David Draiman to Roger Waters: 'Hate Disguised as Art Doesn't Work'

Disturbed frontman once again addresses Waters' Star of David controversy.

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Disturbed frontman David Draiman gave a detailed explanation of his stance on Roger Water's decision to put the Star of David on a floating pig during his shows, calling it nothing short of crass.

As Draiman told Artisan News, one of the main reasons he was struck by Waters' "travesty of justice" to such extent is the fact that he's been a longtime fan of Pink Floyd.

"Let's take this away from it being a political issue and whether or not you agree with the policies of the state of Israel - and there's many times I myself do not agree with the policies of the current administration," the frontman said. "I didn't agree after the UN gave temporary recognition to the Palestinian people as a nation - that the immediate reaction was to allow for additional expansion into the west bank territories - I thought that was a very foolish move."

The singer then specifically focused on Pink Floyd co-founder. "Now let's take it a step further. If you're going to make a political statement against the government of Israel, then the proper way to do it would be to take the symbol of government of Israel - namely the Israeli flag - and put it on that pig. The very fact that you're affixing anything Jewish to a pig is offensive.

"And I know that other symbols are utilized during the show, but they aren't but on the pig, aren't they? The cross is somewhere in the show, other symbols of government and religion are used throughout the shoe, but they're not put on the damn pig."

Draiman continued, "On one side of the pig you have some Nazi-looking characters giving a 'Sieg Heil' salute and on the other side you have the Star of David - the lone Star of David - a symbol which has stood for the Jewish people as a whole for over 3000 years. And there's no one on the face of this planet - whether it's Roger Waters or anybody else - who has the right to redefine what that symbol stands for.

"And if you're going to put that symbol on a pig and fly it through your audience as a symbol of tyranny and repression and greed - that is a very blatant anti-Semitic statement that shows exactly where your thoughts lie, that this is no longer a political issue, that this is something personal that you have towards an entire race and entire people. And it's not about artistic freedom and it's not about poetic license and it's not about freedom of expression."

Draiman concluded, "It's about hate imagery which is backed up by hate speech. And that should be condemned. Hate disguised as art doesn't work."

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109 comments sorted by best / new / date

