DISTURBED Frontman: 'Melody Is Still Incredibly Important For Us, And Always Will Be'

Finland's HardcoreSounds.Net recently conducted an interview with DISTURBED frontman David Draiman. A few excerpts from the chat follow:

HardcoreSounds.Net: How did you manage to get a slot on the Ozzfest main stage so soon after your debut?

David Draiman: "Our first slot on the main stage was our second Ozzfest, which would've been 2001, I think. The way that happened was we actually originally chose to headline the side stage instead of taking one of the opening slots on the main. The very first show was in Chicago, in our hometown. The area by the side stage can usually accommodate about 10,000 people at max. And about 25,000 poured in that day. Sharon Osbourne and company were watching from the pavilion area, and saw what could've potentially been a very dangerous situation develop. We didn't really have much of a choice; we were moved to the main stage the very next day."

HardcoreSounds.Net: Was that something you ultimately liked?

David Draiman: "Yes and no. There's aspects of the side stage that we still miss — that closeness of the crowd, bodies all on top of each other as opposed to a seated pavilion-type of environment. There's a different vibe to it that we actually prefer, to be honest. But you get to a point where you outgrow your old shoes. There's not much you can do about it."

HardcoreSounds.Net: You really show some serious opinions on this last CD. What's the response you've gotten from fans as far as the lyrics?

David Draiman: "Everyone's been really positive. Ironically enough, one of our most sincere moments, we had a sergeant major who just got back from a second tour of duty in Iraq. I guess he had gone on about 400 incursions, house by house, with his platoon. Every time before he went in to clear out another house or building, they would play our material from this record to kind of strip them of their fear and make them feel powerful. He actually gave us one of his bronze stars that he was awarded. He was like, 'Without your music and what it did for us and what it meant to us, we wouldn't have been able to do what we did.' It was hard to even accept such a gift, but he wouldn't have it any other way. I don't know if there's any greater of a testimony to the power and relevance of these songs than that."

HardcoreSounds.Net: You've also complained about people criticizing DISTURBED on various message boards. What are your feelings on the Internet in general?

David Draiman: "It's a necessary evil. It has its advantages and disadvantages. It obviously enables you to reach more people than you'd ever normally be able to without it. It also enables people to dissect your life a little bit more than they normally would (laughs). Anytime any one of us goes out on any given night, the details are up on the Internet the next day. Any word that comes out of any of our mouths is analyzed about 50 different ways, depending on the opinion on each respective person's blog or whatever. It is what it is. It's either all or nothing really."

HardcoreSounds.Net: It's my impression somewhere along the line melody became a bad word in heavy music.

David Draiman: "Not with us."

HardcoreSounds.Net: If you agree, why do you think that is?

David Draiman: "I think there was a shifting of the trends. What became the accepted forms of heavier music are the stuff that gets 'Headbanger's Ball' airplay. It became a lot more of what is typically known as metalcore. It's bands that play the rhythmic sort of styling that didn't incorporate any melody but was a monotone type of rhythmic vocal styling. That became a lot more prevalent. We, in terms of that conceptualization, don't even fit into that category if you look at what we do. Obviously melody is still incredibly important for us, and always will be."

HardcoreSounds.Net: "Ten Thousand Fists" is sort of a blend of your previous two albums. Has the band started working on the next album, and if so is there a certain direction the music's going in?

David Draiman: "I know Danny's [Donegan] got a whole bunch of riffs. But as far as anything having been developed into actual songs, nothing has and probably won't until we come off the road for this touring cycle and really start focusing on song-writing. Direction-wise, I don't have a clue (laughs). It definitely won't stray far. We're always going to sound like DISTURBED. It's not like all of a sudden we're going to come out with a record that's going to shock the hell out of people."

HardcoreSounds.Net: Any songwriting planned for next year?

David Draiman: "It's looking like the beginning of the new year we'll start focusing a lot more on the songwriting."

Read the entire interview at www.hardcoresounds.net.

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