Disturbed’s David Draiman Reflects on Linkin Park’s Chester Bennington

"The demon of addiction and depression has no mercy"

David Draiman and Chester Bennington
David Draiman (Travis Shinn) and Chester Bennington (James Minchin)

Disturbed broke around the same time as Linkin Park, each releasing their multiplatinum debut albums in the year 2000. In this part of our video interview with David Draiman, the Disturbed singer discusses his memories of the late Chester Bennington, while also addressing the mental illness and addiction issues facing the rock world and the country as a whole.

In spring of 2000, Disturbed released their debut disc, The Sickness, powered by the first single “Stupify”. A few months later, Linkin Park would unveil their debut album, Hybrid Theory, led by the single “One Step Closer”. Each band exploded onto the rock scene, touring together in the years since, and selling millions of albums along the way.

Sadly, Bennington took his own life in July 2017, two months after Soundgarden singer Chris Cornell did the same. Each had their own battles with mental health issues and addiction, topics that Disturbed address on their recent ballad “A Reason to Fight”.

“Addiction and depression are demons that go hand in hand with one another,” Draiman told us in the video interview above. “And it’s been a very, very difficult past number of years, not just within our community but even for just individuals in normal walks of life in this country and in the world… I’m tired of being passive about it. I’m tired of people waiting until after the fact. I don’t want to go to any more funerals … I think it’s important for all of us to really take an active role.”

The Disturbed singer went on to speak about his interactions with Bennington, telling us, “Before Linkin Park blew up huge, they opened up for us back in the day. We did come up together, and we toured a lot together. Chester was always a character. In his younger days, he was literally a four-alarm fire at all times … and then he started to mellow out when he became a father.”

Draiman goes on to recall a time when Disturbed took a chartered jet with Linkin Park and Papa Roach to a radio show, and described Bennington’s antics during the flight. You can hear the full story, as well as his thoughts on Chester’s passing in the video interview above.

Disturbed recently embarked on a North American tour in support of their latest album, Evolution. See the dates here, and the first part of our video interview with David Draiman, in which he discusses the album and the tour, here.

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