DISTURBED Singer Blasts Media's 'Continued Perpetuation Of False Level Of Excess And Opulence' In Rock

DISTURBED Singer Blasts Media's 'Continued Perpetuation Of False Level Of Excess And Opulence' In Rock

During a March 14 appearance on the SiriusXM satellite radio show "Eddie Trunk Live", DISTURBED frontman David Draiman spoke about the band's decision to take a four-year hiatus before returning with last year's "Immortalized" album. He said: "In today's environment, it's fewer and further between those bands who can afford to take that kind of time away, because, whether we like to admit it or not, touring has become our primary source of revenue these days. And a lot of other musicians out there, whether we like to admit it or not, have not necessarily been as wise with their finances. They think that their party's gonna last forever, and they burn through what they've made, and they throw caution to the wind a little bit. And there are quite a few who are smarter than that, and who have done smart things with the money that they've made over the course of time, and they budget themselves accordingly, and they don't blow their entire wad, so to speak, in one session. So it definitely has to be a situation where you have the means, where you've been strategic and smart about it to where you haven't overdrawn yourself, so to speak. I wish everyone had the luxury and the ability to space it out the way that is most conducive to building anticipation and growing your draw instead of having to constantly be road dogs. Sometimes it's just a matter of survival for [bands]."

Asked if he and his bandmates have been smart about their business affairs from the beginning and invested their money wisely, Draiman said: "We all were. Even after we got our first deal, we all lived in the same house together for that entire first record cycle. While 'The Sickness' was blowing up and everything else was going our way, we were still super careful. We took part of our advance money and instead of spending it on a bunch of ridiculous things, we bought an RV so that we could tour semi-comfortably and we didn't have to start out in a van, being completely exhausted and on top of each other the entire time. I didn't even buy a new car of any kind; I had my old crappy Ford Explorer that I was driving well into the 'Believe' record cycle. So it wasn't until we were really… we had already shaken the potential sophomore jinx and things were going well that we even started to think about trying to do things that would make ourselves more comfortable. But certainly my education and my background… One of the degrees I have is in business and I was a healthcare administrator that ran a 365-bed skilled nursing facility for years and generated several million dollars a year profit for them. So I have a background in business. Making the right investments along the way, being smart with your money, making sure that you're putting it in situations where your money is working for you — interest-earning things, portfolio-associated things, real estate… I do a lot of angel investment on the side as well. So it's important to diversify, it's important to not only count on this, especially in this day and age, to keep you going. So, yeah, my background definitely has a lot to do with that. But, thankfully, all of us in the band have very good heads on our shoulders and have been shrewd in terms of how we've handled our money over the course of time. And thank God we've had a level of success that we're still able to live very comfortably but not crazily outside of our means."

Draiman also talked how many rock bands still feel the need to create an image of opulent excess and material wealth, even when it's never been harder to make a living making music than it is right now.

"Well, that, unfortunately, is one of the fallbacks of the great myth of 'sex, drugs and rock and roll,'" he explained. "And it's part of something that the media has tried to perpetuate over the course of the past fifty years, if not more, and it really isn't truthful. And for rock, it's not like hip-hop and R&B or rap where you have to put on this type of façade, and you have to be able to show a certain level of opulence and so on and so forth. But the sad part is that most of the media continue to try and tell that story. And here you have a whole generation of bands these days that are struggling to continue to do what they love."

He continued: "Don't get me wrong: we're all very, very blessed to be able to do what we love, and it is the best job in the world, if you can even call it a job. And there's not a day that goes by that we don't thank our lucky stars for it. But this continued perpetuation of this false level of excess and opulence and that perception that, 'You're a band that got signed and you put out a record, you must have it made, you must be rich, you must be doing God knows what.' They really have no idea — they've no idea what the average person who is a musician breaking their back out there goes through. And, thankfully, we've done very well and we're not in that situation. But there are many who are, and this perception that continues to be perpetuated is not only no longer germane, but it's inappropriate and it's a false idol of sorts. And it's unfortunate that that's what people try to go ahead and attribute to being a rock star."

Draiman added: "In my opinion, it doesn't matter how much money you have, it doesn't matter what level of opulence or how extravagantly you live your lifestyle. What makes you a rock star is what are you able to do when you get behind that microphone, when you put that guitar in your hands, when you wield those drumsticks and when you raise your hand in front of twenty thousand people, do they respond? That's being a rock star. Anybody can have money, anybody can live the 'sex, drugs and rock and roll' lifestyle, per se. But in order to truly be a rock star, you need to transcend that. You need to have abilities and a… almost an element that's kind of… I like to refer to very often as kind of like 'Star Wars' with 'the Force.' You have to be able to have that midi-chlorian count in you. If you don't have it, you're not gonna be able to do it."

"Immortalized", DISTURBED's sixth studio album, was released last August and debuted at the top of The Billboard 200 chart. That made it DISTURBED's fifth effort in a row to enter the chart at No. 1, a feat shared only with METALLICA and DAVE MATTHEWS BAND.

COMMENTS

To comment on a BLABBERMOUTH.NET story or review, you must be logged in to an active personal account on Facebook. Once you're logged in, you will be able to comment. User comments or postings do not reflect the viewpoint of BLABBERMOUTH.NET and BLABBERMOUTH.NET does not endorse, or guarantee the accuracy of, any user comment. To report spam or any abusive, obscene, defamatory, racist, homophobic or threatening comments, or anything that may violate any applicable laws, use the "Report to Facebook" and "Mark as spam" links that appears next to the comments themselves. To do so, click the downward arrow on the top-right corner of the Facebook comment (the arrow is invisible until you roll over it) and select the appropriate action. You can also send an e-mail to blabbermouthinbox(@)gmail.com with pertinent details. BLABBERMOUTH.NET reserves the right to "hide" comments that may be considered offensive, illegal or inappropriate and to "ban" users that violate the site's Terms Of Service. Hidden comments will still appear to the user and to the user's Facebook friends. If a new comment is published from a "banned" user or contains a blacklisted word, this comment will automatically have limited visibility (the "banned" user's comments will only be visible to the user and the user's Facebook friends).