Drown Mary
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Drown Mary

Everett, Washington, United States | SELF

Everett, Washington, United States | SELF
Band Metal


This band has not uploaded any videos
This band has not uploaded any videos



"March Seattle Sinner Magazine"

The Return of Drown Mary - James Hilkey steps in on vocals to carry the torch.

"I am pushing myself out of my comfort zone to achieve this with no limits." - James Hilkey

The Seattle band Drown Mary has finally returned to the stage after a noticeable absence from the Seattle music scene. It was only after a nail-biting search for a new lead vocalist that could carry on Drown Mary's ultra-heavy sound their fans expect and demand.

Nobody knew if one was out there, and the future of Drown Mary was in doubt. James Hilkey was the answer to the prayers of Drown Mary fans. He is now the band's lead vocalist, and all agree he is the perfect match for the band.

James made his much anticipated debut to a packed house on February 2, 2007 at El Corazon. The second show last Saturday night at Jimmy Z's was played to capacity crowds who heard of the musical tidal wave unleashed at the first show. People waited in the cold to experience Drown Mary for themselves after the Rat City Roller Girls event earlier that evening at the Everett Events Center.

Zakk Wylde, lead guitarist for Ozzy Osbourne's band, took to the stage to introduce Drown Mary that first night. Zakk was nearly teary eyed as he clutched his chest speaking in a low, gruff voice about Drown Mary. It was almost as if he was talking about a childhood dog who had been run over by a car but somehow survived and sprang back suddenly.

"They do it for all the right reasons", Zakk said in a melancholy voice. "They are simply great musicians, and I am so glad they are back." Said Zakk Wylde.

Even I was getting choked up, and I had never even seen the band. I searched my leather biker jacket for a handkerchief, but found only a rain-soaked pack of Marlboros and some damp matches.

"Now put your hands together for a group of great musicians: Drown Mary!" Zakk finally shouted.

Zakk then took his place on the side of the stage after hugging each member of the band for at least the third time. He was not off stage, but actually still standing on the stage, off to the side. Naturally, there were also several beautiful women milling around wherever Zakk happened to be standing.

He was with several other huge biker-looking guys, who simply wanted to "hang out" on stage, as Drown Mary performed. It was as if they were in a band's basement practice room, rather than a major gig. It was a distraction, but who cares when its Zakk Wylde and members of the band Black Label Society.

When I began writing this review I asked myself a simple question. Does Drown Mary "Do it for the right reasons" as Zakk proclaimed? I honestly still have no clue why they do it. If he meant in order to get laid, he could have been talking about every other rock band in Seattle. Why else would anyone choose an electric guitar or drum set, over a violin or cello?

The bold statement Zakk made about Drown Mary being great musicians I concur with 100%. The band is one of the best local acts I have seen live.

Drown Mary formed in January 2000 and in these last few years has become a club act that always draws a crowd. The band has shared the stage with the likes of Slayer, Zakk Wylde, Kataklysm, and Static X. They received sponsorship from Jagermeister and were invited to play on The Jagermeister Music Tour in both 2003 and 2006.

Recently, upon parting ways with their former frontman, vocalist James Hilkey was added to the Drown Mary fold - Jesse (guitar), Steve (bass), and Troy (drums). Hilkey, a longtime friend of the band, is a seasoned vocalist and well known on the music scene, having previously fronted both Agony of Deceit and Hatefist.

I spoke with Troy and James about Drown Mary, and their plans for the future.

