Sunday, May 24, 2009

Interview with C.J. Pierce of Drowning Pool

The guys of Drowning Pool know all about survival. After facing the death of their lead singer a few years ago, the band is back and charting better than ever with the drudge-y single, "37 Stitches." More importantly, the guys have sets an example for others in the heavy music genre by devoting so much time to entertaining the troops overseas.

I recently had the chance to interview Drowning Pool guitarist C.J. Pierce for a feature. Check out the interview here (originally published in the Gannett LSJ), and thanks for reading! (Courtesy photo)

After death of lead singer, band rediscovers its heart

By Anne Erickson, Gannett LSJ

Drowning Pool is best known for the 2001 hard-hitting, fist-pumping anthem "Bodies."

"Let the bodies hit the floor/Let the bodies hit the...FLOOOOR" croons the intro, breaking into a galvanizing chant.

Guitarist C.J. Pierce says the success of "Bodies" was surreal.

"What happened to us wasn't normal," said Pierce, chatting via phone during a rare vacation week in his hometown of Dallas. "We sold a million records in 11 weeks. It was like winning the lottery."

In today's modern rock world of heavy guitars and memorable choruses, "Bodies" is still relevant. It fits snug in any rock devotee's iPod mix.

That Drowning Pool continues to make albums is a testament to the band's endurance and grit. In 2002, the group was faced with a grave challenge. Lead singer Dave Williams was found on the band's tour bus, dead from natural causes.

"He was a brother to us, and it was like losing a family member," Pierce said.

Even so, quitting was not an option: "There wasn't a time when we didn't want to continue making music."

The band brought singer Jason "Gong" Jones into the fold. But things weren't comfortable: "All of us live together on the bus, and a big part of the band is our personalities meshing."

In 2006, the band added vocalist and friend Ryan McCombs, former singer of metal outfit SOiL. Drowning Pool felt like a real band again.

"The stars aligned," said Pierce.

The band's newfound feeling of unity comes out in the title of its current full-length, "Full Circle."

"After losing Dave, it took us years to come back to why we started playing music. It's about four buddies, hanging out, writing music together and putting on rock shows. And I feel like we're at that point again."

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