Drowning Pool Bassist Updates Us on the "This Is For The Soldiers Tour and Campaign'

By Newsferatu, Writer
Thursday, October 18, 2007 @ 8:14 AM

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The Drowning Pool will perform a show at the legendary Whisky A-Go-Go on October 19th in Hollywood as part of their "This Is For The Soldiers Tour and Campaign.” For each ticket sold on the tour, Drowning Pool is donating one dollar to the IAVA and USO (.50˘ going to IAVA and .50˘ going to USO).

The Texas rockers visited Capital Hill on September 19th to take part in a special press conference that addressed better health care issues for the Veterans and to bring in 25,000 signatures on a petition in support of the Lane Evans Veterans Health and Improvement Act 2007.

Drowning Pool bassist Stevie Benton checked in with KNAC.COM on his thoughts about the upcoming Hollywood show and the tour. “The tour is pretty great. The response has been so overwhelming.” Benton said. “There have been so many people chipping in and helping us raise money for IAVA and USO. Everybody is just trying to do their part. It is a great thing to see. There have been so many service men and women that have come out to the shows that we actually met last time we were in Iraq. So it is great to see them home. We had a big joke over there every night, every show live we would say, ‘Everybody, we will see you back in the USA and C.J. is buying you all shots.’ CJ has to buy people drinks all the time, at every show. So that is pretty funny. To see that actually a year later, to come to fruition is pretty funny. The Whisky show is going to be great. We haven't played The Whisky since 2000, before we had a record deal. Playing in LA, our Label and management all have West Coast offices. All the suit people, and the people that help promote your project; they are all out there. You want to make sure; they all have a good time”

Benton says Drowning Pool’s performance on the 5th Anniversary of 9/11 in Baghdad forever changed his life. “It was just some of those surreal moments in your life that you realize a lot of the crazy shit that you have been through, you realize that sometimes there are very difficult and painful times, and it is pointing you in some kind of direction. It is leading you somewhere. So that night, having come all away around and survived all the crap the band had to go through and there we were having the privilege playing for the troops in Baghdad on 9/11 was certainly an emotional night for everybody. We named the new record after that night. It had come "Full Circle" for the band for what we had been through. We had experiences that we never forgot. When I am 80 years old, and the whole Drowning Pool thing is long behind me, it is one of those moments that I will never forgot and I will tell that story sitting on the rocking chair somewhere. My Dad was a Vietnam Veteran. Now, he is at the age where his health is a real concern. Over the past couple of years, having to deal with the troubles of actually getting any kind of appropriate care for these people who put their lives on the line and for everyone else is difficult. Now, here it is they are home and they are having health problems and they are the guys who are shoved to the back of the line. It is just not right. I hate seeing it. It happened not only to my Dad, but you got 21-year-old kids coming back from Iraq and Afghanistan experiencing the same thing. It is just bizarre. You really have to look up and look at the situation and realize, they send 18 or 19 year old kids over there. They are in a battle zone for 15 months at a time with no break, or R and R. This has got to be really traumatic to a kid at that age. But they expect them just to once their time is done, just fly home and go back into everyday life. In 24 hours like it is no big deal. These are guys, who are kids who have been over there and seen people shot, people blown up. That has got to do something to your mind. Just give them an evaluation, when they get back. Not only for there own well being, but for the well being of their families. It affects their entire families once these soldiers come back. The post-traumatic stress disorder, and depression affect everyone around them. For the benefit of everyone, it is best for him or her to be evaluated and make sure if there is a problem, they get the proper treatment. The goal is to help them join everyday society again."

Stevie recounts his date with members of the U.S. Congress in an attempt to influence change. "When we were delivering the petition on Capital Hill, they had just started the preliminary hearings on the Lane Evans Bill. We went over there to give the committee, the 25,000-signed petition. You know how slow the whole process is, bureaucracy and all that. It is looking really well. The bill has a lot of support. We talked to Barack Obama about it. We tried to talk to Hilary Clinton about it, but she wouldn't speak to us about it. Just because, not that she is against the troops in any way but the politics involved. Barack Obama is a sponsor for the Lane Evans Bill. So, you know Hilary is not going to do anything to help Barack Obama in getting any of his legislation passed. So she kind of steered clear of the whole thing. It is a crazy world out there in D.C. It is not something that I would want to be a part of everyday. That is for sure. One day in and out, that was enough for me. There will probably be another bill, like some funding bill and they will attach the Lane Evans Bill to that. The most important parts of the Bill are looking like it is going to happen. I am pretty thrilled about that."

Drowing Pool have released the video for the song “Enemy”. Benson describes the video, “It kind of seems funny that the second single, following the first single, “Soldiers” that it would seem that it would be about Iraq, but it is not. The song is really just about getting away from a bad situation really. When things were really not working out between you and some other people, so you just decided that you wanted to get the hell away from them and go your separate ways. We were all in the same kind of boat between the band and people we were around. We wanted to get away from these people and do our own thing. So that is kind of what the song is about .We are never going to forgot where we came from. We are never going to forget what an important part Dave is going to be to us. We are never going to turn our back and forgot about that. "Enemy is just realizing that we have all been through difficult times, but we all just really kept it together. Now, we are having a great time. We got to make a record that we love. It is just a realization, looking back at all the crap that we have been through, it was all worth it. No one is ever going to take Dave's place. We are always going to consider him part of the band. He was a great guy. It is just great to have Ryan in the band who really understood him. He knew Dave, and was friends with Dave. Ryan understands what the guy meant to all of us and to a lot of people."

Watch the Enemy video here.

Benton tells KNAC.COM that Drowing Pool will be making a return visit to the troops soon. “The original plan was to spend Thanksgiving over there,” Benton said. “But there is so much red tape that goes into planning a tour over there, that it got pushed back to January. We will be excited to go right after a little Christmas break.”

Thanks to KNAC.COM Boston contributor, Deb Rao for nabbing these exclusive details.

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