Disturbed's David Draiman talks to Billboard about his new project with Filter's Geno Lenardo.
David Draiman promises that the currently on-hiatus Disturbed will rock again, but he also considers his new band Device, whose self-titled debut album drops April 9, to be an equally full-time concern. Before next month's album release, listen to the new track "Penance," launching exclusively on Billboard.com:
"I think we can say it will be an ongoing passion of mine and something I intend to devote as much attention to as I do Disturbed," Draiman tells Billboard. "It deserves as much of me in its own right, during its own time. I think there will always be time for both. So I intend to keep Device around. I like what it has become. I like what it can become. I like the freedom that it offers. I like starting over -- but with greater knowledge and experience, and being hopefully a little better at doing what I do after all these years."
Draiman says starting Device was "accidental." He formed the group with former Filter member Geno Lenardo last year, after Lenardo asked Draiman to contribute to a track he was working on for the soundtrack to the "Underworld: Awakening" soundtrack. Contractual conflicts kept the song, "Hunted," from being used in the film, but Draiman says it was the catalyst for "conversations between the two of us about writing some more together," which started in March of 2012 at Draiman's home in Austin, Texas, and, in two sessions, led to the 12 tracks (two of which are part of a Best Buy exclusive) that comprise "Device."
"'Hunted' was the only template we had, but if you listen to the whole (album) you notice that 'Hunted' is the most 'industrial' sounding song on the record," Draiman explains. "So it was a starting-off point. We wanted the kind of electronic saturation that exists on 'Hunted' to prevail on the rest of the material, but as you can hear on the record the songs go in very, very different and definitive directions and have very definitive and different styles and textures to them."
While mixing in Los Angeles, meanwhile, Draiman began adding guests to the mix, including Lzzy Hale on a remake of the Ozzy Osbourne/Lita Ford duet "Close My Eyes Forever," as well as appearances by System of a Down's Serj Tankian, Black Sabbath's Geezer Butler, Avenged Sevenfold's M. Shadows, Tom Morello and Glenn Hughes. "With Disturbed we never had guest appearances. It's just not been a part of what we do," notes Draiman, who's donating a portion of the proceeds from the Tankian and Morello tracks to their Axis of Justice organization. "With Device there were no rules or preconceived notions or conditions, so I was like, 'What the hell, let's do something we've always talked about doing' and it was great."
Device will start playing live dates on April 10 in Mobile, Ala., with a variety of shows set to take place into the spring. Lenardo will not be going on the road with the group, but Draiman promises the shows will "capture the power that we put on the record."
As for Disturbed, Draiman says we haven't heard the last of that outfit, which went on an open-ended hiatus in 2011.
"Disturbed will reunite when the time comes, when we feel right," says Draiman, who's also produced the new album from Trivium. "When Device has run its course -- when everybody's in the right headspace and we're feeling re-inspired and we're ready to go back to it and the itch is itching hard enough -- it'll happen. This was not something that was done for any negative reason. When you feel right and the fire is burning hot, you go back to it with new drive and desire and hunger for it, and you make a timeless record and you continue on. That's our plan. When that's gonna happen, none of us have a clue. We haven't even had any preliminary conversations to that effect."