Dave Williams

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With a voice that could be intensely delicate or venomously acidic, Drowning Pool frontman Dave Williams made a brief but memorable mark on heavy metal. Originally found by the group as a wandering singer…
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With a voice that could be intensely delicate or venomously acidic, Drowning Pool frontman Dave Williams made a brief but memorable mark on heavy metal. Originally found by the group as a wandering singer in various Dallas bands, Williams joined Drowning Pool after they had been floating around Texas throughout the late 90's. After recording a demo, the band hooked up with Sevendust, which in turn got them in touch with other bands like Kittie and hed(PE). After tours with these bands, the group managed to get their demos enough radio play to score a deal with Wind-Up Records. They recorded with producer Jay Baumgardner, who was impressed enough with the group to put in a good word for the group with the label. Their debut single, "Bodies," was a massive alternative radio hit that unfortunately had a brief shelf life due to the cultural sensitivity following the events of Sept. 11, 2001. Still, the album (titled Sinner) did well and won the band a spot on the third stage of Ozzfest that year. After recording a song for the World Wrestling Federation, the group was invited to perform at their yearly Wrestlemania event. Between their hit single and the exposure they had received through touring, the band made it back to Ozzfest the following year with a spot on the main stage. Despite the personal success felt by the band, it would all come to a halt on August 14, 2002, when Williams was found dead on the band's tour bus. With only two years in the mainstream music industry (and several more spent in nightclubs and smaller bands,) Williams had made quite the impression on his peers. Nicknamed "Stage" because of his manic stage presence by Pantera's Dimebag Darrell, he was infamous for turning indifferent crowds into raving Drowning Pool fans by the end of their sets. On top of that, his reputation for getting along with other bands in the testy world of alternative metal was also something he was remembered for. "He was the sweetest man you'll ever come across in your life," David Draiman (of Disturbed) said of his passing. "[He] didn't have a bad bone in his body, just very kind-hearted, very good-natured, very genuine, always trying to make everyone around him smile." Although his output was small and his time in the spotlight short, Dave Williams will be remembered fondly by his peers and fans of alternative metal alike.