Disturbed have touched many with their 2018 song “A Reason to Fight” off their Evolution album and it’s given the band a platform to speak about mental health while out on tour. But during a recent tour stop in Milwaukee, singer David Draiman opened up a little more revealing that his own struggles with addiction and depression recently almost claimed his life, like it had done to some of his peers and friends.
As has been standard, the performance of “A Reason to Fight” has often given the singer a chance to speak on mental health before launching into the song, while also showing audience members that they are not alone with the struggle affecting many.
During the band’s Milwaukee stop, the vocalist stated, “A reason to fight. We all need one. The demons that are known as addiction and depression are very, very real. They are diseases no different than cancer. You can’t see depression. You can’t see addiction. It festers inside. It metastasizes, takes over your body and mind, your soul.”
“And I don’t know about you, but I’m tired of losing everybody I love to depression and addiction. Every single band member on this stage has dealt with those feelings, with those demons. And I miss the friends that we’ve lost. I miss Chester [Bennington], I miss Scott [Weiland], I miss Chris [Cornell]. And if I can be completely honest with you, a couple months ago, I almost joined them.”
“Addiction and depression can happen to anyone ladies and gentlemen. No one is immune from it no matter how beautiful their life may look from the outside,” continued the singer. “No matter how blessed they may seem. It’s out of our control.”
In a powerful moment, Draiman then asked for a show of hands from the audience to see those who have dealt with addiction or depression or know of someone who has. As can be seen, a nearly full arena of fans all had their hands raised. “As you can see my friends, you are not alone,” said the singer.
Disturbed’s David Draiman Shares Personal Mental Health Experience in Milwaukee
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Another moving moment occurred while Disturbed were in St. Paul, with the singer once again stopping down the show and welcoming a family of music fans to the stage while he addressed the crowd.
In this instance, he spoke of the reputation that often surrounds heavy music as being dark and evil, but further explaining the power of music to be therapeutic in addressing such dark and evil topics.
“All that bullshit people go ahead and spew about hard rock and heavy metal being something that’s dark and evil. Such a crock of shit,” stated the singer. “Don’t get me wrong — we have colleagues that like to play the dark and evil character. And you know what? They do it pretty goddamn well. But you know what? They are playing a character. It’s not for real. Nobody actually sacrifices anything. No one’s actually Satanic. It’s all a bunch of bullshit. It’s called entertainment. And even more than that, it’s called therapy. Because, ladies and gentlemen, whether you realize it or not, you are now attending the largest group therapy session you will ever attend in your lives.”
“Music is incredibly powerful,” he continued. “Every single nation on the planet, every religion, anything that is meant to stir something in your soul resonates to some melody, to some piece of music. There’s a reason for that.”
“And you know what? Sometimes you have to write about dark subject matter, because life is full of dark subject matter. And the only way that you can face it and the only way that you can conquer it is by looking it dead in the fucking face. Because whether you know it or not, sometimes darkness can show you the light.”
Disturbed’s David Draiman Talks About Dark Subject Matter + Music’s Power in St. Paul, Minn.
Disturbed are currently out on the road in support of their latest album Divisive. You can get tickets to see them in concert here.
If you or someone you know is struggling with mental health, help is available through the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration website. To speak to someone on the phone, dial 1-800-622-HELP (1-800-622-4357) or send a text message to 1-800-487-4889.
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