Joe Matera of Ultimate-Guitar.com recently conducted an interview with DISTURBED guitarist Dan Donegan. A couple of excerpts from the chat follow.
Ultimate-Guitar.com: The new album "Indestructible" is a lot darker and heavier sounding than previous efforts was that due to the darker lyrical subject matter covered on the album?
Dan Donegan: Before we even started writing for this record, David [Draiman, vocals] had experienced a string of bad luck over the past couple of years and so he was in a lot darker place and that was something he conveyed to us. And so we wanted to see where everybody could head with that in mind and what we wanted to try and achieve out of this album. So the whole thing was to deliver something that had more attitude and with a darker vibe to it. And we wanted to take some of those strong elements that we did on the first three records and try and improve on them too. And though vocally we wanted David to be more melodic, we also wanted to have him deliver some of those moments on the earlier records too. Like what he did on "Ten Thousand Fists" where he had a more direct fire vocal delivery. So we had that stuff going on there too along with a lot more guitar solos throughout the record and a lot heavier syncopation with the rhythm section happening. And we're very pleased with the outcome and are very excited. We feel it is the best new material we've written yet.
Ultimate-Guitar.com: After making three albums with producer Johnny K you've decided to also self-produce this new effort. How was the experience for you?
Dan Donegan: It was great and I think we did an amazing job. Working with Johnny K we learned a lot from him over the years and I've also had known him for many years prior to that. We also did our early demos with him before we were signed and obviously the three records we did with him. But we felt the time had come where we were in a position to take over that role. Even though there was added pressure to deliver, it was a good pressure as it made us all step up to the plate and give the best performances that we could. So we were the ones that were coaching each other and pushing each other to get more out of each guy's performance. Every time we've entered the studio, we've had a clear vision of where the songs were going. We never really had to rely on anybody to do it for us, as the songs were what they were when we first brought them in. All of our biggest songs, "Stupify", "Down With The Sickness" and "Prayer", were exactly the way the band wrote them in the first place. So we never really needed a producer for that role. We just needed somebody to help us dial in the tones that we were trying to achieve.
Ultimate-Guitar.com: DISTURBED have a very dedicated fan base, do you think that your strong connection with your fans from the grass roots up, is a reason why DISTURBED are still a force to be held today and still at the top of their game in an industry that is very fickle?
Dan Donegan: We've been a very hard-working band and we give the fans what they want when we hit their town. We bring energy to them and they give it back to us. And our fans know that we've been dedicated to them and so they're dedicated to us. And they've been very patient with us in all our album cycles, waiting for our new material and so we've been fortunate to still be going strong because of them. We continue to please them because they continue to come out to the shows and wanting to hear new material. We also just keep evolving as a band and as players. We've always been very personal with our fans too. We do everything we can to do meet and greets and any signings and whatever else we can do. We've never shied away from that as we've always wanted to be personal with them and to maintain that friendship and connection with them.
Ultimate-Guitar.com: Out of all the countries you've toured over the years, which has the best groupies?
Dan Donegan: I'm past that stage, as I'm a married man with two kids now. I have a four year old daughter and a one year old son. But when it comes to the groupies, we don't discriminate towards any of them. I guess they are necessity in rock and roll. Hey, they love to party and hang and love music too! And God bless them. We have had our fair share of running around quite a bit in the early stages of DISTURBED. But we have gotten to the point where we are pretty fortunate that our career is still going strong. And we're lucky to have found significant others whom can deal with our bullshit and our lifestyle. It takes a very secure woman to put up with us. And at moment everybody is very happily committed.
Ultimate-Guitar.com: Do you ever have a desire to go out and make a solo guitar album some day?
Dan Donegan: I don't really know how I feel about that issue because all my time and effort and dedication is to DISTURBED. I wouldn't mind doing it some day but the only way I would do it, is if we ever took an extended break. And if any of the other guys wanted to slow down for a bit and have some more time spending it at home. And only then would I consider it. But my number one priority has always been DISTURBED and always will be. But then again even if there was some down time, I would still be probably writing songs that are meant for DISTURBED. And I wouldn't know how much material I would have to put anything into a side project. But it all depends on what the future holds I guess so we'll wait and see and where everybody else is heading at if it comes to that point.
Read the entire interview at Ultimate-Guitar.com.