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Therapy for the Disturbed

Disturbed might be the name of a Chicago nu-metal foursome, but forDavid Draiman, “disturbed” also reflects a personal state of mind fromwhich the group’s frontman draws inspiration.

Disturbed might be the name of a Chicago nu-metal foursome, but for David Draiman, “disturbed” also reflects a personal state of mind from which the group’s frontman draws inspiration.

On the band’s fourth studio effort, Indestructible, Draiman bares such harrowing personal experiences as a motorcycle accident, many a tattered relationship as well as the teenage girlfriend who took her own life following a long battle with heroin addiction. The circumstances of the latter led to him to write the album’s first single, Inside The Fire.

“Songs like this tend to come from a very real place, with very real emotions,” Draiman tells Metro. “It gets difficult to write each time, but that’s what this kind of therapy entails.”

Since Indestructible’s release a year ago, Draiman has endured a series of personal setbacks that certainly could fuel lyrics to a much darker follow-up album.

“My fiancée left me before the new year to, um, find herself, which I still don’t understand,” he says. “That potential union was causing a major rift between me and my family — she was half-Iranian, half-German, which couldn’t be any more caustic a combination for my Jewish family to deal with. We still are not on speaking terms.

“My father had major reconstructive back surgery which put him out of work. A month later, my mother had a small heart attack. Just recently, I had to put my sweet dog to sleep because she suffered from an aggressive bone cancer. Also, I had friends screw me over for money and betray me. Yep, it’s been one of those years.”

Known for its hammering percussion, guitar-driven aggressiveness and Draiman’s melodic, if primal, vocal delivery, Disturbed struck success with its 2000 debut The Sickness, which landed inside the top 30 on the Billboard charts. Its successors, 2002’s Believe, 2005’s Ten Thousand Fists and Indestructible, each entered Billboard at No. 1 south of the border, putting them alongside similar achievements from Van Halen, U2, System of a Down, Staind, and Metallica and the Dave Matthews Band.

Listeners to Toronto alternative radio station The Edge might recognize Disturbed’s Down With The Sickness — at least the “OOOH AAHHH AAHHH AAHHHH AAHHH” part — in promos for the Dean Blundell Morning Show.

On the plus side of things, Inside The Fire did score a 2009 Grammy nomination — something Draiman and pals didn’t expect. “Considering we’ve pretty much operated off the radar since we first started the band, it was more shocking than anything else,” Draiman says. “We were very honoured then, and we will continued to be honoured if it ever happens again.”

Disturbed plays

• Toronto: Sound Academy - May 26, 2009

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