    snoble029
    This is very offensive to pigs. The fact that people are offended by their religious symbol being put on a pig... How do you think that makes pigs feel? I hate religion, but if I had one, I wouldn't mind my symbol being put on a pig. Pigs are pretty ****ing awesome!
    Jacques Nel
    You calling pigs awesome...me getting my more than usually amused chuckle for the day.
    Megadeth2011
    We used to raise pigs on our farm. I don't think "pretty ****ing awesome" is a good way to describe them. "Pain in the ****ing ass" works though!
    Kriggs
    I went to the Rogers gig in Vienna on Friday and saw the Star of David on the floating Pig. I also saw the Islamic Crescent moon and the Christian cross, plus a whole lot of other symbols. Their lack of uproar kinda makes them look good for once , especially how one of them feels the same way about pigs.
    toxin9
    but they're not put on the pig, and also it's okay to not agree with the government of Israel and put the symbol of the government on the pig but don't put the star of david-the symbol of the entire Jewish people on the pig
    Kriggs
    All the symbols Ive mentioned were put ON the pig. And the Israeli flag is the Star of David on a white background with a line above and below it. So it's inevitable that protests against Israel will show the Star of David.
    ollasoasch
    I was there too, and yes, all the sings you mentioned were on the pig, nut just the star of david. It seems to me, that those people who are offended have no clue what the wall is about!
    toxin9
    so he shouldn't put the lone star of david on the pig, just the israeli flag. like drainman said water's can't redefine those cymbals to mean what he wants. if he wants to protest against the israeli government he should put the flag of israel on it and not the LONE star of david
    cwm1990
    Who cares! Hes not the first person to do something like this, And he wont be the last. Its one guy who happens to have fans for his MUSIC, quit worrying about what he thinks or what his political stance is, appreciate his art or turn the page and keep reading.
    DickHardwood
    Huge overreaction.
    Jacques Nel
    Huge is an understatement. What I really find stupid is that this guy has the gull to come and attack a man for using so called anti semitic imagery in a show when Disturbed used to perform in front of a huge "pentagram"-ish image when I saw them for the first time. So when they use imagery that could offend those of a certain religion it's fine? But don't offend the Jews or David will break every bone in his body to defend them? Hypocrite!
    fanuch
    I might be mistaken, but the symbol you are referring to is meant to be a melding of many organised religions to denote unity and acceptance. As in the cover of "Believe"
    l0ld4v3
    That is really offensive to some people.
    third(-)eye
    >The symbol is meant to denote unity and acceptance. >That is really offensive to some people. Who are these people, exactly, and why would they rather the world be comprised of bigots than peaceful and accepting people?
    Ponchibego
    People are commonly mistaken about what the pentagram stands for. It is an important icon for many religions that people have tried to turn into an anti-religious object. Much like the upside down cross, which is a positive symbol and icon representing Peter's faith and belief in Jesus, has now been deemed as an Atheist icon.
    third(-)eye
    I always LOL when people wear shirts with that cross on it thinking they're antichrist.
    eatfresh1736
    That symbol is Disturbed's most famous icon, and it represents unity and brotherhood. That's the opposite of putting a Star of David on a pig.
    kknewkles.wildw
    You should know that usual pentagram(normal star) is a symbol of PROTECTION from devilish stuff. Star upside-down is symbol of satan and crap.
    Jacques Nel
    Someone's trying to remain relevant I see...
    JimBonJovi
    Relevant? Draiman has always voiced his opinion on political,environmental & socio-economic subjects.
    Jacques Nel
    Dude this guy seemingly fell off the face of the earth after Disturbed went on a hiatus. The only times he surfaces is when he's whining about something.
    BjarnedeGraaf
    or when his new band device brings out their new album and opens for big bands like Avenged Sevenfold.
    Jacques Nel
    Device doesn't count. They're a rip off of his own former/current band Disturbed anyway.
    esky15
    Yea I thought I kept hearing disturbed on the radio. I was wrong.
    henrihell
    Dude, he spent most of his life singing in disturbed, it's inevitable that it's gonna sound similar. Lately he also produced the new trivium record and sang with Megadeth.
    Swizzlestix
    he ruined one of the only passable songs on Super Collider. Dance In The Rain is epic until his stupid part comes in, **** Draimon
    reggaep
    Isn't he also producing Trivium's next album
    Mahoru
