An Interview with: David Draiman (Disturbed).

In the eye of a storm, everything is still as the elements re-energise themselves as they ready for the calmness to descend into chaos once again. This could also be used to describe the creative process, as artists often have boundless energy after some respite. In the case of Disturbed, their moment of calm came in 2011. Their fifth album Asylum had just become their fourth consecutive #1 on the Billboard Top 200- a title they share with Metallica and Dave Matthews Band alone. Their subsequent tours sold out arenas. But the Grammy- nominated, multiplatinum selling hard rock outfit decided to go on hiatus while they were at their peak, and to return when they were feeling reinvigorated.

During this period, members of the band worked on various side projects and it didn’t take long to stir the Disturbed beast. Frontman David Draiman describes the band as being “hungry for the live experience and chomping at the bit” to create together again by 2014, so the wheels were set in motion to do so over dinner in the bands hometown of Chicago.

When asked about Disturbed’s break Draiman asserts that “it was an honour to work with the musicians that I did during the hiatus.  But there’s something very unique about what we have as a band. The chemistry we have between ourselves from a creative standpoint is really incomparable, and sometimes you do need to step away from something to realise how much you truly do appreciate it. I think it was something that was necessary for band and fans. Because by breaking free of the assembly line of make a record then tour it makes a Disturbed album release or tour a special occasion as  opposed to being a predictable event, which is much more satisfying for the band and fans alike-absence makes the heart grow fonder!”

So they began to fly back and forth between each other’s home studios to write songs- the first time they had done so since 2001. Rekindling this approach had an effect on the music they created, and it helped them to “harness power, the passion in their performance and the feelings they evoked.”
The result was Immortalised, released in New Zealand in July this year, and is Disturbed’s most diverse record yet. “It still sounds like us, but it’s an evolved version of us” muses Draiman. Hard-hitting singles such as The Vengeful One are juxtaposed against an unorthodox cover of Simon and
Garfunkel’s The Sound of Silence a song that utilises Draiman’s classical training to full effect. “Those two songs alone are ying and yang” he laughs.

The band have been happy with the positive feedback Immortalised continues to receive. “But it’s hard to get a full gage of things until we have had the chance unleash new ammunition on the live crowd. Until we have taken the songs and played them live more than once, we won’t have full satisfaction- but that will come” says Draiman.

They will be unleashing their live rounds around the world, including New Zealand at the Vector Arena on Thursday, 28th of January 2016, and Draiman is excited to return. “We have some amazing memories of New Zealand, the scenery is so beautiful and the people are amazing. The fans are so exuberant too- you guys are probably some of the most energetic fans in the world, and that definitely keeps us coming back.” He reasons that people should come see them perform because it’s “an hour and a half of making you feel more powerful than when you walk in the door. It’s the opportunity to lay your burdens down and feel strong and powerful enough to overcome anything.”

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