Doug Miller of MSNBC recently conducted an interview with DISTURBED frontman David Draiman. A few excerpts from the chat follow:
MSNBC: How do you feel about the fact that American soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan like to play your music to get fired up for battle? Is that weird?
Draiman: I couldn't be more proud. You have to take it out of the context that they're about to go take lives. To me, it's as simple as these are our fighting men and women over in a foreign part of the world they're not familiar with, in a war not many people understand, and they're doing what they're told to do. If they can get some sort of power from the music and come home safely by utilizing our music, I couldn't be more proud. Whether you're a soldier or an athlete or in any sort of competitive thing, any sort of physical activity that requires mental strength, I mean, that's what this music is meant for. And no matter what I think of the war, I support our fighting men and women with every fiber of my being.
MSNBC: Is DISTURBED in danger of becoming a metal outcast because the music is "too melodic?"
Draiman: I guess. And I appreciate all of that music. It's amazing and rhythmic and it does what it's supposed to do. It gets out your frustration. And there are those who are amazing at it. But I never considered us in the same category as those bands. When I used to wave the banner for metal, it was more in the spirit of JUDAS PRIEST, IRON MAIDEN and METALLICA. That kind of metal, where there is still melody. It is still melodic. I listened to SLAYER when I was younger, but we're not very much like them. We do share some of the same fans, but on the other hand, there are a lot of bands who we don't share fans with.
I don't know that you could lump us into the metal category anymore, and I don't worry about it. At the end of the day, we are DISTURBED, we have a very big and dedicated fan base, and we'll make records and give our fans exactly what they expect from us.
MSNBC: Are you still one of the only big-name artists out there to actually support free music on the Internet?
Draiman: I have no problem with the Internet. I have an issue with the fact that we didn't create a system from the get-go that didn't take stock of what has occurred with the tremendous growth and freedom of file-sharing. If you're a baby band, the Internet is your best friend. It's quicker and easier than ever before.
Now, for catalog artists, your livelihood is being bled dry by downloading that nobody's paying for, that's an issue that can be tackled in a number of ways. The record industry should come up with the next version of mp3, with more memory and better sound quality, like the CD after the tape, and we can go ahead an push things to the forefront. I still think that deals should have been made with the ISPs and labels to negotiate a flat rate. For example, if you're a subscriber, no matter who you get your internet service from, if you pay your five bucks a month to your ISP, you get your file-sharing. Then there's no taboos, no RIAA suing fans, and no B.S. involved. Basically, I could go on and on talking about this, but in theory, I'm not against the Internet. I'm 100 percent for it, but I'm definitely for reform.
Read the entire interview at www.msnbc.msn.com.