    Yeah, and judging by the couple of songs they've released from the album, it's sounding like he's put his fingerprints all over it. Which is a shame, because I really like everything they've done so far, but those 2 tracks have been just bad, and you can hear Draiman's influence (especially on the vocals) inmediately. Which in my case, since I absolutely hate his vocals and songwriting style, is a TERRIBLE sign.
    eddiehimself
    Considering how much he was complaining about the "politicisation" of Martin/Zimmerman, he does seem to be drawing this one out a lot...
    Jacques Nel
    Since when is this fellow religious in any case? He's just naming random stuff and saying they are offensive. He'll find my balls offensive.
    guy_mtx
    Because Jews are a people as well as a religion. Even an atheist Jew is still Jewish.
    RUs1
    I don't want to offend anyone, but I consider Jewish people a religion and not a race. I understand that other people think otherwise, but your statement sounded to me as if you would say that an atheist (insert whatever religious group here) is still (that religious group). I mean are Muslims, Christians, Buddhists also a nation ? I do not think so. This is just my view and if there is someone Jewish here who can explain this to me I would be glad to at least try to understand the situation.
    ShnazzyJazz
    Well, it's not rocket science man. You have the Jewish religion, which is faith based. Me, being a white American male, can be of Jewish faith. Then you have Jewish people, genetically identified by somewhat Arabic features (stereotypically: Dark hair, dark eyes, prominent noses, etc.,). Jerry Seinfeld is a Jewish person. He is also of Jewish faith. If he was atheist, he would still be of Jewish descent.
    RUs1
    But can you then form an average genetic identification for Christian people? And do the same for the rest of religions ? Where is the moment in history when Jewish people were recognized as such? I have already read the old testament, but that is a religious book - even though also a historical and philosophical one but the main book of an organized religion should not be the only source of information about Jewish history so as I said before I am not well informed about this topic and would very much like to hear this from someone who is not biased and is well educated on the subject i.e. got his information from multiple sources. The reason for this is because I can't understand the situation today unless I know what happened in the past. But there are so many sources out there it's hard to tell what is the truth.
    crazysam23_Atax
    The word "Jew" comes from the tribe of "Judah" or "Kingdom of Judah". (Jews recognize 12 tribes of Israel.) Judah was also referred as "the southern kingdom", when 10 tribes went to the north and called themselves "Israel" (aka "the northern kingdom" [these tribes were conquered by the Assyrians, who had a habit of spreading people all over their empire]). Jew is simply a bastardization of "Judah" and came to be applied to all people of Israelite descent. At least, that's what a Jew would tell you. This is why a Jew is considered both part of a race and possibly a member of Judaism.
    Dynamight
    Judaism is *also* a race for the simple fact that it's hereditary, owing to the status of an offspring being determined maternally within Jewish families. Therefore, the genetics have been preserved throughout hundreds of generations, forming an ethnicity. Simple, yet extremely hard to understand for many people apparently.
    Mahoru
    Stupidity disguised as overreaction doesn't work either. What Roger is doing is nothing special or offensive towards anyone that isn't predisposed to being butthurt for no reason in the first place. As Kriggs said, both Christian and Islamic symbols have the same treatment on the show yet no one has said nothing about it because it's not meant as an offense. TL;DR, think before speaking up David, you're making yourself look stupid.
    third(-)eye
    He says he's a Floyd fan, but he doesn't understand the premise of The Wall?..
    guitarist5477
    You don't have to agree with the premise of The Wall to be able to like the songs on the album.
    third(-)eye
    If he thinks that being anti-semitic, racist, and a general Neo Nazi is the premise of The Wall, then yeah of course he would disagree with that. But it's not; in fact it's the very opposite. The song in question (during which the pig comes out) portrays the protagonist at his lowest point on the album, jacked up on drugs and depressed, and he takes it out on his audience. It is in absolutely no ****ing way a commentary on the Jewish people. The star is on the pig, along with many other religious/cultural symbols which everyone apparently ignores, to symbolize the viewpoint of the PROTAGONIST IN THE STORY. Not Waters himself.
    denarni
    "Hate disguised as art doesn't work." well, allow me to introduce you to something called heavy metal, mr. Drainman....
    Maiden95
    Lol, someone needs to tell David that shit disguised as art doesn't work (Device)
