photo by Chapman Baehler
You can plan most things when your in a band, but it must have been a big surprise for Drowning Pool when their debut UK single "Bodies" was used as the theme tune to the WWF 2001 Summerslam event. Not that the band are just throw away and disposable - more that its just another facet to their character. Before they were signed they toured across America with the likes of Kittie, Sevendust and Hed(PE) which attracted the attention of Wind Up Records. Their debut album for Wind Up, "Sinner" is in the shops now and we caught up with Mike Luce from the band to find out about the international mission of rock.
Q: The "Sinner" album has gone platinum in the States. Looking back to those early days in New Orleans did you ever imagine you would make it this far?
A: No, we hoped we'd get a record deal and when we got it we just wanted to put out a decent record. CJ and myself played together for probably close to ten years off and on with different bands before we decided to take the trip over to Dallas to see if it would work over there. And so far its all working.
In New Orleans it was so hard to get gigs and then it was even harder trying to find people we wanted to gig with. A lot of the clubs you had to play 50-70% cover songs. He and I had both done that in different bands and we wanted to do original stuff. We wanted to strike out a make it - we just knew that doing there wouldn't work out.
Q: It was in Dallas you hooked up with Stevie and Dave. Did it all click when you got together for that first session?
A: It kind of started working. We knew we'd found four people that wanted to do the same thing and we were just going to play music and have our regular day jobs. Then the more we kept playing and the more goals we kept setting for ourselves and the band...the little bit more we would accomplish and the more goals we would set.
Q: How it all started was you actually recorded a demo and while still unsigned you went across America with Kittie and Sevendust?
A: We did a demo at a friends house back in Dallas and we were just playing local gigs. Then one of the guitarists for Sevendust was living in Dallas, saw us and we just kept bugging him to let us do a couple of openers for them. We did a three or four shows in a couple of states down South.
The four of us got together in 1998 and we got the deal in November of 2000. But Stevie, myself and CJ have played music off and on since 1990. It finally just came together once we found Dave.
photo by Rudy Archuleta / Corbis-Saba
Q: The songs as with most rock bands are about religion and relationships. If you had to sum up the underlining message of Drowning Pool what would it be?
A: You got to get out there, live it yourself and find out what work best for you. Anybody can tell you what is best for you, but by no means should you not listen to them. See what they have to say and figure it out yourself and do your own thing.
There's no difference between us and the people that come to see the shows. We just got a little bit luckier to be on the 3ft stage, two years ago we were in the same position. So if we can do it anybody can do it!!!
Q: You've been playing for ten years and you can plan to a certain extent where you will be in the future. One thing you couldn't have foreseen must have been the use of "Bodies" on the WWF Summerslam 2001. It must feel strange to be part of the whole carnival?
A: We had people back in Dallas going "You're one of the better band.....you're going to make it...blah, blah, blah" and yet we still can't believe that were here. The song "Bodies" we thought would be cool with some sports highlights clip and then when it started taking off, Wind-Up and WWF got together they just thought it would be a perfect match. Its been a good outlet for us.
Q: We were talking before about Big Day out in Australia and you're coming to the UK later this month. Rock music is like the only musical genre that can connect internationally. Would you agree?
A: I think that's just because Rock music is honest, more straight forward. Its not something that is engineered for a specific audience or group and I think people relate to it and pick up from it. We definitely four jack asses up there on stage and I think that's accessible or attainable to the listener. They see us, were playing and were just thankful to be doing and that comes across.
Were Southern guys from the States and we just like to get up there and have a good time. Its music in its simplest form.
"Sinner" is out now on Epic
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