"It's a record about death, loss, hope, and rebellion" - hmv.com talks to Disturbed
The last time metallers Disturbed were back with a new album it was 2015 and they were freshly back from a lengthy hiatus.
An established presence on the metal scene, with healthy sales and regular high-profile festival slots, it was expected that the band would slot right back into the place once again, keeping the fans they'd entertained for 20 years happy and possibly winning a few new devotees along the way. What wound up happening instead was very different indeed.
For then new album Immortalized, they recorded a cover of Simon and Garfunkel's 'The Sound Of Silence' and it caught fire. At the last count, the track has sold over 1.5 million singles, been viewed over 440 million times on YouTube for the official video as well as a staggering 84 million times for a live performance on US chat show Conan O'Brien. It gave the band A-list radio play across the world and introduced them to a whole new audience.
Now they hope to capitalise on that as they return with new album Evolution. The album is the seventh of their career and sees them working with Ozzy Osbourne/Papa Roach key man Kevin Churko.
Evolution is released today and we spoke to singer David Draiman about how the band went about putting it together...
When did you start working on the songs that would become Evolution?
"We got started in Fall 2017. We finished up around June 2018."
Did you have a goal at the start of writing of how you wanted to move on from Immortalized?
"Only that we wanted to start with acoustic material this time around. It’s freeing to not have an agenda when writing a record."
Has the way you’ve written songs changed over the years? Or has it stayed largely the same?
"Largely the same. We start with a riff or progression, and melody and lyrics come thereafter. We’ve worked together for long now that we have a good flow and rhythm."
You did the album with Kevin Churko, why did you decide on him? What does he give you as a producer?
"Kevin has a brilliant creative mind and is an asset to any band as a producer. We obviously worked with Kevin on Immortalized and just had the best experience with him. We have a great groove and mutual understanding of how each other work."
What kind of album is this lyrically? Is there a theme to it?
"It's a record about death, loss, hope, and rebellion. Those are really the core themes, which felt exciting to explore."
Which song on the album took the longest to get right?
"This is ‘Hold On To Memories’- for some reason that one just took a while to really nail."
And which came together most quickly?
"‘A Reason To Fight’- the song is extremely meaningful to us all, with subject matter that is close to our hearts, and I think those are the songs that come most easily."
When did you settle on Evolution for the title? Were any other titles in contention?
"We were battling over a few ideas, but then Dan suggested Evolution and it immediately resonated. We knew moments like Sound Of Silence only come along once so we didn’t want to try and do that again. We wanted to break new ground artistically, so the record really does feel like an evolution..."
What are your plans to take the album out live?
"We have a few select shows in 2018 and then a full headlining run starting January 2019."
You’re seven albums deep now, how is your setlist coming together? Are there any old songs you’re happy to say goodbye to?
The tour in 2019 will feature the longest sets we’ve played to date, it will truly be a live experience, unlike anything Disturbed fans have witnessed before. Certain songs can now never be left off the set list. ‘The Sound Of Silence’ and ‘Down With The Sickness’ especially. It’s a good problem to have! I never want to say goodbye to our children."