David Draiman

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David Draiman
Draiman singing with Disturbed, 2016
Draiman singing with Disturbed, 2016
Background information
Birth nameDavid Michael Draiman
Born (1973-03-13) March 13, 1973 (age 48)
Brooklyn, New York, U.S.
OriginChicago, Illinois, U.S.
  • Singer
  • songwriter
Years active1996–present
Associated acts

David Michael Draiman (born March 13, 1973)[1] is an American singer and songwriter, best known as the lead vocalist of heavy metal band Disturbed. He has a distorted, operatic baritone voice and percussive singing style. In 2006, Draiman was voted number 42 on the Hit Parader's "Top 100 Metal Vocalists of All Time".[2] He has written some of Disturbed's most successful singles, such as "Stupify", "Down with the Sickness", "Indestructible", and "Inside the Fire".

In 2011, Disturbed went on hiatus,[3] and Draiman worked on an industrial metal project with Geno Lenardo, which was later named Device. They released one album in 2013. In 2015, Disturbed returned with a single and a new album, Immortalized. In 2018, Disturbed released Evolution.

Early life and education[edit]

Draiman was born in Brooklyn, New York to Jewish parents. His father, who had worked as a real estate developer and small-business owner,[4] was arrested for embezzlement and sent to prison when Draiman was 12. His father would later be a candidate in the races for Mayor of Los Angeles in 2013, 2017,[5] and 2022. Draiman's brother Benjamin[6] is an ambient/folk rock musician who lives in Israel.[7][8]

His parents, while not personally observant, sent Draiman to Orthodox schools, where he believed he was on the path to receiving rabbinic ordination. Draiman frequently spent time in Israel during his early life.[7] Draiman attended five Jewish day schools, including Wisconsin Institute for Torah Study in Milwaukee, Wisconsin; Valley Torah High School in Los Angeles, California, where he formed his first band; and Fasman Yeshiva High School in Chicago, Illinois.[7] During his freshman year at Wisconsin Institute for Torah Study, he was asked to leave, as he "rebelled against the conformity" and "just wanted to be a normal teenage kid", adding that he "couldn't really stomach the rigorous religious requirements of the life [there]".[7] Of his study at Jewish day schools, Draiman stated that he "was a bit resentful", but he later encouraged his family to observe Shabbat and was trained as a hazzan.[7]

Draiman later enrolled at Ida Crown Jewish Academy in Chicago, Illinois, and graduated from high school in 1991.[7] From 1991 to 1992, he became romantically involved with a girl who used heroin and eventually committed suicide, which inspired the song "Inside the Fire". At 18 years old, on New Year's Day, Draiman attempted to do the same but woke up under a 1972 Oldsmobile Cutlass nearly frozen to death instead. After detoxing, Draiman described a "moment of clarity" and never did heroin again.[9] He spent a year after high school studying at the Yeshivas Neveh Zion in Kiryat Ye'arim, on the outskirts of Jerusalem.[7]

After returning to the US in 1992, Draiman commenced pre-law studies at Loyola University Chicago.[7] In 1996, he graduated from the University with a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and Government, Philosophy, and Business Administration.[10] Initially considering offers to matriculate and study at law school, Draiman realized that although criminal defense law was the only area of law that interested him, he could not "really look at myself in the mirror and say 'I'm going to lie for a living and protect criminals'".[7] During his university studies, Draiman also worked as a bank teller and in phone sales.[7]


Draiman with Disturbed in 2009

Early career and influences[edit]

After graduating from college, Draiman worked as an administrative assistant in a healthcare facility.[7] After his first year, he earned an administrator's license and commenced running his own healthcare facility.[7] For five years before joining Disturbed and the band's signing with Giant Records, Draiman was a healthcare administrator.[7] Leaving that position strained his relationship with his grandfather, a traditional Hasidic Jew.[11]

