Disturbed's David Draiman: Blame pirates, not streaming sites

A picture of David Draiman
David Draiman (Image credit: Getty)

Disturbed frontman David Draiman has defended music streaming services and says the real villains are fans who think it’s okay to illegally download music.

Spotify, Apple and YouTube have come under fire from various rock stars in recent months, some of whom claim the streaming services do not pay artists a fair share.

Nikki Sixx and his band Sixx AM took a particularly strong stance against YouTube and launched a campaign to pressure the Google-owned company into paying musicians more for the right to host their music.

And earlier this year, it was claimed that a songwriter would need 288 million Spotify streams of their work to earn the average salary of a Spotify employee.

But Draiman believes the anger is being directed at the wrong targets and that piracy is the root of the entire problem.

Draiman tells The Jasta Show: “The industry is creeping slowly, slowly towards finally making this whole digital concept a little bit more transparent.

“I applaud Nikki Sixx and the guys from Sixx AM for taking a strong stance on the YouTube issue. There are a number of people out there who are doing it right.

“But people are very quick to demonise streaming services. Spotify and entities like it were created to directly combat piracy.

“Piracy is the issue, and that’s what people are forgetting. It’s almost like the media is putting so much hype on these paltry royalty rates, when, in truth, at least there is a royalty rate.

“You get nothing from piracy. Absolutely nothing. And you have an entire generation of fans that have been raised to think that’s okay, when it still isn’t.”

Other music industry figures to speak out against streaming services include Van Halen manager Irving Azoff, Radiohead’s Thom Yorke and Metallica manager Peter Mensch.

Disturbed are currently on the road in North America in support of latest album Immortalized. They head to Europe early next year.

Disturbed tour dates 2016⁄17

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, UK
Jan 12: Newcastle Metro Radio Arena, UK
Jan 13: Birmingham Genting Arena, UK
Jan 15: Sheffield Arena, UK
Jan 16: Manchester Arena, UK
Jan 18: Nottingham Motorpoint Arena, UK
Jan 19: Cardiff Motorpoint Arena, UK
Jan 21: London O2 Arena, UK

My Life Story | Disturbed’s David Draiman

Stef wrote close to 5,000 stories during his time as assistant online news editor and later as online news editor between 2014-2016. An accomplished reporter and journalist, Stef has written extensively for a number of UK newspapers and also played bass with UK rock favourites Logan. His favourite bands are Pixies and Clap Your Hands Say Yeah. Stef left the world of rock'n'roll news behind when he moved to his beloved Canada in 2016, but he started on his next 5000 stories in 2022.