Guitar Doug: So, How did it come about that James Hilkey became the lead singer of Drown Mary?
Troy: We’ve known James for years and played shows with his previous bands. We knew how he was as a frontman and thought he was the perfect match for us. It’s funny, he was sitting around the house in his underwear playing video games when I called him and asked him if he wanted to come up and jam. Now he is stuck with us!
Guitar Doug: Tell me about the four new tracks just recorded with James.
Troy: We are extremely proud of these songs and we have a couple more new ones in the process. Three of these are the first Drown Mary songs written with James. Self Made Victory is a song we have had for awhile and James added his touch to it. The tracks were recorded in only an hour each with James.
Guitar Doug: How did you do it so fast?
Troy: James and Budweiser! (laughs) James just went in there fully prepared and knocked ‘em out. He did a couple takes of each song and then some overlay type stuff. Wait till you hear it. We were up till 2am finishing the mix and master on it.
Guitar Doug: How did you feel the first show went with James?
Drown Mary: It met and exceeded our expectations.
Guitar Doug: What is your relationship with Zakk Wylde?
Drown Mary: We kicked it with him all night backstage when we played El Corazon on February 2nd, which was also the Zakk Wylde meet and greet. We sat around with him drinking a bunch of beers and telling wild stories. No pun intended (laughs).
Guitar Doug: How did you feel when Zakk stated "they do it for all the right reasons" and "these guys are great musicians"?
Drown Mary: It felt good knowing that somebody like Zakk Wylde recognizes us for what we do. It was very flattering.
Guitar Doug: James, what is the biggest challenge for you vocally in regard to your gig with Drown Mary compared to other groups?
James: I’m striving to push my boundaries and take a different approach with the clear slate that Drown Mary has given me. I am pushing myself out of my comfort zone to achieve this with no limits.
Guitar Doug: Where did you learn your vocal style and was it difficult to master?
James: I started playing the drums around age 6 or 7. I was a fan of drums and used the percussive style I learned on drums to apply to the vocal approach I have used over the last 10 years.
Guitar Doug: What exactly is the agenda and plan for Drown Mary for the next 12 months as a band?
Drown Mary: Our plan as a band is to focus on playing out of town more and doing a bunch of touring. We are not going to play so much locally, maybe once a month. Although you do have to keep playing locally so that your local fans don’t get pissed at you and think you forgot about them. When we were signed, our label did not want us playing locally at all and we told them forget it, we are going to play local shows 'cause we don’t want people to think we are too good for that. That's bullshit when you start forgetting about where your roots are. We have a very loyal local fan base and we owe it to them to keep playing here no matter what happens.
Guitar Doug: Who are you signed with and what can you disclose about the contract?
Troy: We were signed to a label called Hawino Records. We just recently ended our contract with them. They are no longer a label anymore. That's all I can disclose. We are back to being free agents again! All I can say is that being signed is not as great as you think. Make sure you have a good lawyer and that everything goes through him first before signing anything.
Guitar Doug: Is Drown Mary’s plan to get signed by another record company in the next 12 months?
Troy: If it's gonna happen, it's gonna happen. It's nothing that is planned on our end. We are just going to continue to do what we love doing and that is playing music, having fun and gaining more fans who love what we do!
Guitar Doug: What would Drown Mary like to say to the band's fans and supporters?
Troy: We have gained a bunch of fans throughout the world over the past 5 years and we just wanted to say thank you for all of your support and continued support!!!! You all have been a huge part of Drown Mary helping us get to this point. If it was not for you, we would not be where we are now. Thank you again from all of us in Drown Mary! Now let's take this ride to the next level!!!!
Guitar Doug: Thanks Guys for taking the time to do this interview. I will see you at your next show, Friday March 23 at Studio 7 with Betty X, and online at www.myspace.com/drownmary and www.drownmary.com
- Guitar Doug

"Feb. 24th Show Review!!!!"

February 24, 2007 Drown Mary @ Jimmy Z's:

Oh what a night. You could feel the electricity in the air at Jimmy Z's in anticipation for what was about to happen this very eve. The new line-up of Drown Mary will be unleashed. James Hilkey will be making his debut performance as the new vocalist. Incredible, Breath-Taking, Mesmerizing are just a few of the word that come to mind when describing his performance. James has a tremendous vocal range including those deep guttural growls that I love so much. James is a perfect fit for this truly amazing band. Troy, Jesse and Steve could not have found this kind of magic with anyone else.

On this night, the excitement was overflowing and you could see it in their eyes. Their set was tight and the crowd went wild from first song to last and screaming for more when they were finished. Each member brought his game. I have been to many Drown Mary show and each one was truly amazing in its own right, but tonight was breathtaking! As usual I was up in front and I turn to look back at the crowd and all you saw were people moshin around bangin their heads is was fucking GREAT!

