Jaxon of Philadelphia’s 93.3 WMMR radio station recently conducted an interview with DISTURBED singer David Draiman. You can now listen to the chat using the audio player below.
Speaking about DISTURBED‘s decision to cover SIMON & GARFUNKEL‘s “The Sound Of Silence” on the band’s latest album, “Immortalized”, Draiman said: “We’re pretty blown away — and surprised, to be honest — by the amount of positivity that has surrounded the cover. Because it was definitely a left turn, and it was something that, to be perfectly honest, I wouldn’t have intended to go to, stylistically, on my own.”
He continued: “I come from a classical background. I was trained as a cantor when I was a young man, and so I have my classical training that I haven’t really had the opportunity to tap into purely over the course of my career — not to the extent that I do on this song. ”
Draiman went on to say: “When we were first discussing covers, we were discussing everything under the sun, because we like to do one at least every record — at least try and do one. We had done a lot of our covers in the past… We’ve taken songs from the ’80s. And I said, ‘Let’s go back even further this time.’ So [we] started looking at ’70s and ’60s. And it was Mike [Wengren, drums] who actually came up with the suggestion SIMON & GARFUNKEL, and it immediately resonated with me, because one of the groups, or duos, I should say, that my parents exposed me to, and my uncle on my mother’s side, actually, exposed me to when I was a young man, and I had always fallen in love with it. And with that song in particular, that opening line, ‘Hello, darkness, my old friend,’ always resonated with me so, so tremendously. So when Mike mentioned it, it automatically kind of made us stop for a minute. And there is a very daunting aspect to such a song, because it’s such a huge song, and such a memorable, notable hit — probably SIMON & GARFUNKEL‘s biggest hit of all time. And they were such master songwriters that a lot of people would say, ‘Don’t touch it. Don’t try and do anything with something like that. It’s too big. There’s too much potentially negative repercussions that can come from not doing it right.'”
David added: “Initially when we were starting to approach it, I thought that we’d approach it the same way that we did ‘Land Of Confusion’ [GENESIS] or ‘Shout’ [TEARS FOR FEARS] or any of the other ones that we’d done, and made it more aggressive, more upbeat. And it was actually Danny‘s [Donegan, guitar] suggestion to not do that. He strongly suggested, ‘You know what? We’ve done that before. Let’s try and do something ethereal and ambient.’ And I was very hesitant, because, number one, we’d never gone in that direction to that extent before. And number two, the song was written as an acoustic piece and very ethereal and ambient, and so how are we gonna outdo that?’ And I decided, ‘Let me put that out of my head.’ And Kevin Churko, our producer, came up with this amazing piano line that you hear that starts off the song. And one day, when I had no intention of tracking anymore — I was completely done for the day — he played me this piano line and it immediately sent a resonation up my spine. And I was, like, ‘That’s pretty damn amazing.’ And he was, like, ‘Why don’t you jump in the vocal booth and see what you can come up with?’ And three hours later — the longest vocal session of my career, and the only vocal session of my entire career that the entire band was in the control room while I was tracking and doing it, of me trying every possible variation and run and rhythmic variation, melodic variation… I was exhausted and done and came in the room and their faces were, like, stone-cold flushed, and pretty blown away just by the session itself. And three days later — that’s how long it took Kevin to comb through all the takes, because there were so many different varieties or the versions, and picked the ones that he liked best and assembled them into a comp and played it for me. I listened to it three times before I even gave any response to him. And he got very nervous; he thought I didn’t like it. But what I was actually doing was kind of tearing up listening to it, because it had been so long since I have allowed myself to go to that place vocally, and hearing it, and hearing it come out as well as I thought it did was not just gratifying, but like having a weight lifted off me. So it was an unbelievable experience for all of us. And that people are connecting with it in the way that they are is just simply amazing.”
Draiman also jokingly mentioned one added bonus of having covered a track like “The Sound Of Silence” on a DISTURBED album. “It’s nice to finally have a song that I can play for my parents,” he laughed. “I don’t need to be afraid of it before I [play it for them].”
Although DISTURBED‘s rendition of “Silence” has been available for download since the August release of the band’s latest album, “Immortalized”, the track received renewed interest following the release of the official music for the song on December 8.
DISTURBED landed its fifth No. 1 album on The Billboard 200 chart with “Immortalized”.
The new disc opened with 98,000 equivalent album units earned in the week ending August 27, according to Nielsen Music. Of that sum, 93,000 were pure album sales.
The Billboard 200 chart ranks the most popular albums of the week based on multi-metric consumption, which includes traditional album sales, track equivalent albums (TEA) and streaming equivalent albums (SEA).
DISTURBED is only the third group to score five consecutive No. 1-debuting studio albums. They join METALLICA (five No. 1-debuting studio sets between 1991-2008) and DAVE MATTHEWS BAND (six; 1998-2012).
“Immortalized” is DISTURBED‘s first studio set since 2010’s “Asylum”, which opened atop The Billboard 200 with 179,000 copies sold in its first week, according to Nielsen Music. The act previously led the list with “Indestructible” (released in 2008), “Ten Thousand Fists” (2005) and “Believe” (2002).
The only DISTURBED album to miss the top position was the band’s debut, “The Sickness”, which peaked at No. 29 in 2000.