Calling from a tour bus rolling through Colorado, CJ from Drowning Pool checked in with us here at nwmusicblog.com World Headquarters to shoot the breeze about the band’s upcoming appearance in Seattle. They are scheduled to play tonight at the Showbox with Saliva.
Q: What was your last experience in Seattle like?
A: The crowd was great, and we were stoked that the opening bands were so good. You know, sometimes you get some openers that just haven’t cooked long enough? Not the case here. And the people are great, they really respect music.
Q: Are you guys big in Germany, like Hasselhoff?
A: You know, we did really well there! Those crowds know *all* the words to our songs!
Q: No kidding? Is that your biggest fan base?
A: Actually the most amazing response we’ve ever had overseas was in Oz. Down under, they love us. But in the U.S., the people in Kansas City go nuts for us. Even bigger than back home in Dallas.
Q: So you’re in new towns all the time, being on tour. Who do you trust when you look for a place to go after the show? Because I don’t think you want to just ask a cabbie to take you “where the kids go”, right?
A: We’re surprised that more people don’t come up to us after the show and hang out. We’ll finish the set, go backstage, but when we come back out into the club, people are gone. It’s surprising. We’re pretty approachable. We’re at the merch booth, at the bar, whatever. Come say hi.
Q: Have you ever had big bands ever come to your shows? I heard Henry Rollins tell a story once about how Billy, Frank and Dusty of ZZ Top showed up at a Rollins Band show and how humbling it was.
A: Yeah, you know, Pantera showed up one time… ha ha. This was like ten years ago. One of the guys [in our band] owed Dime[bag Darrell] some money… We were stoked that they were there but at the same time, we had to go to him and say “Hey, could you hold off on kicking Dave’s ass ’til after the show?” It was pretty funny. I mean, it was a matter of like, a couple hundred bucks, and they were like, “uh, yeah, we’re here to see you guys play, man. Who cares about the money?” Ha ha. That was pretty funny.
Q: Does a guitarist from a big-time national touring band get to play his own guitars? Do they just hand you stuff?
A: Well, after our first album got big, I was approached by some companies… Fender, Gibson. They wanted me to play their guitars, and I said I would if I could design them. They said: “We have people for that.” So I waited til I found the right deal. Washburn was really cool in the beginning. So I play Washburn.
Q: What’s the rest of your setup like?
A: I really searched for the right gear. I mean it, I spent 8 hours a day, three days in a row at a convention hall, plugging into amps to try to find the right sound.
Q: And what’d you come up with?
A: Kustom was the one. From the second I plugged in. Instant rock guitar sound. In all the clubs we play, it’s just… set a mic in front of it, and turn it on.
Q: So what’s playing on your iPod this week?
A: Pantera, and Mudvayne. But then it’s like, Sade is singing the next song.
Hear CJ and the rest of the band tonight, 24 March, at the Showbox at 8pm opening for Saliva.
They’ll return to Kansas City a few days after that to face rabid fans. Their tour schedule is here.