpents began in 2009, when band members Wuv Bernardo and Marcos Curiel appeared in a video posted on Facebook (no longer available) talking about getting started on a new album due to drop some time in 2010. Nine months later, the band was still talking about it. In September 2010, Curiel told the pop music website Life Above 11 that they were planning to return to the studio with Howard Benson, who had worked with the band on previous albums. Preproduction, he said, was planned for November 2010 and the resulting album would be readied for release sometime in 2011.
“We’re back at that stage where we’re all smiling again and ready to hit the road and do other things,” Curiel told a reporter. Later, evidence that the band was working on new material came in January 2011 when a seconds-long video of an untitled song was posted on YouTube.
P.O.D. (Payable on Death) is a Christian metal band that formed in 1992. With over 8 million albums sold, they have been thrice nominated for Grammys, have received an American Music Award, two San Diego Music Awards, and they have four number-one MTV videos. Two of their albums are certified platinum, and one is certified gold. When Angels & Serpents Dance debuted at No. 9 on Billboard magazine’s Top 200 chart and marked the return of original guitarist Curiel, who had left P.O.D. in 2003. Nashville’s INO Records specializes in contemporary Christian music. Distributed by Sony Records, Epic Records, and Columbia Records, INO has been owned by Integrity Media since 2002. The label did not respond to requests for comment.