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Disturbed attracted a great deal of media attention with their March 2000 debut, "The Sickness." The band comprised long-time associates Dan Donegan, Fuzz, and Mike Wengren, and the charismatic Dave Draiman. Draiman, who also suggested the band's name, provided an immediate focal point when he joined the three other members in 1997.
The quartet soon built up a sizeable following on the Chicago rock scene, but national success beckoned when their demo caught the attention of the major Giant Records. "The Sickness" polished off the rough edges of their demo, leaving a fairly traditional metal sound with the occasional nod to electronica in the style of White Zombie or System Of A Down. In common with most of their nu-metal contemporaries the band also rattle out a desultory but interesting cover version of an 80's classic, in this case, Tears For Fears' "Shout." Believe debuted at number 1 on the Billboard chart in October 2002.
Among his many distinguishing characteristics, Dave Draiman has superb enunciation. As a singer, it provides his voice with scalpel-like precision that razors through the great articulated noise his band mates generate. Combined with leather-lunged projection, his voice can both bludgeon and slash at a level that transcends his lyrics' literal meaning.
It's one of the genre's endearing traits: fierce loyalty expressed loudly. Metal requires that quality from its best
bands and fans in order to survive. As a product of natural selection, the oft-maligned genre has gathered strength from continuously swimming against the current over the course of its
"We've always had to work hard for what we have," explains Draiman, who conceives the musical framework for the songs before they're arranged by the group. "Nothing comes easy to Disturbed. Such is life. It certainly hardened us. When you're put in the furnace for long enough, it hones you. It's a different band. We were eager to explore new territory and challenge ourselves. We wanted to prove that there's not just one formula that works for this band. I didn't want to duplicate what we did the first time around. There's nothing exciting about that."
"We write what we write without over-thinking it," says Donegan. "That's part of the reason we chose to record again in Chicago with Johnny K., who's been a friend of ours since we were a local band. It put us back in a familiar environment where we could just do what we do." "We're our own worse critics," admits Wengren. "We're always pushing each other to become better musicians and I guess better people, too."
"We're not reinventing the wheel," says Donegan. "But when all of our different playing styles and influences come together, it's a fresh sound. There are old-school elements to what we do, but it's done in a modern way. Even though we're characterized as a metal band, I don't think there are any metal bands out there that sound like us."
Draiman, being Draiman, puts it more succinctly: "There's so much more to prove."
Hit songs include --
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