Drown Mary has never let me down and after tonight's performance they will now be held to a higher standard cause I see what they are capable of now with the right person fronting the band These fellas belt out nothing but sheer brutality and yet the hooks on some of the songs get your ass a shakin. FUCK YEAH! DROWN MARY RULES!

The line up consists of; Jesse – guitars, he is one fucking amazing shredder. Steve – bass, he fuckin tears it apart. Troy – drummer, his double bass sends shivers up my spine. James – singer, brutal as all hell!
I look forward to watching them rise and conquer the world.

By: Jodi a.k.a metalgrrl

- Jodi AKA Metalgrrl


Detached - 2003 (Self Released, Sold Out, 1000 Copies). 300 Sold in Europe via Hawino Records.
3 Song Sampler from Jagermeister - 2004. 1000 handed out at various shows.
Collapse - 2005 (Never Released) Hawino Records goes Bankrupt.
The song Heave was on the East Pack Resistance tour Comp handed out to thousands on the tour with Sick Of It All and others throughout Europe in 2004.
The song Last Chance Given was on the Sinister Music Vol. 2 comp handed out to thousands at the 2006 Ozzfest.
4 Song Sampler from Jagermeister - Out Now, Free at shows.
They shot a video for the song Last Chance Given. (See Video Section)
6 Song EP - In Process now, due out fall/winter of 09.
They have played on the following Jagermeister Music Tours:
2003 in Portland Or. with Slayer, Hatebreed and Arch Enemy.
2006 in Spokane WA. And Seattle WA. With Disturbed and Bloodsimple.
2008 in Spokane WA. With Hatebreed, Type O Negative and 3 Inches Of Blood.
The band was direct support for Killswitch Engage in Honolulu Hawaii Oct. 26th 2006. The band also Headlined a 10 band Metal Fest while in Hawaii on Halloween.
Drown Mary opened the Jagermeister stage for the 1st annual Rockstar Energy Mayhem Fest in Auburn WA. July 9th.
Drown Mary has done 2 Northwest tours with Asesino.
They completed a successfull 2 week west coast tour in mid Aug of 08.
The band plans to be on a European tour in 2009.
They get radio airplay on Seattle's KISW 99.9 fm on Metal Shop and Loud and Local.
They are also on rotation on Sirius/XM Satellite radios Liquid Metal on channel 27.
Winner for Best Metal Band of 2009 at the 1st Annual Hot Rocks Music Awards Show in Seattle WA. on March 15th, 2009!



Everett, WA. –

Drown Mary was formed in January 2000. Having parted ways in late 2006 with previous vocalist and Sampler, they joined forces with long time friend and seasoned vocalist James Hilkey. James, no stranger to the music scene used to front the Seattle based bands Agony Of Deceit and Hatefist.

The infamous quartet has shared the stage with Slayer, Hatebreed, Arch Enemy, Disturbed, Killswitch Engage (Direct support in Hawaii), Zakk Wylde, Bloodsimple, Otep, Droid, A New Revolution, Type O Negative, 3 Inches Of Blood, Ill Nino, Opiate For The Masses, Asesino, Possessed, Sadistic Intent, Skinlab, Vader, Kataklysm, Destruction, The Absence, Speed.Kill.Hate, Death Angel, Nevermore, Zeke, Downset, 36 Crazyfists, Dry Kill Logic, Metal Church, Fishbone, Static X, Arithmatic Of War and Soil.

The band has drummed up sponsorship from worldwide powerhouse Jagermeister and were invited to play on the 2003, 2006 and 2008 installment of the Jagermeister Music Tour. They were also invited to play on the WA. Date of the 1st annual Rockstar Energy Mayhem Festival opening the Jagermeister stage.

The band successfully completed a west coast tour in mid August of 08. Drown Mary finished a music video for the song Last Chance Given which can be viewed in the video section. The bands song Policy Of Loss has been put into rotation on Sirius Satellite radios liquid Metal on CH. 27.
Recently voted winner for Best Metal Band at the 1st Annual Hot Rocks Music Awards Show in Seattle WA. on March 15th, 2009!
They are currently seeking management and a booking agency to help further their career.