They”re not annoyed, they”re not slightly miffed, but they are Disturbed and their steamrolling metal grooves colored with keyboards and electronic samples have rushed them out of Chicago and into the national n metal fraternity spotlight. “I don”t think we”re reinventing the wheel but we”re offering something that”s kind of fresh,” guitarist Dan Donegan told The Michigan Daily, “We”re a rock “n roll band that is basically guitar driven with modern elements experimenting with electronics.” Apparently this electronica-metal molotov was just what metal fans wanted.
Virally spreading for over a year, Disturbed has infected over a million Americans with their debut album The Sickness and toured with Slipknot, Godsmack, Marilyn Manson and last year”s Ozzfest. The guys from Disturbed are certainly pleased with their success and somewhat surprised with the heavy rotation their single “Stupify” has received.
“Coming from Chicago, and not having much hard rock radio we never knew our songs would make it to radio,” said Donegan. Hand in hand with radio play came regular rotation on the circus of the stars (MTV) and more importantly, the chance to tour and play in front of larger crowds. “We love it. When we have a day off we hate it, it”s become like an addiction.”
The addiction brought Disturbed to Detroit last Wednesday to score a kilo of uncut aggression from a rawk-us crowd at Harpo”s. The concert had all the markings of a grade-A metal show: Shirtless males circling around themselves before ricocheting off one another in the ergosphere of the moshpit, females perched high atop their boyfriend”s shoulders and the occasional overzealous fan who would make his/her way on stage before quickly leaving it with a leap into the frenzied crowd. Of course this type of fan reaction must be triggered and there is no better stimulus to produce riotous crowds than a dozen Disturbed tunes. The music stayed true to the album. Powerful tracks from the album remained just as strong live. The band played fan favorites like “Stupify,” “Voices” and “Down with the Sickness,” and even treated the fans to cover versions of Black Sabbath”s “Sabbath Bloody Sabbath” and Faith No More”s “Midlife Crisis.”
For some fans, seeing Disturbed in concert is not enough they want something more permanent like tattoos. Donegan noted that a lot of fans were tattooing the Disturbed logo and band name across their bodies. “One guy got three disturbed tattoos. The Disturbed face on his wrist, Disturbed written huge across his stomach and a guy in an electric chair on his leg.” Donegan also recalled meeting a female fan who had the whole album cover tattooed on her arm.
Despite the bands grizzly logo, dark lyrics and intimidating assortment of piercings, there is no reason to be scared. “People get the wrong idea from the name of the band and the name of the CD. We”re not these serial killer-type guys,” Donegan said. The message from the album is nothing particularly disturbing in fact, its quite simple.
“The thing we feel strongly about is being an individual. Don”t be a sheep, don”t be what your parents, your teachers or society molds you into. I think when you do something on your own or if you dye your hair or having piercings or tattoos or whatever you choose to do people look at you as being the one who is Disturbed.” Dan”s long pink hair and multi-pierced face echo his statement.
Whether the sickness will continue to spread is debatable. Will heavy doses of prepackaged pop serve as an antidote putting Disturbed into remission? The future is unclear, but as of now it looks as if The Sickness is turning into an epidemic.