Sheila Esmaili-Doki of Music Examiner recently conducted an interview with DISTURBED and DEVICE frontman David Draiman. A couple of excerpts from the chat follow below.
Music Examiner: On the topic of technology, changes, and that — things like Spotify, downloading — things which have arrived since DISTURBED‘s inception, what are the most significant changes you’ve seen?
Draiman: Oh my God, I don’t know if we have time to completely elaborate on an answer to that question. [laughs] I am a big believer of Spotify. I have been since its inception. I have been a champion of it. I am their ambassador of rock. So I could not be more happy with its continued growth and continued success. I think that it’s a beautiful way to take away the demonization of the consumer, and enable people to have access to as much music as they possibly can, whenever they want, as long as they have a 3G signal or better, and even if they don’t have that, they can save it to the memory cache, the PDA, on their computer. It’s a perfect utilization of the technology, and it takes all of the attractiveness away from illegal file sharing because you get access to all of this material at a high level of sound quality for a very reasonable price, and/or for free, if you’re subscribing to the premium level, and at the same time, there still is a revenue stream directed back to the artist. No one is being stolen from, people are being compensated, and everybody’s happy. That is really what I wish would have happened 10 years ago — 15 years ago, even. I had always been pushing the record labels in particular to negotiate directly with the ISPs way back in the day. We’re talking 10 years ago, there were 70 million people subscribing to ISPs. If you built in a fee into that subscription price, $2.50, $5.00, whatever the case may be — and that entitled you to unlimited file sharing, bonuses, extras, early releases, and so on and so forth. Who wouldn’t be down for it? And then all of a sudden 70 million people times $5.00 a month is a whole lot of revenue that everybody’s been missing out on. It takes away the demonization from the consumer, you don’t have the RIAA filing lawsuits against kids for not buying products anymore..that’s what I wanted to happen for years and years, it took something like Spotify to actually make it feasible for everyone. I really thank God for it.
Music Examiner: DISTURBED did several tours with elaborate stage shows, yet some were really simple and to-the-point. What is to be expected of DEVICE‘s live show?
Draiman: Lean and mean. [laughs] Lean and mean out of the gate. This is a baby band. We’re not going to have fire and explosives right out the gate. I think that it’s definitely going to be tasteful, but it’s going to be the songs that do the talking for us, and the power of our performances, the way that old-school rock should be. I know we’re definitely doing it with a new flavor and a new edge. That’s really where our heart is at. Don’t get me wrong, we’ll definitely still fit the vibe — I’m still very, very much driven to theatricality, so there will definitely be elements of that in the performance, but it’s going to be projection, the power of these songs — when people hear these live versions of them, which I’m so excited to have been playing for the past couple of days with the band, I think they’re going to be blown away.
Music Examiner: You have always been known for doing a lot of interacting with fans on your Twitter account, and even back in the day, posting frequently on the DISTURBED message boards. What do you feel is the importance of that, connecting really well with the fanbase? It is a great thing, and a very rare thing.
Draiman: I think, you know, we owe everything to them. When I started my Twitter page a little less than two years ago, I did it with the intention exclusively, like if I do this, I’m not doing a play-by-play of what I do throughout the day, like a lot of people utilize it for… that’s not really my thing — I use it as a means of question-and-answer with the fanbase, trying to help people with their problems, trying to give them a little bit of strength and encouragement, maybe a bright moment for their day, to let them know what’s going on inside my head, the things that I believe in, the things that are important to me, the things that I think people should be aware of. I try to treat it responsibly and to really utilize it as a good, connective means to the people who give us life and, I’ll never ever forget that.
Music Examiner: When it comes to the future of DEVICE, you have spoken of DISTURBED returning — it is a hiatus, not a breakup. Is it too early to say if there will be more DEVICE coming up?
Draiman: There will definitely be more DEVICE coming up — it’s not too early to say. This… has become too important. It has become too significant. These songs are commanding that; the nature of this record commands it, it’s kind of out of my hands. [laughs] You can be the proud papa…and you can try and raise the child as best as you can, but ultimately, it’s up to the child where it goes, and I think the child has definitely let the world know where it wants to go at this point. There will definitely be a future for DEVICE. I treat it with the same level of sincerity, seriousness, and passion that I do DISTURBED; it is equally important, and I intend to do everything in my power to brand it and to make sure that the future is a bright one.
Read the entire interview from Music Examiner.