David Draiman says Disturbed 's upcoming hiatus is not at all the result of any strife between the four band members.
"This is really not due to any animosity -- I want to make that very clear," Draiman tells Billboard.com. "In fact, we just had dinner together last night. Believe me, it's not like we can't work with each other any more or we don't get along. This isn't a bad blood thing, and I don't ever want people to get that impression of it."
Rather, Draiman says, Disturbed has decided to "go away for... an indefinite period of time" after its current run on the Rockstar Energy Mayhem Festival just because he and his mates feel "it's just the right time to step away for awhile" after five studio albums -- four of which have debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 -- and worldwide sales of more than 13 million.
"Many of those reasons are personal reasons, and many of those reasons have to do with the state of the music industry in general and the demise of hard rock and metal right now," Draiman, who's getting married in September, explains. "The industry is still in a state of reformation; it is on the verge of collapse, in my opinion. It's a frightening time, and I think after 10 to 12 years straight of touring it's just a good time for Disturbed to go away for awhile and wait for the Phoenix to rise from the ashes."
The singer adds that he, guitarist Dan Donegan, bassist John Moyer and drummer Mike Wengren are all looking forward to pursuing other opportunities, musical and otherwise, during the break. "I know that Danny has wanted to do some production work on his own, and there's some bands I've wanted to work with as well," Draiman says. "We've had things we've wanted to do as individuals for the past 10, 12 years and we haven't been able to because Disturbed is so all-encompassing. This is going to give all of us an opportunity to just kind of go in different directions, creatively, as people and just see if the opportunities that have been kind of passing us by...are still around and if we feel fulfilled in doing them."
Draiman says he's leaning against a solo album -- "It's not even a thought in the back of my mind at this point," he notes -- but he clearly won't be looking for musical options. "All of a sudden all these musicians are coming out of the woodwork like crazy," he says with a laugh. "The minute they hear it may be the end of Disturbed, all of a sudden people I haven't spoken to in, like, three years are like, 'Hey, what are you doing after this?' Give me a second to breathe, y'know? Give me a second to step away. Let me figure things out for myself first, and then we'll see what happens.
Could it be the end of Disturbed? "It could be a concern," Draiman acknowledges. "We don't know. I can't definitely tell you at this point one way or another. Depending on how far those individual interests end up taking us, and depending on how much we end up missing (the band) over the course of time -- which, of course, at some point I'm sure we will -- that will determine if and when we return."
But, Draiman promises, Disturbed won't be "dropping off the face of the Earth." The group has been recording all of its Mayhem shows, and a B-sides compilation album is "still very much in the early stages of development. The only thing we know for sure is there won't be a new Disturbed record or another Disturbed tour for quite some time."
And that knowledge, Draiman says, is making the Mayhem performances "sort of bittersweet" but also special to the group.
"I think we're all viewing this as our last hurrah for awhile, and we're making them count," he says. "We've been playing stronger and more precisely and with more passion than I think fans have seen from the band in years. We brought out all of our toys and the biggest production we've ever assembled on stage for Disturbed. We really kind of see the light at the end of the tunnel, and we're very, very motivated to make these performances truly ones to be remembered by and to leave a lasting impression on the fans for awhile."
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