DISTURBED last month allowed dancers Nyle DiMarco and Peta Murgatroyd to use the band's version of SIMON & GARFUNKEL's "The Sound Of Silence" as the music for their freestyle dance on an episode of "Dancing With The Stars". The pair used the track after DiMarco, who is deaf, penned a letter to the band asking their permission to incorporate the song into the routine.
In an interview with Allschools magazine conducted earlier this month at the Rock Am Ring festival in Germany, DISTURBED guitarist Dan Donegan talked about how he felt when he first read Nyle's letter. He said: "It was pretty overwhelming. I mean, we've never been in a situation like that before. And, obviously, with SIMON & GARFUNKEL and Paul Simon writing the song, we have nothing but total respect for the original writers of the song, but I think Nyle wanted to use our version of it, so he asked for our permission, or our blessing, for it."
He continued: "It was pretty amazing to have a deaf contestant that connected with it in some way, whether it was the lyrics that were written or just… even though he's deaf and he might not hear the song, but I don't know if he feels vibration in the movement. But it was just a bigger statement. So for him to be able to help spread his word for the deaf community and bring awareness of what the deaf community has gone through, if we can be somewhat part of that equation and that outlet to help raise awareness for a deeper message, then we're very honored to give him our blessing and say, 'Please, go ahead and use it.' It was amazing that he connected with it in a big way. So when we got an e-mail from him, I think we were all pretty overwhelmed with his story and what he's gone through, and for him to kind of go on and win the finale was an exciting moment. We all watched it, and we were pulling for him, of course, and it was big."
"The Sound Of Silence" has been a huge hit for DISTURBED, with Paul Simon sharing his approval of it publicly after watching the band perform the song on "Conan" and also exchanging e-mails with singer David Draiman.
Draiman said that he still could not believe the response the band got from Simon. "You always hope and you pray, when you do something like this, that the original artist loves what you've done and embraces it," he said. "But I had no idea that something this amazing was gonna happen, and humbled and grateful beyond words."
"The Sound Of Silence" topped the rock radio airplay chart for several weeks. The track is taken from DISTURBED's latest album, "Immortalized", which ended a five-year recording hiatus for the group.
DISTURBED will begin a co-headlining jaunt with BREAKING BENJAMIN on July 9 in Syracuse, New York.