Disturbed prefers sound over fury

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David Draiman doesn't believe that metal and melody necessarily need to be mutually exclusive.

Mr. Draiman, lead singer in the hard and heavy rock act Disturbed, said that while big, loud and aggressive have always distinguished the Disturbed sound, so too has a sense of structure and song craft.

"It's something that's conspicuous on every level," he said during a recent telephone interview. "We won't divorce ourselves from the things that make songs strong. Big hooks make us tick."

Disturbed performs with Sevendust and Skindred at the James Brown Arena at 7 p.m. Wednesday.

Although chronologically lumped with the nu-metal movement popular in the 1990s, Mr. Draiman said Disturbed was more attentive to the roots of hard rock than the then-current crop of metal acts.

"That's the irony," he said. "People tried to lump us in the era we came up in, but that was never our thing. There was never any rap, for instance. We took our inspiration from Black Sabbath, from Metallica. Those bands are what we were, what we are, about."

He said those bands understood the strength of a structured song, and while the Disturbed sound has evolved and become more polished since the band formed in 1997, the ethos remains the same.

"That's the thing that bridges the gap," he said. "Melody. There has to be more than just aggression if you are going to appeal to a broader audience.

''I mean, if you performed our songs acoustically, they would still be great songs. That's not something you can do with some acts."

Although Disturbed is one of the few metal acts that has been able to translate its musical ideas into concrete record sales -- the band has sold more than 10 million records -- Mr. Draiman said he's uneasy with the idea of celebrating past accomplishments. He said the mission of Disturbed should be to continue to grow.

"And that growth is not defined by record sales," he said. "For me, for us, it is about the live experience. It's about finding opportunities to make people aware of this material and then delivering."

Reach Steven Uhles at (706) 823-3626 or steven.uhles@augustachronicle.com.

IN CONCERT

WHAT: Disturbed, with Sevendust and Skindred


WHEN: 7 p.m. Wednesday


WHERE: James Brown Arena, 605 Seventh St.


COST: $35.50; (706) 724-2400


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