For the band Drowning Pool, nothing seems to come easy.
Four different lead singers have been called upon over the years to record five studio albums. The fifth, “Resilience,” is set to be released in April.
Before that, Drowning Pool is set to rock the stage at Fillmore Silver Spring at 8 p.m. Saturday.
“I’m so excited that [the album is] finally coming out,” said C.J. Pierce, guitarist and one of the founding members of the band. “I can definitely tell you that it’s definitely more of a metal record [than we’ve] ever done. There’s just a lot on there. There’s 15 songs, which is awesome. So yeah, you’re going to get some classic Drowning Pool and you’re going to get some new style Drowning Pool as well.”
After frontman Ryan McCombs left the band in 2011, Drowning Pool auditioned many to replace him. Jasen Moreno rocked his way into the job.
“Man, it’s been nothing but a real pleasure [working with Moreno],” Pierce said. “Honestly, he’s been by far my favorite musician to work with. The dude is such a team player, he’s a dedicated guy, shows up early and stays late. He’s the only singer that took the time to learn all the songs off all the previous records — every song off every one of them. He’s all about it, he’s 100 percent about Drowning Pool and being in this band. He works really hard at it and he definitely deserves it. We’re having the best time. We’re having fun again and that’s what it’s all about.”
For most bands, having four lead singers over the course of five albums would make it difficult to establish a unique sound. For Pierce, it’s just part of the job.
“I’ve got this routine down, unfortunately,” Pierce said. “It’s not what we wanted, and I know it’s frustrating for fans sometimes because when you’ve put out a lot of records, fans will have their favorite song or favorite singer.”
Moreno, who was previously in the band The Suicide Hook, slipped into the auditions to become the new frontman for Drowning Pool. Since he was part of the Dallas music scene with Drowning Pool, the guys from the band knew his work well.
“We’ve known him for a long time and writing and working with him has just been easy … easier than it ever has been,” Pierce said. “We didn’t even know he was going to audition; he just kind of snuck it in there. We were looking through stuff and we were like, ‘Hey, Jasen’s auditioning!’ He nailed it and we’re having fun here. It’s what it’s all about.”
Drowning Pool’s first lead singer, Dave Williams, was with the band until 2002, when he died from an undiagnosed heart condition. It was then Pierce and the rest of the band wanted to put together a song in honor of their fallen bandmate. Pierce started working on the song, “In Memory Of ...” with Williams in mind.
“That’s kind of been a work in progress for awhile,” Pierce said. “The initial idea came after Dave passed away to kind of have some kind of song that reflected that, but I wanted it to be a right place, right time for it. You never want to force the issue and after Dimebag [Darryl — a guitarist and founding member of Pantera] passed away, it kind of changed into ‘In Memory Of …’ for the ones that we lost. Everyone’s kind of experienced death in some way — family member, a best friend, husband or wife — so I just wanted a song that’s about that, kind of a hats off to the people we’ve lost.”
Pierce said it all came together when Moreno joined the band.
“I kind of pulled it out again and I sent it to him and he just nailed it,” Pierce said. “He really caught the vibe of the song. I’m really excited that it made it on the record. It’s been a long time coming. It’s basically just a dedication to Dave and to everyone else we’ve lost through the years.”
If for nothing else, Drowning Pool is known for their 2001 hit “Bodies.” The song has been used throughout the country in wrestling events and clubs. There is a bit of a negative light on it, though.
The song has been linked to the 2011 shooting of Arizona Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords. The U.S. military has also said it has used the song in interrogations at the Guantanamo Bay detention camp.
“That song has been associated with positive things and negative things,” Pierce said. “It’s just the gift that keeps giving, I guess. There’s been some more recent negative stuff … you know, I’m just going to say this — crazy is crazy no matter what band or what song you have, it has nothing to do with it. If you’re crazy in the head, you’re going to do something stupid and that’s it.
“The song ‘Bodies’ is basically a song about being in the moshpit. It’s kind of a funny story how the song came up. We had a buddy of ours who used to come see us play when we got started and we had, you know, five people out there — it was like everybody [in the band]’s girlfriend and one buddy. Well, this dude always wanted to stage dive and nobody would catch him, so he would just faceplant on the floor and he would get back up and run on stage while we were playing and jump off again. It just initiated the lyrics from that song. Sometimes people want to just jump off that stage, whether people are there to catch them or not. That’s really what the song’s about.”
Pierce believe some tend to immediately think of rock and heavy metal music when bad things happen.
“It’s absolutely stereotyping, especially associating us with it,” Pierce said. “We don’t have lyrics that point blank say anything negative. I can see why [critics] might have gone for Ozzy [Osbourne] or Marilyn Manson because their lyrics are way more brutal than ours.
“Like I said, the music has absolutely nothing to do with it. If you’re crazy — I mean, what movies were you watching that day? What video games did they play? There’s a thousand other things that could possibly affect them, but it doesn’t even matter … if you’re crazy, you’re crazy.”
Pierce and Drowning Pool are now focused on the future, with a new album and a new frontman. For Pierce, getting fans pumped up and keeping them entertained is all in a day’s work.
“I’m all about entertainment and having a good time. We’re the kind of band that loves hanging out,” Pierce said. “Once the doors open, we love to hang out with like-minded people in other rock bands. I’ll watch the other bands play every night and enjoy their show. When it’s time for us to get on there, I love the intensity of rock music. I just love the attitude and just the vibe that comes from the show.
“You can expect that from our show and from the new record — it’s way more intense than anything we’ve ever done.”