Drowning Pool (CJ Pierce)
The strenght of never giving up against all the hard times, chasing the dream of a lifetime, stepping through thick and thin, among demises and dropouts. CJ Pierce, guitarist in Dallas-based alternative metal band Drowning Pool, speaks about the recent history of the band he founded, and something more: the choice of the new singer Jasen Moreno, the details of some track picked from the new album "Resilience", the guitar heroes he looks up to, and an unpleasant misadventure occurred in Venice. Enjoy the read!
Article by Riccardo Coppola - Publish on: 14/04/13

Hello CJ, I'm Riccardo from SpazioRock, I'm really proud of speaking with you! How are you?


I'm doing great! I think I'm adjusted to the time change... finally.

Let's talk a little about your band and your new album, ok? With your band you have faced really hard times, but you still are a strong group and a big name in music. Have you ever been close to give up? What does Drowning Pool mean to you?


Drowning pool to me I mean it's like friends and family since high school. Mike, Stevie, Myself... And it's been quite a rollercoaster to ride. We've had lot of ups, lot of downs. From everything, from the music business, to obviously the singer switches, management, labels. We've been able to work things but at the end of the day what is to me is passion. I love heavy metal, I love rock n'roll, all I ever wanted to do in my life was to play the guitar in a rock band. We stepped through thick and thin and we're still here.

You recruited your new singer Jasen for your new album. I bet he was not the only one that applied to your auditions for your new album. What made you choose him?


Yeah we had a lot of really great auditions come through this time, most than ever before. We had really a great amount of guys to choose from. Jasen had some major advantages, which is why he got the job. We needed Jasen. He came up in this music scene in Dallas, Texas with us, we knew Jasen for 10/15 years as well. We put with him off and on, his band played with us throughout the years. On top of that, he took the time to learn every single Drowning Pool song and every one of our cds, and when he came into the rehearsal room for our Auditions he sang songs that I personally haven't played in ten years and he just nailed it! He pulled off the great Dave Williams, he does stuff out of his times. But on top of that he has an own identity and his own original sound that just works perfectly with our music.


Let's say something about Resilience. Do you see it like an evolution or like a new start for your musical identity as a band?


like I said before, we stoop through thick and thin, we had hard times, a lot of personal stuff, this kind of business. But you know, we're still passionate, and we love music, I'm so glad that we came here. All those bad times, you know, good times and bad, led us to work up with Jasen. And this record to me is probably the most aggressive record and it's the most honest and true record we've ever made today. And I can't be more proud, absolutely.

If you had to describe the new Drowning Pool with only one word, which one would you choose?




It seems that the Resilience's cover hides a symbolic message. What do those dark waters and that emerging arm represent to you?


Yeah you know the big hand, tree hand coming out of the water. And you know there's roots, the drowning Pool roots are really deep, and to us is just expressing that we're not gotta go down without a fight. You gotta fight for what you love, what you believe in. You gotta fight for your passions. Being in a metal band, we put it on a rock show. You know we keep fighting, we're still here, making it happen.



Tell me something about your new lyrics: are they based on some concept? What are they about?


When it's to the writing process to this record, I think the first bunch of songs, probably the heavier, more aggressive songs were kind of reflecting... well you know it's definitely frustrating switching lead singers as many times as we had, it's not something we wanted to do. When Jasen came into the mix for the second half of the writing process, we started having fun again, we felt like a band again, where we should be in our career. With Jasen in the band, you know, we're having fun with it, so lot of our songs reflect those good times. It sounds rock and roll.

Is there any song that you like more than the others on Resilience? Your favourite one!