Draiman stated, "the first record I ever bought was Kiss' Destroyer. And those classic bands like Black Sabbath were my first loves ... I focused on the seminal metal bands like Metallica, Iron Maiden, Pantera and Queensrÿche".[7] He continued, "But I could also appreciate the hair metal bands – When you hear Whitesnake, you can't deny their greatness. Then I went in the direction of punk and new wave, groups like the Sex Pistols, The Ramones, The Misfits and later The Smiths and The Cure – that was my '80s".[7] "And then when the grunge revolution happened, it was like a wakeup call. I'll never forget getting my first Nirvana, Soundgarden and Alice in Chains records".[7]


Personal life[edit]

Draiman is married to former WWE Diva Lena Yada; they have a son, Samuel Bear Isamu Draiman,[12] born in 2013. Samuel was born three weeks early, and it took 23 hours of labor.[11][13] Draiman is Jewish. In politics, he said "I'm liberal about everything that is issue-based as far as ideology, but I'm also of the opinion of a very small government. I don't agree with the fiscal policies of the Democrats, but I certainly don't agree with the right-wing craziness of the Republicans."[14] Draiman was a supporter of Bernie Sanders against the Donald Trump candidacy.[14] He also described himself as "a very, very strong supporter of Israel forever and for our people (Jewish people)." He described Roger Waters, and other activists, seeking to boycott Israel for human rights abuses as "Nazi comrades".[15]


Draiman in 2004



Guest appearances

As producer


  1. ^ Draiman, David (interview), Hartmann, Graham (interviewer) (Aug 19, 2015). Disturbed's David Draiman - Wikipedia: Fact or Fiction? (Part 1). Loudwire. Retrieved June 28, 2021.
  2. ^ "BLABBERMOUTH.NET – ROB HALFORD, ROBERT PLANT, BON SCOTT, OZZY Are Among 'Heavy Metal's All-Time Top 100 Vocalists'". Roadrunnerrecords.com. Archived from the original on June 6, 2011. Retrieved May 25, 2011.
  3. ^ "Disturbed's Draiman on Band's Hiatus: 'It's the Right Time to Step Away'".
  4. ^ Melnicoff, Mars (6 April 2011). "YJ Draiman, Dad to Disturbed's Lead Singer: Top 5 Reasons Unknown Underdog 2013 L.A. Mayoral Candidate Is Freaking Interesting". LA Weekly. Archived from the original on 1 February 2014. Retrieved 18 January 2014.
  5. ^ Kandel, Jason (4 March 2013). "8 Vie for Los Angeles Mayor in Upcoming City Primary". NBC Southern California.
  6. ^ Ouellette, Mary (16 October 2013). "David Draiman's Brother Ben Draiman Performs Disturbed's "Stricken"". Loudwire.
  7. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p Brinn, Davd (2 January 2011). "The hazan who became disturbed". The Jerusalem Post.
  8. ^ "David Draiman's Brother Ben Covers Disturbed's "Sticken"". Blabbermouth.net. 10 October 2013.
  9. ^ "Disturbed's David Draiman - Wikipedia: Fact or Fiction? (Part 1)". Aug 19, 2015.
  10. ^ Ellerbee, Jacob (30 December 2011). "Before They Were Famous". Metal Mentality. Archived from the original on 18 January 2014.
  11. ^ a b "Disturbed's David Draiman - Wikipedia: Fact or Fiction? (Part 2)". Sep 2, 2015.
  12. ^ "Disturbed's David Draiman: Still Angry After All These Years". Yahoo.
  13. ^ "Disturbed (band)". David Draiman. 2013-05-07. Retrieved 2013-05-08.
  14. ^ a b "DISTURBED's DAVID DRAIMAN Throws His Support Behind BERNIE SANDERS". Blabbermouth. 16 December 2015.
  15. ^ Bandler, Aaron (4 June 2019). "Disturbed Lead Singer Criticizes Roger Waters, BDS". Jewish Journal. Retrieved 5 June 2019.

External links[edit]