Ooh-wah-ah-aht is this?
For many years, Disturbed frontman David Draiman was most notably recognized for his chin piercings (aka labrets) and clean shaven head, but there was a time when his look was noticeably different. Thanks to the wonders of a social media posting, we now know what a pre-fame Draiman looked like with his closely cropped dark hair and mutton chop sideburns.
Very much a look of its era, the sideburns craze of the ’90s evolved from it’s early ’90s 90201 explosion to something a little more menacing and thicker, with many rockers sporting a mutton chop look, sometimes even letting the sideburns grow down to a full on chin beard. But in this case, Draiman kept the chin clean, during a time just months ahead of his major chin affectation.
The close cropped hair was very much a look of this period as well. And in the video below, you can even see Draiman sporting an orange-ish jumpsuit mirroring the look of another band coming up through the ranks at the time as he sings “Want” during a 1999 performance. It should also be pointed out that guitarist Dan Donegan is sporting a shaggier look as well, though his look didn’t change as drastically as Draiman’s.
While this pre-fame look seems to fit with many of his peers of the day, eventually Draiman aired on the side of originality when creating an image that would help define his days in Disturbed (more on that below).
But the Disturbed singer seems to be sharing this classic clip all in good fun, calling the video, “an oldie but a goodie,” before noting, “Yes, I used to have hair…and big ass sideburns! Lol”
The beginnings of Disturbed started in 1994 when Dan Donegan, Mike Wengren and bassist Steve “Fuzz” Kmak were in a band called Brawl, but after their singer left, Draiman answered an ad to audition and the four-piece that eventually became Disturbed was in place.
READ MORE: David Draiman Reveals Which Disturbed Song Is One of His Favorites He’s Ever Written
The band signed to Giant Records in 1999, the year the video above was shot, but by 2000 Reprise had entered the picture to jointly release the band’s major label debut album The Sickness. Their first single, “Stupify,” arrived in April 2000 and by that point Draiman had shaved his head and ditched the sideburns, sporting the bald head and chin labrets in the video that introduced them to the masses.
Why Disturbed’s David Draiman Initially Got His Chin Piercings
Late last year, Draiman reflected with Revolver on why he initially got his chin labrets at the start of Disturbed’s major label career. According to Draiman, he had a successful career as a healthcare facility administrator while also trying to pursue music. “There were two things I did once I quit my job. Once I knew that we had a record deal coming, I shaved my head and I did the double labret. And yeah, I just wanted to do something that was original that nobody else had,” said the singer.
As for how his parents responded to his new look, well, “It took them a while before they saw it … and my mom cried. They were not happy,” said Draiman.
Why David Draiman Ditched His Signature Chin Piercing
In 2018, while promoting Disturbed’s Evolution album, is when the singer ditched his signature piercings that had been a part of his look since arriving on the music scene in 2000. “They’re kind of a pain in the butt, to be honest,” said the singer with a laugh in an interview with Deutsche Welle at the time.
Admitting age was a factor in the decision, he explained, “It just felt kind of weird walking around like a 45-year-old Hot Topic kid,” laughing once more. “I just felt it was time,” he concluded.
Disturbed will be back out on the road this spring in support of their 2022 album Divisive. Draiman, now sans labrets, will be front and center and you can get tickets to see the group here.