Originally published in Guitar World, September 2010
The metal band celebrates its staying power with its self-titled fourth album.
They say three times is the charm, and as far as singers go, that’s the way it’s going to be for us,” says Drowning Pool guitarist C.J. Pierce. “Three vocalists in 10 years is enough. We’d rather break up than search for somebody else.”
Which is another way of saying that the band’s current singer, Ryan McCombs, is in for keeps. McCombs has been with the celebrated metal band since 2005, when he took over from Jason Jones, who had stepped in when the group’s first frontman, Dave Williams, died of a heart ailment in 2002. After Jones was deemed “an improper fit,” Pierce was beginning to wonder if the Texas-based outfit would ever find the right man for the job. But McCombs, he reports, “has been a godsend. The fact that we’ve now made our second record with him says a lot.”
On their new, self-titled album, Drowning Pool (which also includes bassist Stevie Benton and drummer Mike Luce) prove that they’ve lost none of their musical bluster. But according to Pierce, it’s the first record on which he’s been content to lay back a bit and “find open spaces. Because Ryan is such a great singer, I don’t have to overplay like a madman.” Still, he’s quick to point out that on the track “Regret” he shreds with gleeful abandon. “I’m doing my best Alex Skolnick meets Jake E. Lee,” he says, with a laugh. “It’s pulverizing!”
In addition to their new material, one song Drowning Pool will be dishing out on tour this summer is “Bodies,” their 2001 smash that has been featured in myriad video games, movies, TV shows—it’s even been the official theme for numerous World Wrestling Entertainment events. Each year presents some new avenue for the anthem’s exposure, leading Pierce to call it “the gift that keeps on giving.
“We would never deprive our fans of hearing ‘Bodies,’” he says. “It made us what we are.”