Artist of the Week Interview: Disturbed
Tue, 18 Aug 2015 10:00:24
Chicago heavy metal masters open up about new album Immortalized.
Disturbed return with all guns blazing on their sixth full-length album, Immortalized [Reprise Records], out this Friday, August 21. It could very well land the Chicago heavy metal quartet—David Draiman [vocals], Dan Donegan [guitar], Mike Wengren [drums], and John Moyer [bass]—their fifth consecutive debut on the Billboard Top 200. It's been five long years since their last offering Asylum and four since they formally commenced a "Hiatus." Thankfully, the beast is awake with its best album yet and ready to take over hard music again. In this exclusive interview, David Draiman discusses making Immortalized in secret, the dark stories behind the songs, and so much more.
Did recording Immortalized in secret lessen the pressure of making the album?
I think that it made it worse, to be honest. Normally you have other people to bounce stuff off of, right? You can play it for your buddies, your friends, and your close circle. You aren't ready to let the music out yet, but you can at least let people hear it, and you can let people know it exists. We couldn't even let people know it existed. We finished the record in January and were not able to play it for anyone until June. It was torturous [Laughs]. It's been done for a while. It was a self-imposed and self-created vacuum.
Was there a moment where the vision crystallized?
It just happened that way then and wasn't part of any master plan. Everybody felt that we wanted to go in each and every day. It wasn't the matter of having any game plan but going in the direction that felt good.
Your lyrics continue to evolve and get deeper. It's also more vivid...
It has definitely gone much more of the direction of storytelling. It's less cryptic, I thank you for that compliment, and I hope that we are getting better as time goes on. This was the first time that major lyrical contributions were made outside my own sphere of creativity. Danny made some great suggestions on a few songs, "Save Our Last Goodbye" was one of them. That really was inspired from a life experience of his—someone that was close to him that he lost to cancer. Losing a loved one is something that each and every one of us can relate to. He penned some of the lyrics, and I just gently massaged it. There wasn't much of a change. That was a unique situation for this record too. I think that the songs have become more and more "Wearing your heart on your sleeve," storytelling types-of-narratives as opposed to the being cryptic and open to self-interpretation type-of-thing. It is pretty blatant and literal as you said.
Watch the lyric video for "What Are You Waiting For" from Disturbed:
Yes, I would think so too, and I would agree with you—especially when you look back at classic metal in particular. The classic metal bands are the ones that have been most inspirational for us.
The imagery also morphs within Disturbed. For music that's so personal to you, "The Guy" mascot gives you something larger-than-life. It furthers that juxtaposition.
It definitely sets the vibe...Tthat's for certain. I don't know how much a juxtaposition it actually is, but it definitely makes for something that this is the vibe of the music in background.
Well, you open up lyrically, so it's a counterpoint with something otherworldly.
I hear you. Touche [Laughs].
How did "The Vengeful One" video come about?
I don't have a whole lot to do with that, Rick. It was Phil Mucci's vision. We let him take the reigns. We've been pretty "hands off" with these videos, so I really cannot claim any of that vision, but it definitely takes "The Guy" to new places. In it, "The Guy" is the embodiment of the Archangel Gabriel the Destroyer. You are seeing him do his "unholy work" in the video.
Watch the lyric video for "Fire It Up" from Disturbed:
The tendency for society to create maniacs by glamorizing them and making them larger than life—people like the "Boston Bomber" who are plastered on the cover of Rolling Stone. That is exactly what these people are looking for. They are looking to be martyred and to die and be remembered for what they died for. Anytime these maniacs kill children or whomever, it isn't the victims who are on the screen. We have to know more about the shooter or the person who committed the act. You know what? I don't need to know anything more about him except that he's a maniac. If somebody did that, leave it to the FBI. The public knowing all just encourages a new generation of wannabe maniacs to do the same thing, to get that same glory, and to die in infamy. The media continues to breed a new legion of monsters.
Your delivery really conveys that.
It is basically me watching the screens. Whether online or switching from channel to channel, it's always front and center—focusing on the killer and glamourizing, glorifying these actions by giving them top billing and finding out everything you could possibly know about them. Somebody who is a nobody all of a sudden becomes a somebody. It is a very sick vicious cycle.
Watch the Immortalized album trailer from Disturbed:
I love it man. I love the House of Blues there—so many great memories. All of our old friends will be there. It will be like doing it old-school with the new kind of heat, which I like.
What are you personally most looking forward to in Disturbed world at the moment?
Finally getting back on the road. Getting to take the Leviathan for the ride!
Will you be able to take your family?
That is the plan!
More From Our Artist of the Week
|"The Vengeful One" Video||'Immortalized' First Reaction|
'Immortalized' from Disturbed is released August 21, 2015 on Reprise Records.