Disturbed’s Music Helped Drummer Cope With Loss of Brother
Before Disturbed's headlining set at the Sonic Temple festival, Loudwire Nights radio host Toni Gonzalez caught up with drummer Mike Wengren. The two discussed the emotional and healing impact of Disturbed's music not just for fans, but for the drummer himself as well, along with a bizarre onstage incident where the band brought a David Draiman look-alike onstage with them.
Disturbed have always maintained a strong and close connection with their fans. This has only increased since the release of Evolution, an empowering and dynamic album from the new millennium juggernauts. "None of this is contrived. We're speaking from our hearts and it's a personal experience," Wengren affirmed.
He detailed his own emotional struggles over the last couple years and revealed how Disturbed's new material helped him over mental hurdles. "I lost my brother three years ago to drug and alcohol addiction," the drummer said. "So, it's very, very personal for me and when we're out there and we're sharing that energy and I see people crying — I never thought when we wrote ['A Reason to Fight'] that I would be using it myself to help to cope."
Wengren admitted the toll this loss took, explaining, "I think when it first happened, the first couple years I was in a little bit of denial — I just kind of shut it out, just wasn't really able to cope with it."
After seeing fans break down and have emotional moments at Disturbed shows, he said this "started to open up my mind and my heart to be able to cope with it for the first time myself."
Wengren then felt inspired and sought out a world-class portrait artist to ink a rendering of his late brother in his remembrance.
On a lighter note, the conversation shifted toward the David Draiman look-alike who appeared onstage with Disturbed in Manchester, England.
"It blew us away because we saw him at a couple shows. He was in London, then we saw him in Manchester and it was like — he sticks out," Wengren remembered. "[There's] not too many David Draiman look-alikes are wandering around in the crowd."
Even fans fell for the act, believing it was the real Draiman. "I think what helped draw the attention to it was he posted on Twitter that he was out in the crowd and fans were thinking it was [Draiman] and fans were thinking it was him so they were taking pictures with him and he's posting it," the drummer explained.
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