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Drowning Pool Carry On

Dallas band auditioning singers to replace Dave Williams

Six months after the death of lead singer Dave Williams, the three
remaining members of Dallas hard rock outfit Drowning Pool are
starting their search for a new vocalist, but it’s not going to be
easy. “The other day we got a tape from a guy who sounded so much
like Dave it was eerie,” says drummer Mike Luce, 31. “It kind of
freaked us out, and, it’s not the guy’s fault, but I don’t know if
we’ll see him because of that. It was just too weird.”

Since last week, Luce, guitarist C.J. Pierce and bassist Stevie
Benton, have been getting together nearly every day to jam in their
rehearsal space and listen to tapes. “We’re not looking for Dave
II,” Luce says. “That wouldn’t be cool for us, Dave, his family or
our fans. At the same time, we want somebody to step in and
complete the circle. The guy will show up and be completely the
right guy or he won’t.”

Drowning Pool aren’t resorting to “getting on rollerskates and
putting up flyers,” but they have put out word through their
management and friends in the music business about their search.
They recently met and hung out with a singer from Philadelphia who
was promising enough that Luce said they plan to fly him out to
Dallas again sometime soon. “It’s not just, ‘Can you sing the parts
Dave sang?’ but, ‘Can you write new stuff and can you live on the
bus with eight guys for eighteen months and not be a
shithead?'”

Luce admits he doesn’t know if the band will ever get to that
point. In the months after Williams’ death — the singer died of
heart failure at age thirty on August 14th, while the band was on
Ozzfest — the drummer was either M.I.A. or refused to leave his
house. His band mates finally lured him back to their rehearsal
space late last year, and the trio began the process of starting
over.

Since reconvening they’ve written more than half a dozen
instrumental songs, which Luce describes as ranging from their
heaviest material ever to a track that might be their lightest
(tentatively titled “Pussy Control”). “The only thing that kept us
positive was going back to what started it all, the three of us in
a rehearsal room jamming,” Luce says.

Prior to his death, Williams had participated in the tracking of
three or four new songs with the group, material Luce said he
doesn’t think will ever be played live or released. “We laid that
stuff to rest,” he says. Two songs were fully completed, and
included vocals from Williams. “There was a song we were calling
‘Heroes,’ which is kind of eerie now,” Luce says. “With all the
people passing last year, Dave, [ex-Ozzy Osbourne drummer] Randy
Castillo, Layne Staley and Lisa Lopes, the lyrics about ‘heroes
passing’ and how much people miss their fallen heroes are just too
much.”

Another track, “Care Not,” which Luce describes as an “epic”
song that dates back to the band’s first demo, had also been edited
into a nearly completed version. Four other untitled, “old metal
style” songs were in the early stages of recording.

And even if Drowning Pool do find a singer and continue under
the same name, Luce thinks some of band’s back catalogue will
simply be put away for good — including “Sermon,” from their 2001
major-label debut, Sinner — because they were so dear to
Williams.

Luce also says there isn’t much good material to piece together
for a possible live album: “The live stuff I’ve heard isn’t great,”
he admits. But one project that pre-dated Williams’ passing, “The
Man Without Fear,” from the upcoming Daredevil soundtrack,
will see the light of day. “We got that gig a week before Dave
passed and the only thing we could think of to try and keep
positive was to make it happen,” Luce says. The band had become so
friendly with Rob Zombie’s band while they toured on last year’s
OzzFest, that they had begun referring to the then-untitled track
as “Tempesta’s Groove,” in honor of Zombie drummer, Tempesta. They
asked Zombie if he would be willing to sing the song, but the
fright rocker said he was too busy finishing his House of 1,000
Corpses
film and planning his wedding. One week before the
song was due, however, Zombie finally freed up some time, and the
trio flew to California and recorded the track in just two days.
“It was so easy, we felt guilty,” Luce remembers.

Now, as they wait for the right singer to come their way, Luce
and his band mates are being realistic about their future. “Every
now and then we fall down and pick each other back up,” he says.
“Who can say if we’ll ever get where we were again? But, if Dave
were here, he’d be stealing someone’s thunder right now and he’d be
fighting away. So, that’s what we’re doing, we’re scrapping and
kicking, trying to stay alive.”

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