Disturbed came together when guitarist Dan Donegan, drummer Mike Wengren, and bassist Fuzz joined up with singer David Draiman. The heavy metal band formed as Disturbed in 1997. The addition of Draiman to the band is what provided the cohesion needed for the band to strike out. Draiman grew up in a religious family. He rebelled from his parent's strict rule and was eventually expelled from five boarding schools during his youth. Like many hard rockers, metal music became an outlet for pent up anger. Draiman was no exception.
The thrashing sound of Disturbed began to build a following on Chicago's south side. Eventually, a demo tape led to a contract with Giant Records. The foursome released their debut album, titled The Sickness, in March of 2000. In order to promote the new album the band joined OzzFest in 2001. The decision was a good one. By the time the tour was over, the band had gained a national fan following and managed to break away to headline their own tour by the fall of 2001. During that time Disturbed also recorded a new version of wrestler Steve Austin's theme song. Surprisingly, the single received significant radio play.
The band was gaining critical acclaim and respect from other metal bands. They were one of the many bands asked to perform on the high profile Faith No More tribute album. They continued touring to promote sales of their album and build a stronger fan base. Disturbed found time to get back into the recording studio. They began working on a new disc that would reflect their musical growth. The band worked with producer Johnny K. and mixer Andy Wallace to create an experimental album that could compare to the rock legends they learned from. The boys were influenced by groups like Judas Priest, Iron Maiden, Pantera, and Soundgarden. The resulting album, titled Believe, was released in the fall of 2002. Critics raved about the new sound calling the album heavier, more varied, and ultimately superior to their previous work.
One thing that has set Disturbed apart from other bands in the heavy metal genre is Draiman's superb enunciation. Unlike many screamers, Draiman's voice is greatly articulated through the blasting guitar riffs and drum solos of his band mates. The rhythmic assault of drums and bass with the hardcore melodies of the guitar, the band's sound is unbeatable. Songs like Prayer and Liberate have fans jumping in every state. The musicians of Disturbed dubbed their 2001 solo tour Music as a Weapon to depict their songs as an arsenal of rock. Their albums have sold millions of copies to angst-ridden teens and rocker fans all across the US. Throughout their career Disturbed has been loyal to their legions of fans. Draiman said of his responsibility to the fans, We owe it to them and to ourselves and to everything we stand for, to respect the lineage and the tradition and the purity of metal. We have to remain faithful to what metal--true, true metal--was first established to be in the name of Black Sabbath and a hundred other great bands: Judas Priest, Iron Maiden, Queensryche, Metallica, Pantera, even Soundgarden...All of those bands had songs that spoke about grand things.