Dave Williams, lead singer of Drowning Pool, was found dead on the band’s tour bus Wednesday afternoon, according to a spokesperson for the group. He was 30 years old.
A cause of death has yet to be determined.
The Dallas quartet was on tour with Ozzfest when Williams’ body was discovered. Ozzfest had played the Verizon Wireless Music Center in Noblesville, Indiana, on Tuesday.
Wednesday (August 14) was an off day for the tour. Thursday’s Ozzfest at the Nissan Pavilion in Bristow, Virginia, will go on as scheduled, according to a manager for the outing.
Bolstered by the hit single “Bodies,” Drowning Pool’s debut album, Sinner, has sold more than 1.2 million copies since its release last June, according to SoundScan.
Drowning Pool were the breakout band of last year’s Ozzfest, beginning the tour with an a.m. set on the third stage and eventually getting bumped up to a more respectable second stage slot by the middle of the trek. Near the end of the tour, as “Bodies” was omnipresent on hard rock radio and video outlets, Drowning Pool had played select dates on the main stage.
For this year’s Ozzfest, they were promoted to the main stage for the entire tour.
Taking their name from the 1975 Paul Newman film of the same name, Williams, guitarist C.J. Pierce, bassist Stevie Benton and drummer Mike Luce formed Drowning Pool in the late 1990s. Williams, who was nicknamed “Stage” by Pantera guitarist Dimebag Darrell for his incredible stage presence, was the last to join the group.
The band’s career started its ascension after Drowning Pool’s demo tape wound up in the hands of Atlanta quintet Sevendust, who tapped them to open their tour. Tours with Kittie and (hed) p.e. followed, and the band signed with Wind-Up Records, which released Sinner.
In between Ozzfests, the band hit the road with Disturbed, Adema and Stereomud on the Music as a Weapon Tour.
“He was the sweetest man you’ll ever come across in your life,” Disturbed singer David Draiman said Wednesday. “[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. [He was] always trying to bring some life to the party with his own little dramatic flair.
“Everyone loved him,” Draiman continued. “I don’t know a single person that has ever met Dave Williams and not just instantly fallen in love with him. He could charm anyone to death. He was a very special guy. It’s shocking.”
In March, Drowning Pool, along with Saliva, performed live on pay-per-view from the Toronto SkyDome as part of World Wrestling Entertainment’s “Wrestlemania X8.”
The band had planned to hit the studio after Ozzfest to begin recording songs for their second album. Mötley Crüe bassist Nikki Sixx, one of the band’s heros, had signed on to work on the project.
Drowning Pool’s latest recorded offering was a cover of Metallica’s “Creeping Death,” set to appear on an upcoming live album documenting Ozzfest 2002.
[This story was updated on 08.14.02 at 6:50 p.m. ET.]