Disturbed Squash Mental Health Stigmas With 'A Reason To Fight' Town Hall
By Katrina Nattress
May 28, 2019
Disturbed's vocalist David Draiman and guitarist Dan Donegan spent Memorial Day in a very special way this year: discussing the stigmas often associated with addiction, depression, and PTSD. They teamed up with 94.5 The Buzz in Houston to put on the "A Reason To Fight" town hall, named after their song that addresses mental health.
"Every member of the band, myself, Danny, Mike, John, all of us in some way or another have struggled with the demons of addiction and depression," Draiman explained when host Rod Ryan asked about the song's conception. "Either ourselves personally or loved ones of ours and friends of ours and this was one of the suggestions that Danny made in terms of subject matter and, you know, he knows my history with it as well as he knows his own. So, it's something that is so painful, yet so healing at the same time."
"Unfortunately, when the demons are inside of you it sometimes takes an exorcism to get rid of them, and that can jar the body and jar the senses and I won't lie to you—there isn't a single night that goes by where we perform this song where I'm not, even now, driven to the point of very, very intense emotion," he continued. "It brings back a flood of memories, it brings back all the pictures in your head of all the people that were so close to you who that meant so much to you that you've lost."
The musicians were joined by members of mental health organizations 22Kill, NAMI and Camp Hope to discuss the impact addiction, depression, and PTSD has on our communities, and especially veterans. When Ryan mentioned how "A Reason To Fight" has particularly resonated with troops, Draiman couldn't help but gush over his band's fanbase.
"[We're] incredibly blessed to have one of the most diverse fan bases a band could ever hope for and it grows more and more diverse with each passing year," he praised. "And, if you write about subject matter from your heart and you make it a habit to wear that heart of yours on your sleeve in the form of the art that you've created. And you find that it actually translates to people in the way that you hope it would and it brings them some semblance of comfort, some semblance of understanding, clarity. It's really the ultimate achievement."
"There's really no greater gratification," he added. "So thank you for your service and everything that you and your brother and sisters have sacrificed."
Aside from discussing the meaning behind "A Reason to Fight" and "Hold On to Memories," Disturbed also performed both songs for the audience. You can listen to both below.
Photos Courtesy of 94.5 The Buzz