    Pierre-Claude
    That's exactly what I have been thinking the whole time! I can't believe nobody would even mention that. Don't get me wrong, I LOVE my metal, but I like it so much because it's hate disguised as art. I know some of it isn't, but most of it is, isn't it?
    ibanez124
    Every week it is something new that he finds offensive . . . it is getting tiresome.
    arabmetallion
    Dude's being waaaay over sensitive. I hate it when people throw around the word "ant-semitic". Jews are not the only semitic people anyway so if Waters is defending the Palestinian people (which are semitic) how can he be an anti-semite? I'm not taking sides here but I thought Draiman was a libertarian and a big advocate of freedom of speech. I guess when it's directed to something close to home it shows his true hypocrisy.
    mykfridley
    "I didn't agree after the UN gave temporary recognition to the Palestinian people as a nation - that the immediate reaction was to allow for additional expansion into the west bank territories - I thought that was a very foolish move." Wouldn't not agreeing to the Palestinians having a voice in the U.N. be considered somewhat hateful? He's just posturing because it's the P.C. thing to do!
    FenderMaster
    It depends. Is he saying he disagrees with the UN recognising Palestine as an observer state, and that he doesn't think it should be recognised at all? Or is he disagreeing with Natanyahu's policy of building thousands of Israeli settlements on what remains of Palestinian land, even as he claims to be open to peace talks? If it's the former, then Draiman needs to drink bleach. If it's the latter, then he may be just one tiny step down from right wing meathead. He's still a right wing meathead though.
    giantstepz
    I don't get what David Draiman's problem is. The Wall's theme and story has been around for 34 years and it hasn't changed in the whole time it's been told. There are various ways of telling the same story... the Nazi-like soldiers play a huge part in the last part of the concept album. It doesn't mean Waters is antisemitic as a personal human being. The album is about all the pain and craziness in the world that makes the lead character, Pink, go insane. Should Tarantino be called antisemitic for showing Nazis in Inglorious Basterds? No, because it's art telling a story. David Draiman needs to calm down and not be so threatened.
    Iommianity
    See, it's one thing to be offended by something regardless of the context. Sure, it's David's choice to be offended, but it's also a snap reaction to something he considers to be offensive. Fine. If he wants to feel strongly about something, it doesn't matter how rational or irrational his point is, because it's his. But that's not enough for a guy like David Draiman. He's actually arrogant enough to project his bullshit onto others. Roger Waters' message isn't one of hate, and no amount of sticking your fingers in your ears, pacing in a circle going 'LA LA LA' is going to change that. I REALLY wish people could get their heads out of their asses and take a step back from themselves. David Draiman can believe whatever he wants, and more power to him, but he clearly NEEDS to believe Roger Waters is being hateful and anti-Semitic, because otherwise, Dave's entire view would be a joke. You can't have a reasonable discussion with a person like that. Not only is he set in his ways, he can't even fathom an alternative viewpoint that's not "Jews=bad". A closed mind is much more dangerous than anything else.
    FenderMaster
    Umm... The Israeli flag IS the star of David, the Israeli state and foreign policy is built upon racial segregation and zionism, so David's church v state separation doesn't work here. Also David, Jews aren't a race, nor are christians. Most Jews are caucasian. If you must accuse him of something then call it religious bigotry, bot racism. Ooh ah ah ah ah!
    kumamilesbear
    Most Jews consider the Jewish people to be a race, as we have a very distinct lineage that we trace back. As for 'most Jews are caucasian,' which I assume to mean European white, I'm highly dubious. However everything you said about the Israeli flag being the Star of David I completely agree with.
    SomeBlueKind
    "Most Jews consider the Jewish people to be a race" Sounds like the segregation and racism is of the Jews own design.
    FenderMaster
    Most Jews would be wrong then. A Chinese man could convert tomorrow, would he be considered part of the Jewish race? Jews genetic lineage is quite diverse, including from Russian and Polish caucasians (most Israeli's and European/US Jews) and the older lineages of arab Jews. Jews are 100% not a race, they're a faith. Like Christianity, Buddhism, Hinduism, Islam. Sometimes culural heritage becomes entwined with religion.
    SomeBlueKind
    But they are GAWD's chosen people! Saying anything otherwise might actually make people question what has been engrained since birth in that soft tissue inside their skulls; an organ which we all incidentally have in common.
