David Draiman says the birth of his new band, Device, was 'accidental.'
His collaboration with former Filter guitarist Geno Lenardo began during 2011, after Disturbed, Draiman's other group, announced plans to go on an indefinite hiatus.
The two worked together on a track called “Hunted' for the “Underworld: Awakening' soundtrack; it wound up not being used because of contractual conflicts, but it led to “conversations between the two of us about writing some more together' and ultimate the birth of a whole new enterprise. It started in March of 2012 with the first of two writing sessions at Draiman's home near Austin, Texas.
“It was just like serendipity, if you will. There was no plan,' the singer explains. “' Hunted' was the only template we had, but if you listen to the whole (album) you notice that ' Hunted' is the most ' industrial' sounding song on the record. So it was a starting-off point.
“We wanted the kind of electronic saturation that exists on ' Hunted' to prevail on the rest of the material, but as you can hear on the record the songs go in very, very different and definitive directions and have very definitive and different styles and textures to them.'
Device's self-titled debut, which bowed at No. 11 on the Billboard 200 in April, is also marked by some high-profile guest appearances, including System of a Down's Serj Tankian, Black Sabbath's Geezer Butler, Avenged Sevenfold's M. Shadows, Rage Against the Machine's Tom Morello, former Deep Purple and Black Sabbath member Glenn Hughes and Lzzy Hale on a remake of the Lita Ford/Ozzy Osbourne duet “Close My Eyes Forever.'
“With Disturbed we never had guest appearances. It's just not been a part of what we do,' says Draiman, 40, who's donating a portion of the proceeds from the Tankian and Morello tracks to their Axis of Justice organization.
“With Device there were no rules or preconceived notions or conditions, so I was like, ' What the hell, let's do something we've always talked about doing' and it was great.'
The touring Device is another matter entirely. Lenardo has no interest in being on the road, so Draiman has been out since early April with guitarist Andre “Virus' Karkos and former Evanescence drummer Will Hunt and “plenty of electronics. We figure this is an electronic-driven project, so we're not hiding behind the electronica. It's out front. It's a big part of the sound. Let's not play any games; this is what's going on.
“But the drums, guitars and vocals are always live, every aspect of them. These guys are some of the best people at what they do, and they bring the thunder and these songs are represented with real ferocity and power.'
Draiman — who also guests on the “Dance in the Rain' for Gigantour partner Megadeth — is confident that Device will be “an ongoing passion' and a going concern rather than a one-off project. But he's quick to allay any fears that it will hinder an eventual return of Disturbed, whose other members are working on their own outside endeavors.
“When everybody's in the right headspace and we're feeling reinspired and we're ready to go back to it and the itch is itching hard enough, it'll happen,' Draiman says. “(The hiatus) was not something that was done for any negative reason. When you feel right and the fire is burning hot, you go back to it with new drive and desire and hunger for it, and you make a timeless record and you continue on.
“That's our plan. When that's gonna happen, none of us have a clue. We haven't even had any preliminary conversations to that effect.'