Disturbed Frontman Influenced Skinhead to Remove Nazi Tattoo
Disturbed‘s David Draiman has never been one to mince words, especially when it comes to Judaism. The frontman has always been forthright about his Jewish upbringing and its effects on his life. On Disturbed’s most recent effort, ‘Asylum,’ the song ‘Never Again’ puts the focus on those that claim the holocaust never took place. This topic hits very close to home for Draiman, as both his grandparents and numerous family members were concentration camp survivors.
“I’m incredibly defiant against neo-Nazis and skinheads,” the singer said in an interview with The Jerusalem Post, detailing a story of a confrontation with a skinhead that took place after a show early in the band’s career. “One of the guys who would come to see us was a skinhead, he had a swastika tattoo, the whole nine yards. After he became a die-hard fan, the band was sitting down having drinks after a show and he comes in and starts going on about n—–s and Jews, and I interrupted him and said, ‘Dude, I don’t know if you realize this but I’m Jewish.’ He responded, ‘You’re Jewish! This completely changes my whole idea of what a Jew is supposed to be.’ And soon after that, he had his swastika removed, and denounced the skinhead culture.”
Draiman continued, “I’ve always been very proud of my heritage and where I come from, and I’ve defended it to the extent of being bloodied on many occasions. In fact, most of the fights I’ve been in my life — and there have been many — have been because I was defending my family or my faith. And I don’t apologize for it. There’s still anti-Semitism everywhere, and unfortunately, what has happened with our people no longer being the underdogs in this region, people’s perception of Israel has changed dramatically. I find myself more and more having to defend us, and I will continue to do so.”
Last year, Draiman held nothing back on fellow metal brothers Lemmy Kilmister (Motörhead) and Jeff Hanneman (Slayer) when asked by Revolver magazine to give his take on their Nazi artifact collections. “That’s super-duper taboo and offensive to me. I don’t understand the fascination. It’s the most provocative imagery that you can brandish, and that’s why people utilize it. And if that’s their goal, I guess they’re achieving it, but just know there are going to be repercussions for that.
“I don’t give a f— who you are,” Draiman declared, “If you’re going to brandish Nazi symbolism, I’m going to have a problem with you because I don’t understand how anybody could think it’s OK to wear something on their body that symbolizes the annihilation and genocide of my people. I’m not OK with that and there is no excuse and there is no explanation.”
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