Disturbed to blast the Maritimes

Chicago heavy metal band Disturbed are headed to the Maritimes for their inaugural visit next week with shows slated for Moncton and Halifax. Brought together by a common love for classic heavy metal bands such as Iron Maiden, Judas Priest and Black Sabbath, they have gone on to sell over nine million record thanks to hits like “Down With The Sickness”, “Stricken” and their cover of Genesis track “Land Of Confusion”.

If there is one genre of music that has had staying power over the past 20 years, it would be heavy metal. Regardless of musical fads that weave their way in and out of public consciousness, bands like Slipknot, Metallica and Disturbed can be counted upon to head straight to the top of the charts whenever a new record hits stores.

Disturbed guitarist Dan Donegan is proud of this fact, stating:

“There is a fan base that has always been there for heavy metal and I think that’s a big reason behind its staying power,” he begins. “Metal fans are always looking for something with substance; the music is like therapy for them, it’s like a release.

As a band, we stay true to what we do and don’t second guess ourselves. I think what has really helped our career is the fact we love to play live and try to incorporate the crowd as much as we can in our live show.”

On the band’s website, Disturbed have launched “The Bootleg Series”, where three to five days after they perform in any given city, fans are given the opportunity to purchase the concert which they attended.

“Rather than have our fans have to settle for subpar quality audio recordings, we wanted to offer a degree of quality control over the product and this allows us to do that,” Donegan explains. “We wanted to give our fans something to remember the shows by.”

To date, Donegan says the bootleg series is audio-only but admits that the band has started giving thoughts to releasing a video retrospective which would incorporate footage from the road among other features.

“We have a couple of videographers with us on the road and we have been trying to record as many shows as we can. Right now, we have a lot of video footage that we plan on using to help document the first 10 years of the band.

“This tour has been great so far, it’s been a very good run. The downturn in the economy is hitting everyone though,” Donegan concedes, stating that their shows in some of the US markets have been better than others. “With the Music As A Weapon tour, we’re trying to put together a festival environment type of tour to help give people more value for their dollar.”

The Music As A Weapon tour, which also features Killswitch Engage and Lacuna Coil among others, is wrapping up dates in the US prior to Disturbed hitting Canadian shores.

Joining the band for their shows in Canada are All That Remains (whom Donegan said he is ‘dying to see’), Skindred, as well as Vancouver’s Art of Dying.

Indeed, if there is one thing Disturbed know well, it is life on the road. A quick glance of the tour date archive on their website at www.disturbed1.com shows the word “break” doesn’t exist in their lexicon. By the time the group wraps up this leg of their tour at the start of July in Europe, they will have been on the road for well over two months.

“We come home on the Fourth of July,” Donegan starts, “and for the first time in a long time, we are going to get to enjoy some of the summer at home.”

Disturbed’s break might last one whole month until August, when Donegan says he expects that they will re-group and begin the writing process for a new record.

“Our drummer Mike Wengren and his wife are expecting a baby in November. I would like to have a good head start on writing new material before Mike becomes a Dad and that brutal Chicago winter sets in,” he says. “I expect recording our new record will start sometime in January 2010.”

If history has taught us anything, that still to be recorded Disturbed record will find a home near the top of the charts upon release and can be expected to be followed by the group’s endless touring schedule. After speaking with Donegan though, you know they wouldn’t want it any other way.

Disturbed along with their special guests will be performing at the Moncton Coliseum on Friday May 29. Tickets for the show are available from the Moncton Coliseum Box Office at (506) 857-4100 and online at http://tickets.moncton.ca