Let's start talking about the aggressive songs... there's a specific song called "Life Of Misery". I think we've all been in a relationship, whether it's just friends or a wife or something like that. You get really burned from it and I think that song is expressing that. There's "One Finger And A Fist" which is an attitude song; I love "Anytime Anyplace" that's definitely another fight song, you just a name a time and a place and I'll be right there, straight for you. There's also a song called "In Memory Of", that I'm really glad it made it on the cd. This song I've been kind of working on over the years. It started out like a dedication song to Dave Williams, but once Jasen came into the mix he put the icing on the cake. And you know, this song is called "In Memory Of", is for anyone who has ever lost a best friend, or a family member, you know this song is a dedication to them. So yeah, that was just to name a few.

You spoke about a dedication to Dave Williams. Do you think that Dave would have liked what you've done?


I think he would have loved it man, i knew Dave very well, he was my best friend. He had such a great energy, he loved music, he loved being the singer in a rock band, he loved everything about it like we do. If the roles were reversed I would have wanted the band to go on as well, so enjoying our lives, enjoying playing, doing what we love, doing our passions, playing in a rock band. I think he would be proud, definitely. Dave knew Jasen. We played shows together back in the day so... I think he would have been happy with this choice of singer, for sure... this time around. (laughs)


Let's talk about something happier. You've been a little over the top with your latest video! 


The last one, for "One Finger And A Fist"? In this video we're in a girl fight club, as they're beating each other up. Yeah, I've always been a big fan of the Fight Club movie. The people we've been working with for the video are really great guys! I really liked the concept. It was fun. It's always fun to make videos, man, it's always good times. 


Tell me something about someone that you admire particularly in the world of music. Is there someone that has inspired, or still inspires, your personal growth as a musician?


Yeah, I've had a lot of inspirations in the years, as I'm always looking for something new. When I got started playing guitar, Led Zeppelin and Black Sabbath were the two bands that always used to turn me on.. Jimmy page is still an inspiration. But as I got older, you know, I got into metal, I got into Testament, and Alex Scolnick is probably one of my biggest influences. I got to meet him a few times, it's really cool to me, you know, of the heroes.
But I like all rock music, man. I try to suck it all in, I try to be open minded: anything I can use to make me a better player and a better songwriter is welcome.

And since you're a guitarist... what about your favorite guitar solo?


Favorite guitar solo of all times? Oh wow, man, good one! There're so many good ones!

One, just one.


Just one, oh man! How could you do this to me? (laughs) I can't take only one! I mean... everything from Led Zeppelin. I'd pick something from Led Zeppelin if I had to choose one. But there're so many good things from Testament, you know... You know who's got some good stuff? Opeth. they've got some great guitar tones and solo and that stuff. I'm a huge Opeth fan. we have a lot of good stuff out there. Oh man, I can't pick one!

You're touring with Flyleaf at your side. How much are you enjoying this experience with them?


Oh that's being great! We've been out the last five weeks. Flyleaf's a really great band, really good friends, and we've known them for a long time as well. All the fans are being super great! It's nice to see people come up to the shows. We know that they can be skeptical at first with the new singer. But after the first song into the set, they jump around and go all nuts. So it's nice to see how all the fans are accepting Jasen and really getting into the shows. I'm thankful for that. It's great.

Can you close this interview with a message to our readers and to Italian fans?


Oh yeah, such Italian fans, yeah? I love food! But ok, let me give a message here for anybody out there wheter he love music or love anything else in his life. If you have passion about it, and you love it, stick with it through thick and thin. You know, I'm glad that we did: I'm glad that Drowning Pool stuck with it, and now good things are coming to us now, even if it took a long time to get back on track. So, to everybody out there, I wish you guys the best luck. Do what you love, stick with it, make it happen.

CJ, it was a pleasure! It was fun, and it was an honor for me


Thanks man, thanks for everything. We got to get some shows over there. It's beautiful there. I was just there last November with my wife, I went to Florence, I went to Rome, and I went to Venice... and I got stuck in a "acqua alta": three feet of water came up in Venice.. it was nuts! So thank you man, thanks a lot, maybe someday we'll get there and hang out.

Goodbye CJ, see you soon!



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