• Axl Rosenberg

dandoneganAn interview with Disturbed’s Dan Donegan, from We Love Metal (by way of Blabbermouth)… the debate over what is or is not “nu metal” continues!

We Love Metal: A lot of people on the Internet call DISTURBED “nu” metal. Do you consider yourself nu metal?

Dan: Well, I think we got lumped in that category because we came out at the same time that category was added and a lot of these bands started to come out in the late ’90s is the same time that we got signed. We were fortunate to have outlasted that by riding that wave and showed that we have always been influenced by the classic metal bands, so there was nothing nu metal in our minds about what we were doing. Nu metal, to me, at the time was bands that were incorporating turntables and little bits of hip hop with metal guitars and drumming, and I respect some of those bands that did it… I was fans of some of those bands that did it, but the bands that inspired us to pick up an instrument were the first bands — BLACK SABBATH, IRON MAIDEN, JUDAS PRIEST, PANTERA, METALLICA, QUEENSRŸCHE — those were always guitar-based, riff-driven, double-bass, hard, slamming, powerful melodic vocals. Those are the ingredients that we have. I guess we have always just viewed ourselves as a metal band trying to expand and follow in the footsteps of the greats.

We Love Metal: I guess that’s why we asked it because a lot of people will group you in with KORN and SLIPKNOT… and respect for those bands but…

Dan: And there is respect. We have toured with those bands and are fans of them. KORN, at the time, was revolutionary in bringing the seven-string detuned guitars in. You know, that’s their thing and that was something new that they were bringing to the table and a lot of the newer bands were starting to follow that lead. SLIPKNOT, obviously, with nine members in the band is more of a chaotic show there and percussive. I mean that’s their thing, they had their own little niche, their own thing. With us, we were relying basically on what we were brought up on, and the fact that David [Draiman] is one of the only singers in my mind, one of the few singers that is very melodic and rhythmic in his vocal styles as well. I think a lot of nu metal bands didn’t offer much melody; there was a lot of monotone vocals and a lot of screamers. Some are very good at it, but our preference was to bring something you’re going to be able to hum the melody to when you leave a show or listen to an album.

So here’s the thing: a lot about what Donegan says here irritates me (e.g., calling Korn “revolutionary”), but I’m not really sure that he’s wrong – at least about the whole “nu metal” tag. Claiming Pantera and Queensryche as influences is just patently ridiculous.

Discuss amongst yourselves.


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