Disturbed Frontman on Past Relationship with Press: “What the Hell Was I Saying?!”
Disturbed frontman David Draiman has been a frequent target of the metal press throughout his career, for… well, for pretty much everything, from his outspoken political views to his insistence on using ALL CAPS when typing on social media, to his band’s trite music. He’s been less of a target since he quit social media several years ago, although he certainly still inserts himself into the political conversation from time to time.
In a recent interview, Kerrang! asked Draiman why he thinks he’s been such a target of the press throughout his career, and here’s how the conversation went down:
You’ve had a rough ride in the press in the past. Why do you think that was?
“I’ve looked back at some of my earlier quotes and, regardless of whether or not things were taken out of context, I have to hit myself in the head and think, ‘What the hell was I saying?! Why did I say that thing like that?!’ I think that when you set yourself up to be a target, people are more than willing to take pot-shots at you.”
It must have been difficult, though. You’d overcome a lot of adversity – your parents were against you being in a band, your grandfather so much so he cut off contact with you. Did weathering that and still receiving those pot-shots hurt?
“It still does, in certain ways. Even though making music is your livelihood, it’s also a labour of love. It’s art; you’re creating things that you’re really emotionally attached to and are passionate about, so when people shit on that, and they shit on you and your delivery of it, then it’s a hard thing to take. They’re diminishing your pain. That’s the tough part. People are so cavalier with their judgements and their wordings, and understandably so, because we live in an age where there are no repercussions and accountability. You sit behind that keyboard typing away and nobody’s going to do anything to you. You can be anyone you want and say anything you want.”
Elsewhere in the interview, Draiman commented on his decision to quit Twitter, saying:
“There’s just no decency. It’s a bunch of high school kids insulting each other, having a contest about who can come up with the most grandiose insult. It’s childish. People are dying to be triggered about something. All you have to do is express your opinion on anything and someone’s going to fight you about it. As a band, it’s not like we’re using our social media to be influencers, so why bother?”
I will say this: despite our own tumultuous relationship over the years, MetalSucks and Draiman finally found some common ground a few years back when he got behind Bernie Sanders in the 2016 U.S. presidential Democratic primaries. Even despite Bernie’s pro-Palestinian stance! I admit I kinda miss the guy spouting off on social media, so perhaps he’ll re-enter the fray via the press in the run-up to the November 2020 election.
You can read the rest of the chat here.