Disturbed Video Deemed Too Disturbing; Band Examines Plan B

Scenes in 'Prayer' clip too reminiscent of 9/11, some say.

In the biblical book of Job, God tests a man's devotion by plaguing him with

an increasingly worsening set of afflictions. Disturbed frontman David

Draiman is starting to understand how Job must've felt.

The singer, who was schooled in religion and philosophy, decided to write a

video treatment for the band's new single, "Prayer," that was an allegory

referencing Job. In it, Disturbed are confronted with various apocalyptic

scenarios including collapsing construction sites, car crashes and a

cataclysmic earthquake. They emerge from each disaster ready to take on the

next (see "Disturbed Conjure Fire,

Earthquakes For 'Prayer' Video").

While Draiman insists the video, directed by the Brothers Strause last

month, is a tale of triumph over adversity and a clear-cut reference to Job,

others have viewed the footage as too disturbing for even Disturbed. Some

video outlets have refused to play it because they feel the scenes are too

reminiscent of those of last September 11.

Like Job, who faced calamity and moved on, Disturbed are making plans to

create an alternate video for the song in time for the September release of

Believe. One option is to radically re-edit the original video, a

spokesperson for the band said. But since the entire piece focuses on

devastation and demolition, that might prove impossible.

An alternative is to shoot a performance video for the track. Disturbed will

shoot their August 7 show at Cleveland's Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, and if

the footage is good enough, it's likely that it will be used for the video,

the spokesperson said.

While Believe was colored by the events of 9/11, the album isn't a

reflection of life in times of war or a diatribe against terrorism. It's

more a summation of the way people can overcome personal tragedy and trauma

through personal conviction.

"The underlying theme throughout the record is aspects of belief," Draiman

said. "And believing in whatever you feel strongly about no matter what the

situation is. The world is a different place since we wrote the last record.

Whether it's the events of 9/11 or our newfound success, the way that we're

perceived and the way that we perceive others now, everything is different.

And the realization of what we've become and the world around us and the

positive ends of it and the negative ends of it are really where the lyrical

content came from."

Throughout Believe, Draiman addresses the brutality of the music biz,

the emptiness of losing a loved one, the dismal state of contemporary pop

and the difficulty of sustaining a relationship on the road. While the music

is brooding and bludgeoning, it's not as bleak as that of the band's debut,

The Sickness.

"It's not as dark, it's not as morbid, it's not as hopeless," agreed

Draiman. "That's part of why the record is called Believe. To simply

put out another record like The Sickness at this particular point in

time, in terms of its meaning, I didn't think was conducive to the

environment. I think people need things to believe in and to channel their

beliefs into, and that's hopefully some of what I'm trying to illustrate

here."

Track list for Believe, according to Warner Bros.:

  • "Prayer"

  • "Liberate"

  • "Awaken"

  • "Believe"

  • "Remember"

  • "Intoxication"

  • "Rise"

  • "Mistress"

  • "Breathe"

  • "Bound"

  • "Devour"

  • "Darkness"