Drowning Pool singer found dead on tour bus in Manasssas

David Wayne Williams, the lead singer of the rock band Drowning Pool, was found dead on the band’s tour bus Wednesday afternoon in Manassas, said Sgt. Kim Chinn, Prince William police spokeswoman.

Williams, 30, and the band were scheduled to appear on the main stage of Ozzfest, a concert event featuring several rock bands. The event begins today at the Nissan Pavilion in Bristow.

The band’s tour bus arrived at the Holiday Inn in Manassas along Interstate 66 at about 4 p.m., police said.

Williams’ band mates left the bus to check into the hotel. When he didn’t follow, they returned to the bus and found Williams dead in his bunk, Chinn said.

She said Williams’ cause of death wasn’t immediately known.

“There are no signs of trauma and no obvious causes of death. We’ll probably know more after the medical examiner examines the body,” Chinn said. An autopsy could take days or weeks, she said.

According to the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, Williams mother, Jo Ann Williams, said the police had not yet told the family what happened to her son.

“This is unbelievable,” she said.

Drowning Pool, which also included guitarist C.J. Pierce, bassist Steve Benton and drummer Mike Luce, was the big breakout band during the last year’s Ozzfest.

The band began the tour performing on the event’s third stage — reserved for lesser acts –and was bumped to the second stage by the middle of the tour. By the end of the tour, the band had achieved selected spots on the main stage, according to the MTV Web site.

This year, the band was slated to appear on the main stage throughout the tour.

Their rise in popularity put them on a par with bands such as Guns ‘N’ Roses and Metallica, who also made their bones by rising through the ranks on Ozzfest tours.

Drowning Pool formed in Dallas in the late 1990s and took their name from a 1975 Paul Newman movie of the same name, according to the Web site.

The band is best-known for its hit song “Bodies.”

Adam Woodling, a Drowning Pool fan, described the battle of the bands at Ozzfest.

Local and upcoming bands play in less-than-prime time slots and provide entertainment, away from the main stage, during set changes for the more established bands.

As a band get noticed, the 16-year-old Woodbridge resident said, they draw bigger crowds and get promoted to better stages and better times.

“They’re drawing so much money for Ozzfest. They deserve to be on the main stage,” he said.

Drowning Pool fans at Vans Skate Park in Woodbridge said they don’t expect the band will be able to hold together without Williams’ distinctive lead voice.

“His voice was just different,” said 19-year-old Frantz Simon.

“He could scream with the best of ’em,” Woodling added.

Woodbridge resident Ray Roop, 19, agreed with the others’ assessment.

“Chances are they’re going to try to keep the band together, but they’re not going to be able to do it.”

After Triangle resident Daryl Carpenter, 20, heard the news, he said he might not go to the show this year. He had planned on seeing Drowning Pool.

“That’s the whole reason I was going to Ozzfest,” he said.

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