DISTURBED's DAN DONEGAN On Challenges Of Pandemic-Era Touring: 'It's Been Such A Nightmare'

February 14, 2023

In a new interview with 97.9 GRD's Tommy Carroll, DISTURBED guitarist Dan Donegan once again opened up about the realities of post-pandemic touring, including increased travel expenses — gas, tour buses, hotels and flight costs. Speaking about DISTURBED's touring plans for 2023, Dan said (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET): "It's been such a nightmare. Just the logistics of it, it's so challenging. And I know a lot of times the fans may not understand, or they may not care to care about it, 'cause it's, like, 'Boohoo. Rich-rock-star problems.' I get that people don't wanna hear how tough it is to go out there. But the reality is, as you see a lot of bands who are struggling or are having to cancel some shows or cancel overseas stuff, because of inflation and fuel costs and production costs, it gets up there. And the ones that struggle the most and suffer the most are the artists.

"Everybody in the world was affected by COVID, and businesses suffered," he continued. "If you think about it, all these other companies, music related, whether it's the sound company, the lighting company, the pyro company, the video companies, all these companies were sitting there, too, during COVID with nobody to… Their business is suffering, 'cause nobody could tour. And now we return and we're starting to do it, now those production costs have tripled in most cases. 'Cause they're trying to — I get it — they're trying to make up for their losses. They have employees and families and kids and business to try to keep their head above water and survive out there, like everybody else, but the bands themselves have to pay double and triple of what those costs, if they wanna carry that kind of production and to continue to do that kind of show that they were doing pre-COVID. So it gets a bit challenging.

"Yeah, you could go out and do it punk rock-style and don't carry any production and do it, and there are still fans that would just still love the show and still love to hear the songs live," Donegan addded. "So it's just trying to find that balance of still being able to deliver the show that the fans want and are paying for and bring them the hits. So it's just a little bit more juggling. It's just more work, I guess, on our managers and our booking agents, for them to figure it out. 'Cause the band is ready to go. We're fired up and ready to play. We do have a lot in the books now for 2023. We plan on hitting the road quite a bit and trying to hit some other territories as much as we can for this year."

Earlier this month, DISTURBED announced its 36-date "Take Back Your Life" spring/summer 2023 North American tour. The trek, produced by Live Nation, will feature support from THEORY OF A DEADMAN in Canada and very special guests BREAKING BENJAMIN and JINJER in select markets in the United States. "Take Back Your Life", which will kick off at Montreal's Bell Centre on April 27, will be DISTURBED's first full tour since 2018.

DISTURBED frontman David Draiman told Taryn Daly of Audacy's 99.9 KISW about the challenges of touring during the pandemic era: "The music industry as a whole, we lost two-thirds of our workforce. They're gone. They went to do other things, because live events couldn't happen for two to three years. So they had to put food on the table. There are bands like us who did everything that they could for their crew, and we'd do it again, but there are a lot of bands that couldn't. And people had to make a living. And so now, you have a few people left. Now costs are through the roof, now everybody's struggling, and we're still chomping at the bit to get out there. I think the challenge makes it better."

DISTURBED's latest album, "Divisive", was released last November. The LP recorded early last year with producer Drew Fulk (MOTIONLESS IN WHITE, LIL PEEP, HIGHLY SUSPECT) in Nashville, Tennessee.

Donegan's divorce inspired the "Divisive" song "Don't Tell Me", which is a duet with HEART's Ann Wilson. In two decades, it breaks ground as the first-ever guest collaboration on a DISTURBED record.

According to Billboard, "Divisive" sold 26,000 equivalent album units in its first week of release, with 22,000 units via album sales.

On the all-format Billboard 200 chart, "Divisive" debuted at No. 13.

DISTURBED has had five No. 1s on the all-genre chart, beginning with "Believe" in 2002.

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