The year 2001 saw Drowning Pool emerge as the breakout band from Ozzfest. The debut album's lead single "Bodies," took over MTV, the radio airwaves and pages of magazines around the world. The band's latest single "Tear Away," has been received much like "Bodies" did as it became the anthem of the rock community in 2001 and went on to fuel the platinum album sales of SINNER within six weeks of release. The legion of fans has grown week by week and month by month to the point at which the band is now commanding audiences of thousands per show. The one thing that seems to be apparent is that Drowning Pool has offered the youth of America and The World a soundtrack they both relate to and understand.
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The story began simply enough. Many young acts are presented with recording contracts before life's experiences have given them the maturity necessary to maximize the shot. Drowning Pool, a quartet from Dallas, Texas, have walked the road of life as a band, built a substantial following through relentless touring, and have taken advantage of every moment as a chance to grow. All of the obstacles and challenges that have stared the band down have been confronted and ultimately converted into fuel to turn adversity into prosperity. They've learned the hard way, the easy way, and in every step taken. They've taken everything that has happened to them to become better, harder, and ultimately ready for the career that now is staring the band in the face.
The story begins when drummer Mike Luce and guitarist C.J. Pierce moved from their hometown of New Orleans to Dallas in order to connect with friend and bassist Stevie Benton. "Mike and I were jamming together for about four years and we couldn't find the right people for the sound we were looking for," says guitarist Pierce. " Also, New Orleans didn't have a good rock scene. It is a great place for Jazz and Blues, which I love, but Rock is really where my heart is!!" They began to build a following while playing around Dallas, and taking many excursions outside the city limits. The trio sensed that one crucial ingredient was missing, and that in order to truly emerge as a force to be reckoned with; they needed to find a true "frontman." While their shows were energetic and pounding, they knew that the missing link was a singer with a unique voice and an undeniable stage presence. Dave Williams, who had been singing in bands in Dallas for two years before crossing paths with Drowning Pool, was the man. Nicknamed "Stage" by "Dimebag" Darrell from PANTERA, he is a presence like none other. His sheer emotive power delivered the sound and live electricity the band had been on the cusp of achieving for years.
Now a quartet, the band coined themselves Drowning Pool when Stevie realized he had lost his virginity while the movie by the same name played in the background. "It took me years to make the connection with the movie," says bassist Benton. "I was up late one night working on songs and trying to think of a name for the band when I noticed the movie was on TV. It all just clicked." They then recorded a demo, which soon wound up in the hands of the band SEVENDUST, and the bands hit the road together. Tours with bands such as KITTIE and HED (PE) followed and suddenly this unsigned Texas band was building a following on a national level. Comments drummer Mike Luce, "After being on the road with some of our favorite bands, and seeing how tight they were, we just had to step it up a notch. With Dave in the band, we could go out there every night and put on a sick-ass show and have a great time doing it. It doesn't matter who we share the stage with ultimately. We are going to deliver for the fans any day, any time."
The time on the road led the band back into the studio where they recorded a six-song demo that showcased the development that had come from two years on the road. That recording launched the band onto the radio where they shot into the top ten at the biggest station in Dallas (KEGL), and ultimately led to a deal with Wind-up Records.
Revolving around religion and relationships, the songs on Drowning Pool's Wind-up debut SINNER go beyond hard. Says lyricist and singer Dave Williams, "I have nothing against religion, really, I just had organized religion shoved down my throat and I don't buy it and I don't believe in it. The things I believe in - family, friends, and music - they haven't let me down yet. And when it comes to failed relationships, you try to take good from the bad, but these songs are a great outlet for the negatives." The debut's lead single, "Bodies" is simply an anthem for the youth of today. The lyrics order, "Let the Bodies Hit The Floor," and it is literally a command ordering recreational, physical moshing. The ultimate message is one of unity and togetherness as kids of all backgrounds share the similar experience of dropping all baggage at the door as they join together in one sheer mass of flesh. The track, "Tear Away," is an ode to respecting one's personal fortitude, and the omnipresent importance of valuing yourself and soul above all others." Throughout the record, Drowning Pool's message is aggressive, powerful, and relentless in its demand for personal perseverance and self-esteem.
Producer Jay Baumgardner (PAPA ROACH, ORGY, COAL CHAMBER) took the band to Ocean Studios in Burbank to record their first full-length record, and that, according to singer Williams, has been the most important event to happen to the band. "Working with Jay has taught us how to be such a better band. Personally, I like to mix up my voice, add contrast to the screams, and he's been really helpful in getting great sound on tape. We also just hear the band playing tighter than ever." On the experience of producing the band's debut, Baumgardner echoed these sentiments and commented, "With SINNER, Drowning Pool opens up a Texas size can of woop ass."
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