Supporting U.S. troops like an M4 carbine, heavy-metal band Drowning Pool is fully loaded.

Armed with new management, lead singer and album, the group is ready for a full assault on their upcoming U.S. tour.

While the group will be touring the States, their thoughts won’t be far from the troops fighting the war.

The band is donating $1 from every ticket sold during the tour to the United Service Organizations. And as a tribute to men and women serving in uniform, the band wrote the song “Soldiers.”

“Soldiers” can be downloaded for free now by going to, months before the July 24 scheduled release of their latest album, “Full Circle.”

Moreover, the band is collaborating with the USO to headline a weeklong tour to the Persian Gulf region.

For bassist Stevie Benton, who is one of the band’s founding members, the upcoming USO tour will be his second time playing before the troops.

In an exclusive interview with Stars and Stripes, Benton described playing for the troops as “awesome, incredible, way better than any other shows we do. They are always off the hook … and the intensity of the crowd is freaking awesome. It is unlike anything you will ever experience.”

For Drowning Pool, the road to come “full circle” is filled with epic highs and crashing lows.

When the band’s first album, “Sinner,” was released in 2001, they were quickly catapulted to the forefront of the Ozzfest generation.

But just months later, images of people jumping from the Twin Towers seared into the hearts and minds of America, and Drowning Pool’s song “Bodies” was mistakenly tagged as being about 9/11. The song was quickly banned from many radio stations.

“We got stuck with this moniker of being somehow associated with 9/11,” Benton said. “It was just a simple song about being in a mosh pit … so the whole thing was pretty upsetting to us.”

Despite the controversy, Drowning Pool began touring and established itself as a heavy-metal force with a rapidly growing legion of fans.

Then tragedy struck. Lead singer Dave Wilson was found dead in group’s tour bus. Wilson died of a previously undiagnosed heart condition.

During that the same time frame, the United States was fully engaged in the war on terrorism. Unexpectedly, “Bodies” was being adopted by U.S. servicemembers as a sort of rallying anthem. The song was blasted from helicopters and humvees while the troops went into battle.

The group’s remaining members took notice.

On the fifth anniversary of 9/11, the band performed live for the troops in Baghdad.

“It was the coolest thing,” said Benton. “So the song that was ‘ganked’ from the radio because of 9/11 ends up being the song that gets us over there to play for the troops.

“It was very much a full circle moment, and that is why we chose ‘Full Circle’ to be the title of the new album. It is all pretty crazy.”

Drowning Pool media files

Soldiers video - Download or view Drowning Pool performing "Soldiers" for the USO tour.(Large file — please be patient!)

Soldiers mp3 - Download the full version of "Soldiers" for free in mp3 format.

More info - USO MySpace page.

Sign Up for Daily Headlines

Sign up to receive a daily email of today's top military news stories from Stars and Stripes and top news outlets from around the world.

Sign Up Now