Not every rock band was a fan of the nu metal boom in the late ‘90s.
Even though fans loved acts like Limp Bizkit and Korn, every heavy genre got filtered under the same umbrella, and David Draiman is not really a fan of the nu metal tag that Disturbed has taken on.
When talking about their branding as a nu-metal act, Draiman chalked up the label to fans wanting a certain movement saying,
“I think it makes them comfortable. It helps them know how to identify what it is they’re being exposed to. We came up at the same time as those guys were enjoying a tremendous amount of success so we got slapped with that label.”
David might remain proud of his band’s legacy, but he’s not necessarily comfortable with the nu-metal tag on his band either saying,
“The nu metal thing I never got because we never rap, we’ve never had a turntable. All of the elements that are parts of being a nu-metal band were never part of what we did. At this point, I don’t know that the label is all that important, but I know that there are plenty of bands––whether they’re rock, hard rock or metal––that explore new territory.”
If you look at where David was coming from musically, he was far more eclectic than the rap rock that was all over the radio at the time saying (37:40),
“We got lumped into the category of nu metal. We never had any association with that style stylistically. Bands like Deftones and Korn had their hip hop and rap influences. For me it was much more reggae.”
Dan Donegan seems to be just as confused about the labels fans put on them saying,
“I never really worried about what the categories were. ‘We’re metal. We’re not metal. We’re not metal enough. We’re rock. It doesn’t really phase me. We came up at a time when nu-metal came up. And it was great for us. We were able to ride the wave of that because a lot of bands were getting snatched up at the time.”
Nu metal may have been the tag that stuck, but Disturbed is more about evolving one album at a time.