Disturbed Guitarist Dan Donegan Talks ‘Evolution’: We Try to Capture the Moment


Story and photos by Anne Erickson

Disturbed’s “Evolution” features more acoustic tracks than normal for the band, and guitarist Dan Donegan says it was “new territory” going unplugged

Disturbed is on the road in support of their latest studio album, 2018’s “Evolution,” and the albums is one of the band’s most musically diverse, as it features both hard-hitting rock and acoustic numbers. According to guitarist Dan Donegan, the guys of Disturbed have always wanted to showcase more unplugged songs, but now just seemed like the right time to finally do it.

“For many years, we’ve been talking about wanting to go into some acoustic ideas, and it was new territory for us,” he told Australia’s Heavy magazine. “We just made it a priority to start out with it this time around. Because over the years, we talked about it, but the second we would plug in and do all the heavier tracks, we would just kind of put it on the back-burner.”

He added, “So this time we made it a priority to start out with these ideas first. It was exciting, because it was new grounds, it was a new inspiration. Even though they’re semi-acoustic throughout some of those tracks, there’s still some dark themes to it — talking about addiction and depression and death, and things that have affected us throughout the years.”

He added, “So once we did the acoustic tracks, we thought there was a way to mesh them and blend them with some of the heavier tracks, too.”

When it comes to crafting new Disturbed music, Donegan says that he never thinks about what the band’s record label or anyone else expects. That’s how they tackled “Evolution”- without outside influence.

“I don’t think about what the expectations are from the record label or management or radio or anybody else,” he said. “I walk into the room writing with the guys in the band, so we try to come up with ideas to inspire each other. When we’ve written a hundred and something songs together, the bigger challenge is just trying to always be creative and come in with something that’s gonna push each other to try new things. And when we come together, if we’re feeling it — whatever that vibe is; whether it’s heavy or it’s acoustic or it’s fast or slow — we just try to capture that moment and just roll with it.”

Disturbed’s North American tour in support of “Evolution” kicked off earlier this month and will keep the guys on the road through March. Three Days Grace is opening on the trek. Find the full list of tour dates here.



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