If Diddy can get an endorsement deal from acne cream Proactiv Solution, there’s no reason Disturbed frontman David Draiman shouldn’t land a gig plugging stomach medication. After all, the metal belter has sampled many a tummy tablet over the years and even underwent surgery for his uncooperative stomach, yet he still suffers from severe acid reflux.
In mid-October, after a couple of nights of partying, Draiman’s problem got so bad that stomach acid singed his throat, which contributed to the band’s decision to cancel the last seven shows of their European tour and fly home.
“I had been taking Prevacid for about four years and my body built up a resistance to it, to the point where it wasn’t doing anything anymore,” the singer said a few hours before show in St. Louis on the Jägermeister Music Tour. “I had a night of drinking in London followed by a full day and night of drinking on a day off in Dublin, because what else is there to do in Ireland but drink? That, coupled with a show where I had monitor problems, and I pretty much trashed my voice.”
A visit to a doctor in Dublin confirmed his fears and Draiman was ordered to rest his voice. When he got back to Los Angeles, he immediately underwent an endoscopy to make sure the surgical work that had been done in the past hadn’t come undone.
“Thankfully it was still intact, so I just switched to this drug called Protonix and that got me on the right track,” Draiman said. “But I gotta watch what I eat a little bit, and I can’t drink anymore. How ironic — we start the Jäger tour and I can no longer drink!”
Gastric ills notwithstanding, life has been pretty sweet for Disturbed recently. In late September, the band’s Ten Thousand Fists debuted at #1 on the Billboard albums chart, and the album remains in the top 35 nearly two months after its release (see “Disturbed Songs Will Be ’United In Anger’ On Third Album” ). They’re also headlining the Jägermeister tour, which runs through February 4 and also features Corrosion of Conformity (“It’s an honor to have them out with us,” Draiman said). Bloodsimple will take over the tour’s opening slot starting January 22 in Anaheim, California.
All in all, not bad for a group that hadn’t released a studio album in three years and was once lumped in with the now-dead nü-metal movement. No one has been more surprised by Disturbed’s comeback than Draiman.
“People continue to proclaim the death of rock and try to figure out where Disturbed fit in the scheme of things, and the truth is, we really don’t fit in,” he said. “You look at the majority of radio programming and it’s about 20 bands that all sound pretty much the same. They’re either pop-rock punk bands or a pop-rock emo bands, and I can’t tell the difference. But obviously there’s still a pretty strong place for us. We’re in it for the long haul and we’re going to take much delight in proving to everyone that we’re still viable and we’re still here.”
The band is planning to release “Just Stop” as a single and video in the New Year. Disturbed shot part of the clip live in their hometown of Chicago on their last tour and will finish it during another show there at the end of this month. “It will just be us doing what we do,” Draiman said. “The whole Disturbed experience is about the live show anyway.”
Another area that seems to capture the energy and dynamism of Disturbed is professional wrestling. In 2000, Disturbed recorded the theme song for Stone Cold Steve Austin and now they’ve been asked to do the same for WWE wrestler Triple H. “He certainly is one of the top guys in the WWE right now, and he’s an interesting character, so I think it would be an interesting challenge,” Draiman said. “I think our music is a good complement for anything that’s action-oriented, be it wrestling or a video game or our brothers and sisters in the military. Countless soldiers have told us they play our stuff before going out to battle in the Middle East. It gets people energized and gives them strength and courage — and that’s exactly what it’s meant to do.”