David Draiman Delves Deep Into Debut Device Disc
David Draiman is gearing up to release the self-titled debut album from his new band Device, and we were fortunate to catch up with the singer to discuss the disc, among other topics. As an added bonus, the band has graciously allowed Loudwire to stream the entire album prior to its April 9 release.
In our interview with Draiman, he talks about his approach to making the Device album, given his long history with Disturbed, as well as the wealth of incredible guest appearances he was able to secure for the disc. Check out our interview with David Draiman below, followed by the full stream of 'Device.'
When you first announced the project Device, you mentioned Nine Inch Nails and Ministry as references, and listening to the album, there are definitely industrial elements. But there’s also this sense of familiarity in you vocal delivery that your Disturbed fans are likely to identify with. Was there a conscious effort to offer both the unfamiliar and the familiar?
There was no conscious effort, that’s for certain. My voice is associated with Disturbed -- that’s how my voice is branded and when I go into the more staccato, rhythmic delivery, which is just a very comfortable and familiar place, it's a powerful place for me to go vocally. It’s felt natural since the day I first walked up to the audition that at a time when the rest of the guys were in a band called Brawl and wanted to play cover songs to see if we could break the ice with each other.
I challenged them to play me their originals and they’re like, “What are you going to sing,” and I’m like, “I’ll come up with something,” and what I came up with was, “Your mind won’t let you say that you want me.” And that was the first chorus from ‘Want’ off of ‘The Sickness’ and the band that was Brawl become Disturbed. Back then, I was still feeling out lyrical delivery that was rhythmic in nature that always had a very specific defined cadence to it, that was somewhat rapid fire or staccato in nature. It’s something I’ve been doing for years and it’s something that’s been a part of who I am. It’s become identified with Disturbed because that’s the band I am a part of. I’m the lead singer for that band so people are going to know that.
It’s no different than Maynard James Keenan going and doing A Perfect Circle – does he still sound like the voice from Tool? Absolutely, but he’s going in different areas with his voice on the record and occasionally he’ll do a song like ‘Judas’ which sounds more like Tool but still has elements that are different from a Tool record, which is kind of like the equivalent to what I would compare to ‘Vilify’ on the Device record.
You have this enviable cast of guest musicians on the disc, from Serj Tankian and M. Shadows to Geezer Butler and Lzzy Hale and beyond. How did you go about contacting and ultimately recording with these artists.
I’m very fortunate to be blessed with very talented and accomplished group of friends. Lzzy [Hale] and I have been talking about doing a cover for years, ever since she first supported Disturbed way back in the day. With Tom [Morello] and Serj [Tankian], I’ve been friends with the both of them for years, as well, and we’ve always talked about doing something together only with a respect to main projects, whether it was myself with Disturbed or Tom with Rage or Audioslave or Serj with System – we never did guest appearances on those projects. It just wasn’t part of the equation.
With Device, there were no rules or pre-set notions or anything like that, so we went ahead and talked about doing it for this record. It all kind of manifested while I was mixing the record in L.A., the songs were all already done – I actually had to add their performances after the fact. I was in L.A. mixing the record and I went over to Serj’s for dinner and Tom came by, as well, and Geno was there and that’s when we finalized all the arrangements for how and what they were going to do in their parts.
The next day I was invited by Glenn [Hughes], who was having his book release event in Malibu. We went out there, I saw him play an acoustic set, he killed it, I automatically thought he would be amazing for ‘Through It All’ to have him as a guest on the song. Then later that night we’re sitting at the dinner table with him and his wife and Geezer Butler and a bunch of other musicians, so the fact that he agreed to do the track came up at dinner, so Geezer asked me about it.
Geezer and I have known each other since early Ozzfest days and I’m like, “Yeah would you like to do a track, as well?” and he said, “I’d love to,” so before I knew it in like two days of mixing my record in Los Angeles I has five guests on the record. Then with ‘Haze’ that’s just something I had in mind the whole time with the track was to have another guest vocalist on that and to have a really distinctive voice and who’s got a more distinctive hard rock voice than mister M. Shadows.
Going back to some of your industrial influences, was there any effort to contact Nine Inch Nails' Trent Reznor or Ministry's Al Jourgensen to contribute to the album?
I actually did reach out to Trent and he’s so busy with everything that he’s got going on. He’s got a million things going on and unfortunately he didn’t have the time. With Al, by the time I had even thought about asking Al it was almost saturation factor at that point. We had already had six guests -- that was enough for the first Device record. Maybe next time.
Stay tuned for even more from our interview with David Draiman, including his thoughts on Disturbed, Twitter, politics and other topics.
Update: The Device album stream has ended. You can order the disc at iTunes.