DISTURBED Frontman Says People 'Running' OZZFEST 'Thought They Were Rock Stars'

James R. Chesna of Michigan's WJRT-TV recently conducted an interview with DISTURBED frontman David Draiman. A couple of excerpts from the chat follow.

WJRT-TV: So how is the tour [Rockstar Energy Mayhem festival] going?

David Draiman: Really, really well.

WJRT-TV: Yeah?

David Draiman: We're having a great time, crowds are amazing. Great camaraderie. Everybody's getting along.

WJRT-TV: Have you had a chance to see most of the other bands?

David Draiman: Everybody now.

WJRT-TV: Anybody out there you admire?

David Draiman: I'm definitely impressed to see how FIVE FINGER DEATH PUNCH has developed. We took 'em out on our warm-up run and they've already just grown in leaps and bounds over the course of this tour. The MACHINE HEAD guys are just killin' it — killin' it — as they always have, and just showing everybody how it's done. I really dig the AIRBOURNE guys — very cool, old-school, straight-up rock 'n' roll. They leave it all up there onstage. Who else has been impressing me ... (Pauses and smiles) The DRAGONFORCE guys are always entertaining.

WJRT-TV: How has this tour compared to, say, Ozzfest, or even Music as a Weapon, your own?

David Draiman: Well, Weapon is an entirely different entity. Weapon's our own thing, so it can be as easy as we want it to be. And we always want it to be very communal, very easygoing — everyone's welcome at our after-shows, everyone's welcome to hang out, everyone's welcome up on our stage. Ozzfest had kind of grown into this very "separated" thing for a while. It didn't start out that way, but it grew ... maybe there were too many egos running around, and I'm not even talking about the bands. And I'm not talking about Sharon (Osbourne), either. It always seemed to me that the people who thought they were rock stars were, like, the people running the tour — not the people who were actually playing. It was like, "Remember, you're working for us. You get paid because we fill seats." So if I ask you to let people come up and watch us, and if I (tell you that) we don't care, and if I let you know we want everyone to be there, then just let it happen and stop being a **** about it. It was just this big separation that doesn't exist in Weapon, and doesn't exist on this tour, either. There's barbeques that go on just about every night. Everybody hangs out, everybody's welcome. The stages aren't closed down. It's much more of a communal, summer camp sort of vibe.

WJRT-TV: How has it been working with SLIPKNOT?

David Draiman: Fine. The guys are great guys. I have all the respect in the world for them. They put on a hell of a show. They're very professional. They do what needs to be done. It's rough for all of us. This has been a rigorous touring schedule, and to know that they go through it every single night the same way that we do and feel the same aches and pains that we do, it's kind of, y'know, we're brothers in arms in that sense. We really respect one another. I definitely know that we value each other in terms of we both recognize what each of us brings to this bill. It's been fun. It's been a very good, harmonious vibe.

WJRT-TV: With the economy the way it is, do you feel like these package tours are beneficial for both the fans and the bands?

David Draiman: I think they're necessary. No matter what anybody wants to tell you, this is a recession. This is bordering on a depression. And if the housing market plunges any further than it already has — it certainly will — and depending on how certain conflicts end up turning out ... this conflict between Russia and Georgia heats up with that pipeline that's running through there, that's going to cause serious, serious issues in terms of our already severe level of foreign oil dependency. We're going to have big problems. And I don't see them getting better any time soon. I think some very hard choices need to be made right now that should have been made 20 years ago. But unfortunately the powers that be were sitting on their high horse getting fat and just loving life and getting rich off of everybody else's future misery. It's unfortunate that it takes people being smacked in the face to wake up.

Read the entire interview from WJRT-TV.

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