Ever since they burst onto the alt-metal scene over a decade ago, Disturbed have delivered high-octane rock with heart thumping hooks and lyrics that are, well, quite depressing. Listen to the words to "Down with the Sickness" or their latest single "Another Way to Die," and you won't exactly want to watch an uplifting rom-com or smell the roses. But, that's a generalization and even if it were 100 percent true, it hasn't mattered much to the multi-plantinum selling band. The hard rockers' fanbase remains loyal (they've sold over 11 million albums and are on a highly successful "Uproar" tour with Stone Sour ), and their records continue to sell like "Glee" merch at a tween-infested fashion mall.
On Tuesday, Aug. 31, the Chicago natives drop their new album Asylum, and it's more of the same only different. As lead singer David Draiman explained, "Musically we have no intention of writing the same song again." Get stupified below...
Asylum is an interesting title for your new album. Did anyone lose their mental faculties during the course of making this album?
Maybe during the writing process. There is some deep subject matter being dealt with such as depression, global destruction, loss of loved ones, and insanity. On the musical side, we have pushed ourselves to new heights of precision and power but without sacrificing what the band is sonically. Most of this is crafted before we even set foot in the studio. By that point, the insanity is replaced by our work ethic to create the best sounding record we can.
You guys have been together for so long - what's your secret to staying together? A lot of bands don't want anything to do with each other after a decade-plus together.
Respect. We respect each other's space and time. We respect what each member brings to the table. Most of all we respect each other enough to drive us to impress one another and not let anyone down.
Keeping with that, how is this album different than your previous ones? Is it a conscious decision to always make each album somewhat different?
The lyrics on Asylum are less cryptic and more storytelling. Much more specific than previous records. Musically we have no intention of writing the same song again. We will always sound like Disturbed but we won't put something out unless we feel we have something fresh to offer.
Rock Band has been such a big influence in the musical landscape as has Guitar Hero -- you've had some songs on the games, do you think it helps or hurts the music business?
It absolutely helps. It introduces young kids to rock and metal who may not have come across it otherwise. Also, it encourages kids to pick up a guitar or to try the drums for real and that is a great creative outlet for anyone.
Or in my case it encourages me to sing offkey, which I do quite well. How'd you spend your summer?
Getting our production together for the Uproar tour. We have created a stage experience that is unlike anything the band has ever done before. Whether you have seen us 10 times or never before, the new Disturbed show will blow you away.
If you could pigeonhole yourselves into one specific genre what would it be, and why?
If I had to choose one... by today's standards, I would say hard rock. Although when I was growing up the metal bands of the past are more like what we are. So, I guess I chose two.
Lastly, where do you see yourselves as a band 13 1/2 years from now?
I don't think there is a time stamp on the music we do. Our influences are rooted in bands like Black Sabbath and Iron Maiden and hopefully we can become timeless like those bands and continue doing what we love. So... no farewell tours!