With the unexpected breakthrough of their single “Down With the Sickness,” Chicago’s Disturbed suddenly became one of the biggest names in the American nu-metal scene, but they have continued to enjoy widespread popularity ever since, easily transcending that particular musical style’s commercial peak. Disturbed started out as Brawl, in 1994, but changed their name some two years later when new singer David Draiman joined founding members Dan Donegan (guitar), Steve Kmak (bass) and Mike Wengren (drums). The foursome would spend the remainder of the 1990s honing their talents on stage and in rehearsal, while recording demos that eventually got them signed to Giant Records and formed the backbone of 2000’s multi-platinum debut album, The Sickness. Based on this strong showing, Disturbed’s sophomore album, Believe went straight to number one in September of 2002, and the band became a major concert draw, both with Ozzfest and their own Music as a Weapon tour. Bassist Kmak was fired at tour’s end over alleged musical differences and replaced by John Moyer, who debuted on 2004’s Ten Thousand Fists (another chart-topper) and all of the touring that inevitably followed -- though some of said tour was occasionally interrupted by Draiman’s issues with acid-reflux disease. This and other personal demons fueled the darker themes explored on 2007’s Indestructible, which earned Disturbed’s first Grammy nomination (for the song “Inside the Fire”) and maintained the band’s momentum until the arrival of their fifth album, and fourth straight No. 1, 2010’s Asylum. A b-sides collection entitled The Lost Children was released in 2011, after which Draiman announced that Disturbed would go on an open-ended hiatus to explore other musical projects. For Draiman, this entailed launching a new industrial metal band named Device; for Moyer it meant joining super group Adrenaline Mob; and for Donegan and Wengren it led to forming an alternative metal project named Fight or Flight. Yet, as band members themselves have frequently indicated, we would be foolish to presume that we’ve heard and seen the last of Disturbed.
- Selected Discography: The Sickness (2000), Believe (2002),Ten Thousand Fists (2004)
- Related Artists: Device, Fight Or Flight, Adrenaline Mob, Halestorm, In This Moment
- Further Reading: David Draiman: ‘Disturbed Will Reunite Someday’, Favorite Disturbed Album – Readers Poll