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Disturbed Demand Liberation, Frontman Urges Ozzfest Newbies To Shine

Disturbed may have learned something from their previous missteps.

After their first two clips from Believewere fraught with adversity and caused controversy, the band took a rather clear-cut approach when conceptualizing the video for “Liberate.” Directed by Nathan “Karma” Cox (Linkin Park, Chevelle) and Hank Lena, the video merges backstage and on-the-road clips shot during Disturbed’s Music as a Weapon 2 Tour with performance footage taken from the trek’s finale, in the band’s hometown of Chicago. While it’s a pretty common concept as far as video treatments go, like most of the band’s themes, it’s anything but ordinary.

“It’s encouraging people to free their minds,” singer David Draiman said. “It’s a cry out against war, against any kind of conflict based on differences of belief. It also calls out to that Old Testament notion of the Messiah, who’s supposed to bring peace and take away all the hatred.”

“Liberate” follows previous singles “Prayer” and “Remember.” When “Prayer,” the first single off Disturbed’s second album, was initially released in the months following 9-11, some video outlets, MTV included, chose not to broadcast the clip because of its depiction of a city in ruins. The first version of its follow-up, “Remember,” was scrapped entirely when the band didn’t like the finished product.

One listen to “Liberate,” currently among the most added tunes at rock radio while “Remember” continues to receive heavy spins, and it’s hard not to heed Draiman’s recommendation. While the music is a barrage of beats intent on pummeling one into submission, Draiman barks, “Liberate your mind,” using a few insults and expletives for emphasis.

“Music is meant to inspire a very strong emotion,” Draiman said. “It’s supposed to have depth to it. I’m not saying that all music should take itself seriously all of the time. We certainly don’t. In terms of the messages, we feel that our songs should deal with matters that are important, as opposed to things regarding our lifestyle, sex, drugs and rock and roll.”

Disturbed will make their third appearance on Ozzfest, taking the main stage beginning Saturday in Selma, Texas. As someone who has graduated from playing the 10:30 a.m. slot on the parking-lot stage to sharing the main stage with Marilyn Manson, Korn and Ozzy, Draiman has some advice for the new kids.

“Warm up, drink a lot of water, and just give it everything you have,” he said to the groups scheduled to rock when most others on the tour have yet to have their morning coffee. “The minute you start playing, the kids will come running, and by the end of your set you’ll have about a few thousand kids in front of you. And they’re going to make a strong impression on the rest of the kids who come in that day wanting to see the second-stage acts. Give it everything you have. You only have one chance to shine. Do it.”

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