Drowning Pool’s Stevie Benton on Their Past Vocalist Issues, How QueensrÃ¿che Changed His Life (INTERVIEW)
You can’t accuse veteran Dallas metalheads Drowning Pool of not being able to roll with the changes. Formed back in 1996, in 2002 their original singer, Dave Williams, tragically died from heart disease. Jason Jones took his place and lasted one album. Next was Ryan McCombs who hung around on two albums before leaving in 2011 to rejoin his former band, SOil.
Now, Drowning Pool count dynamic frontman Jasen Moreno as a member of their family. As bassist/singer Stevie Benton told Noiscreep, he may just be the guy they’ve been really looking for.
Stevie, your band is unique in that, for a variety of reasons, you’ve had a number of vocalists over the years. Talk about how that affects band chemistry.
Well, it’s a forced form of band evolution, I would say, certainly not something you strive for and not something that I would advise other bands to do, because it’s a lot of extra work and it’s hard on you at times, but for us, we still had a such great time with Dave and such great vibes still remains and we’ve been trying to recapture that ever since then. It feels cheap to stick with a chemistry that just doesn’t feel right and so maybe that’s why we’ve had a lot of turnover. We knew if we switched singers again that a lot of people would look at it and make comments, but for us it seemed like it was worth it to take that shot at capturing the best chemistry we ever had. So we did. Look, sometimes you have to shift gears and I’m sure some of our ex-singers feel the same way: ‘I can’t wait to get the hell out of here.’
So you get to a crossroads.
Right. You could stick it out I suppose. But we want to reach for the next ring and get to a better place.
It does allow you guys to evolve your sound though in a way not many bands can claim. An optimistic way of looking at it maybe, but still…
Definitely. One thing we have learned is that each singer has strong points and weak points and we’ve learned to craft the sound of the band that will benefit the singer at the time. It can be tricky at times to learn the nuances of it, but this time around, one fortunate thing is Jasen, our new singer, is a Dallas guy, we’ve know him for years and so it’s not like having a stranger coming in. We had a great idea about him though, who he is and what he is about, and so we’ve been able to hit the ground running.
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Stevie, take us back to a show that played a big part in your musical influence.
That’s easy. I was in middle school, it was my birthday, in February, and we were snowed in. So my friend Derrick Hagler saves the day. I see his car creeping down the road in the snow. He’s gonna take me to the show of my dreams. My parents caved in and let me go so we’re of to the old Reunion Arena in Dallas and we saw Metallica and Queensryche. Changed my life. Metallica was on …And Justice for All and Queensryche was touring with Operation:Mindcrime. What really got me was when Metallic played ‘Creeping Death.’ They broke it down, playing really softly, and the crowd was screaming ‘Die, die, die,’ and I’m just a stone cold sober kid there and I get chills to this day just thinking about it. I’d seen Dokken, Tesla, and Poison – some other bands before that. But nothing was like Metallica and Queensryche.
Drowning Pool will release their fifth studio album in early 2013 via Eleven Seven Music. We recommend you check out the band’s new YouTube channel as well. You won’t regret it.