Australia's Heavy magazine recently conducted an interview with DISTURBED guitarist Dan Donegan. You can now listen to the chat below. A couple of excerpts follow (transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET).
On the fact that DISTURBED's latest album, "Evolution", features as many acoustic-rooted ballads as it does hard-riffing rockers:
Dan: "For many years, we've been talking about wanting to go into some acoustic ideas. And it was new territory for us. We just made it a priority to start out with it this time around. 'Cause over the years, we talked about it, but the second we would plug in and do all the heavier tracks, we would just kind of put it on the backburner. So this time we made it a priority to start out with these ideas first. It was exciting, because it was new grounds, it was a new inspiration. Even though they're semi-acoustic throughout some of those tracks, there's still some dark themes to it — talking about addiction and depression and death, and things that have affected us throughout the years. So I think we just tried to find a good balance within the album to have different beddings and different foundation of the music. So once we did the acoustic tracks, we thought there was a way to mesh them and blend them with some of the heavier tracks too."
On how hard it is for a band to evolve musically while still staying true to its roots:
Dan: "I just don't second-guess it, to be honest with you. I don't think about what the expectations are from the record label or management or radio or anybody else. I walk into the room writing with the guys in the band, so we try to come up with ideas to inspire each other. When we've written a hundred and something songs together, the bigger challenge is just trying to always be creative and come in with something that's gonna push each other to try new things. And when we come together, if we're feeling it — whatever that vibe is; whether it's heavy or it's acoustic or it's fast or slow — we just try to capture that moment and just roll with it."
On whether DISTURBED was looking to balance out the more experimental parts of "Evolution" with songs that are more "old school":
Dan: "I think those [old-school] elements will always poke out at times — they're always gonna be there — but it just depends on what comes out naturally. Mike [Wengren] plays drums the way he plays — there's always gonna be syncopation. My heavier riffs are gonna have some of that syncopation as well, and it's gonna be riffy parts. And David's [Draiman] got a very signature voice, so there's gonna be those moments that the identity is gonna ream through. The second you hear it, you're gonna know it's DISTURBED. And I think with some of these other softer tracks, it's just a way to showcase the other abilities with the band — within David's voice and within the musicianship with everybody else."
"Evolution" was released in October.
The band's North American tour is scheduled to kick off January 9 in San Diego, California. The trek will make stops in cities like Denver, Houston, Nashville, New York, Pittsburgh, and Toronto before wrapping up in Rosemont, Illinois on March 8. Support on the 27-city jaunt will come from Canada's THREE DAYS GRACE.
Following the U.S. leg of the tour, DISTURBED will travel overseas to play in Spain, Czech Republic, Italy, and more countries throughout Europe. Their last slated show, as of right now, is on July 2 in Israel.