David Michael Draiman (born March 13, 1973) is an American songwriter and the lead singer for the heavy metal band Disturbed as well as for the band Device. Draiman is known for his distorted voice and percussive singing style. In November 2006, Draiman was voted number 42 on the Hit Parader's "Top 100 Metal Vocalists of All Time". Draiman has written some of Disturbed's most successful singles, such as "Stupify", "Down with the Sickness", "Indestructible", and "Inside the Fire".
In October 2011, Disturbed entered a hiatus. Draiman announced in the following year that he was working on an industrial rock/metal project with Geno Lenardo, formerly of Filter, which was later named Device.
In January 2013, it was announced that Draiman would produce Floridian metal band Trivium's sixth album, Vengeance Falls, in Austin, Texas.
Early life and education:
Draiman was born in Brooklyn, New York in the United States to Yehuda and Miriam Draiman, Israeli-Americans, on 13 March 1973. His father, Yehuda "Y. J." Draiman, was a mechanical engineer, healthcare administrator, small-business owner, member of the Northridge East Neighborhood Council, among other roles, and is completing a Ph.D. in energy conservation. Y. J. Draiman ran a political campaign for mayor of Los Angeles in 2013, but was not successful. Draiman's brother, Benjamin (performing professionally as Ben Draiman), is a ambient/folk rock musician who lives in Israel and performs in Jerusalem. Benjamin is also a psychologist. Draiman's grandmother also lives in Israel.
Although his parents were not then observant, religious Jews (dati), they intended for Draiman to receive semikhah, and Draiman frequently spent time in Israel during his early life. Draiman attended five Jewish day schools, including Wisconsin Institute for Torah Study in Milwaukee, Wisconsin; Valley Torah High School in Los Angeles, California, where he formed his first band; and Fasman Yeshiva High School in Chicago, Illinois. During his freshman year at Wisconsin Institute for Torah Study, he was requested to leave, as he "rebelled against the conformity" and "just wanted to be a normal teenage kid", adding that he "couldn't really stomach the rigorous religious requirements of the life there". Of his study at Jewish day schools, Draiman states that he "was a bit resentful"; but, he later prompted his family to commence observing Shabbat and he was trained as a hazan.
Draiman later enrolled at Ida Crown Jewish Academy in Chicago, Illinois, where he graduated from high school in 1991. From there, in 1991-1992, he spent a year after high school studying at the Yeshivas Neveh Zion in Kiryat Ye'arim, on the outskirts of Jerusalem, Israel.
After returning to the US, in 1992, Draiman commenced pre-law studies at Loyola University Chicago. In 1996, he graduated the university with a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and Government, Philosophy, and Business Administration. Initially considering taking up offers to matriculate and study at law school, Draiman realised that, although criminal defense law was the only area of law that interested him, he could not "really look at myself in the mirror and say I'm going to lie for a living and protect criminals". During his university studies, Draiman also worked as a bank teller and in phone sales.
After graduating from university, Draiman commenced working as an administrative assistant in a healthcare facility. After his first year, he had earned an administrator's licence and commenced running his own healthcare facility. For five years before his joining Disturbed and the band's signing with Giant Records, Draiman was a healthcare administrator.
Draiman is quoted as saying, "the first record I ever bought was Kiss' Destroyer. And those classic bands like Black Sabbath were my first loves...I focused on the seminal metal bands like Metallica, Iron Maiden, Pantera and Queensrÿche".
Draiman continues, "But I could also appreciate the hair metal bands - When you hear Whitesnake, you can't deny their greatness. Then I went in the direction of punk and new wave, groups like the Sex Pistols, The Ramones, The Misfits and later The Smiths and The Cure - that was my '80s".
"And then when the grunge revolution happened, it was like a wakeup call. I'll never forget getting my first Nirvana, Soundgarden and Alice in Chains records".
Draiman has cited James Hetfield of Metallica, Rob Halford of Judas Priest, and Bruce Dickinson of Iron Maiden as the three biggest influences on his singing.
On 25 September 2011, Draiman married ex-WWE Diva Lena Yada and as of 2013 Lena was pregnant with their first child, a son. According to Draiman on Device's official Facebook page, on September 12, 2013, at 12:58 AM, David and Lena's son, Samuel Bear Isamu Draiman, was born after 29 hours of labor. Also on Device's Facebook page, David wrote, "Both mother and child are healthy and well. I thank the powers that be for this greatest of gifts."
In an interview with Playboy UK, Draiman revealed that he lost his virginity when he was 12 years old. When Draiman was 16 years old, his girlfriend committed suicide. Draiman later wrote a song about the experience, titled "Inside the Fire", which appeared on the 2008 album Indestructible.
Draiman is proficient in Hebrew.
Religious and political views:
Draiman is of Jewish ancestry but does not partake in Judaism. In 2010, Draiman expressed Deistic views in a YouTube interview while rejecting organized religion of any kind.
Draiman politically identifies as a libertarian.
Draiman has expressed dissatisfaction with rock musicians who collect Nazi memorabilia saying, "I don't give a fuck who you are. If you're going to brandish Nazi symbolism, I'm going to have a problem with you because I don't understand how anybody could think it's OK to wear something on their body that symbolizes the annihilation and genocide of my people. I'm not OK with that and there is no excuse and there is no explanation". Draiman wrote the song "Never Again" (on the album Asylum) "about the Holocaust and the people who deny it, like Ahmadinejad. And part of our live show includes a video presentation depicting him as the new Hitler."
The United States Holocaust Museum featured Draiman in their "Voices on Antisemitism -- A Podcast Series" show.
In July 2013, Draiman urged all of his followers on Twitter to condemn Roger Waters, who released a giant pig balloon with a Star of David emblazoned on it at his concert in Belgium on July 18.