DISTURBED's DAVID DRAIMAN Says Music Industry Lost Two-Thirds Of Its Workforce During Pandemic: 'They Went To Do Other Things'

February 7, 2023

DISTURBED frontman David Draiman spoke to Taryn Daly of Audacy's 99.9 KISW in Seattle about the band's upcoming 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.

"We were robbed of normalcy for so long [due to the COVID-19 pandemic]," David said. "To feel like things are normalizing once again and to get back to doing what we are really meant to be doing in this life — all of us; not just us [in the band] — is an incredible thing. But now to be able to experience the celebration known as live performance and to feel that circle of symbiotic kind of relationship that you end up having and that energy surge in a whole new way, because it was taken for so long, it's sweeter now. And I think people are even more passionate. They're so pent up. They're ready. And we are too."

Draiman also talked about our ability to bounce back after the pandemic imposed a devastating effect on the psychological health of so many people, as they spent hours inside the house with little or no social contact with friends and family. He said: "I think that the human body and human spirit are both incredibly resilient. I think we are traumatized. There's no doubt about it. From every walk of life and every age range imaginable. I think the kids got hit the hardest during all this. When you are stripped of the things that keep you engaged, that keep you communicating, that keep you challenged, it can do long-term damage sometimes. I think that people are gonna take — it may take the rest of their lifetimes to sometimes get back to where they were after, not only what this whole experience did to us psychologically, but what it did to some people fiscally, what it did to them financially. It destroyed families, it destroyed jobs, it destroyed worlds. I mean, the effects were more than just the lives that were taken by the virus. Terrible. So it's weird. I feel very, very fortunate that we're still one of the ones that are in a position to go back out there and to do what we do and to keep doing what we love. 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.

Guitarist Dan 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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