DROWNING POOL bassist Stevie Benton has accused SW1TCHED frontman Ben Schigel of "making shit up" by claiming that he was asked to join Benton's band as the replacement for Jason "Gong" Jones, who has been unofficially working with the Dallas-based metallers for much of the past year.
In an interview with the Cleveland Scene published last week, Schigel said that he had been helping DROWNING POOL during the pre-production stage prior to the recording of their second album when the full-time gig was offered — and eventually turned down.
"They were getting along a little better with the dude they had, and I was like 'I'm just gonna do my own thing,'" Schigel explained.
In a posting to DROWNING POOL's web site, Benton dismissed Schigel's account as false, stating, "Don't believe everything you read. If the dude was offered the gig, I'm pretty sure I would have known about it beforehand. A phone call from a friend who read the news on the net was the first I heard of it. People have started making shit up now. That's okay though. These rumors are kinda fun. I promise you'll have real news soon."
DROWNING POOL have yet to officially announce the replacement for singer Dave Williams, who was found dead on the band's tour bus on August 14, 2002 while they were touring as part of the U.S. Ozzfest. An inquest into the singer's death concluded that Williams died from cardiomyopathy, a heart muscle disease for which he was never diagnosed. No traces of drugs were found in the vocalist's system, finally dispelling widespread speculation about the cause of his death.