Two Members Of DISTURBED Went Through Divorces During The Pandemic

November 16, 2022

DISTURBED guitarist Dan Donegan spoke to Matt Bingham of the Z93 radio station about how the events of the past couple of years have affected the lyrical themes covered on the band's upcoming album, "Divisive". He said (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET): "In a big way. Obviously, with the whole world having to hit the 'pause' button and not knowing what this pandemic was gonna be and turn out to be and just stopping all of our lives, not just our lives, but obviously the music industry being affected by it in a large way, because our whole livelihood is based off of contact and being in front of thousands of people. So, it obviously was one of the later career choices for us to make a comeback, obviously, it was harder for that, to get out of this pandemic and find out what live entertainment was gonna be and what restrictions there may be. So, it was challenging — for all of us, our crew members, everybody that… Their whole livelihood was taken away from them. And my heart goes out to a lot of guys that worked for us and for other artists that had to go out and find new jobs during that whole time and a new career path. So it was challenging. It was challenging mentally. It kind of had an effect on me dealing with it and having the live show taken away from us. It's always been therapeutic for us. That's why we write music and do it. It's our outlet and our way to seek that therapy. And we went through a difficult time. Mike [Wengren], our drummer, went through a divorce early on in the pandemic. I went through a divorce earlier this year. It was a tough time. It affected our personal lives. And then, obviously, all the changes in the world and politically and things going on here in the U.S., it's become quite a mess and quite the division amongst each other. Everything you see on social media, it's just become a mess. It's pretty disgusting. It's sad to see the division that has been going on here. It's like people wake up in the morning and they can't wait to get on social media to see what they can bitch about. We're just so divided. It's, like, 'If you don't believe what I believe, then I hate you.' And 'You're a racist.' And 'You're a homophobe.' Just the name calling. It's just an ugly time right now."

Donegan, who in the past has shared posts on his personal Facebook page that amplified Republican talking points and that were derogatory to Democrats, continued: "It's just shocking to me. And now I see it within friendships and family members. And people are that much at odds to where it's affected those close relationships, not just the strangers that can hide behind the keyboard in their mom's basement and spew out their hatred towards it. I don't know. It's just really disappointing to see people torn apart, a country torn apart like this. And I think we need to take a step back and take a look at the way we've been acting. We're called the United States. We're not really acting all that united in the past couple of years."

Dan'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. 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," admitted Dan. "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."

"Divisive" will arrive on November 18 via Reprise. The LP was recorded earlier this year with producer Drew Fulk (MOTIONLESS IN WHITE, LIL PEEP, HIGHLY SUSPECT) in Nashville, Tennessee. The follow-up to 2018's "Evolution" includes the three recently released singles "Hey You", "Unstoppable" and "Divisive".

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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