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His Own Device: An Exclusive Interview With DEVICE/DISTURBED Frontman David Draiman

By Geoff Ketler, Cleveland Contributor
Saturday, July 13, 2013 @ 11:25 AM

"When it is time for DISTURBED to get together for a record and/or tour, it is going to be a very unique occasion"

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There may have been tornado warnings and torrential down pours, but that didn’t stop us from hopping on DEVICE's tour bus in Youngstown, OH and catching up with David Draiman about DEVICE, their current tour, family life, and the future of DISTURBED.

KNAC.COM: For those of us that don’t already know, how did DEVICE originate? What was the idea behind this?

DRAIMAN: Are there still people who don’t know?

KNAC.COM: (Laughter) Well, you could do an abbreviated version of it if you’d like.

DRAIMAN: Ahhh, okay, ready?


DRAIMAN: This is gonna be the five-second spiel. At the tail end of the DISTURBED touring cycle for the Asylum record, Geno Lenardo, a friend of mine for many years, formerly of FILTER, reached out to me to do a track on the Underworld soundtrack. He was doing the track with Lacy from FLYLEAF, one with Pete from CHEVELLE and he had a piece of music in mind for me. He sent it to me. I loved it. I obsessed over it an entire night. Came up with an amazing song from it. Told him we had to track it. So, to Chicago, tracked it. Mixed it. Mastered it. Delivered it to Lakeshore Entertainment. They loved it. They wanted to use it as the lead track on the soundtrack and there was a conflict of interest because we were currently working a track at that particular point in time from the "Lost Children" B-Sides compilation for DISTURBED, a song called "Hell" at radio. The song that Geno and I had written was called "Hunted" – so we decided to hold onto "Hunted" and wait for another opportunity…another soundtrack a charity, or whatever the case may be. The song grew on us. Two weeks later, three weeks later, something like that, we got on the phone and I’m like; "Look-it’s obvious we have some writing chemistry together, let’s get together and write and see what happens. Maybe we will sell the songs to some other artist or whatever." Still not with the intention of actually having or, you know, making a group; starting another band. And in March of 2012, Geno came out for the first of two, two-week writing sessions to my home in Austin, Texas and those writing sessions gave birth to the material that became DEVICE.

KNAC.COM: Excellent

DRAIMAN: There ya go.

KNAC.COM: Sounds like you rehearsed that a few times.

DRAIMAN: I have said it once or twice. (laughter)

KNAC.COM: Currently, right now, you are on Gigantour-playing with MEGADETH how are the crowds treating you?

DRAIMAN: Amazing. I must say that this is a humbling experience. You know, we are a baby band-there is not a lot of awareness of the material on the record, so I have to beat the fuck out them to get a reaction, but that’s okay. This is also a very metal crowd and we are probably the least metal of the bands on the bill. So it’s challenging, but by the end of the set we’ve got ‘em. Every night, by the end of the set, we’ve got ‘em. And that’s part of what makes you stronger. You know, that’s-that’s what it takes to be a good performer. That’s what it takes to be a good frontman and that really does separate the men from the boys.

KNAC.COM: Are you currently doing any other writing for DEVICE or anything else?

DRAIMAN: No, we are only about three months on the record cycle, you know…(Laughter)

KNAC.COM:I know, I know…but sometimes you hear about some bands that do some writing on the road, while they are touring.

DRAIMAN: You know, I’ve never been good at that…I need to have my own head space, my peace and quiet. And kinda not be in the rigamarole of what’s going on. It’s not that I can’t do it – but I haven’t done it in the past. So while I’ve got, you know, my writing partners out here for the next record with Will and Virus. I’m not going to-we have enough shit going on, that I don’t want to add even more to their plate right now. I want to keep their eye on the prize and their head in the game and just focus on the business at hand which is getting out there in front of these crowds and just destroying them.

KNAC.COM: Wanted to ask you briefly…your wife is seven months pregnant…

DRAIMAN: Yeeeeeessss.

KNAC.COM: How is that going?

DRAIMAN: Awesome.

KNAC.COM: Good, do you have any children?

DRAIMAN: No, this is gonna be my first.

KNAC.COM:That’s good to hear – congratulations.

DRAIMAN: Thank you, thank you.

KNAC.COM: Okay last question then…you know what it is gonna be…

DRAIMAN: Of course.

KNAC.COM: What is the future…or is there a future for DISTURBED?

DRAIMAN: Yeeessss…of course, of course there is, of course there is. You know, you don’t build a monster like DISTURBED just to put it-you know-just to kill it. The beast is just sleeping now.

KNAC.COM: Has there been any correspondence between you and the guys?

DRAIMAN: Yes, you know we are in touch with one-another, we support one-another’s projects. That’s exactly what this was for-it gave a chance to do things that we never got a chance to do. You go through the cyclical nature of make a record-tour, make a record-tour, for sixteen years and it becomes monotonous, it becomes an assembly line. It becomes a machine. Sometimes you need to pull yourself away from that. There will definitely be a future…the machine, the assembly line-like nature is what you can become when you are part of a large organization like that, that is as successful as DISTURBED has been, it can-it can reach sterility. It takes away…it takes away inspiration sometimes. Sometimes it’s like punching a time clock. You can become predictable. Fans know they can see you every other year on tour and they know they will get a record from you every other year. So they expect it.

KNAC.COM: It is probably healthy for everybody…

DRAIMAN: It’s healthy for everybody…let’s all step away from it for a while. Let’s have our opportunity to do some other things. You know, there’s nobody that loves DISTURBED more than me. I built that fucking house with my boys, you know. And I certainly couldn’t have done it without them. I bled, kicked, scratched, punched, fought, you know…and I will continue to do that with DEVICE as well. It just needs to sleep until everybody is re-inspired, everybody feels it’s the right time, when the band has a new appreciation for it, the fans have a new appreciation for it and I’ve got a secret for you…from here on out it’s not gonna be an every other year type thing…it just simply isn’t. It is going to be an event. When it is time for DISTURBED to get together for a record and/or tour, it is going to be a very unique occasion.

KNAC.COM: Okay, Okay, excellent…well, thank you for your time. It was awesome to get to meet you, as fans of both DISTURBED and DEVICE.

DRAIMAN: It’s been my pleasure…much respect, thank you.

Photos By Geoff Ketler/Aces High Photography

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