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Drowning Pool is a killer rock band that knows how to rock out! From radio to satellite, these guys are kickin’ ass and they know how to put on one hell of a show! The energy is bad ass and their songs are amazing. Today I got to interview CJ Pierce (guitar+back up vocals) and here’s what he had to say..
JuicyBands: How long has Drowning Pool been together and how do you guys all know each other?
CJ: We’ve been together as Drowning Pool since 1996. We were all friends in high school, I met Mike when I was a freshman or a sophomore. The last 2 years of high school Mike moved to Dallas. His last 2 years of high school he became friends with Stevie and right after high school he moved back to New Orleans. Him and I just started rockin’ out. He always stayed in touch with Stevie and back in the early 90’s the rock and roll era was really poppin’ with Pantara and a few other bands that were just kickin’ ass at the time; so him and I decided in 96’ to move to Dallas because the rock scene was way better there. We moved their on a mission to start a rock band together and it actually happened.
JuicyBands: I think you guys are all so phenomenal for everything you guys have been through and the tunes are outstanding.
CJ: Thank you, we’ve been through a lot of stuff. It’s been quite the roller coaster ride, quite the ride.
JuicyBands: After loosing your lead singer 2 years ago, how did you guys go about finding Jason “Gong” Jones to join Drowning Pool and take the place of the new lead singer?
CJ: That was a tough time, it was probably one of the toughest times in my life so far. We were all pretty down and it was like loosing your best friend, your brother, you know, anyone loosing any family member, it’s hard. But we’ve all been friends since high school, we all love music and we all love playing together, so we wanted to continue on playing. The name Drowning Pool is kind of like our last name, so we didn’t want to change our name just because one of our brothers past away. That’s another question people have asked, why we kept the same name, but you know..we started this together and we’re going to keep it going. With Jason as far as getting Jason in, he had a really good voice that went with our music; of course we didn’t know him personally, until after we got on a tour bus together. And you got to be friends and famiy first, before you can play music together and write songs together. With Jason, we never really had that brotherly family vibe; so we didn’t want to lie to ourselves and lie to our fans. I think Ties was a great record that we did with Jason, I think he has a great voice; he just wasn’t the right guy for us. With Ryan Mc.Combs we have that family vibe, we’ve known Ryan for almost 10 years now. We did some touring with him, he was friends with Dave back when we all got started. We act like brothers, fight like brothers…but in a good way. [laughs]
JuicyBands: You guys have been on tour like crazy, out of all the venues you guys played at this summer; which was your favorite and why?
CJ: That’s a tough one, I like them all for different reasons. Whether it’s 2 people, 20 people or 20,000 people, we love playing music and that’s one thing that’s pretty consistent about this band. Some bands hate if it’s a small show, they get pissed off or they cut songs and I don’t understand that mentality; we’re here to play music for anybody and everyone……or nobody it doesn’t matter. It doesn’t matter where we’re at, we just have such a good time everywhere, we love performing and playing great music. I can’t really think of a particular venue, we like them all. We have a lot of cool fans, so we know people pretty much everywhere we go; it’s always good to see friends again. We did a show with Stained not to long ago which was really cool and we did a show with Seether which was awesome! We’re real good friends with Seether, we hardly ever get to see those guys; unless we do a radio show together. It’s always cool when you get to hang out with your buddies from other bands that you don’t get to see that often. Erin Lewis imperticular, he’s a super nice guy. He kinda helped me out there, I was in dire need of something I didn’t have and he helped me out and I appreciated that, and that’s all I can say about that. Just really good people you know- gosh what venues, they’re all so good, I love them all; even the small shitty ones, I love them all. [laughs]
CJ: Infact, I think I like those better, because everybody’s scrambling. Like you do the big show and everything works perfect, but then you play these little club shows where shit doesn’t work right and everybody’s scrambling. I was telling my drummer last night, he was getting mad; because he’s the first one to freak out when things don’t turn out right. The fans don’t know, they’re just rockin’ out. We just go with it.
JuicyBands: So you guys are pretty well known for being a bad ass group of rock stars who know how to party like no tomorrow, what’s the craziest thing you guys have done together as a band and where did it take place?
