Break It Down: Ryan McCombs of Drowning Pool
Mon, 10 Dec 2007 16:11:14
Drowning Pool have been waving the flag for anthemic heavy metal since they burst onto the scene in 2001 with the smash hit “Bodies.” The Texas-bred quartet destroyed the road alongside the likes of Slipknot, Mudvayne, Disturbed, Coal Chamber and Hatebreed to name a few. Even after the tragic death of singer Dave Williams in 2002, the Texans trudged on with Jason “Gong” Jones behind the mic. During the “Gong” days, they released the Motley Crue-influenced Desensitized in 2004 and hit the road with Damageplan.
After parting ways with “Gong,” the band found a new voice and consequentially a new life with ex-Soil frontman Ryan McCombs singing. On 2007’s Full Circle, Drowning Pool unleash a new kind of fury. The band channels the hazy melodies of Alice In Chains and the stripper-shakin’ riffs of Guns N’ Roses for some 21st Century arena metal. While ceaselessly supporting the new release, McCombs took some time to answer our Break It Down questions. He delves into his “Garage Days” and encyclopedic knowledge of football.
What have you been listening to lately?
We always jam a lot of music as we're getting ready to take the stage for show time. The songs range all over the place. If I’m controlling the stereo, then you can count on hearing some Skynyrd, AC/DC, Stone Sour, Iron Maiden and you know it,… some BLS.
Where are you currently living, and what's the best place to hang out in your current neighborhood?
A VERY small town in Indiana is where I call home. The best place to hang there other than home is a bar called "Second Chance." In Dallas, where the band is from and where I spend most of my non-touring time, I would say "Renos" and the "Curtain Club," down in Deep Elum, are two of my favorite places. Also anywhere Anti-Mike Stewart is bartending.
When you were a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up?
According to my Dad I was always air-drumming or playing air-guitar to the music that would be playing in the house, so I reckon a musician.
What's the most dramatic thing you ever did to save money as a starving musician?
I slept in a garage for about three years in Chicago. I had a lot of days during that same time when saving up for a 99-cent Chili Cheese Burrito from Taco Bell was an achievement.
Tell us one of your favorite song lyrics in the whole wide world?
"Dream On" from the song of the same name by Aerosmith was one of my favorite songs growing up when I was dreaming of some day doing this for a living. Though the lyric is sooooo not me, I love the line in Stone Sour's "30/30-150," "I don't wanna be an angel, I just wanna be god"… When you're good and drunk getting ready to hit the stage, that is a mighty powerful line. That and I think Corey is the best vocalist going these days, hands down.
What's your most cherished musical instrument, paraphernalia, or accessory?
I swapped leather Bracelets with Chad (Hell Yeah / Mudvayne) and Dave (Drowning Pool) back in the day. They're two good friends that I really admire, but the bracelets got stolen in San Fran.
If you could change one thing about the music industry today what would it be?
The guy making the product would get paid first. Not complaining about current situations cause 10th street really stands alone on taking care of their artists (no I ain't a kiss-ass, it's the way they are). I'm just tagging the normal companies in the business as a whole. The artist continues to worry about paying their mortgage, while most the people that live off of them drive cars that cost more than our houses.
What's the craziest thing you've seen a fan do at one of your shows?
Probably hand up a prosthetic limb for us to sign.
What never goes out of style?
That's easy...Rock and Roll. It may lay low for a few years from time to time, but it's always gonna be there.
Do you have secret skills we should know about?
I am a storage unit for useless football information.
What's your favorite drink?
Capt. Morgan and Diet Dr. Pepper. Three before show time with a couple various shots and a few on stage gets me through just fine. Don't sip out of mine though as the Diet Dr. Pepper is just for color. hehehe
What was the first song you would (or have) played for your newborn child?
"Take Your Pick" from Zakk Wylde's Book Of Shadows. I put Mitchell David to sleep night after night to that album after he was born.
What has been your sweetest victory to date?
This career is nothing but a never-ending ladder. Every rung you step up to just leads to another one. Everyday that people/fans allow us to do what we do by buying our music and coming out to shows so we can stay on that ladder is a victory. Everyone in the business owes them everything.
—The ARTISTdirect Staff