David Draiman
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David Draiman
David Draiman
Disturbed - Rock am Ring 2016 -2016155182402 2016-06-03 Rock am Ring - Sven - 1D X - 0147 - DV3P9519 mod.jpg
Draiman singing with Disturbed, June 3, 2016
Background information
David Michael Draiman
Born (1973-03-13) March 13, 1973 (age 46)
Brooklyn, New York
OriginChicago, Illinois
  • Vocalist
  • music producer

David Michael Draiman (born March 13, 1973) is an American singer who is best known as the lead vocalist of the band Disturbed as well as the band Device. Draiman is known for his distorted, operatic baritone voice and percussive singing style. In November 2006, Draiman was voted number 42 on the Hit Paraders "Top 100 Metal Vocalists of All Time".[1] Draiman has written some of Disturbed's most successful singles, such as "Stupify", "Down with the Sickness", "Indestructible", and "Inside the Fire".

In October 2011, Disturbed entered a hiatus.[2] Draiman announced in the following year that he was working on an industrial rock/metal project with Geno Lenardo, formerly of Filter, which was later named Device.[3][4] In June 2015, Disturbed released their first single since their hiatus, named "The Vengeful One", and a new album, Immortalized. In 2018, Disturbed released Evolution.

Early life and education

Draiman was born in Brooklyn, New York, on March 13, 1973, the son of Miriam and YJ Draiman. His father, a candidate in the 2013 race for mayor of Los Angeles,[5] is a former real estate developer, medical administrator, small-business owner, and elected member of the Northridge East Neighborhood Council, among other roles.[6] When Draimamn was 12, his father was arrested for embezzlement brought about by unscrupulous business partners and sent to prison, causing great hardship.[7] Draiman's brother Benjamin[8] is an ambient/folk rock musician who lives in Israel and performs in Jerusalem.[9][10] Draiman's grandmother also lives in Israel.[9][11][12] Draiman's maternal grandparents are both Holocaust survivors; his grandfather transported bodies to the crematorium at Bergen-Belsen, while his grandmother avoided the gas chamber at Auschwitz by crawling to the end of the line.[13]

His parents were observant, religious Jews (dati). They intended for Draiman to receive semikhah, and Draiman frequently spent time in Israel during his early life.[9] He lost his virginity at 12 years old.[7] Draiman attended five Jewish day schools, including Wisconsin Institute for Torah Study in Milwaukee, Wisconsin; Valley Torah High School in Los Angeles, California, where he formed his first band; and Fasman Yeshiva High School in Chicago, Illinois.[9] He was expelled from During his freshman year at Wisconsin Institute for Torah Study he was asked to leave, as he "rebelled against the conformity" and "just wanted to be a normal teenage kid", adding that he "couldn't really stomach the rigorous religious requirements of the life [there]".[9] Such rebellion included possessing a GQ Magazine, throwing a classmate from a second story window during an altercation while lifting weights[7], and setting fire to and blowing up the Rabbi's van. Of his study at Jewish day schools, Draiman stated that he "was a bit resentful"; but he later encouraged his family to observe Shabbat and was trained as a hazzan.[9]

Draiman later enrolled at Ida Crown Jewish Academy in Chicago, Illinois, where he graduated from high school in 1991.[9] From there, in 1991-1992. During this time he became romantically involved with a girl who used heroin and eventually died of an overdose, which would eventually inspire Inside the Fire. On his eighteenth birthday, Draiman attempted to do the same but woke up under a bridge nearly frozen to death instead. After journeying to a friend's house and detoxing for three days, Draiman described a "moment of clarity" and never did heroin again.[7] He spent a year after high school studying at the Yeshivas Neveh Zion in Kiryat Ye'arim, on the outskirts of Jerusalem, Israel.[9]

After returning to the US in 1992, Draiman commenced pre-law studies at Loyola University Chicago.[9] In 1996, he graduated from the University with a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and Government, Philosophy, and Business Administration.[14][15] Initially considering offers to matriculate and study at law school, Draiman realized that although criminal defense law was the only area of law that interested him, he could not "really look at myself in the mirror and say 'I'm going to lie for a living and protect criminals'".[9] During his university studies, Draiman also worked as a bank teller and in phone sales.[9]


