The adage that absence makes the heart grow fonder certainly proved true for Disturbed this year.
The heavy metal group announced an open-ended hiatus in 2011, claiming burnout and a desire to do other things. And while the break didn't last particularly long the Chicago quartet was still welcomed back with open arms last summer when it's latest album, "Immortalized," debuted at No. 1 (Disturbed's fifth chart-topper overall) and spawned a hit remake of Simon & Garfunkel's "the Sound of Silence."
So, in the end, fans' concerns over the original announcement and the future of the band proved unnecessary.
"We always said right from day one that this was a hiatus," frontman David Draiman, 43, says by phone from his home near Austin, Texas, "and it was planned and calculated and we were going away for awhile, and that it wasn't a break- up, just a break."
Guitarist Dan Donegan, meanwhile, adds that he's not surprised at how well-received "Immortalized" has been.
"I was pretty confident that the fans were patiently waiting for it, but to be away for that long, it's always a bit of a risk," Donegan, 47, says from his home in Chicago. "We felt like we made a great album. "We're probably in the best place we've been together as a band in a long time, so everything seemed to be pointing in the right direction."
And while the group members didn't hear from each other for a couple of years, Donegan says there were no concerns that the hiatus would become permanent.
"We have a great deal of respect for each other," Donegan explains. "It's a brotherhood. But it was nice to get a break from each other, 'cause our whole career we've been surrounded by each other all the time. So it was nice to be able to break away from the roommates out on the road and everything and come back feeling fresher and more enthusiastic."
"Immortalized" will keep Disturbed on the road the bulk of this year, and right now the group members aren't hazarding a guess about whether another hiatus will follow or if they'll get right back to work on another album.
"It's so hard to say because right now we're firing on all cylinders and the energy's high and we're excited," Donegan notes. "So my answer today is I'm pumped and I'd like to just roll and keep things strong.
"But it could be a different story in a year from now after grueling touring and the wear and tear of just non-stop go, go, go. Plus, being away from our families; We're all dads and husbands and we'll have to see how that weighs on our decision at the time, too.
"So it's hard to say, but my first instinct is I would like to continue. I don't anticipate us taking a long hiatus again. I think if there was some break it would be minimal. I'd assume we'll all be on the same page as that."
Disturbed, Breaking Benjamin, Alter Bridge and Saint Asonia
6:30 p.m. Tuesday, July 26.
DTE Energy Music Theatre, Sashabaw Road east of I-75, Independence Township.
Tickets are $38.45-$78.45 pavilion, $29.95 lawn. Call 248-377-0100 or visit palacenet.com.
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