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Drowning Pool


drowning pool
Photo: Eddie Malluk.

Drowning Pool Overview:

Drowning Pool are a hard rock band that have had to rebound from tragedy at an early stage of their career. Exploring aggressive metal textures within the structure of accessible rock songs, Drowning Pool came onto the scene at the beginning of the 21st century with frontman Dave Williams. But after a successful debut, this Texas group were shaken up by the untimely death of Williams, forcing the remaining band members to recruit a new lead singer. Consequently, subsequent Drowning Pool records have reflected the band’s struggle to maintain a consistent sonic brand while being fronted by different vocalists.

Drowning Pool's Origins:

Drowning Pool came together at the tail end of the 1990s in Dallas, Texas. The three central components of the initial group were guitarist C.J. Pierce, bassist Stevie Benton and drummer Mike Luce. Eventually, they brought in Dave Williams as their lead singer. Touring with Sevendust and sending out demos eventually got the group a record deal with Wind-up Records.

A Successful Nu-Metal Debut:

Drowning Pool’s first album, Sinner, hit stores in 2001. Lumped into the nu-metal scene that was popular at the time, Drowning Pool’s debut drew comparisons to Staind, Korn, and Papa Roach, although their brand of mainstream hard rock was more accessible and their frontman had a gift for both articulate screaming and melodic singing. Going platinum in two months, Sinner was a hit with both mainstream and modern rock audiences. Things looked promising for this up-and-coming group. But then tragedy struck.

Dave Williams Dies:

On August 14, 2002, while Drowning Pool was in Virginia on tour as part of Ozzfest, Dave Williams was found dead in his bunk on the group’s bus. The specific cause of death was determined to be cardiomyopathy, a heart muscle condition that had never been diagnosed in Williams. He was 30.

Trying to Carry On With 'Desensitized':

Left without a frontman, Drowning Pool opted to continue as a group. After listening to demos and auditioning a handful of singers, the group selected Jason Jones, a Los Angeles tattoo artist. The resulting album, 2004’s Desensitized, was a disappointment. Just as Jones sounded somewhat like Williams but not quite as compelling, so too did Drowning Pool somewhat resemble the group they had once been on Sinner but not as arresting. Desensitized was a more formulaic record, offering traditional hard rock that was geared to radio audiences without ever challenging them.

Drowning Pool Come 'Full Circle':

Jones left Drowning Pool after Desensitized, paving the way for new (and current) vocalist Ryan McCombs, who had previously sung in the rock group Soil. Armed with their new frontman, and now signed to Eleven Seven Records, Drowning Pool released Full Circle in 2007. Although McCombs had a more impressive rock pedigree than Jones did, Full Circle wasn’t a significant improvement over the dull, professional hard rock of Desensitized. It was the first Drowning Pool album to fail to place a single in the Top Ten of the Mainstream Rock Charts.

'Loudest Common Denominator':

On March 3, 2009, Drowning Pool released Loudest Common Denominator, a live album featuring Ryan McCombs on vocals but encompassing songs from all three Drowning Pool studio albums.

'Drowning Pool'

Drowning Pool put out their fourth studio album, Drowning Pool, on April 27, 2010. It was the second studio record to feature McCombs on lead vocals.

Drowning Pool Lineup:

Stevie Benton – bass
Mike Luce – drums
Ryan McCombs – vocals
C.J. Pierce – guitar

Key Drowning Pool Songs::

“Bodies” (Purchase/Download)
“Tear Away” (Purchase/Download)
“Step Up” (Purchase/Download)
“37 Stitches” (Purchase/Download)

Drowning Pool Discography:

Sinner (2001) Compare Prices
Desensitized (2004) Compare Prices
Full Circle (2007) Compare Prices
Loudest Common Denominator (live album) (2009) Compare Prices
Drowning Pool (2010)

Drowning Pool Trivia:

  • Drowning Pool did a cover of Billy Idol’s “Rebel Yell” on Full Circle.
  • Many radio stations pulled Drowning Pool’s song “Bodies” after the 9/11 attacks because its sing-along chorus (“Let the bodies hit the floor”) felt inappropriate in light of the tragedy.
  • According to Dave Williams, he and the rest of Drowning Pool first bonded over a shared love of Faith No More.

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