When Metal Goes Acoustic: Disturbed On Covering Simon & Garfunkel The band's Grammy-nominated cover of "The Sound of Silence" seems to come out of left field — until you learn where lead singer David Draiman first cut his teeth as a performer.
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When Metal Goes Acoustic: Disturbed On Covering Simon & Garfunkel

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When Metal Goes Acoustic: Disturbed On Covering Simon & Garfunkel

When Metal Goes Acoustic: Disturbed On Covering Simon & Garfunkel

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LOURDES GARCIA-NAVARRO, HOST:

If you're familiar with the band Disturbed, you're probably used to hearing them sound like this.

(SOUNDBITE OF DISTURBED SONG, "INSIDE THE FIRE")

GARCIA-NAVARRO: But last year, the band softened its sound when they covered Simon and Garfunkel's "The Sound Of Silence." Now Disturbed has been nominated for a Grammy for its version. David Draiman fronts the band, and he told us why they wanted to go in a new direction.

DAVID DRAIMAN: When we originally were going to approach it, I thought that we'd approach covering the song in the manner that we had done most of our songs - make it more upbeat, more aggressive, more stylistically Disturbed. But it was actually our guitar player, Dan, who made the very strong suggestion to not do that but to stick with it being acoustic and ambient and ethereal. And I'm very, very glad that we followed his intuition.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "THE SOUND OF SILENCE")

DISTURBED: (Singing) Hello, darkness, my old friend. I've come to talk with you again.

DRAIMAN: I hadn't attempted to go to that spot of my vocal ability for very many years. I was so overwhelmed with emotion listening to the way my vocals sounded in that beautiful bed of music. And not having heard my voice in that way for so long, it was really just very, very overwhelming.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "THE SOUND OF SILENCE")

DISTURBED: (Singing) In restless dreams I walked alone, narrow streets of cobblestone.

DRAIMAN: I was trained to be a cantor, which is someone that leads the Jewish congregation in prayer. So I learned classical vocal technique from a very young age. And when you start venturing into the world of rock 'n' roll, it required a little bit more aggression, a little bit more grit. And it took time to be able to master that delivery as well.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "THE SOUND OF SILENCE")

DISTURBED: (Singing) And in the naked light I saw 10,000 people, maybe more.

DRAIMAN: My religious upbringing was always something that was difficult for me to swallow willingly. But the intellectual aspect of it, the academic aspect of it, was very, very appealing to me. Studying to become a rabbi or heading down that path is really all about becoming very, very engrossed and very adept at interpretation of Jewish law, of the Talmud.

And I had to learn to find my own truths. And little by little, as they say in Judaism, I left the path. And just - since then really, I've been very secular. I'm not a religious person by any means, but I am intensely spiritual.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "THE SOUND OF SILENCE")

DISTURBED: (Singing) And the sign flashed out its warning in the words that it was forming.

DRAIMAN: If we are blessed with winning the Grammy this time, I would have to dedicate it to the original songwriter himself, to Paul Simon. No one can really take away the sheer, utter brilliance of the composition of that song.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "THE SOUND OF SILENCE")

SIMON AND GARFUNKEL: (Singing) And the sign said, the words of the prophets are written on the subway walls.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: David Draiman from the band Disturbed.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "THE SOUNDS OF SILENCE")

SIMON AND GARFUNKEL: (Singing) Whispered in the sounds of silence.

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