David Draiman recalls ‘out of place’ Disturbed audition

Disturbed in the early days
Disturbed in the early days

Disturbed frontman David Draiman has recalled feeling “out of place” at his audition for the band 20 years ago this week – and how the meeting resulted in their first song being written.

He remembers being dressed as a “stoner” while his future bandmates “looked like they were from Skid Row.”

The encounter took place after he saw a notice in a Chicago music publication.

Draiman says: “I went to an audition for a band whose ad I’d seen. I walked into their rehearsal spot on the south side – and the guys looked like they were from Skid Row.

“All wearing faded, frayed, acid-washed jeans, flannel shirts – halfway open, of course – long, feathered and flowing hair, and Converse All Stars no laces, with the tongues out.

“I could not have felt more out of place. I was wearing jean shorts, yes, jean shorts, sandals and a plain white t-shirt, in full ‘north side Chicago stoner’ mode.”

He’d spoken to guitarist Dan Donegan before the meeting and compared musical tastes, so he was asked to suggest a cover version they all might know.

Draiman continues: “‘Do you have any originals?’ I asked. ‘Yes,’ they said, ‘But what are you going to sing?’ ‘I’ll come up with something,’ I said. ‘Just go ahead and play, and I’ll improvise.’”

He describes the music he heard as “heavy and dark, rhythmic and beautiful,” and admits he felt “fascinated and intimidated” by it.

“That very first jam ended up becoming our very first song, Want, off The Sickness,” says Draimain.

Thanking “the most passionate and dedicated fans in the world” for their support since then, he adds: “Hard to believe that was 20 years ago. What a crazy ride it’s been, and how far we’ve come. Here’s to another 20 years!”

Disturbed – who released debut The Sickness in 2000 and launched sixth album Immortalized last year – are currently touring North America with Chevelle, before joining Avenged Sevenfold on their UK road trip in January.

Disturbed tour dates

Aug 08: Toronto Molson Canadian Amphitheatre, ON
Aug 12: Dallas Gexa Energy Amphitheatre, TX
Aug 13: Houston Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion, TX
Aug 15: Denver Red Rocks Amphitheatre, CO
Aug 17: Albuquerque Isleta Amphitheatre, NM
Aug 19: Concord Pavilion, CA
Sep 23: Las Vegas Joint, NV (support TBA)
Sep 27: West Valley City Maveridk Centre, UT
Sep 28: Colorado Spring World Arena, CO
Sep 30: Des Moines Wells Fargo Arena, IA
Oct 04: Raleigh Red Hat Amphitheater, NC
Oct 05: University Park Bryce Jordan Center, PA
Oct 07: Atlantic City Boardwalk Hall, NJ
Oct 08: Huntington Big Sandy Superstore Arena, WV
Oct 09: Reading Santander Arena, PA
Oct 17: Austin Moody Theater, TX
Oct 18: Midland Horseshoe Pavillion, TX
Oct 19: El Paso Speaking Rock Arena, TX
Oct 21: Glendale Gila River Arena, AZ

Jan 10: Glasgow SSE Hydro
Jan 12: Newcastle Metro Radio Arena
Jan 13: Birmingham Genting Arena
Jan 15: Sheffield Arena
Jan 16: Manchester Arena
Jan 18: Nottingham Motorpoint Arena
Jan 19: Cardiff Motorpoint Arena
Jan 21: London O2 Arena

Disturbed's Draiman thinks people have become genre snobs

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Not only is one-time online news editor Martin an established rock journalist and drummer, but he’s also penned several books on music history, including SAHB Story: The Tale of the Sensational Alex Harvey Band, a band he once managed, and the best-selling Apollo Memories about the history of the legendary and infamous Glasgow Apollo. Martin has written for Classic Rock and Prog and at one time had written more articles for Louder than anyone else (we think he's second now). He’s appeared on TV and when not delving intro all things music, can be found travelling along the UK’s vast canal network.