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Disturbed’s David Draiman On Haters: “I Think People Want To Believe That I’m This Egomaniacal Prick”


In a cover story for the UK’s edition of Metal Hammer that ran this fall, Disturbed frontman David Draiman spoke of the persistent cloud of criticism that has dogged him and his band throughout their career. While the band have gone on to achieve a rare level of success for a metal/hard rock act, there’s no denying that Draiman with his trademark “oh ah ah ah ah” and brash all caps online presence has also served as the punch line to many a metal related joke over the years.

It’s a persona he admits to have contributed to himself over the years, in particular through some regretful statements he’s made to the press earlier in the band’s career and likely some of his brisk interactions via his time on social media. In a lengthy feature for Metal Hammer that has now been published online, Draiman responded as follows as to why he thinks he still has an army of haters:

“Who knows? I truly don’t understand it. I think people develop a perception of you. I’m the first guy to admit that in my younger days, instead of speaking softly and carrying a big stick, I ended up doing the opposite of that. Which sometimes comes from excitement or youth or… sometimes confidence can ‘become’ arrogance, and certainly be perceived as that. And people have no idea how much self-doubt there is involved with it, and how much questioning you do.”

Metal Hammer also opened up about suggesting that Draiman exhibited a potential air of fake humility to appear affected in a 2015 feature on him in the magazine. Upon reading that article, Draiman had his publicist call the magazine to express his disappointment. He said of how he felt after reading that piece:

“I felt hurt, to be honest. I think people want to believe that I’m this egomaniacal prick, and I really do my damndest not to be. Anybody who truly knows me and is around me on a regular basis would tell you unabashedly that it’s completely unjustified. Especially when you go out of your way to try and extend an olive branch, and you literally get slapped in the face as a result. It’s betrayal, of sorts.”

He later went on to say of his relationship with the media:

“There’s certain people the media embraces with open arms, because someone at that particular publication fell in love with that band. And it’s totally their style and totally their taste, and maybe we weren’t. To me, there was a clear reason why. I became a popular face on the dartboard to throw darts at, and it worked for the publications who were building on this perception that I was one of these guys they loved to hate. ‘Mad Davey’, and all that bullshit.”

When asked if the band’s commercial success has served as a vindication for him, he replied:

“I try not to even bring that into focus, to be honest. I judge how we’re doing, how I’m doing, by the fans, not the media. And look… I look forward to a day when we win them over, too. I’m not going to meet negativity with negativity. I’ve been at a very different place in my head for years now, people just haven’t been willing to recognize it. I don’t really give it much thought.” He pauses to issue a soft hello to a pigeon flapping overhead.”

There’s a whole lot from Draiman to be read over at Metal Hammer.

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