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Disturbed’s David Draiman Reveals The Challenge Of Releasing “Down With The Sickness”


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Disturbed vocalist David Draiman looks back on the band’s career and their early years in in a newly published interview with Billboard.com. Draiman‘s trip down memory lance comes as the band prepare to embark on a 20th anniversary tour this summer for their 5x multi-platinum debut album, “The Sickness“.

When asked if any of the songs on that record were challenging to create, Draiman replied that their defining track “Down With The Sickness” did give them some issues—though for reasons you perhaps may not expect. He said of that:

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“Well, I remember “Down With the Sickness” itself, the way that we wanted to do it was a challenge, both from the label, from our producer Johnny K, because of that little rap section.Neither one of them got it. I’m like, “You don’t have to get it. It’s okay. [Listeners] are going to get it. It’s just a display of emotion. It’s raw.”

They wanted us to edit it out of the song, and truth be told, the radio ended up editing it out anyway. The album version is the album version, and that’s version we play live every time we play it, and that’s the one that the fans know and love — “Mommy, don’t do it again. I promise,” they scream along with it.

The tragic part is just how that little section ends up making my poor, sweet mother feel. It’s not like my mom actually beat the hell out of me when I was a kid. The whole thing is an analogy, and a lot of people have used it as a direct interpretation for their own cathartic purposes, and so be it. I love that, but it’s not what I wrote it as.”

He also spoke of performing on the ‘Ozzfest‘ early in the band’s career, describing the experience as follows:

“Oh man, those were formative years for sure. That’s where we earned our badges, I guess you could say, or learned the ways of The Force. It was a training ground for young hard rock and metal bands, and the proving ground — and a catapult of sorts, a launching pad, it really was. I mean, it can’t be understated, the significance of what Ozzfest contributed to the hard rock and metal community. It was amazing. It was this metal summer camp for all of us.”

As for the upcoming 20th anniversary tour, fans shouldn’t expect a full album performance of “The Sickness“, as Draiman explained:

“…We won’t do the entire album, but we’re going to do a ton of Sickness material, deeper cuts, stuff people haven’t heard us play off the record for a while, and definitely a huge portion of material will be Sickness-oriented.

You can’t, unfortunately — or fortunately, depending on how you look at it — as a band at our level, at this point of our career, you can’t just go out and play one record because everybody came on board at different stations. They want to hear what they fell in love with. There’s definitely new production elements that we’re toying with, that are elements that we’ve maybe used during The Sickness era, but that we’re doing in a new and more provocative way. That’s about all I can say.”

Dates for the band’s aforementioned 20th anniversary tour for “The Sickness” with Staind and Bad Wolves run as follows:

07/15 Maryland Heights, MO – Hollywood Casino Amphitheatre (tickets)
07/21 Alpharetta, GA – Ameris Bank Amphitheatre (tickets)
07/23 Tampa, FL – MIDFLORIDA Credit Union Amphitheatre (tickets)
07/24 West Palm Beach, FL – iTHINK Financial Amphitheatre (tickets)
07/26 Bristow, VA – Jiffy Lube Live (tickets)
07/29 Holmdel, NJ – PNC Bank Arts Center (tickets)
07/30 Mansfield, MA – Xfinity Center (tickets)
08/01 Hershey, PA – Hersheypark Stadium (tickets)
08/02 Hartford, CT – XFINITY Theatre (tickets)
08/04 Saratoga Springs, NY – Saratoga Performing Arts Center (tickets)
08/06 Wantagh, NY – Northwell Health at Jones Beach Theater (tickets)
08/08 Syracuse, NY – St. Joseph’s Health Amphitheater at Lakeview (tickets)
08/10 Darien Center, NY – Darien Lake Amphitheater (tickets)
08/11 Toronto, ON – Budweiser Stage (tickets)
08/13 Burgettstown, PA – S&T Bank Music Park (tickets)
08/15 Cincinnati, OH – Riverbend Music Center (tickets)
08/16 Clarkston, MI – DTE Energy Music Theatre (tickets)
08/20 Tinley Park, IL – Hollywood Casino Amphitheatre (tickets)
08/21 Cuyahoga Falls, OH – Blossom Music Center (tickets)
08/23 Noblesville, IN – Ruoff Music Center (tickets)
08/26 Rogers, AR – Walmart AMP (tickets)
08/27 The Woodlands, TX – The Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion (tickets)
08/29 Albuquerque, NM – Isleta Amphitheater (tickets)
08/30 Phoenix, AZ – Ak-Chin Pavilion (tickets)
09/01 Chula Vista, CA – North Island Credit Union Amphitheatre (tickets)
09/02 Irvine, CA – FivePoint Amphitheatre (tickets)
09/04 Mountain View, CA – Shoreline Amphitheatre (tickets)
09/05 Wheatland, CA – Toyota Amphitheatre (tickets)
09/09 West Valley City, UT – USANA Amphitheatre (tickets)
09/11 Ridgefield, WA – Sunlight Supply Amphitheater (tickets)
09/12 Auburn, WA – White River Amphitheatre (tickets)

Disturbed also have the following touring booked:

05/01 Virginia Beach, VA – Veterans United Home Loans Amphitheater at Virginia Beach (FM99 Lunatic Luau) (tickets)
05/02 Charlotte, NC – Epicenter Festival (tickets)
05/09 Daytona Beach, FL – Welcome to Rockville Festival (tickets)
05/16 Camden, NJ – BB&T Pavilion (MMR*B*Q 2020) (tickets)
05/24 Dallas, TX – Dos Equis Pavilion (97.1 The Eagle presents BFD 2020) (tickets)
06/05 Nurburgring, GER – Rock AM Ring Fest
06/07 Nuremburg, GER – Rock IM Park Fest
06/09 Bremen, GER – Bremen Buergerweide
06/11 Nickelsdorf, AUT – Nova Rock Fest
06/12 Interlaken, SWI – Greenfield Fest
06/14 Donington, UK – Download Fest (tickets)
06/16 Gdansk, POL – Ergo Arena (tickets)
06/17 Hannover, GER – Swiss Life Hall (tickets)
06/19 Copenhagen, DEN – Copenhell Fest
06/20 Dessel, BEL – Graspop Fest
06/21 Landgraaf, NET – Pinkpop Fest
06/24 Stockholm, SWE – Grona Lund Tivoli
06/25 Oslo, NOR – Tons of Rock Fest
06/27 Seinajoki, FIN – Provinssi Fest
07/16 Cadott, WI – Rock Fest (tickets)
07/18 Grand Rapids, MI – Upheaval Festival (tickets)

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