Every Hard Rock and every Heavy Metal band have to deal with certain media restriction to play this kind of music”
W (Nando Machado): Ok. Hi, John.
John Moyer: Good morning, Nando. How are you today?
W (NM): I’m good. Thank you for your time. So, let me just start introducing myself. I’m one of the cohosts of Wikimetal, which is the number one Heavy Metal and Hard Rock podcast in Brazil, ok?
JM: Awesome, congratulations. Thank you for keeping Metal and Rock alive.
W (NM): We know that Disturbed is a very successful band regarding sales and the numbers are really, really impressive, you know? How can a Metal band, a Hard Rock band, reach this great sales number?
JM: You know, it’s just our fans, we just have really good fans, first of all. Ever since this band started, which was even before I was in the band, the fans had been very rapid. I’ve been with the band now seven and a half years, may have been rough about ten years. But longer than that, 16 when it goes to a time before they were signed. Even back when they were playing the streets of Chicago, they were playing at the small clubs, the fans would be so into what they were doing, that they were getting tattooed of an unsigned band, you know, that’s pretty bold. And the other thing is, we’ve been really consistent, I think. We’ve got five records over the last 11 years that we’ve put out. There’s been great singles of every record. And I think a part of it too is we try to grow and evolve and it seems that are our fans sticking with us, but we still know what makes us sound like Disturbed, you know? And why people like the sound of the band and we try to stick to that. So, we try to be true to ourselves, I think we also try to offer something consistent. I just think the beginning is connecting with fans. So, accommodation of that, I guess, allows a successful career so far, but we still feel like we’re going up, we feel like there’s more to do. There’s more places to go, more places to play and that’s why we’re coming to South America, ‘cause this is some place we haven’t had the opportunity to come to before and this is a really big deal for us.
W (NM): But do you keep any specific marketing strategy or do you have any support from media? Because it’s not very usual for Hard Rock bands, for Metal bands, to get any support. Can you complain about media support or do they help you guys?
JM: I think we all suffer from it as a genre. Here is the thing, as far as guys like you are doing a podcast and radio stations are playing Hard Rock and Metal, that’s a force that’s always good in the beginning, it’s understood and we do everything we can for you guys, the real supporters of Hard Rock and Metal. Outside of that, you’re right, we’re not on TV, we’re not on reality shows, we are not on magazines like People magazine, things like this. We’re not something that you saw at the newsstand and then looked at, you have to discover us for our music, that’s part of it. When I think of the Grammy, they don’t even have a Hard Rock or Heavy Metal category. That’s the American Grammy, I’m sure it’s the same at other Grammys as well. As a genre, we’re not all that receptive, I think every Hard Rock and every Heavy Metal band have to deal with certain media restriction when you’re gonna play this kind of music.
W (NM): Do you think David Draiman’s opinions about file sharing on the Internet helped keeping the fans closer?
JM: I’m not really sure what David’s opinions were on file sharing specifically, to be honest. But I will say for my part that at the end of the day, if we don’t buy music, it doesn’t make money and it doesn’t just hurt bands, it hurts the whole industry, because when people are sharing music and not paying for it, which I understand, that had to get it out there and I totally get that and it does get out there, but eventually when you get something for free all the time, it makes it harder on the whole industry. So, there’s less new bands being developed, because there’s less money for the record label. It’s great to get the music out there, I like the Internet for downloading music, I think that’s great. I think there’s that and we need to pursue that, but sometimes getting it free just hurts the industry as a whole, but whatever gets the word out there at the end of the day, I guess.
W (NM): Yeah, you’re right. This is exactly what we tell our listeners. We know that everybody can download music for free, but if you really like the artist or if you really appreciate the music, you should go out and buy it.
How would you define Disturbed’s music style?
JM: Powerful, rhythmic, aggressive and melodic.
W (NM): Would you label it?
JM: It’s different; I think it crosses the line between a couple of labels. I think we’re Hard Rock band and we’re Heavy Metal, can you be both?
W (NM): Yeah, I think so. It’s weird, because everybody likes to label things, right? But I don’t see any problem in saying that you guys are a Metal band and, in my opinion, you guys are a classic Heavy Metal band, just played in 2011, that’s easy to see.
JM: I like that. A classic Metal band, sure. We’re ok with that, you know? A Hard Rock element, classic Metal band, yeah, that’s nice.
W (NM): Is it true that the band will stop playing for a while next year? Is it just a break or the band is splitting?