CJ: Yeah, we still know how to party like no tomorrow, I’m doing pretty good; I know how to pace myself now. But it still doesn’t matter you know, every night’s Saturday night by the end of the night. Then you want to hang out, with these people that come to your show, they work all week, goin’ to school, so you definitely want to hang out, be a good host. I want to drink with everybody as much as the next person. The craziest thing we’ve ever done together as a band, every night crazy crazy stuff happens…every night. We haven’t been doing this lately, but we usto travel with a bunch of fireworks and that’s kinda fun to shoot it out the bus window at your crew members.
JuicyBands: [laughs] That’s a new one.
CJ: You know what I did once, I was in the back of the bus, I opened up the back window and I had a rolling candle and I shot it forward towards the front of the bus. My driver’s up there driving and he’s just seeing sparks go by, he thought he went off the road and was hitting power lines; but we were just shooting fireworks from the back of the bus to the front of the bus.
JuicyBands: Did you guys do anything special for the 4th of July?
CJ: Actually we had a day off and we stayed at this Holiday Inn in the middle of no-where. The cool thing for me was, I wrote a new song there. A lot of times we’re playing somewhere for the holidays, but it was kinda cool to chill. That was a good day for me.
JuicyBands: You guys have performed at so many venues this summer, you guys were actually at Summer Fest with Motley Crue, that’s so awesome, how’d that go; did you guys have a blast?
CJ: Yeah I’m forever a fan of music, I still geek out on bands sometimes. I’m in the music business and I get to hang out with people. A perfect example is, Corey Taylor. I’ve known Corey for years, we toured with Slipknot back in 2001. And I see him every now and then, and I hang out with him, but at the same time, In the back of my head it’s like, “I’m hanging out with Corey Taylor!” I’m still friends with the guy so it’s cool, but I’m still like a fan at the same time, so I get all excited! There’s other bands that are like that as well, we have bands come up to us; and they’re like, “dude I’ve been fans of you guys forever.” Like today it’s going to be awesome, we’re in Kansas City and we’ll be doing a show with Judas Priest! They’ve been around forever and they still put on really kick ass shows and here we are opening up for them, so that’s exciting!
JuicyBands: That’s definitely exciting! Do you think everything you guys have been through as a band has brought you guys closer together?
CJ: Yeah it definitely brings you closer together, but I think it does a little bit of both. Brings you closer together but then you also cherish the times when you don't have to see anybody because you're always up each others ass on this bus.
JuicyBands: What’s your must have snack you always pack when getting ready to hit the road and go on tour?
CJ: I am a snack-a-souras! I make snacks out of anything. I’ll take anything we have and make some kind of gourmet meal out of it. I like Triscuits, I could eat those all day long, i’ll dress it up. [laughs] I’ll put like a smily face with the mustard, I like to play with my food.
JuicyBands: If you could perform with any musician dead or alive who would it be and why?
CJ: One musician that passed away that would be fun to rock out with would be Jimmy Hendrix because he does some crazy stuff. He was just so great at ad-libbing, if you watch some of his old videos of him live, he didn’t sound anything like the record. Every time he played a song he played it completely different, but it was always awesome! So that would be fun, that would be a challenge. Of course I’ve had many moments jamming out with Dimebag, I wish there was more. It was weird with him because at his house he had a studio and he always wanted to be on the drums and give me his guitar and I’m like, “You’re Dimebag you’re amazing on the guitar, why did you give me your guitar and you’re on the drums?!” so that was fun, I’d of liked to have done more of that. I just enjoy playing with other bands like Judas Priest. We did a festival show where we opened up for Iron Maiden. It’s always fun to open up for these classic rock bands that have been around forever. It builds your hardcore fan base.
JuicyBands: You guys just wrapped up the video and are came out with a new single, 37 Stitches, do you want to tell us a little bit about it?
