Lead singer of Disturbed: A short biography of David Draiman

Lead singer of Disturbed

Chicago, the city of music, has produced many legendary bands, including Rise Against and Fall Out Boy. Another band that hails from this metropolis and has taken the music world by storm is the alternative metal band Disturbed. But while the band impresses as a collective, it’s time to take a closer look at the creative lead singer of Disturbed, the genius – David Draiman.

Interview with David Draiman

What did David Draiman do before singing?

David Draiman was born on March 13, 1973 in Brooklyn, New York. His family moved from New York to Los Angeles when he was young. His parents worked in the healthcare industry – his father was a dentist, and his mother was a nurse. They come from an Orthodox Jewish background and were very conservative.

When it was time for college, he chose a different path and studied Law and Business Administration at Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles. He seemed to be headed for a career in law and visited 6-7 law schools. But there was something that made Draiman feel uncomfortable about becoming a lawyer: David Draiman didn’t think it was right to protect criminals, and he decided it wasn’t for him.

He decided to follow his dreams and concentrated on music.

Lead singer of Disturbed
Francesco Prandoni/Redferns

David Draiman: Addiction and the loss of his girlfriend

As a teenager, David Draiman experienced what many rock stars go through. Like the lead singer of Depeche Mode, Dave Gahan, or the lead singer of Queen, Freddy Mercury, he unfortunately got involved with drugs at a young age and had a difficult time. In addition to his drug addiction, Draiman’s psychological state was further damaged by the loss of his girlfriend because of drugs.

In an interview with Loudwire, Draiman had this to say about his addiction and the loss of his girlfriend:

“It wasn’t an easy thing. I went through a very, very dark period of my life. At that point, I was already an addict…”

“She was the one that started me on it, and after she left this world due to an overdose on that very same thing, I went into a horrible downward spiral for a number of years. It was actually on my 18th birthday, or well, not me to rock bottom, but in my 18th year of life on this earth… It was New Year’s Eve when I woke up over New Year’s Day, underneath a ’72 Cutlass on Belmont and Sheffield in Chicago. I’ll never forget, freezing to death, just my genes, no shirt, no shoes, no wallet, not knowing what the hell happened to me. I woke up freezing, and thankfully, I had a friend who lived a block and a half away. I stumbled over there, knocked on the door, and collapsed for three days.

My parents called the cops, and everybody was out looking for me. That was my moment of clarity, maybe rock bottom, I thought, as low as it got. That was when I spent the next three months being very sick. My parents didn’t realize that the sickness was actually withdrawal, and I haven’t touched it since.”

Sometimes, bad things that happen to us put us on the path to the best things that will ever happen to us. This was a turning point for the lead singer of Disturbed, and he realized that he had to turn his life around.

A difficult process began for Draiman. After many therapies, he managed to stay clean until today.

Lead Singer of Disturbed
David Draiman

Disturbed’s road to success was rocky

Disturbed is not a band that achieved success easily by having one hit or using their connections in the music world. In an interview, David Draiman explained what they did to make Disturbed known and successful:

“We started recording those demos at Johnny Cake. Once we began distributing cassette samplers, oh my god, are we dating ourselves..cassette samplers..(laughing)..we’re talking back 97, 98.. and we’d invest any money that the band made at the time back into the band and into our promotions. We acted as our own marketing machine. We’d be on every street corner where there was a show. If there were four shows in town on one night, all four band members would each hit a different venue, passing out stickers, flyers, and cassette samplers.”

All the band members of Disturbed have done everything in their power to become successful and the hard work has paid off.

David Draiman‘s youth

Draiman’s life was slowly getting back on track after the therapies. Music was always on his mind, but before he started making music, he started a business in a different field and founded his healthcare facility.

Draiman’s life was slowly getting back on track after the therapies. Music was always on his mind, but he was involved in other things before he started making music.

Draiman decided that he didn’t want to become a lawyer. Since his family was in the healthcare industry, he decided to work in the same industry. He wanted to set up his own healthcare facility, but he needed a license. He first focused on gaining experience in this field and started working as an assistant administrator in a company.

He got his license a year later and after working for 2 or 3 years he was fired. Driaman explained the reason as follows:

“I was there for a couple of years. They ended up firing me because, at the time, I was quote-unquote “embezzling” money to support the Disturbed machine. What was I doing? I was using their FedEx account and their postage stamp machine in the office to put out the Disturbed mailing list and promo packs to the labels and so on because the band couldn’t afford it.”

After a certain period of time, he quit this job and decided to make music.

David Draiman's youth
David Draiman in the 90s

How did David Draiman join Disturbed?

In the mid-1990s, David decided to explore his passion for music and moved to Chicago, a city known for its music scene. There, he joined a local band called Brawl, which would later evolve into the famous band Disturbed. It was a big change from his law studies, but it turned out to be the right move.

How did David Draiman join Disturbed?

How was Disturbed formed?

Disturbed was formed in the 1990s, more precisely in 1994. The founding members of the band were Steve “Fuzz” Kmak, Dan Donegan, Mike Wengren, and the original singer Erich Awalt.

They released some demo recordings under the name Brawl, however, the original singer, Erich Awalt, left the band at that time, and a search for a new frontman began.

The turning point in the band’s history came when David Draiman, who had previously been a vocalist in the Chicago music scene, joined the band. With his joining, the band decided to rename themselves “Disturbed”.

Producer role and musical versatility

Draiman does not limit himself to singing. In 2013, he was the producer of the album Vengeance Falls by Trivium. The album performed well on various music charts. In the United States, it debuted at No. 2 on the Billboard 200 chart, which was the band’s highest chart position at that time.

The album received generally positive reviews from music critics. Critics praised the album’s melodic elements, songwriting, and production quality.

Several singles from the album, including Strife and Through Blood and Dirt and Bone, received positive attention and airplay on rock and metal radio stations.

Controversial cover of “The Sound Of Silence”

One of the most controversial events in the career of David Draiman and Disturbed was Disturbed’s cover of the Simon & Garfunkel classic “The Sound Of Silence.” This cover polarized the music world, a reaction that was to be expected given the song’s immense popularity.

While a certain part liked the song, a large part felt that Disturbed gave the song too much drama. Interestingly, Paul Simon, the composer of the original song, sided with Disturbed and praised the cover. This cover led to Disturbed becoming more famous around the world.


David Draiman, the lead singer of Disturbed is undoubtedly the creative heart and driving force behind the band. His versatile skills as a singer, songwriter, and producer have helped make the band one of the most influential players in the alternative metal genre.

Draiman’s commitment to his art and willingness to face personal challenges are inspiring. The future promises more musical highlights from this talented artist who has made a lasting impact on the metal scene and will undoubtedly continue to do so.

Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *