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Disturbed lead singer David Draiman enjoys sipping wine, dining in French restaurants and cruising on multimillion-dollar yachts.
Fans might envision the hard-rocking frontman doing shots of whiskey, getting wasted and passing out. But the band recently took a helicopter to a winery on an island off the coast of New Zealand, had a private cruise in a $8 million yacht and Draiman then took a solo scuba-diving jaunt to the Great Barrier Reef in Australia.
“The fans who know us, and me in particular, know the type of people we are. I like the finer things,” Draiman said on the phone from Melbourne, Australia, during a tour there with Korn.
“We’ve gone through our McDonald’s and Burger King phase. (Now we) hit cities across the world and want to experience what they have to offer.”
That’s very different from the days when Draiman bounced around between five different parochial and boarding schools while growing up. One might say he was a problematic teen, but Draiman really just wanted to be a regular kid.
“(I was) just troubled in the respect of being forced into living in a way I wasn’t prepared to live. You go to these schools and you have to abstain from just about everything that a normal teenage boy would normally indulge in,” Draiman said in a distinct Chicago accent.
“Everything was very regimented. I just wanted to do the things that all normal teenagers wanted to do. So I did become quite rebellious.”
Which may have led him into seeking out and creating the music that has made his band a household name in the metal world.
Disturbed’s latest album, “Ten Thousands Fists,” beat out Bon Jovi to claim the No. 1 chart position when it was released in late 2005. That album, and its predecessor “Believe,” have both gone on to platinum status in the U.S. That strength translates overseas as well.
On Disturbed’s recent tour Down Under, they played before 10,000 people in Sydney, many of them first-time show-goers since this was only the band’s second visit to Australia. Draiman said that out of the crowd maybe 1,000 people had seen them before, but they left Sydney selling more than $60,000 in T-shirts and hats.
“It kind of gives you an idea the impression we left with people,” he boasted.
This success will likely carry over to Disturbed’s main stage slot on this summer’s Ozzfest, alongside Ozzy Osbourne, System of a Down and others, where they will no doubt see 10,000 fists in the air, as the album title intimates.
“It’s gratifying and intoxicating. You are affecting that many people simultaneously,” Draiman said. “To be able to inject that much energy into that many people, it’s the ultimate drug.”
Ari Bendersky/The Associated Press
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