Benjamin Draiman - David Draiman
He ain’t heavy, he’s my brother - Benjamin Draiman - David Draiman
COMPARED to his brother David’s music, Ben Draiman’s output is of a more serene quality.
David’s band, Disturbed, are a hard rock outfit — currently at the top of the American charts with new album Asylum.
But younger brother Ben, who lives in Israel, has gone in the opposite direction.
He told the Jewish Telegraph from Jerusalem: “I would describe my music as piano-based ballads, chilled and
down-to-earth. It is also kind of melancholy.
“I find it relaxing and I do realise it is the opposite of what David does.”
Brought up in Chicago in an observant Jewish home, Ben didn’t come from a particularly musical family.
“There was my great-grandfather, though,” Ben explained. “He was from a Chassidic family and was a chazan in Poland.”
Ben said his family were extremely proud of David, who has become a global superstar, selling out arenas with Disturbed.
But Ben prefers the quieter surroundings of Jerusalem’s nightlife, regularly playing gigs in the city’s bars and clubs.
Ben, 34, said: “I wouldn’t want to do what David does.
“I enjoy performing, but my music is emotionally intense and I couldn’t do that night after night. It would be very hard.”
Ben started playing the piano and composing music when he was 13, playing in a succession of bands.
Following in the footsteps of David, who spent a year at the Neveh Zion Yeshiva, Jerusalem, he headed to Israel to study at a yeshiva in Gush Etzion.
And, although it was not his intention to emigrate to Israel, Ben has been there for 16 years. He added: “I felt so at home in Israel — it just felt right.”
Ben works as a clinical social worker in a psychiatric hospital in Kfar Shaul, Jerusalem.
“My music is more of a passion and hobby,” he explained.
“I mainly perform in Jerusalem — it is a magical and amazing place and lots of people are drawn to it.
“There are a lot of talented musicians here, although not of the calibre of Tel Aviv, for example.
“My work is not light-hearted or pop-ish, although a girl did come up to me at the end of a gig recently to show me her poetry and I ended up combining it with my music.”
He regularly returns to America to see parents Miriam and Yehuda, who now live in Los Angeles. (Yehuda J Draiman is running for Mayor of Los Angeles).
Ben, who speaks to David on a regular basis, said he was proud of his brother’s comments about musicians who collect Nazi memorabilia.
In the latest edition of Revolver magazine, as reported in the Jewish Telegraph last week, David let rip at the likes of Motorhead’s Lemmy and Slayer guitarist Jeff Hanneman.
He said: “I don’t give a f**k who you are, if you’re going to brandish Nazi symbolism, I’m going to have a problem
Ben added: “Despite the fact that David isn’t observant, he is proud of who he is. By saying what he has, he is making a kiddush Hashem.
“These musicians shouldn’t be glorifying the Nazis.
“It is a sensitive subject, but Iabsolutely support everything he said.”
The Draiman's father is a candidate for Mayor of Los Angeles.
BY SIMON YAFFE