Draiman singing with Disturbed, June 3, 2016
|Birth name||David Michael Draiman|
|Born||March 13, 1973|
Brooklyn, New York
David Michael Draiman (born March 13, 1973) is an American singer who is best known as the lead vocalist of the band Disturbed as well as the band Device. Draiman is known for his distorted, operatic baritone voice and percussive singing style. In November 2006, Draiman was voted number 42 on the Hit Parader's "Top 100 Metal Vocalists of All Time". Draiman has written some of Disturbed's most successful singles, such as "Stupify", "Down with the Sickness", "Indestructible", and "Inside the Fire".
In October 2011, Disturbed entered a hiatus. Draiman announced in the following year that he was working on an industrial rock/metal project with Geno Lenardo, formerly of Filter, which was later named Device. In June 2015, Disturbed released their first single since their hiatus, named "The Vengeful One", and a new album, Immortalized. In 2018, Disturbed released Evolution.
Early life and education
Draiman was born in Brooklyn, New York, on March 13, 1973, the son of Miriam and YJ Draiman. His father, a candidate in the 2017 race for mayor of Los Angeles, is a former real estate developer, medical administrator, small-business owner, and elected member of the Northridge East Neighborhood Council, among other roles. When Draiman was 12, his father was arrested for embezzlement brought about by unscrupulous business partners and sent to prison, causing great hardship. Draiman's brother Benjamin is an ambient/folk rock musician who lives in Israel and performs in Jerusalem. Draiman's grandmother also lives in Israel. Draiman's maternal grandparents are both Holocaust survivors; his grandfather transported bodies to the crematorium at Bergen-Belsen, while his grandmother avoided the gas chamber at Auschwitz by crawling to the end of the line.
His parents were observant, religious Jews (dati). They intended for Draiman to receive semikhah, and Draiman frequently spent time in Israel during his early life. 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.. 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]". Such rebellion included possessing a GQ Magazine, throwing a classmate from a second-story window during an altercation while lifting weights, and setting fire to and blowing up the Rabbi’s van. 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.
Draiman later enrolled at Ida Crown Jewish Academy in Chicago, Illinois, where he graduated from high school in 1991. From there, in 1991–1992. During this time he became romantically involved with a girl who used heroin and eventually died of an overdose, which would eventually inspire "Inside the Fire". At 18 years old, on New Year's Day, Draiman attempted to do the same but woke up under a bridge nearly frozen to death instead. After journeying to a friend's house and detoxing for three days, Draiman described a "moment of clarity" and never did heroin again. He spent a year after high school studying at the Yeshivas Neveh Zion in Kiryat Ye'arim, on the outskirts of Jerusalem.
After returning to the US in 1992, Draiman commenced pre-law studies at Loyola University Chicago. In 1996, he graduated from the University with a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and Government, Philosophy, and Business Administration. 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'". During his university studies, Draiman also worked as a bank teller and in phone sales.
Early career and influences
After graduating from college, Draiman worked as an administrative assistant in a healthcare facility. After his first year, he earned an administrator's license and commenced running his own healthcare facility. For five years before joining Disturbed and the band's signing with Giant Records, Draiman was a healthcare administrator. Leaving that position strained his relationship with his grandfather, a traditional Hasidic Jew.
Draiman said, "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".
Draiman continues, "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".
Draiman is married to former WWE Diva Lena Yada; they have a son, Samuel Bear Isamu Draiman, born in 2013, three weeks early after 23 hours of labor. 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." Draiman was a supporter of Bernie Sanders against the Donald Trump candidacy. He also described himself as “a very, very strong supporter of Israel forever and for our people." He described Roger Waters, and other activists, seeking to boycott Israel as "Nazi comrades".
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For a more comprehensive list, see Disturbed discography
- The Sickness (2000)
- Believe (2002)
- Ten Thousand Fists (2005)
- Indestructible (2008)
- Asylum (2010)
- The Lost Children (2011)
- Immortalized (2015)
- Evolution (2018)
- Device (2013)
- "Forsaken" (written by Jonathan Davis) (2002)
- "Here's to Us" (guest version) (2012)
- "Dance in the Rain" (guest vocals for Megadeth) (2013)
Awards and nominations
Metal Hammer Golden Gods Awards
|Year||Nominee / work||Award||Result|
|2014||David Draiman||King Of The Internet||Nominated|
Loudwire Music Awards
|Year||Nominee / work||Award||Result|
|2015||David Draiman||Best Vocalist||Nominated|
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- "DISTURBED's DAVID DRAIMAN Throws His Support Behind BERNIE SANDERS". 16 December 2015.
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- Jeff Kitts; Brad Tolinski (2002). Guitar World Presents Nu-Metal: From the Pages of Guitar World Magazine. Hal Leonard Publishing Corporation. ISBN 0-634-03287-9.