1 Rock heavy Interview with David Draiman on Fri 17 Apr 2009, 17:56
Music As A Weapon IV Tour
Who: Disturbed, Killswitch Engage, Lacuna Coil, Chimaira
When: April 24. Events, including motocross and a gaming zone, begin at 2 p.m. The music is expected to start at 7 p.m.
Where: Crown Coliseum
Tickets: $39.50; military tickets are $34.50 with ID
Disturbed lead singer David Draiman may have an answer for the economic crisis: Give fans more for their money.
Draiman will put his theory into practice April 24 when the Music As A Weapon IV Tour takes over the Crown Coliseum.
“The tour is all about giving fans more. We’ve got tattoo artists, extreme sports and gaming,” said Draiman in a phone interview. “Especially in this economy, and in a faltering and suffering (music) industry, we need to do more to get people out to the shows.”
The Music As A Weapon Tour was founded four years ago by Disturbed, a Chicago-based hard rock band that has sold more than 10 million albums and has churned out three No. 1 albums in a row. Earlier this year, the band received a Grammy nomination for best hard rock performance for the song “Inside the Fire.”
Disturbed will headline the Crown concert, which is presented by Rock 103 FM. The show also will feature performances by Killswitch Engage, Lacuna Coil, Chimaira. A second stage will showcase regional bands — Slamhandle and Seventh Denial — that won opening slots through a Battle of the Bands contest at Jesters Pub.
The concert event, which begins at 2 p.m., will feature tattoo artists, freestyle motocross, BMX, skate team performances and a gaming zone.
Draiman spoke to Weekender about the tour; the band’s latest album, “Indestructible”; and the band’s success.
Weekender: What can fans expect at the show?
Draiman: Insanity. It’s just going to be cool. There’ll be so much going on. And since there’s no Ozzfest this year, this will be one of the few “big” concert events people can go to.
Weekender: What about your set? Have you finalized a play list yet?
Draiman: It’ll be a spread from all four records, relying heavily on the new one, “Indestructible.” It gets more difficult to plan as we go down the line. Thank God we’ve got eight No. 1 singles.
Weekender: But that’s a good problem to have.
Draiman: It’s definitely a good problem to have to figure out what to leave out. We’ll play for 90 minutes, and we’ll be hyping the theater feel of the event, which I think has dissipated over the years. This is our largest and most ambitious tour yet.
Weekender: Is this how you envisioned the Music As A Weapon Tour would evolve?
Draiman: It’s how I hoped. It’s grown beyond our expectations.
Weekender: What’s been the most surprising thing about putting together these tours?
Draiman: The fact that it’s still here. We’re very thankful for everything we’ve been blessed with, and that it’s continued to grow despite the trends of the industry and the economy. Our fans are some of the most loyal fans one could ever hope to have.
Weekender: What’s been the most challenging and most rewarding aspects of the tour?
Draiman: The hardest thing is trying to assemble and orchestrate the most massive production we’ve ever tried. The most rewarding is seeing it all come together.
Weekender: “Indestructible,” by the way, is just insanely good. What are your thoughts on the album?
Draiman: It’s my favorite we’ve done. It showcases everything we’ve learned and been able to take to the next level. We didn’t expect the response. I think there’s been a decline that’s been hurting hard rock and heavy metal. We’re fortunate to survive the storm.
Weekender: Do you know how hard your songs are to play on (the video game) “Rock Band”?
Draiman: I’m glad they’re hard. But I’ll confess, we once got coerced into a “Rock Band” contest with fans one time. And let me tell you that we suck at the game. It’s nothing like the real thing.
Weekender: How has Disturbed evolved as a band?
Draiman: I think we’re much better songwriters, much more adept as musicians, and we contribute more individually to the equation. I feel at the top of our game. I’m feeling really good about our craft.
Weekender: Where do you go from here?
Draiman: I think we still have a ways to climb, musically. We can always get better at what we do. And as for the band, it’s a big world, and we’ve got plenty to explore and learn about — new audiences to reach.
Weekender: You guys have been touring since last March. How do you keep from falling out?
Draiman: It’s beaten us up pretty good. If we weren’t so excited about what we’re doing, we’d be pretty crispy. It gets challenging to leave family and find a balance in your career. But we’re trying.
Weekender: Would you rather be in the studio than on the road then?
Draiman: There’s no substitute for the live experience. Touring sucks. Don’t let anyone tell you different. There’s constant travel, health issues, friendships and relationships get damaged. It’s a tradeoff we’re willing to make, because we’re addicts of the live experience, like most bands are.
Staff writer Brian Dukes can be reached at [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.] or 486-3523.