JM: We’re just doing for the first time we ever finish an album cycle and not make plans. We don’t really know what we’re gonna do, so… we’re just gonna stop for a while and reassess after. Usually we go into a break and within two months we are already writing new songs and working, and we’ve done that after every record we are always writing after two months and we always have another record written and recorded within the next year. And then we go out and we tour for a year, so it’s been very busy. So, this is the first time we’re actually going to just stop and not make plans and not decide when we’re gonna get back together or not, what the next thing is and we’ll see. It could be five months, it could be five days, it could be five years, we’re not really sure. We’ll just call it an indefinite hiatus.
I can definitely say that Duff from Guns N’ Roses was a big influence.”
W (NM): There’s a classic question on our show, one that we ask every single person we interview, which is: just imagine yourself driving your car, listening to a Rock radio station or maybe your iPod on shuffle mode and then a song comes up, that you cannot refrain yourself from headbanging, wherever you might be, in the shower or driving your car, wherever you are, you just feel like banging your head against the wall. Which song would that be, because we’ll play that song right now.
JM: I want you guys to play Redneck, by Lamb of God.
W (NM): Redneck, by Lamb of God. It’s the first time Lamb of God is played on our show.
JM: Absolutely, if you can’t bang your head to this song, then you’ve got to have a broken neck, ‘cause this is an undeniable one right here. Redneck, by Lamb of God.
W (NM): So, tell me a little bit about your influences as a bass player? Who did you listen to when picked the bass?
JM: One of my favorite records was Appetite for Destruction, by Guns N’ Roses. I really love that record, the bass played on it by the bass player Duff McKagan and I really learned a lot of stuff from his riffs, from Guns N’ Roses. The bass player for Black Sabbath, I played a bunch of his songs when I was growing up. I played lots of Metallica and a lot of Ozzy Osbourne songs, Rudy Sarzo and Bob Daisley. Mostly was about the songs, for me, but I can definitely say that Duff from Guns N’ Roses was a big influence.
W (NM): Who had the idea of creating The Guy?
JM: That was David’s idea. It originally started as two-dimensional eyes and smiley face, which was on our first record. You’d be amazed how many tattoos of that image are out there. It was just a two dimensional smiley face – that was on our first record – and when we did the “Ten Thousand Fists” record we decided to turn it into a more tridimensional character and we gave him a body and shape and he has just progressed from there.
W (NM): Once again, can you choose one song of your own band that we can listen to, now that you’re really proud of?
JM: I’ll tell you what, I’m a big MMA fan, Mixed Martial Arts, are you familiar with it? Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu? So, it’s a song called The Warrior, you should play it. It’s a song about being a fighter, being an MMA, UFC, is sort of a fighting we have in the US, there’s a lot of Brazilian fighters in the UFC and they’re good and that song is called The Warrior.
W (NM): All right, and do you practice as well, Jiu-Jitsu, or not?
JM: No, I do not. I love to watch it.
W (NM): Ok, so we’ll be listening to The Warrior, by Disturbed. So, tell me a little bit about the experience of playing in Kuwait.
JM: It was Operation MySpace, we played right outside of Kuwait at a camp called Camp Buehring. We played for about 10,000 troops; there was 4,000, but some troops came from some other camps and it got big fast, before we knew it there was a lot of soldiers there. It was a very interesting show, Filter played on it and Jessica Simpson was also a part of that show and some of the Pussycat Dolls, so it was one of the weirdest shows I’ve ever played.
W (NM): Really, Pussycat Dolls, are they still playing?
JM: Yes. That was back in 2008 that we did Operation MySpace, so it’s been a while.
W (NM): Disturbed’s first album was released in 2000 right? What are, in your opinion, the best Metal bands or the most important Metal bands that appeared to the world in the last decade?
JM: Slipknot, Stone Sour, that’s all my current favorite bands, all those bands are great. And there’s other Metal bands, I’m a big System of a Down fan, so there’s a few out there.
W (NM): Do you agree that in the last years Heavy Metal has become more mainstream, maybe because of those documentaries that have been on, but do you agree that now Metal is stronger everywhere?
JM: Well, let’s hope so. I hope you’re right, I hear that too, I think that’s great if that’s the case. It’s hard to tell, we just do our thing and play in shows, we definitely see a strong phase for Heavy Metal.
W (NM): Let me just thank you once again for your time, I know you guys are busy and congratulations on all your success. We really appreciate new bands when they become successful, it makes the whole scene stronger and makes the new generations aware that there’s hope. And a lot of kids are still playing or becoming musicians because of these new bands, so thanks once again for everything you’ve done for Metal.
JM: Thank you very much, that’s kind of you to say, thank you, sir.
W (NM): Ok, Mr. John Moyer, thank you so much once again for your time.
JM: Thank you, sir, we’ll see you soon.
W (NM): See you, bye bye.