When it comes to music, specifically rock and roll, some bands have been through it all. They’ve lived and seen the highs and lows that the music industry has to offer, been out on what seems like a thousand different tours, played the same song five thousand different times, witnessed the death of friends… In thinking about the life of the touring rock band, one can’t help wonder why some bands even do it in the first place. I suppose the music industry is a place where only the very strong survive and only the strongest continue to be successful for years and years and years.
One group that surely fits this profile is Dallas, Texas hard rock act Drowning Pool. Since the group formed in 1996, these guys have seen it all and are somehow as slick and relevant as they’ve ever been. Rather than go through a long, drawn out history of the band, let’s take a look at Drowning Pool’s revival over the last few years as one of hard rock’s most popular bands.
From about the summer of 2002 to the summer of 2005, there were definitely more lows than highs for the members of Drowning Pool. While on tour in August of 2002, the group’s lead singer Dave Williams was found dead on the band’s tour bus. Prior to Williams’ death, the band was enjoying its biggest success ever with the hit single “Bodies” and a platinum selling debut album called Sinner. To say that Williams’ passing shook the band would be an understatement, but the remaining members decided to push on and find a new singer. Their search took them to Jason “Gong” Jones, a former tattoo artist from L.A. Despite a hit single with the song “Step Up,” Jones and the rest of the members were unable to form a strong chemistry as a band and Jones left the group after just one record together, 2004’s Desensitized. Never a stranger to adversity, Drowning Pool was yet again left without a lead singer and left with an uncertain future.
Upon Jones’ departure, rumours began to swirl about who would replace him or if the band would even continue. Names like Phil Anselmo and Pat Lachman began to circulate, but the rumours were strongest with regard to former SOiL singer Ryan McCombs. The rumours turned out to be correct as McCombs and Drowning Pool united for a special Ozzfest performance in Dallas. Since McCombs’ arrival, the band has for the most part been on fire. The chemistry between the members has never been better and their live show has been top notch, playing on huge tours with the likes of Saliva and Seether.
Drowning Pool is currently busy recording their next studio record, the follow up to 2007’s Full Circle. To hold fans over in the meantime, the band is releasing its first ever live album titled Loudest Common Denominator in March, 2009. The record will feature all of the band’s hits, including songs from the Williams and Jones’ eras. There is a certain intensity in the group’s music that perhaps doesn’t translate as well in studio recordings which is why a live album will certainly please the band’s core group of fans and attract other listeners to what a breathtaking live act they really are. With the group’s line-up finally set, it seems like the best of Drowning Pool is yet to come. Let’s hope the lows are long in the past and the highest highs are yet to come because if any band deserves it, it’s definitely Drowning Pool.