DISTURBED recently launched an online poll to collect public opinion regarding the type of track that should be unveiled as the first taste of the group's upcoming seventh album. The two choices provided in the poll were: "Heavy" and "Ballad."
Speaking to El Paso's KLAQ 95.5 radio station, DISTURBED drummer Mike Wengren stated about the band's decision to get its fans involved (hear audio below): "We were letting the fans decide. We decided that what better way to continue to show our appreciation for our fans — the people who have stuck with us, from day one, always showing their passion and their energy for us — by just putting a poll out there and letting them pick, say, 'What do you guys wanna hear?' We were letting everybody know that this record has got a pretty big diverse amount of material on there, and we just wanted to know what their opinion was. You wanna hear one of the heavy songs or do you wanna hear something more like a ballad? We feel confident with every song on the record, for that matter, so it's just a matter of getting them involved from the very beginning. Nowadays, especially with social media, it's so easy to reach your fans. Why not get their opinion right off the bat?"
Wengren went on to say that "it's been fun to see some of the reactions" from fans regarding the type of track that should be released as the first single. "I think it's pretty clear a lot of 'em are leaning towards the heavy song," he said. "But it's also been fun to watch some other people say, 'It'd be interesting to hear the ballad,' and some other people have been saying stuff like, 'I've been a fan of yours for a long time, and it doesn't matter to me, just as long as we get new music.' So it's been cool to hear the different opinions."
Wengren also talked about the songwriting process for the follow-up to 2015's "Immortalized", which is expected to be released this fall. "This time around was a lot similar to when we did 'Immortalized'," he said. "For us, when the magic really happens is when we are in a room together and you can look each other in the eyes and you can see those reactions, you can feel together when the hair on the back of your neck stands up when there's something cool that was created. Years before that, we got a little bit away from that, because we don't live in the same states anymore, so it can be challenging to get together, especially with everyone's busy schedules. But we definitely realized how important that is for that live element of the chemistry coming together."
"We're a bit spread out," he continued. "John [Moyer, bass] is down in your neck of the woods. I know you're in El Paso, but he's down in Austin. David [Draiman, vocals], actually, recently moved from Austin to Honolulu — he's out in Hawaii with his family; his wife's family is from there, so they moved to be closer. And then I'm up in the Wisconsin area, outside of Milwaukee, and Dan [Donegan, guitar] is down in the Chicago area. So a lot of times what we'll do to get the jumpstart is I'll drive down to Dan's — he's got a home studio at his place — and we'll just start working on some music, and when we get a little bit of some stuff happening, we'll throw it David's way just to get his opinion. But then, ultimately, again, like I said, it's about us coming together in a room and hashing it all out, and, like I said, just letting that energy flow and getting the magical moments."
DISTURBED recently held an industry event where various record company people and radio personnel got to hear the band's forthcoming album, and the response was overwhelmingly positive, according to Wengren.
"For musicians, it's always a long, crazy process, 'cause from the moment you start a riff or a beat or a melody, and then once it develops into a full song, and then you go in and record it, it's a long process," he explained. "And the anticipation of being able to let the fans hear it and let people hear it and give their opinion, the longer it takes, the worse it feels. So it was really exciting for us to be able to finally let some people hear it, and especially getting those positive reactions was definitely reassuring. But, yeah, it was a lot of fun, and even more importantly now, to be here at the release date of the single coming up here, being able to let all the fans hear it, this is what it's all about."
Wengren said that DISTURBED is "definitely working" on putting together a tour in support of the upcoming album. "The last I heard is we're talking about doing a big U.S. run come January and February of '19," he said. "Nothing is in stone yet — we don't have any routing yet; nothing is solidified — but we're trying to put together something really big, and we wanna bring it to as many cities as we can. So once we get that finalized, hopefully we'll be able to announce some dates soon."
DISTURBED is teasing an announcement that will be delivered on Thursday, August 16 via the band's official social media channels. Although nothing has been confirmed, it is widely expected that DISTURBED will reveal the first details of its forthcoming album.
"Immortalized" ended a four-year hiatus for the quartet and was its fifth album to enter the Billboard 200 chart at No. 1. "Immortalized" featured the band's massive hit cover of SIMON & GARFUNKEL's "The Sound Of Silence".
Like "Immortalized", DISTURBED's new album was recorded at The Hideout Recording Studio in Las Vegas, Nevada with producer Kevin Churko.