Disturbed on Returning to the Road, 'Sound of Silence' Success: 'It Got Everybody Fired Up Again'

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David Draiman and Dan Donegan of Disturbed perform at the Rockstar Energy Drink Mayhem Festival at Cruzan Amphitheatre on Aug. 14, 2011 in West Palm Beach, Florida. 

Though Disturbed is too immersed in touring right now to make any firm plans, it's starting to seem unlikely that the group will take an extended hiatus like the four years it did before its 2015 release Immortalized.

"My first instinct is I would like to continue... because right now we're firing on all cylinders and the energy's high and we're excited," guitarist Dan Donegan tells Billboard. "So my answer today is I'm pumped and I'd like to just roll and keep things strong. I don't anticipate us taking a long hiatus like we did. I think if there was some break it would be minimal. I'd assume we're all on the same page as that."

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Disturbed's tour -- which started Feb. 10 and currently has dates booked into August in North America and Europe, with more to be announced soon -- has kept the quartet from focusing much on new music. But the guitarist is confident the group will get there in due time. "My gears are always turning," Donegan says. "I'm always trying to think ahead of what the next step would be in the future. I've got a lot of stuff in the archives. I always have riffs for the future. I think once we get past the first couple weeks of touring and being out here and we're not thinking about the production aspects for the flow of the set as much, at that point when there's downtime ... we might mess around. We have some recording equipment out here, a ProTools rig and that, so there's always time for us to mess around a bit and save some ideas for the future."

Absence certainly made Disturbed fans' hearts grow fonder. Immortalized debuted atop the Billboard 200 when it was released in August and has spawned a pair of No. 1 Mainstream Rock hits in "The Vengeful One" and "The Light," with the group's cover of Simon & Garfunkel's "The Sound of Silence" already in the top 10. "I was pretty confident that the fans were patiently waiting for it, but to be away for that long, it's always a bit of a risk," Donegan says. "We felt like we made a great album. We're probably in the best place we've been together as a band in a long time, so everything seemed to be pointing in the right direction. It was just nice to surprise [fans] with that first single, 'cause nobody saw it coming and it got everybody fired up again."

"The Sound of Silence's" success has also been a surprise for Disturbed and has become a centerpiece for the group's concerts, with Donegan playing piano, bassist John Moyer on guitar and a violin and cello player from each city added to give the performances some extra heft. "I am surprised that the response came so quickly on it," Donegan notes. "I thought because it is such a departure for us that the fans might need a little bit more time to digest it because it would catch everybody off guard. But almost immediately when the album came out people were commenting and the positive feedback was definitely pretty overwhelming. It just goes to show that if there's a good version of a song, fans are going to recognize that, and I'm glad they connect with it."

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But so far there's been no fruit basket or flowers of gratitude from Paul Simon or Art Garfunkel. "No, but the word was that Paul Simon had heard it," Donegan says. "I believe our booking agent had sent the song to his manager, and I think it was passed along to him. From what I understand he was pretty damn impressed by it and blown away. We just hope he feels that way."

"The Sound of Silence" isn't the only cover in Disturbed's set. It's also playing its hit 2006 version of Genesis' "Land of Confusion" and has inserted a late-set medley that includes Nine Inch Nails' "Closer," U2's "I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For," The Who's "Baba O'Riley" and Rage Against the Machine's "Killing in the Name." "I just thought it would be kind of fun to take a few big songs, classic songs, and get up there and have a moment that would take a fun little turn and pay a little tribute to a few bands in there that we're fans of," Donegan explains. "We always like messing around with a few little covers and just have fun with it. Because we're playing such a long set now it's just a nice little twist to get everyone singing and have them feel part of the show."


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