Since 2000, Disturbed has unleashed hard rock music that touches the human spirit and keeps the adrenaline pumping. On their fourth studio album Indestructible, the Chicago-bred quintet maximizes their patented style. “It’s quite an angry, dark record, but there are defi nitely moments of hope as well,” vocalist David Draiman explains. “It’s meant to make you feel invincible.”
While the band (comprised of Draiman, guitarist Dan Donegan, bassist John Moyer, and drummer Mike Wengren) will headline the Rockstar Energy Mayhem Festival this summer, they’ll probably sneak offstage to watch live fi ghting events. After all, Disturbed are devoted followers of mixed martial arts.
Most of you have watched MMA for several years. What is it that draws you to the sport?
Draiman: I always viewed it as being the real deal. When you’re talking about MMA and all the different disciplines that come into play, you start to see who ends up having superiority. I studied Tae Kwon Doe and I see some of the things these guys do… and try and see how I would be able to incorporate it into real situations [laughs]. It’s always wonderful seeing how somebody interprets his art, so I love the fact that you can have a Jiu-Jitsu expert go up against a striker. I love the unpredictability, I love the real nature of it, and I love the brutality of it.
Royce Gracie was there from the start. Is he one of the band’s favorite competitors?
Moyer: How could he not be? He is so inspirational to the whole sport itself. He was there from the beginning, and a reason why so many people got into it. Back then, all the wrestlers were dominating – unless you were Tank Abbott, who would knock you out in two punches. There were all these wrestling guys, but now you see guys like [Chuck] Liddell, who adapts to a style where he doesn’t get taken down. But if he does, he knows enough to get out of it and try to keep the fi ght standing up.
Speaking of Liddell, have you met him?
Donegan: Well, we had a day off in Vegas and we were roaming around one of the casinos. I saw him, but I didn’t wanna be that guy and bother him. I don’t know if he was with a girlfriend or who he was with, but I didn’t wanna interrupt him, so I just kept my distance. But looking back at it, I should have gone up to him and just introduced myself to let him know I am a big fan.
True. What other aspects of the sport do you guys admire?
Wengren: I have so much respect for how these guys prepare, and in a weird way, it inspires me to do the same on my end. When I was younger, I was able to party all night, wake up hung over the next morning, and just get on the stage and throw down. Now as I’m getting older, I wanna give my fans everything I can. So I go to the gym three times a week and I do cardio fi ve times a week. I’m trying to make sure I’m really good, so I can deliver night after night. When I’m on stage and get tired, I think of how fi ghters don’t give up and never quit in the middle of a fi ght. That’s so inspiring to me.
So do rock music and MMA tie into one another?
Draiman: I think they are made for each other. In terms of our music, it sometimes makes you wanna kick some ass [laughs]. I know a lot of fi ghters listen to it, and sometimes will use it as entrance themes. I’m all about it. Any athlete, soldier, or anyone that needs that extra thing to put them in the zone. If our music does that for them, then nothing makes me more proud than that.