Early career and influences

After graduating from college, Draiman worked as an administrative assistant in a healthcare facility.[9] After his first year, he earned an administrator's license and commenced running his own healthcare facility.[9] For five years before joining Disturbed and the band's signing with Giant Records, Draiman was a healthcare administrator.[9] Leaving that position strained his relationship with his grandfather, a traditional Hasidic Jew.[16]

Draiman said, "the first record I ever bought was Kiss' Destroyer. And those classic bands like Black Sabbath were my first loves ... I focused on the seminal metal bands like Metallica, Iron Maiden, Pantera and Queensrÿche".[9]

Draiman continues, "But I could also appreciate the hair metal bands - When you hear Whitesnake, you can't deny their greatness. Then I went in the direction of punk and new wave, groups like the Sex Pistols, The Ramones, The Misfits and later The Smiths and The Cure - that was my '80s".[9]

"And then when the grunge revolution happened, it was like a wakeup call. I'll never forget getting my first Nirvana, Soundgarden and Alice in Chains records".[9]

Personal life

Draiman is married to former WWE Diva Lena Yada; they have a son, Samuel Bear Isamu Draiman,[17] born in 2013, three weeks early after 23 hours of labor.[16][18] In politics, he said "I'm liberal about everything that is issue-based as far as ideology, but I'm also of the opinion of a very small government. I don't agree with the fiscal policies of the Democrats, but I certainly don't agree with the right-wing craziness of the Republicans."[19] Draiman was a supporter of Bernie Sanders against the Donald Trump candidacy.[19]


For a more comprehensive list, see Disturbed discography



Guest appearances

As Producer

Awards and nominations

Metal Hammer Golden Gods Awards

Year Nominee / work Award Result
2014 David Draiman King Of The Internet Nominated

Loudwire Music Awards

Year Nominee / work Award Result
2015 David Draiman Best Vocalist Nominated
2015 Rock Titan Nominated


  1. ^ "BLABBERMOUTH.NET - ROB HALFORD, ROBERT PLANT, BON SCOTT, OZZY Are Among 'Heavy Metal's All-Time Top 100 Vocalists'". Roadrunnerrecords.com. Archived from the original on June 6, 2011. Retrieved 2011.
  2. ^ "Disturbed's Draiman on Band's Hiatus: 'It's the Right Time to Step Away'".
  3. ^ "David Draiman Twitter Feed".
  4. ^ "David Draiman Twitter Feed".
  5. ^ Kandel, Jason (4 March 2013). "8 Vie for Los Angeles Mayor in Upcoming City Primary". NBC Southern California.
  6. ^ Melnicoff, Mars (6 April 2011). "YJ Draiman, Dad to Disturbed's Lead Singer: Top 5 Reasons Unknown Underdog 2013 L.A. Mayoral Candidate Is Freaking Interesting". LA Weekly.
  7. ^ a b c d "Disturbed's David Draiman - Resource: Fact or Fiction? (Part 1)". Aug 19, 2015.
  8. ^ Ouellette, Mary (16 October 2013). "David Draiman's Brother Ben Draiman Performs Disturbed's "Stricken"". Loudwire.
  9. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q Brinn, Davd (2 January 2011). "The hazan who became disturbed". The Jerusalem Post.
  10. ^ "David Draiman's Brother Ben Covers Disturbed's "Sticken"". Blabbermouth.net. 10 October 2013.
  11. ^ "blabbermouth.net". Roadrunnerrecords.com. Retrieved 2011.[permanent dead link]
  12. ^ Barnea, Or (January 2, 2011). "Only here it's okay to be Jewish" (in Hebrew). ynet. Retrieved 2011.
  13. ^ "David Draiman -- United States Holocaust Memorial Museum". www.ushmm.org.
  14. ^ "David Draiman". LinkedIn.
  15. ^ Ellerbee, Jacob (30 December 2011). "Before They Were Famous". Metal Mentality. Archived from the original on 18 January 2014.
  16. ^ a b "Disturbed's David Draiman - Resource: Fact or Fiction? (Part 2)". Sep 2, 2015.
  17. ^ "Disturbed's David Draiman: Still Angry After All These Years". Yahoo.
  18. ^ "Disturbed (band)". David Draiman. 2013-05-07. Retrieved .
  19. ^ a b "DISTURBED's DAVID DRAIMAN Throws His Support Behind BERNIE SANDERS". 16 December 2015.


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