Interview and Photos by Scott Preston
The all-American anthemic rock band has persevered through the death of their first singer and losing their second, emerging a stronger unit than ever before. From presenting the Lane Evans Health Act to Barack Obama, while senator, and coming back with their first consecutive album with a singer, vocalist Ryan McCombs, Drowning Pool continues to survive.
I was fortunate enough to sit down with Stevie Benton and Mike Luce before their gig here in Cincinnati on 10/17. You can view the full gallery of photos here.
Cincy Groove: So tell me about the “welcome package” that the band received from Godsmack. I have seen some video of the debauchery.
Stevie: There was some wine, some speakers that can hook into your iPod so you can rock out in your dressing room.
Mike: The speakers were awesome.
Stevie: Then there was Sasha. (a blow up doll)
Mike: She has been named? She is a whore. Everyday you find her coming out of someone else’s bunk. (laughing)
Stevie: It was really nice to walk in the first day of the tour and find all that stuff that they left for us.
Mike: It was definitely cool, those guys (Godsmack) have been very welcoming.
Stevie: We had a blast with them last summer on Cruefest and now we get to spend the fall touring with them. They have been the coolest guys on the planet.
Cincy Groove: How did the contest come about to give away your touring drum kit?
Mike: It’s really out of the kindness of PDP’s heart. They were talking with our management in preparation for this tour. The company put up a drum kit for the contest almost exactly like the one I use on tour. It’s like $8,400 worth of equipment when it’s all said and one. The company really has been in Drowning Pool’s corner since the beginning.
Cincy Groove: I know your most recent album just came out this past April, but are you working on any new material?
Stevie: Yes we are, we all have our own Pro Tools rig all set up so we can work on the road. This is the first time we all have had the capacity to record while being on tour. It’s just so much more effective than trying to get something done on an off day in between shows. It’s really great that anyone can track something whenever the inspiration comes. We are probably another year from a new record, but it’s nice to get started on it now.
Cincy Groove: I noticed a lot of your songs have showed on wrestling shows etc.., How did that come about?
Stevie: They picked up on Bodies early on and really made that song happen. Honestly, none of us knew anything about wrestling at the time. We are huge football fans, but over the years we have gotten to know wrestlers and people in the office there. They have been really good to us and we get to goto a lot of wrestling events.
Cincy Groove: Over the years you have had various lead singers in the band. How do you guys keep the momentum going when you face a change like that?
Stevie: Its definitely tough when you have someone new come into the band. We are lucky to have made consecutive records with the same singer. It made the process much easier. With our first record, with Dave, it was a whirlwind of excitement getting signed and going into the studio, pure craziness. Then Dave passed and months go by then we get a new singer. We go into the studio and record, then get rid of him. Then we finally find Ryan and at the same time looking for a new label, it was chaos. This last record was the first time we could just go into the studio and focus on the songs.
Cincy Groove: Drowning Pool has been around long enough to have seen the internet emerge and radically change the music business. What are your feelings on the subject?
Stevie: Well if you are an up and coming band now, you have the ability to let an unlimited amount of people about your shows with a click of a button. When we were starting out in clubs, Mike and I would goto this pizza place by our house and stay up all night working on the mailing list, address labels, licking stamps.
Mike: This was all before FedEx, Kinkos, and being able to automatically prints out labels without having to write them out individually. Then eventually email address’s became popular, Myspace came along. For young bands the internet is priceless. People in the music business really need to embrace the internet and not close the door on it. There really wasn’t a slow integration of the internet into the music business. Things are still figuring themselves out, but it will turn out for the better.