KFMA conducted an interview with DISTURBED at the KFMA Day on April 16 in Tucson, Arizona. You can now watch the chat below.
Asked about the incident last month when he called out a fan for texting during the band’s show in Dallas, DISTURBED frontman David Draiman said: “In all honesty, and to hopefully finally put this baby to bed, it was all meant tongue in cheek, in all honesty. I don’t know if you actually ever saw the video clip that went viral, but I was lighthearted and laughing about it on stage. I was only trying to draw her in and engage her, not really attack her for doing whatever she was doing on the cell phone; that’s her own business. And truth be told, that’s my bad. Truth be told. Because I had no idea what she had going on, I wasn’t privy to the kind of crisis she was dealing with, and I meant it all in good fun. She, unfortunately, took it the wrong way, and I feel bad about that, and that’s the truth.”
He continued: “We never wanna make anyone who comes to any of our shows feel like they’re not welcome or that they leave with any kind of negative feeling. So that really wasn’t the intention. The whole thing got spun from all kinds of directions inappropriately, ‘cause that’s what people do. But I genuinely don’t want to make any DISTURBED fan feel like they don’t belong. They all belong and they’ve certainly earned the right to do whatever it is that they wanna do during our performance. And me, as the frontman, I just try to bring everybody in.”
Added DISTURBED bassist John Moyer: “David’s always had a long history of, anybody who seems distracted or not into the show, he engages them, and that’s part of what makes him a great frontman. And what happened with this cell phone incident, for whatever reason, turned into a bigger deal than, really… We were just blown away by it, because he’s always… Anytime you come to a DISTURBED show, you know that David’s paying attention. I mean, she should be, like, ‘Oh my God! I can’t even believe this guy even noticed me.’ And that he does. He notices everyone in the crowd. He not only sings to the audience, but he makes sure that everyone is part of the experience. And when you’re not, he focuses on you and he brings you in, and that’s all that was about.”
The woman, Shannon Pardue, told the Dallas Observer that she was texting her 14-year-old daughter to calm her down as a hailstorm raged outside their house in a Fort Worth suburb. Pardue said she began texting during the break between DISTURBED’s main set and its encore.
It was during this time that Draiman called her out from the stage, saying: “Up in the balcony…what is so important going on in the world that you need to be texting the entire fucking show? The whole show! You’re right up front; I can see you clear as day. You’ve had your face in your fucking phone the whole goddamn show.”
Pardue said she tried to shout to the singer that she was texting her kids, but he couldn’t hear her. He also said to her, “Don’t tell me to go fuck myself… I’m not wrong. Am I wrong? If you were up here and I did that to you, how would you feel? Seriously! It is fucking rude. It is!”
Draiman later explained his actions in a post online, saying: “That woman was not a fan. She was the date of a real fan who was standing next to her. She was face in phone from the moment the show started ’till the very end.”
He added in a later post, “You may not agree with my calling out the girl texting/tweeting/Facebooking the entire show the other night… But when we musicians go up on stage, bleed for our art, leave everything up there, and someone doesn’t even have the decency to watch for even one song, it’s like a slap in the face.”
After video of the exchange went viral, Pardue told the Dallas Observer: “At first, it ticked me off. But then I just wanted to go away. I told my husband, ‘The most embarrassing thing in my life just happened to me.'”
She added: “Rock stars wouldn’t be where they are without people who come to pay for the show. Whether I had my eyes on him or not, I am still there and I can hear them. He’s an amazing singer, and they were good, but it was just his attitude. I’ll never pay to see him again nor will my friends.”
Pardue, who said her husband purchased the tickets for the show six months earlier, concluded that Draiman was a “jerk” and that DISTURBED “just lost two big fans.”