Disturbed’s David Draiman Calls Out Westboro Baptist Church Protesters – ‘Who Is the Sinner?’
The band performed this past Friday (Feb. 2) as part of their current tour with Falling in Reverse, and Draiman's comments about the protesters came during a break in the performance in which he welcomed two fans to the stage.
One fan had held up a sign explaining to Draiman that he had dealt with depression and anxiety and that he had tried taking his own life, but that Disturbed's music had helped him through the hard times and he wanted to say thanks. The emotional fan received a hug from the singer and a chance to address the crowd that chanted his name as a sign of support.
The second fan brought onstage chose to celebrate their 16th birthday by coming to the Disturbed show. Draiman had both fans take a seat to the side of the stage as he continued to address the crowd, adding that he never tires of making these connections with fans.
What David Draiman Had to Say About the Westboro Baptist Church Protesters
“It was brought to my attention that a contingent from the Westboro Baptist Church came here to protest tonight,” Draiman told the audience after greeting the fans that he sat at the corner of the stage.
The singer proceeded to mock the protestors who consider Disturbed "devil music," then stating, “What an absolute load of unbelievably stinky festering horseshit that is.”
“Let me ask you something. Do you see any sin up here," asked the singer. "What could possibly be bad about setting the people free every night?"
“You know what’s a sin? Vanity is a sin, motherfucker,” he said pointing to outside the venue. “And for them to be so vain as to look down from their high horse, look at all of us, and tell us that we’re doing something wrong …. Who’s the sinner?”
“What’s the worst thing you’re going to experience at a Disturbed show? A little profanity," pondered Draiman. "Will profanity kill you? No, but the darkness can and it is our job to dispel the darkness.”
Then returning his attention to his stage guests, Draiman put his hand on the shoulder of the fan dealing with depression. "I have a soft spot for this gentlemen because of what he's gone through and we've all gone through it ourselves," he stated as he kneeled to look the fan in the face. "Gabriel, I have a secret for you. Sometimes darkness can show you the light."
The band then returned to the stage to perform "The Light."
Disturbed Previously Addressing Mental Health
While the mental health of their fans is something that Disturbed have taken interest in, it's also something that's impacted their music. In 2019, David Draiman spoke about the band's song "A Reason to Fight," revealing at the time, "Every member of the band has been personally affected by this. That’s where 'A Reason To Fight' comes from. And what we’re really inspired by is our own personal experiences with it — whether it’s ourselves as individuals battling addiction and depression, or whether it’s watching loved ones of ours battle with it. It’s something that’s very close to our hearts."
In May of 2023, during a stop in Milwaukee, Draiman was perhaps as open with his personal struggles as he has ever been onstage. "I'm tired of losing everybody I love to depression and addiction. Every single band member on this stage has dealt with those feelings, with those demons. And I miss the friends that we've lost. I miss Chester [Bennington], I miss Scott [Weiland], I miss Chris [Cornell]. And if I can be completely honest with you, a couple months ago, I almost joined them," he told the crowd.
After video of his emotional confession made the rounds, Draiman later reached out to fans to thank them for their support and to assure them "he's not going anywhere."
In recent years, Draiman has taken time at performances to interact and check in with audience members and express his gratitude and appreciation for the Disturbed community.
Disturbed, "The Light" (Kansas City Feb. 2, 2024)
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Gallery Credit: Chad Childers, Loudwire