When MTV tipped off our Musical March Madness tournament three weeks ago, 64 bands stood on the precipice of greatness ... though, to be honest, one of them seemed to face a tougher challenge than all the rest. Chicago shredders Disturbed, who were stuck with a #9 seed, were pitted against the heavily favored Dave Matthews Band in the opening round and basically left for dead.
But [artist id="760710"]Disturbed[/artist] refused to die. They knocked off DMB in convincing fashion, then, in one of the tournament's most eye-opening victories, ripped #1 seed Foo Fighters to reach the Sweet 16. That win served notice to the rest of the MMM bands that Disturbed were a force to be reckoned with, and they backed up that newfound clout with a thorough throttling of Patrick Stump to reach the Elite 8.
And though their tournament run has surprised many, no one has been as shocked as Disturbed frontman David Draiman, who, upon learning his band was pitted against the Foos in round two, basically started packing his bags.
"I was very surprised that we got past the Foo Fighters. I didn't think that would happen," he told MTV News. "But as has been classically the case with our band, you never see us coming ... yet we'll come by and smack you upside the head. The Disturbed fanbase is powerful ... when put to the test, they show up and make their voices heard."
And now, in the Elite 8, Disturbed face their toughest tournament challenge to date: defending MMM champs Coheed and Cambria, who have used a combination of utter dominance and last-second heroics to keep their repeat dreams alive. And with voting in their matchup already under way over on the Newsroom blog, we asked Draiman to give us his take on the band standing between him and a spot in the Final Four.
"I think they're very, very talented musicians ... I definitely think they're very stiff competition. They've got an unbelievably dedicated fanbase, they're a very powerful band ... they're going to be a very serious challenge for us," he said. "I mean, we're up against leviathans here, you know, whether it's Green Day or any of the rest of these guys, they're all huge bands, so we're just very, very honored to be in competition with them. And I know that we, and the Disturbed fanbase, will give 110 percent all the way."
And they're going to need every last decimal point of that 110 percent to knock off Coheed. Still, Disturbed have made it this far, and Draiman thinks they've got a legitimate shot at advancing. And they'd better, because the stakes are high. Not only would it be a victory for his band and their fans, but for the entire hard-rock genre, really.
"We definitely need to get everybody to rally together. We need to let everybody show their strengths and just give 110 percent all the way, and just make sure that their voices are heard," he said. "This is the time to make a statement. This is the time to strike a blow for the genre and let it be known that we're not going to go away quietly."
MTV's Musical March Madness has reached the Elite 8! Voting is now open and will continue until Thursday at midnight, when we'll roll on to the Final Four. All winners are determined by your votes, so if your favorite act is still standing, it's up to you to guide them to glory. You can rally the troops on Twitter using the hashtag #MMM — but get ready, things only get tougher from here on out!