    ewolf5150
    I'm a disturbed fan and David draimen fan but I can't stand these ppl who just happen to b descendants of those who suffered some kind of tragedy and think they can wave the flag of injustice for their people. It's like they get off on telling others what's morally right and wrong. The holier than thou attitude needs to stop. Get over it you crybaby
    Ciaranc944
    Not that I know much about this whole incident, but surely Waters' is just representing the character of Pink Floyd from The Wall (both the album and the movie). The reason I would say this is that in the song 'In The Flesh' the character makes clear his disgust of a Jew being in the audience, so by this logic Waters also hates black people, people with spots and hardest to believe, people who use weed... Yeah, I don't think he hates those people.
    Mustaine1940
    this is a rant about roger waters the guy that wrote the song in the flesh part 2 on the second side on the wall right? who cares floyd shows have always been like this
    third(-)eye
    Exactly; he's not thinking of it in context with the story.
    Mustaine1940
    waters called people jews and coons and calls people out for having spots in that freaking song but its a piece of one of the greatest albums of all time but flying the star of david is a big deal?
    SomeBlueKind
    The Taylor Hawkins looking guy to the right cannot wait to get out of that interview!
    Shredder666
    "And if you're going to put that symbol on a pig and fly it through your audience as a symbol of tyranny and repression and greed - that is a very blatant anti-Semitic statement that shows exactly where your thoughts lie...." David Draiman is jumping to conclusions here. I believe Waters is making a sattirical political commentary. I don't think that the pig has anything to do with Waters' feeling of Jewish people. Draiman is over-reacting here. Draiman's political commentary sounds insightful but he is very misguided. He needs to get back in the studio with his two mediocre bands and leave politics alone.
    christianonbass
    The Wall is a great album and a great movie, and it's message is very anti-totalitarian and anti-Nazi. Of course there are lyrics such as, "...and that one looks Jewish. And that one's a coon! Who let all this riff-raff into the room?" These racist words are sang/spoke by one of the "Worms", or the "Bad guys" of the story. You can't take parts of the album out of context and get an accurate interpretation of the messages this great work of art is expressing. Isn't David an American? Free speech does include offensive speech, if it didn't we wouldn't need a First Amendment!
    Lord Sargasm
    David Drainman and Taylor Swift should hook up, 2 whining retards whinging together. They'd make a cute couple.
    azrael4h
    They already hooked up and broke up this afternoon. She's written a song about it. "You're So Disturbed".
    Emenius Sleepus
    Please; double standards - feels free to criticise others, yet goes nuts when someone else tries to criticise him (or his homeland). Grow a thicker skin, Dave - no one cares.
    jonathan.deveau
    Well, the word redefining came up in this interview, so I just want to throw this out there. the star of David has been redefined...Have you heard of the Gangsters Disciples? They have been using that same symbol for years. Maybe Pink Floyd is against gang warfare. XD
    Stephen Vaughn
    From what I've heard/seen from Disturbed and (Shudder) Device, David doesn't get to criticize Waters. Ever. About anything. Not until, at least, he makes or helps write one of the greatest albums, movies, and live shows of all time. The Wall is kind of supposed to offend people, it's a satire on all of the world. The fact that he reacted like this shows he doesn't get it.
    KJP
    Whether or nor Waters is genuinely anti-Semitic, or whether he meant to create an anti-Semitic image, Drainman is surely right that that's how it looks. You can't just stick a Jewish symbol on a giant pig and then try and come over all self righteous when somebody says, 'That looks a bit anti-Semitic, doesn't it?'. Racist or not, he really didn't think that one through.
    SFosterS
    Actually, he thought it through very thoroughly; Hence, the story of the Wall. You clearly have not thought through the meaning of the symbols or the album.
    zonscott
    What a ****. Your career is pretty much over and Waters legacy will never die. So **** you, oo ah ah ah ah a dick!
    KevTallica
    So the picture of the video: guy to the left of David "God, he's going on about this shit again."....guy to the right "Whyyyy...".....David "I feel very strongly about this subject." That's what their faces tell me. xD
    zaz5
    I counted as many contradictions in his comments as he counted broken bones... liar liar pants with broken bones on fire.
    Metallilmeister
    Draiman is an idiot. The Jews mutilate babies penises but you can put the bullshit star on a pig? Have some more bacon!