Disturbed vocalist David Draiman seems like a man who is comfortable in his own skin and at ease talking about himself and his bands new music. For Draiman it’s an evolution of sorts.
On the previous occasions that I’ve talked to David Draiman in an official capacity he’s seemed business-like to the nth-degree. He’s been guarded and considered before every response as if expecting to be challenged at every corner but today he’s relaxed, convivial and hell even jovial at times, joking with the first sentence he utters that he’s “lost count” of how many interviews he’s already sat through today.
Once we settle down into talking about the new record there’s a real sense of excitement as he speaks about the band going places creatively they’ve never really explored before, "We’ve gone into uncharted territory on this record on a whole bunch of levels. Stylistically, it branches into areas that you’ve never heard us even attempt”.
Though the title came after the fact, Evolution and a maturing was something the band were aware of when they started writing the album. “That one (the album title) was one of Danny’s (Disturbed guitarist) suggestion, we were tossing around a bunch of different ideas and that one definitely resonated with everybody … and it tells the story of what this album is in the life of Disturbed”.
What stood out to me after previewing Evolution was how the band had allowed themselves to explore song writing that was off the reservation in terms of what would be considered safe ground for the band and their fans. When probed on this Draiman admitted the band themselves have been “Struggling to define what to call the half of the record that isn’t the typical balls to the wall heavy stuff. Some people will call them ballads, some people will call them acoustic but calling them acoustic isn’t 100 per cent accurate because there’s more than an occasional element of electric in there and then calling them ballads isn’t 100 per cent accurate because that kind of implies 80’s ish kind of power love songs sort of things which they aren’t either so it’s been what the hell do we call it, I’m not sure”. Draiman laughs as he finishes trying to explain the new direction before adding “it’s been an interesting process and it’s been a liberating process feeling like there are absolutely no limitations to were we could go creatively”.
The seed of this exploration of sound and style stems directly from the success of the bands cover of Simon and Garfunkel’s The Sound of Silence. It made Disturbed a household name, it’s sold double platinum, seen them appear of some of the United States biggest TV shows and has had a massive 440 million views online and as the band’s vocalist puts it “it made doing something we wanted to do for more than a decade a lot easier to swallow”.
Artists often describe their albums as children and don’t like to talk about a favourite, when I posed to David that this latest effort was the kid that had gone out and got an apartment, a steady job and a girlfriend while the other “children” were still at home drinking his beer, trashing his car and sleeping in the garage he laughed, sighed and then replied “ … yeah, yeah this is grown up, no doubt about it. The subject matter is, the feel is, … I think everybody will be able to take a bite of this no matter where you come from or what your age per say, young and old people will be able to relate to a lot of the subject matter on this record unfortunately but if your saying this is our most mature work I’d have to agree with you”.
While the different sound and direction of half the songs on this album stand out so does the other half for all the reasons fans of the band fell in love with them in the first place. Big bombastic in your face riffs, laced with industrial beats and anthemic vocals, Are You Ready the album opener is the perfect example, Disturbed don’t seem to write these tracks they seem to bleed from the bands collective pores. “It’s a place we love going hahaha, it’s very familiar territory and it’s fun for us you know and we love those rhythmic crowd bangers man. If it drives us then hopefully it drives the crowd and that’s what we’re envisioning when we’re writing these things”.
As our time on the phone comes to close I ask David what he think’s a young him from 20 years ago would’ve thought of this Disturbed album, “Oh wow, I think he’d be mildly shocked but proud hahaha but I don’t think he’d have expected it to come from himself hahaha”.
Evolution it’s the album that has seen the band go from a break through underground industrial tinged Nu-Metal band too one of the biggest hard rock acts on the planet and they’re about to drop an album that could define their career and David Draiman for one is comfortable with that.