Josh Niva of the Anchorage Daily News recently conducted an interview with DROWNING POOL/ex-SOIL singer Ryan McCombs. A few excerpts from the chat follow:On joining DROWNING POOL: "I've fallen in love with music again ... and I'm seeing smiles from guys who deserve to smile, and it feels damn good. These three gentlemen bled and cried and gave everything they had for that name, DROWNING POOL, just like Dave [Williams, late DROWNING POOL singer] had. They love what they're doing and refused to stop. "I'm not just happy to be in the mix; I'm proud of what that name means. It's an awesome thing to be a part of." On playing his first gig with DROWNING POOL, a hometown show in Dallas — and in front of Williams' parents: "I didn't want to let down the old DROWNING POOL fans, but I really didn't want to let down (the Williamses). To me that's letting Dave down. The things said to me after that show from the extended DROWNING POOL family — it felt like home. Everyone was just excited and happy about the type of person the guys are with now and the way we came off live. The puzzle is finally put back together again." On the "new" DROWNING POOL: "It's DROWNING POOL with my voice stuck onto it. There's more melody than just constantly kicking teeth out. But there's still plenty of kicking going on." On the band's upcoming visit to the Persian Gulf to entertain troops: "To be given an opportunity to take them a little piece of home and for a couple hours take them away from the hell that these men and women go through on a daily basis, we feel blessed." On the group's upcoming performance at the Alaska Fighting Championship XVII, an ultimate fighting event that draws blood and a legion of hard-core fans: "There's so much energy in the music — and it's times 10 when you're talking about a live show — and it goes hand in hand with guys getting their asses beat. Let the bodies hit the floor. That says it all."