David Draiman

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David Draiman
David Draiman.jpg
Draiman singing with Disturbed, April 17, 2009
Background information
Birth name David Michael Draiman
Born (1973-03-13) March 13, 1973 (age 42)
Brooklyn, New York, United States
Genres Heavy metal, Nu metal, hard rock, alternative metal, industrial metal
Occupation(s) Singer, music producer
Instruments Vocals
Years active 1996–present
Labels Giant, Reprise, Intoxication
Associated acts Disturbed, Device, Trivium, Megadeth
Website www.disturbed1.com

David Michael Draiman (born 13 March 1973) is an American songwriter and the lead singer for the heavy metal band Disturbed as well as for the band Device. Draiman is known for his distorted 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".[1] 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.[2] 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.[3][4]

In June 2015, Disturbed released their first single since their hiatus, named "The Vengeful One". They produced it over a year before, and along with it announced a new album, Immortalized.

Early life and education[edit]

Draiman was born on 13 March 1973 in Brooklyn, New York, in the United States, to Miriam and Yehuda "Y. J." Draiman, Israeli-Americans.[5] His father is a candidate for mayor of Los Angeles in the 2017 elections. He is a healthcare administrator, small-business owner, member of the Northridge East Neighborhood Council, among other roles, and is completing a Ph.D. in energy conservation.[6] He ran a political campaign for mayor of Los Angeles in 2013, but was not successful.[7] Draiman's brother, Benjamin (performing professionally as Ben Draiman),[8][9][10] is an ambient/folk rock musician who lives in Israel and performs in Jerusalem.[11][12] Benjamin is also a psychologist.[13] Draiman's grandmother also lives in Israel.[11][14][15]

Although 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.[11] 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.[11] During his freshman year at Wisconsin Institute for Torah Study, he was requested 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]".[11] Of his study at Jewish day schools, Draiman states that he "was a bit resentful"; but, he later prompted his family to commence observing Shabbat and he was trained as a hazan.[11]

Draiman later enrolled at Ida Crown Jewish Academy in Chicago, Illinois, where he graduated from high school in 1991.[11] From there, in 1991–1992, he spent a year after high school studying at the Yeshivas Neveh Zion in Kiryat Ye'arim, on the outskirts of Jerusalem, Israel.[11]

After returning to the US, in 1992, Draiman commenced pre-law studies at Loyola University Chicago.[11] In 1996, he graduated the university with a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and Government, Philosophy, and Business Administration.[16][17] Initially considering taking up offers to matriculate and study at law school, Draiman realised 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".[11] During his university studies, Draiman also worked as a bank teller and in phone sales.[11]


Early career[edit]

After graduating from university, Draiman commenced working as an administrative assistant in a healthcare facility.[11] After his first year, he had earned an administrator's licence and commenced running his own healthcare facility.[11] For five years before his joining Disturbed and the band's signing with Giant Records, Draiman was a healthcare administrator.[11]


Main article: Disturbed (band)

Early influences[edit]

Draiman is quoted as saying, "the first record I ever bought was KissDestroyer. 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".[11]

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".[11]

"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".[11]

Draiman has cited James Hetfield of Metallica, Rob Halford of Judas Priest, and Bruce Dickinson of Iron Maiden as the three biggest influences on his singing.[citation needed]

Personal life[edit]

On 25 September 2011, Draiman married ex-WWE Diva Lena Yada and as of 2013 Lena was pregnant with their first child, a son. According to Draiman on Device's official Facebook page, on September 12, 2013, at 12:58 AM, David and Lena's son, Samuel Bear Isamu Draiman, was born after 23 hours of labor. Also on Device's Facebook page, David wrote, "Both mother and child are healthy and well. I thank the powers that be for this greatest of gifts."[18]

In an interview with Playboy UK, Draiman revealed that he lost his virginity when he was 12 years old.[19] When Draiman was 16 years old, his girlfriend committed suicide.[20] Draiman later wrote a song about the experience, titled "Inside the Fire", which appeared on the 2008 album Indestructible.[21]

Draiman is proficient in Hebrew.[22]

Religious and political views[edit]

Draiman is of Jewish[14][15] ancestry but is not an observant Jew. In 2010, Draiman expressed Deistic views in a YouTube interview while rejecting organized religion of any kind.

