DISTURBED's DAN DONEGAN Says 'Divisive' Album's 'More Aggressive' Sound Came Naturally

January 28, 2023

In a new interview with "The Afternoon Program" on the 102.9 The Hog radio station, DISTURBED guitarist Dan Donegan spoke about the heavier music direction of the band's recently released eighth studio album, "Divisive". He said (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET): "It had to come naturally. We talked and we knew we wanted to kind of dig deep and go back to some of the old, more aggressive sound, a little bit more attitude, but it really comes down to just letting it happening naturally when we're working on the ideas and improvising. We were all kind of on the same page.

"After coming off of [2018's] 'Evolution', which was a fun, experimental album — we had some acoustic tracks on that one — and then to deal with the break during COVID, I think we were all ready for a more heavier, aggressive, attitude, in-your-face DISTURBED album," Dan added. "So when it came time to writing, it was just naturally pouring out of us."

"Divisive" came out last November. The LP was recorded earlier last year with producer Drew Fulk (MOTIONLESS IN WHITE, LIL PEEP, HIGHLY SUSPECT) in Nashville, Tennessee.

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.

Dan's recent 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. Clean guitar soundtracks the story of a long-term relationship in the middle of its last gasp. DISTURBED singer David Draiman and Ann engage in a call-and-response before locking into a skyscraping harmony as the solo reaches for the heavens.

"It was very personal to me," Dan previously said. "I was going through my divorce, and I wanted to touch on the fact I was in a very long marriage to a wonderful woman. She's a great mother to my kids. We were together for 18 years. Even though the marriage was in a tough spot, it was hard to leg go, because we'd invested so much into each other. I felt like listeners could relate to it."

About the "Divisive" album title, Draiman noted: "Partisan tribal warfare has become a part of our regular existence nowadays. It's one big battle of the cliques. The whole idea of the record is to be a wakeup call for everyone. Our society has become addicted to outrage. Music is the best cure for what ails us though. If only everyone reached out and used it. There's no better environment to forget about all of this shit than live music. We can be together and realize we have more in common than not. Recognize what's happening and let's make a change for the better."

Donegan added: "Whatever it takes, we've got to pull it together. We've always tried to take negative topics and spin them in a positive light. From touring around the world, we've seen the power of music as the universal language to bring everyone together from all walks of life. We can still play songs to unite people, and it's a pretty powerful feeling."

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