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Drowning Pool – Interview 2010

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Drowning Pool – Interview

StageShottz Magazine: What is your schedule going into the release of you new self titled CD?

Mike Luce: Actually, We’ve been off for the past 10 days, we all leave for New York to do some hobnobbing and promote the record release on Tuesday and then our first show will be Saturday, May 1st in Louisville, Kentucky, and we will tour until the end of June, we will take a couple of weeks off and then back out again in July. We are looking forward to it.

SSM: So how did Drowning Pool come about?

ML: Drowning Pool started with Stevie, CJ and me in Dallas, Texas. CJ and I came from New Orleans. I knew Stevie, the bass player through high school. We were in a garage band together. I jockeyed back and forth between Dallas and New Orleans while I was in college a few times, with CJ in New Orleans and then back with Stevie in Dallas. Then fast forward to the end of the 90s, I permanently moved to Dallas with CJ from New Orleans and we joined the band. Dave joined the band, our first singer Dave Williams in ’98 in November of ’98. We played around Dallas and did a little bit of touring along the Gulf Coast Region. Then in November of 2000, we’ve got picked by Wind-up Records, and we were in the studio by January and that summer is when “Bodies” came out. From there it’s just been trying to just knock down any doors and get in anywhere and play anywhere we can, whether it’s inside-outside, electricity, no electricity any and everywhere, we’ll play it, and it’s just been back and forth since then.

SSM: You’re self-titled CD is coming out on April 27th. This is the first time that you have released two CD’s in a row with the same singer, how did that continuity helped the recording process?

ML: It helped in the fact that we were not having to stress and worry about what lies around the next corner. By that I mean, by no fault of our own and by just acts of nature and God’s will. With Dave’s passing, nobody wants that or expects it, but it’s an unfortunate part of life sometimes and you deal with it and you try to pick up and move on just like you would in any situation.

So we grabbed another singer and this guy, the middle singer was obviously a bad choice, a bad fit. We thought at the time the three of us should just keep working and stay productive.

Well, looking back, maybe we should have taken some time to deal with Dave’s passing. I mean Dave was a brother and a huge part of Drowning Pool to this day and to us being signed and he was our old bud and our best friend and our lead singer and when he passed, it rocked all of us really hard, and the last thing the three of us wanted to do were all go our separate ways. It brought the three of us closer together, and we just dove right in with another guy, and we got out on the road again. That was just a volatile experience with the guy after about six months on the road, so we knew it wasn’t going to work out.

So there we were again left wondering what was going to happen to us. So, fast forward ahead to Ryan being in the band, now probably just as long as or longer than anybody else has been in the band, aside from the original three of us. We were able to pick up where we left off, so to speak. The last record we toured for almost three years, we were on the road as of April of ’07. “Full Circle”, our first record with Ryan and came out in August of ’07, and we toured until September of ’09. So we were able to leave the road and go into the studio, record a record and come out without having to start completely over from scratch wondering what was going to happen to us, whether we were going to be in court proceedings with some trademark lawsuit, if our label was still going to be behind this, if we were going to have a management issue, all of these things were happening from one record to the next.

So with Ryan being in the band now, we are going to be able to deliver a second record with the same lineup. It was really a huge weight lifted off of our shoulders and we were able to just concentrate on music and put together our best stuff. I can’t stress that enough just what a huge weight that was lifted. All of that stuff has finally been put to rest; hopefully, knock on wood, with Ryan now being in the band and us being able to record the second record with him. So that was literally a dream come true in itself. We have been asked many times, where do you see yourself in five years, we were like, “We just want to put out our second record or third records with the same lineup, God willing.”

SSM: Speaking of Ryan, how is he jelling with the band?

ML: Yeah. Ryan is cool. I mean as far as brothers go, I mean he and Dave go way back, we all toured together, when he was with his previous band, Soil, we were huge fans of those guys and in turn they were friends of ours and we ended up touring together. We used to, back in the day when both bands would go on the road together, like 2001, 2002, we’d warmed up in the dressing room to each other’s music, we’d have a boom box in the dressing room, this was before the iPod, so we’d have a CD spinning of his band and we’ll get all jacked up before we get the stage. According to those guys, they did the same thing.

Ryan was still in the band Soil when we were looking for our second singer and we kind of used his voice is sort of the prototype of what we were looking for. So when Jason came into the band, our second singer Jason Jones, it was that style, that rough rock voice that we wanted, not completely unlike Dave. Dave could be definitely cleaner singing when he wanted to be, but we thought at the time that to pay respect to Dave, we wouldn’t get a carbon copy singer. We didn’t think that would be fair to the new singer. We didn’t think that would be fair in respect to Dave, so we wanted somebody obviously with a rock voice, but somebody, you know obviously different from Dave, so that each person would retain their identity.

So truth be told, Ryan was the guy we wanted from the start, but we weren’t going to take him from his band at that time. Jason came in to the band but he just didn’t have a work ethic, he just didn’t want to be on the road, didn’t want to work for it.