CJ: Yeah, we just finished up the video for it last week in Dallas. We actually had a day off, we stopped off in Dallas; filmed the video and left. So I went home for a couple hours, just to get some clothes for the video. I really like the video, it’s very personal. There’s a couple clips of Stevie at his house and a couple clips of me at my house and there’s a couple clips of Joe and Charlie; his parents are in the video which is really cool. And some buddies of ours Bob, who plays base for Damage Plan and 2nd base for Hellyeah, he’s in the video doing the tattoo on Mikes arm. It was kinda cool, we did it in our home town; so we got to run around and shoot in different locations. The last scene was actually at the Pladium, which is a real cool rock club with the Dallas skyline in the background. I’m really happy with that. We haven’t done anything like that before and I think it came out really good. I’m in shock. I just got the edit yesterday and I’m really happy with it. I’m not sure what else they have to do to it, but I’m really happy with what I’ve seen. I think the official ad date is the 2nd week in August, so I’m sure after August or September that 37 Stitches will start hitting the radio and you’ll be hearing more of it. It’s a good song, I really like it. It’s kind of a departure from our regular style, a little more mellow. I pulled out the acoustic for the first time and that’s where that song came from and I really hope it takes up because Ryan does really good at that stuff. We did a couple songs that aren’t out at all yet, I’m sure they will come out. We did a couple of acoustic songs from the record just for fun at a buddies studio and they just sound really really good. We’ve never done anything like that before. I hopefully want to pursue a few more songs like that on the next record, but of course we’re going to stick with the heavy stuff. I think our new material is going to be heavier then boddies, so I’m looking forward to those songs as well. Just trying to expand our music on the next record.
JuicyBands: That’s great that you guys are keeping it fresh and switching it up. When you guys are on tour how do you decide what songs you’re going to start off with and end with each night?
CJ: That’s a constant battle every single day. Everybody wants to do something different, everybody has their favorite songs. We usually make 2 or 3 different set lists. It changes here and there, we have a couple songs that flow nice together and stay together live, but then at different show’s we’ll switch it up. 37 is a new song we just put on the set list recently, so every night, we’ll try it here, we’ll try it there, whatever feels better.
JuicyBands: While on tour, what do you do on the tour bus to keep yourself entertained?
CJ: I just play the guitar and write music. I’m pretty boring. I’ll get up, get a little work out in, do some sit-ups and push-ups and I’m more motivated to write music and pick up my guitar; that’s what I do. Some dudes like Ryan, he’s a video game guy. He’ll sit in his bunk and just play video games forever. I can’t do that, I can’t play video games for more then 5 minutes, I get dizzy. I’m just writing music and believe me, time flys when I’m writing music. The whole day will go by, I’ll get really into it and next thing I know the day’s over.
JuicyBands: Jager or Vodka?
CJ: We were sponsored by jager for many many years when we did the jagermeister tour. I would have to say Vodka over Jager because I’ve drank so much jager In the last 5-10 years of my life. We need some clear liquids here.
JuicyBands: Do you guys have any special plans for the future?
CJ: We have a little time off in September. I think we’re going to get a lot of songs solid, for the next record in that time period. Hopefully we’ll be in the position to record by next year and put a new record out there for the fans and continue touring through all next year.
JuicyBands: Is there anything you’d like to say to your fans?
CJ: Yeah, I’d like to let our fans know, we say this all the time. Usually after the show, we’ll go change and shower off and then we’ll come hang out and everybody’s gone. We’re the kind of band, we like to hang out and thank everyone personally for coming out. I’ll go back stage and change my shirt and come out to hang out with everyone and everybody’s gone. It’ll just be us 4 at the bar hanging out, wondering where everyone went.
For more on DROWNING POOL
be sure to check out:
Drowning Pool Official Site:
Drowning Pool Official Site:
DROWNING POOL Official Myspace
Official DROWNING POOL store
AUG. 13, 2008
Venue: Club Chrome
Location: Springfield, IL.
AUG. 15, 2008
Venue: Oktoberfest Grounds Pavillion
Location: La Crosse, WI
AUG. 16, 2008
Venue: Brown County Arena
Location: Green Bay, WI
AUG. 17, 2008
Venue: Orpheum Theatre
Location: Madison, WI
AUG. 19, 2008
Venue: The Hub Parking Lot
Location: Fargo, ND
AUG. 20, 2008
Venue: Rushmore Plaza Civic Center Arena
Location: Rapid City, SD
AUG. 23, 2008
Venue: White River Amphitheatre
Location: Auburn, WA
AUG. 26, 2008
Venue: Great Falls Civic Center
Location: Great Falls, MT