“Source Of The Sound With Wendy Campbell” recently conducted an interview with bassist Stevie Benton of Texas heavy rockers DROWNING POOL.
On DROWNING POOL‘s split with singer Ryan McCombs:
Stevie: “The first signs of everyone kind of starting to [go] their separate ways kind of started during the making of that record. And once you’re stuck together on the road for a year touring every day, it became obvious it just couldn’t continue that way.
“I can’t say that everything was all peachy and we all were smiling going our separate ways. [But] I can say that it was alla extremely mutual, but not necessarily good.
“Everyone was still playing nice [by the time Ryan rejoined SOIL], ’cause we still had dates booked for DROWNING POOL. But the whole thing had started to come unraveled way before that.”
On how DROWNING POOL found its new singer, Jasen Moreno:
Stevie: “He was in a band from our hometown. We had been friends for a long time and were big fans of his band [THE SUICIDE HOOK] here. He was kind of the first guy we thought of when things were going bad.
“We took a lot of auditions, ’cause we wanted to see who and what was available.
“We definitely kind of had it in the back of our minds that it would really be a good scenario for everyone if the guy we chose was from Dallas. So we’re all right here together in the same city, and you could spend a lot more time together rehearsing and writing a record. It’s just so much easier.
“To make the self-titled record, we demoed and worked, on and off, with Ryan for a year and a half. And then to make the last record with Jasen that we just finished, we wrote it in about right weeks. It just goes to show you the difference of getting along with the bandmates and being able to be in the same room together — all living in proximity. All of that was definitely a factor.”
On “In Memory Of…”, the first studio recording to be made available with Jasen Moreno (audio stream available below):
Stevie: “That song is in no way indicative of what the record’s gonna be like. I would say that that was the one that was the most different of all the songs. With it being the anniversary of [original DROWNING POOL singer] Dave‘s [Williams] death, the song was about that whole thing. Some of the guys had the idea of just, ‘It’s gonna be a while until the record’s out. This song’s kind of differnet from everything else. Let’s just throw it up there just for a little tribute’s sake.'”
On the forthcoming DROWNING POOL album:
Stevie: “One thing that we’ve definitely learned over all these years is, the the three of us — Mike [Luce, drums], C.J. [Pierce, guitar] and myself — have really learned to be able to adapt writing songs to the singer that we have. Ryan‘s delivery on songs was way… It was more of a laid-back, casual approach to songwriting, whereas the new guy we have, Jasen, he’s a much more energetic, get-it-out-there kind of guy, so I think the songs really reflect that. Or maybe that’s just what I’m thinking ’cause we have a new guy in the band and it seems that way to me. Especially comparing the record we just made to the one just before that, it’s far more uptempo and… The songs that the individual guys in the band have written, as far as lyric-wise, it’s not nearly as much as the ‘poor me, my life sucks’ kind of place where a lot of the lyrics came from on the last record, which is such a refreshing change.”
On whether DROWNING POOL has a title for the new CD:
Stevie: “We don’t. That’s not uncommon. That’s always the last thing that we do, for some reason. You would think that’s pretty important and we should have an idea going in, but we never do — we always kind of get the body of work together and then go, ‘What’s some phrase that’s all-encompassing here? What would capture what we’re trying to say?’ You’ve got four guys barking out ideas, and it just takes a while to get it narrowed down. That’s just the way we work, and it’s been like that on every record.”