DROWNING POOL Bassist On Songwriting, Current Active Rock Scene

Kristen Dunleavy of myYearbook recently conducted an interview with bassist Stevie Benton of Texas heavy rockers DROWNING POOL. A couple of excerpts from the chat follow below.

myYearbook: "Feel Like I Do" was your biggest radio hit off of your most recent self-titled album. When recording that album, was the band under a lot of pressure to succeed like you did with your debut release?

Stevie: You always want to have success, because the minute you don't, the music business moves pretty quick and you just get run over. We never tried to compare what we're doing now with our first record. Dave [Williams; late DROWNING POOL singer] is no longer with us and he was one of a kind. For a singer in our band to hold himself to that guy's standards would be impossible. If anybody ever met him, he was the life of every party, always the center of attention, always a wild and crazy guy. Nobody could keep up with him. We try to do our own thing and live up to the name as best we can.

myYearbook: What do you think it is about "Feel Like I Do" that made fans connect with it?

Stevie: You know, that's one of the few times in our entire career where we sat down, had a plan and had it actually work. When we started throwing ideas around in the rehearsal room about that song, we liked the vibe; we wanted it be a very interactive, fist in the air, sing the chorus kind of song. That's how the song came to be, with complete crowd participation in mind. To now have the song be successful and play it live every night and to see that happen is unbelievable. I can't believe we pulled it off. We usually fly by the seat of our pants 'cause that's the best way. Usually when we have a plan, it's absolutely a disaster, so to have something come together for us what kind of a shock, really.

myYearbook: You recorded your last two albums with singer Ryan McCombs. Can you see the band recording with him five, 10 years from now?

Stevie: You know, it would be nice to have a permanent lineup in the band. But after Dave passed, it's hard to ever look at any other singer as permanent. It would be great if it happened and we were able to record with Ryan forever, but I don't want to say that because I'm afraid I might jinx it. As soon as you start saying, "Oh yeah, this is the way it's gonna be forever," that's when things fall apart. But we'll see, fingers crossed everything will hold together and work out for us.

myYearbook: DROWNING POOL has gone through a lot of changes since the band first started out. Do you feel that your music reflects whatever the band has been going through at any given time?

Stevie: Yeah, that's what we've always written our songs about — personal life experiences; we really don't know anything else. We write about what's going on with us and we try to keep it vague enough that fans out there can hear it, relate to it and somehow apply it to their own lives.

myYearbook: Many hard rock musicians have conflicting views on where the genre is headed these days. What's your take?

Stevie: I'm digging it. I'm happy with the whole active rock scene in general; it's really strong right now. About five to seven years ago, radio spins for alternative rock bands, not hard rock bands, were way up. But that's flip-flopped, so we're riding high right now. I hope it stays like this for a long time because we we're a hard rock band, we're not one of those bands that crosses over and you can hear us on alternative radio and college radio. We'll never fit into that mold so I hope the rock scene really stays strong and sticks around for a while.

Read the entire interview from myYearbook.

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