Draiman politically identifies as a libertarian.[23][24]

Draiman has expressed dissatisfaction with rock musicians who collect Nazi memorabilia saying, "I don't give a fuck who you are. If you're going to brandish Nazi symbolism, I'm going to have a problem with you because I don't understand how anybody could think it's OK to wear something on their body that symbolizes the annihilation and genocide of my people. I'm not OK with that and there is no excuse and there is no explanation".[14] Draiman wrote the song "Never Again" (on the album Asylum) "about the Holocaust and the people who deny it, like Ahmadinejad. And part of our live show includes a video presentation depicting him as the new Hitler."

The United States Holocaust Museum featured Draiman in their "Voices on Antisemitism — A Podcast Series" show.[25]

In July 2013, Draiman urged all of his followers on Twitter to condemn Roger Waters, who released a giant pig balloon with a Star of David emblazoned on it at his concert in Belgium on July 18.[26]


For a more comprehensive list, see Disturbed discography

Guest appearances


  1. ^ "BLABBERMOUTH.NET – ROB HALFORD, ROBERT PLANT, BON SCOTT, OZZY Are Among 'Heavy Metal's All-Time Top 100 Vocalists'". Roadrunnerrecords.com. Retrieved May 25, 2011. 
  2. ^ Disturbed's Draiman on Band's Hiatus: 'It's the Right Time to Step Away'
  3. ^ David Draiman Twitter Feed
  4. ^ David Draiman Twitter Feed
  5. ^ Kandel, Jason (4 March 2013). "8 Vie for Los Angeles Mayor in Upcoming City Primary". NBC Southern California. 
  6. ^ 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. 
  7. ^ Draiman Mayoral Candidate Interview - Dec. 24, 2012 on YouTube
  8. ^ Ouellette, Mary (16 October 2013). "David Draiman's Brother Ben Draiman Performs Disturbed's "Stricken"". Loudwire. 
  9. ^ Yaffe, Simon. "He ain't heavy, he's my brother - Benjamin Draiman - David Draiman". 
  10. ^ "Home". Ben Draiman. 
  11. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q Brinn, Davd (2 January 2011). "The hazan who became disturbed". The Jerusalem Post. 
  12. ^ "David Draiman's Brother Ben Covers Disturbed's "Sticken"". Blabbermouth.net. 10 October 2013. 
  13. ^ "YJ Draiman for Mayor of LA 2017". YJ Draiman. 
  14. ^ a b c "blabbermouth.net". Roadrunnerrecords.com. Retrieved May 25, 2011. 
  15. ^ a b Barnea, Or (January 2, 2011). "Only here it's okay to be Jewish" (in Hebrew). ynet. Retrieved January 2, 2011. 
  16. ^ "David Draiman". LinkedIn. 
  17. ^ Ellerbee, Jacob (30 December 2011). "Before They Were Famous". Metal Mentality. 
  18. ^ "Disturbed (band)". David Draiman. 2013-05-07. Retrieved 2013-05-08. 
  19. ^ Fischer, Blair R (2010-01-23). "Dirty Dozen: David Draiman". Playboy.co.uk. Retrieved 2011-10-28. 
  20. ^ Neely, Barry (22 June 2009). "Disturbed, suicide, and the beauty of heavy metal". Barry Talks Music. 
  21. ^ "DISTURBED: 'Inside The Fire' Video Posted Online". BlabberMouth. 
  22. ^ David Draiman of Disturbed Interview - Metalist.co.il - Part 1, from 3:50 on YouTube
  23. ^ "Disturbed . • . interviews . • . . • . • . listenin.org . • . • . this is where rock stars SPEAK . • . •". Listenin.org. Retrieved May 25, 2011. 
  24. ^ "What You Didn’t See On RAW, Vengeance Poster, & More". 24wrestling.com. 2011-10-19. Retrieved 2011-10-28. 
  25. ^ Voices on Antisemitism Interview with David Draiman from the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum
  26. ^ Levitt, Joshua (2013-07-25). "Jewish Heavy Metal Rocker David Draiman Takes on Roger Waters, Urges Twitter Followers to Condemn ‘Flagrant Display of Anti-Semitism’". The Algemeiner. Retrieved 2013-07-29.