So that being said, after about nine months or so, we took the offer to Ryan and Ryan jumped in and it was back to a family environment again as what we had with Dave. Ryan and Dave shared right the work ethic. You get out there and you get dirty and you work for it, you earn it.

That was obviously a huge plus in Ryan’s corner and there were just a lot of things that led Ryan to us or us to him however you want to look at it. All of us being friends and fans of each other’s band back in the day. Dave was the one who actually introduced Ryan and me when he came to Texas, it just fit. Even something simple like him being a huge football fan, we’re huge football fans, Stevie is a massive Dallas fan, and CJ and I are from New Orleans, so we’re huge New Orleans Saints fans. Ryan, not to discredit, but he is a Cleveland Browns fan. The Saints won the Super Bowl so I guess the Browns could also.

But yeah, we all get along great. You’ve got to have that when you’re out on the road especially when you’re spending much time as we have over the past four or five years touring and trying to start over again. We’re all 30 something year old guys and basically with Ryan, we were starting a band all over. It takes a particular mindset and a strong willed person and the right attitude, and with Ryan, we have that again, and with him right now with the second record with him coming out next Tuesday and I could be more proud of this record. I think it’s the best record we’ve created yet.

SSM: Ryan does have a great voice. The new CD has a lot of passion, emotion and power more so than your previous records. What does this record mean to you with all that you have put into it and being able to concentrate more on the making this record?

ML: I hope this record is just an inkling of what we can do once we got the solid foundation to build upon. I love this record. I’m super proud at this record, all of us are in and I can’t wait to get back in the studio again and make another one hopefully to follow it up, and hopefully it’s as good, if not, better.

SSM: You had a lot of adversity from your singers and the different things that the band has been through over the years that a lot of bands would have given up, has it made you all stronger as a band?

ML: It has definitely made us stronger, but it has also made us super cynical. One of my favorite quote is “It rains on the just and the unjust alike.” So by no means, do we feel that we should have been left out from life’s hardships. I mean, we were able to achieve our dream. I’ve always said that being in a rock band with my friends, my best friends, guys I went to high school with, and making it “big” to be able to have this as a career is unbelievable. It has definitely made even closer and stronger than we were.

SSM: So what’s your favorite song on the CD?

ML: Man honestly I think playing live, my favorite song is “Regret”, probably by far, my favorite song to play is “Regret” because it’s a very up-tempo tune. It has a lot of kick drum in the choruses, but then it has got a lot of sweet harmonies that Ryan and I and CJ and I do in the choruses. It’s just a fun song to play drum wise for me and I love playing it.

But probably my favorite song on the record would probably be “More Than Worthless.” I just listened to that song and I get goose bumps with that song. Ryan’s tone, I just think he nailed it in all aspects of that song. Ryan stepped in and just MVP’d it with the vocal delivery. I think that song was just meant for him to sing. That delivery to that tune, it has got to be probably my favorite tune on that record, maybe one of our favorite songs ever that we’ve done.

SSM: You were part of Cruefest 2 last year, how was that experience?

ML: That was awesome. Aside from being on stage and hanging out backstage and sitting next to Nikki Sixx and just hearing his stories and taking in all he has to offer, a guy that’s been in the music business for about 20, 30 somewhat years now. I grew up listening Tommy Lee; this was the guy that I was basically idolizing as a drummer. You can say whatever you want about Tommy Lee and his shenanigans, but you can’t deny the dude; he’s just a hell of a rock drummer. I just grew up just loving the stuff that they did and to finish almost three years of touring and hitting every and any spot we could across the country from coast to coast to finish that three years with it being the Crufest tour, that was just a huge, huge accomplishment for us. It was a sense of accomplishment for us. A little bit of the hard work paid off, now we get to get out in front of 10,000 people and reintroduce ourselves to a lot of people because of the Cruefest tour.

So for that in itself was awesome, but from my own personal relation, it was too cool to meet Tommy Lee and hang out and talk drums with him and sit next to Nikki Sixx. I mean you walk in and Nikki Sixx is sitting there and all his regalia, and you sit down next to him and, you’re talking about some of the songs, some of the sets. It’s pretty damn cool.

SSM: One last thing, anything you want to say to the fans?

ML: Yeah. I would just definitely want to say a sincere and heartfelt thank you for allowing this band to come back, if you will, for the third time or fourth time if you’re considering the second record with Ryan, and just thank you very much for people still giving us the time a day and taking the time to listen to us and checking out the music again and seeing if you dig it. And I really think people that are going to dig this record. I would just like to say thanks for the time of day that people still continue to give us and give us another opportunity to keep playing music and deliver music to all of them and hopefully we’ll keep earning their time.


I'm a sinner, look at all these people in front of me
Look at all these people in front of me
Look at all these people in front of me
Look at all these people in front of me, now

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