Interview with CJ of Drowning Pool

Interview with CJ of Drowning Pool

 Christian Mayberry had the chance to talk with one of the members of Drowning Pool for a quick an to the point interview.

CMHas it been easy Transitioning Jasen Moreno into the band ? 

 CJ - Jasen has been nothing but a pleasure for us to work with. For starters we've known Jasen for years. He came up in the Dallas music scene with us in the late 90's early 2000. He toured with Drowning Pool in his other bands. Also Stevie, Mike and I have all worked with Jasen in the past on his other projects. Jasen is the only singer who out of respect to the Drowning Pool fans took the time to learn every song off of every record we've made before him. The only singer to be able to sing like the 3 different sounds we had prior to him. But most importantly Jasen has his own voice. His own style which totally fits with the direction we want to go in. Which is a heavier sound.



CM - Do you guys think you finally found the perfect singer for Drowning pool ? 

I'd definitely say Jasen is finally the right guy we've been looking for. It feels like it was a 10 year penance but now that J is here we've been having great times again. I think you need to be friends and family first before you write great music together. Or at least have productive disagreements. We've never been tighter as a band. We feel like our live shows have never been better. We're all on the same page. You can hear that in the music on the newest full length Download "Hellelujah"! Isn't that what we should call it now? Just seems like Record, Album, 8-Track, Cassette, CD is just old shit. Although I still have all my Albums, Cassettes and CD's. Just can't let them go. 


CM- I see you guys will be at Rockfest kc coming up in may , an you have played this festival a few times already … what sets rockfest kc apart from other festivals in the us.


CJ - Man I can't even explain how excited we are to be playing Kansas City Rockfest 2016 this year! That's one of the absolute best Rock Festivals in the U.S hands down. KC is like a second home to us. Literally we have tons of friends and family there. Everyone at 98.9 the Rock, Bob, Johhny, everyone there. All true rock fans and great people. 


CM - What are some of the Odd/funny things you guys have seen on tours over the years ?


CJ- I wouldn't say I've seen it all, but I've seen a lot. There are stories for days. Always a crazy person in every town. Always good times though. Well for the most part. So many stories, so little time. I don't even know where to begin.


CM - If you had to pick 2 bands to tour with , who would they be ?

 CJ- If I had to pick two bands to tour with? That's a tough one. I always say Metallica. Not sure if they've ever picked up on that the 20 plus years I've been saying it. But still I can always hope for it. We did get to play a few festivals with them but never a full tour. Pantera if Dime was still with us. So I could watch him play again every night. Great times with DimeBag. My liver will pay for all that some day I'm sure of it. 


CM - You guys are around each other so much on tours , What do you guys do together for fun while out on the road? 


CJ- Well you kinda said it right there. We are around each other so much I think we've learned to give each other some space. But we do still F'k with each other. Which is a good thing. That's always fun. But If we stop doing that then I know we're having issues. 


How have your fans reacted to Hellelujah ?


CJ- I have to say I've heard nothing but 100% positive feedback from all of our fans. Which of course we appreciate it. I know with "Hellelujah" there were a few distinct factors involved that effected the outcome of the music and the sound. First off, the ever changing music business, past management, past label issues. During the last 6 months of writing we were totally free of both which allowed us to make the exact kind of record we wanted to make. Working with producer Jason Suecof helped us shape the heavier sound and direction we wanted to go in. But I feel most importantly for me anyway was the fact we had  released the Sinner Unlucky 13 year anniversary CD and toured on that playing "Sinner" in its entirety while we were writing material for "Hellelujah". For me personally that brought me back into the mind frame I was in when we wrote "Sinner". I feel you hear a lot of that influence come through in the new songs as well.

CM - What makes this album so different than all the rest ?


CJ- It think "Hellelujah" is the greatest mix of old school Drowning Pool meets new evolved Drowning Pool with Jasen Moreno. We also feel it's the first record where we're back on track going in the direction we've always wanted to go in which again is a heavier sound. 


CM-You guys have been through so much through the years what has kept you guys going ?


CJ- It's been quite the rollercoaster ride for us to say the least. But that life in general for all of us anyway isn't it? Honestly straight up I love music, I love writing, recording, producing, performing, teaching, you name it. All things music for me. I know we all share the same passion in Drowning Pool in some form or fashion. That's what keeps us going. Obviously not the business side. That's the everyday fight, the Beat Down. I guess that keeps going as well. Just more Fuel for the fire. 


CM -Will fans get to hear plenty of song fromHellelujah at Rockfest KC ?


CJ- We do a mix of songs off of every record. It changes almost nightly. So basically you have to come see us every night if you want to catch all the tunes. I'm pretty sure I know what songs we'll pull out this year for KC 98.9 Rockfest 2016. But again that could change mid set. We just go with it and feed off of the energy of the crowd. 


CJ thank you for talking with us today , I know fans can't wait to see you guys out on Tour this year.



St.Louis Concert & Music Photographer