Disturbed are so proud of their new video for “Prayer” that they’ve decided not to let the mainstream see it.
Last month, major video outlets chose not to air the clip because they felt the apocalyptic content was too reminiscent of footage of September 11 (see “Disturbed Video Deemed Too Disturbing; Band Examines Plan B”). At first, the band considered re-editing the video or replacing the scenes of destruction with concert footage. In the end, Disturbed opted to stand their ground and leave the video intact and unaired despite the fact that it could have been a huge promotional tool for their second album Believe, which comes out September 17.
“Every band coming out with the first single from their new record wants to have a corroborating video to accompany it that’s getting airplay, and unfortunately that’s not something that we’ll have at this particular point in time,” frontman David Draiman said.
The band’s decision not to rework the video stemmed from its conviction that there was nothing objectionable about the footage they shot last month with directors the Brothers Strause.
“If we agreed to edit the video, and if we agree to do an alternate, then it’s assuming that we’re agreeing with the decision that there’s something about the video that is offensive enough or provocative enough that it’s dangerous for them to play it,” Draiman explained. “We don’t agree with that.”
The lyrics for “Prayer” chronicle a conversation between Draiman and God, and the video was supposed to be an allegory to the Bible story of Job.
“It was meant to be apocalyptic, but it was never intended to be derivative of the situation that happened on 9/11,” Draiman said. “Because of the subject matter we were dealing with, we needed something grandiose like an earthquake or a meteor shower or some kind of act of God to show the hand of the supernatural or some greater power.”
Ironically, Disturbed thought the dramatic footage ultimately delivered an uplifting, positive message. That’s why they were especially disappointed when it was deemed too disturbing to air.
“The video actually speaks a message,” Draiman argued. “It’s about getting through life’s obstacles and all the tests that fate may throw at you in the process. It’s trying to convince you that you have the strength to get through whatever trials and tribulations may come your way. It’s supposed to inspire hope.”
Draiman understands why video networks are sensitive about the subject matter they air so close to the anniversary of September 11, but he doesn’t see why his band’s video was singled out when other artists with more graphic videos are given the green light.
“There is no extreme violence,” he insisted. “We don’t have a video where a child is getting more and more progressively beaten and vomits on his school prom audience in the background,” he said. “We don’t have a character in our video who portrays Osama bin Laden and jumps and dances around, which is a direct recollective factor to 9/11.”
To promote the “Prayer” video as best they can, Disturbed will include it as enhanced content on each Believe CD. They’ve also made the clip available on various Web sites.