Last updated: July 25. 2013 9:12AM - 448 Views

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Ryan Scott Ottney

PDT Staff Writer

Hot off the release of their fifth studio album “Resilience,” out now on Eleven Seven Music, hard rock band Drowning Pool will make a stop in Portsmouth on as part of their “Resilience Tour”. The band will headline at the Columbia Theater June 21, with opening act Eye Empire.

The band burst onto the scene touring with Ozzy Osbourne’s OzzFest, and in 2001 they released a platinum-selling album “Sinner,” reaching No. 14 on the U.S. music charts. The album included popular tracks such as “Bodies,” which was used by WWE and Ohio Valley Wrestling, and heard in the films “Jason X” (2002) and “The Punisher” (2004).

In 2002, lead singer Dave Williams, age 30, died of cardiomyopathy on the band’s tour bus in Virginia. Singer Jason Jones joined the band as lead vocalist in 2003 and was featured on their 2004 album “Desensitized,” before he left in 2005. He was then followed singer by Ryan McCombs who recorded two albums (“Full Circle” in 2007, and “Drowning Pool” in 2010 which spawned their highest-charting radio hit to date, “Feel Like I Do.”) before he also left the band in 2011.

Instead of folding up and simply going away as many artists would, original members—C.J. Pierce [Guitar], Stevie Benton [Bass], and Mike Luce [Drums] dusted themselves off and began searching for his replacement immediately.

“This business is a marathon not a sprint,” said Benton. “You’re going to have a lot of ups and downs. That’s how life is. There are no more surprises because we’ve survived all of these disasters already. We’re more of a unit than ever before. We’ve become adept at rolling with the punches, and we’ve always got each other’s backs.”

Originally touring alongside Drowning Pool with his own band, Suicide Hook, singer Jason Moreno sent an audition tape to the band. For the vocalist, the opportunity to simply try out for one of his favorite bands was an honor enough.

“I just tried my best,” remembers Moreno. “Back in the day, there was a clear moment when I knew these guys had something special. My band was opening for them at an outdoor festival. They had this wall of sound and thunderous energy so I turned around and looked at the stage. Dave had this shovel, and he was banging it on the stage as hard as he could in time with the snare drum. It was awesome visually and you could feel it. I’ll never forget that. I kept moments like that in mind going into this.”

Moreno officially joined the band for their fifth full-length album and third for Eleven Seven Music, “Resilience.”

“It’s exciting to have new blood. He’s on fire about being a part of this, and that’s contagious. It’s like we can’t stop writing songs now. Jason lives and breathes it. We can play any song we’ve ever written and he can sing it like the day it came off the record,” Benton said.

Drowning Pool continue to deliver on record, on stage and beyond. They’ve toured Kuwait, Iraq, Korea, and Guantanamo Bay, performing for the soldiers. They’ve rocked on high-profile tours such as Crüe Fest and Ozzfest, sharing bills with everyone from Mötley Crüe and Papa Roach to Ozzy Osbourne and System of a Down.

“In the immortal words of Dimebag Darrell, we’re trying to ‘Keep on keepin’ on’,” Luce said. “Drowning Pool is alive and kicking and in some respects more than ever. We’re lifers.”

Touring to promote their new album, the band will play the Columbia Music Arena in Portsmouth on June 21, with Eye Empire opening. Tickets are available at the Columbia Music Arena, located at 832 Gallia St., in Portsmouth. The venue can be found online at columbiamusicarena.com and on Facebook.

A second leg of tour dates with co-headliners Pop Evil will begin July 21 in St. Louis, Missouri. For more information about Drowning Pool, visit them online at www.drowningpool.com. The band is also available on Facebook (www.facebook.com/drowningpool), MySpace (us.myspace.com/drowningpool), and Twitter (@DrowningPool).

Ryan Scott Ottney may be reached at 740-353-3101, ext. 287, or rottney@civitasmedia.com. For breaking news, follow Ryan on Twitter @PDTwriter.

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