David Draiman of Disturbed Talks "Music As A Weapon," First Korn Experience, "Innocence" and More
Mon, 03 Jan 2011 09:05:06
Disturbed's Music As A Weapon Tour has become a traveling institution since the band first launched it in 2001. A decade after the jaunt's first outing, Disturbed are teaming up with Korn for the biggest incarnation of Music As A Weapon yet.
Music As a Weapon 5 sees Disturbed and Korn ravaging the North American countryside together along with Sevendust and In This Moment. The package touts one of the loudest lineups to hit the circuit this winter, and it's bound to be remembered by every headbanger who attends. In fact, this is the perfect one-two punch. Korn has always maintained their initial heavy groove while morphing and experimenting throughout their career, and Disturbed has followed a similar course. Disturbed built their heaviest and most hypnotic album yet with Asylum, injecting pensive, powerful lyrics into pummeling and pulverizing heavy metal. It's Disturbed at their fieriest and most furious, and it was one of the best metal records of 2010.
Disturbed frontman spoke to ARTISTdirect.com editor and Dolor author Rick Florino in this exclusive interview about Music As A Weapon 5, the first time he heard Korn, the story behind "Innocence," what he's listening to, and so much more in this exclusive interview.
Where did the idea for this tour come from?
We talked about it the last time we saw the guys, and everybody thought it was a good idea. Nowadays, it's even more important to unite strengths and join forces to give the fans a little bit more for their money. In a troubled economy and taxed touring environment, you've got to pony up. We tried to assemble the strongest bill that we possibly could. We had no issues co-headlining with a band as fantastic and great as Korn. Certainly having Sevendust and In This Moment added to the bill really helps round it out very powerfully. We're really looking forward to this tour.
It's a reunion for you and Korn since the Pop Sux Tour in 2002.
We've also done an OZZfest together; we're old friends. There's a huge amount of mutual respect and admiration. Jonathan is an influence of mine and a source of inspiration as vocalist. Hell, when that first Korn record came out, it was one of the reasons that I felt compelled to delve into the world of metal again. They're a huge source of inspiration, and we couldn't be more honored to be sharing the stage with them. There's a great camaraderie between us.
Do you remember the first time you heard Korn?
Actually, I do! I went to go see them at The Cabaret Metro in Chicago. Now, they just call it The Metro. This was way back in the day. I hadn't heard any of the record, and my roommate at the time was on my ass trying to get me to go to this show with him. I was like, "Oh, who's this band? I've never heard of them." He said, "Trust me. This is something you'll want to see," and I was completely blown away. Their uniqueness, intensity, rhythm, and everything about them just knocked me off my feet.
Do you feel like their evolution has mirrored yours? You've always maintained that raw groove while continuing to experiment and push what you're capable of further.
I agree. We definitely hold true to our rhythmic sensibilities. There's no question. It's always very important to do. Never forget where you came from, and never forget what drives you as a band. Expand the palette, but never betray what you've been identified for.
That's what heavy music is all about.
You definitely want to continue to grow. You want to show and feel maturation and enhance your power, but still stay true to your identity. That's a delicate balance sometimes especially the further along you go in your career.
Will you go deeper into Asylum on this tour?
We can't go that much deeper unfortunately because our set is only 60- or 65-minutes [Laughs]. We are going to put in at least another new song or two, which means we're going to have to end up sacrificing one of the classics. It's a really good problem to have though [Laughs]. Which one of our eight number one singles do we leave out of the set in order to put in some new material? [Laughs] We never wanted to be one of those bands that tours and exclusively plays new material. I know that as a fan of other bands I'm always disappointed when I don't get to hear the classics or the old hits. It's really a delicate balance you need to achieve.
What's the story behind "Innocence"?
It's certainly one of the more aggressive moments on the record. It basically calls out these corrupt and unscrupulous attorneys who will defend anyone for the right price and the whole infrastructure that exists around them. It's the irony, the ability to lie on a daily basis and sensationalize things for their own gain. I think it's despicable.
You're saying something important and hitting hard at the same time.
We're trying to [Laughs].
Do you tend to watch a lot of movies? Where does your visual sensibility come from?
I do! I'm a fan of cinema in general. I definitely watch my fair share. I can't necessarily say the visual sensibilities—as far as our live entities are concerned—are really movie-inspired. They're more life inspired than anything else. I've been both fortunate and unfortunate to lead the sort of charmed life that has plenty of drama in it [Laughs]. There's no shortage of inspirational material for visual perspectives. When you're trying to ram certain points home with the music, having that added visual association and a little visual aid can be very effective.
Are you expanding the stage set from Uproar for this tour?
That would be really hard to do [Laughs]. We're hoping to maintain it. Uproar was about as big as we've ever gotten. As far as what's been developed more with our video three-dimensionally staggered monolithic video wall we've constructed, we have some additional pieces we're hoping to display that the crowd did not get to see on Uproar. That comes in the form of some of the new pieces of music. There are no pieces of footage comprised for it. As far as expanding beyond that, that's kind of impossible within the confines of what we've got. Fans are definitely going to get the ultra big rock show experience. There's no doubt about that.
What are you listening to right now?
I'm still listening to that last Volbeat record quite a bit. I've been listening to classic stuff. I had my Iron Maiden Best of the Beast on in the gym today. I'm really cooking on some of the new stuff that Danny and I are looking forward to getting released. This new Art of Dying record is the first release coming out on Intoxication Records. We're looking forward to seeing them have their day in the sun. They're an amazing band; they're like a fusion between Alice In Chains and The Eagles.
Check out our interview with Jonathan Davis of Korn about Music As A Weapon 5 here!