In mid-December, Disturbed announced that original bassist Fuzz had left the band after more than six years, and posted a message on their Web site telling musicians how to apply for the vacant slot. Frontman David Draiman is currently narrowing down the field of interested players and plans to bring four to six of them to Chicago in February for tryouts.
Fuzz's departure from Disturbed was a long time coming, according to Draiman.
"I don't want to drag anyone through the mud, there were just personality conflicts," Draiman explained, breaking over a month of silence. "It wasn't a relationship that could continue anymore, and we had to go our separate ways. When you're in a band, chemistry is very important. But we wish him all the best. We bear him no ill will."
While Disturbed are searching for a new bass player, they'll continue working on material for their next studio album. But they're taking their time: Draiman said the disc probably won't be ready for release until spring 2005.
"We're just at the very beginnings," the singer said. "It's really hard to say where things are going at this point. There are some song ideas but no actual songs. The vibe in general is much darker — the tone of the music, the state of our minds. I'm thinking it will be somewhere in between [our first record], The Sickness, and [our last album], Believe."
Draiman wants the next LP to sound angrier, not because he thinks the last disc was too commercial, but because he's currently feeling a lot of resentment and pent-up aggression, which he wants to vent through his music.
"There are so many things that piss me off these days," he said. "The further you go down this path, the more your psyche gets affected. There are frustrations for 100 different reasons. There's anger at the dualities of life. There's the separation with our bass player and there's the pressure of creating music in an environment where everybody seems to be hurting."
A steadfast perfectionist, Draiman is afraid of not realizing his artistic potential. He strives for mass popularity, not merely for the sake of selling records, but for communicating his ideas and his music with the greatest number of people possible.
"It's frustrating when you put so much of yourself into something and you can't get it to as many people as you'd like, or you let yourself get in the way of it, or you start looking back at how things went down," he explained. "You think about what you could have done differently and you potentially start second-guessing yourself."
What's most upsetting to Draiman is the fact that he doesn't have complete control of his future, and that his success and failure may have as much to do with market trends as with his songwriting skill.
"Rock music — particularly what people refer to as 'nü-metal' — is at a point of decline right now, so it's a strange time," he said. "It's really daunting. It's like there's this big, huge shadow looming ahead of you, and you've got to run right into it at full speed, not knowing if you're going to hit a wall."