Mike Wengren: Disturbed’s Storm-Bringer
Mike Wengren was born September 3, 1971, and started playing the drums around age ten. In 1996, before Disturbed achieved the rock stardom they enjoy today, they were known as Brawl and featured Wengren on drums, Dan Donegan on guitar, Steve “Fuzz” Kmak on bass, and vocalist Erich Awalt. After David Draiman replaced Awalt, they renamed themselves Disturbed. (Kmak was replaced by John Moyer in 2003.) The group’s 2000 debut, The Sickness, peaked at number 29 on the Billboard album chart; all of their subsequent albums—2002’s Believe, 2005’s Ten Thousand Fists, 2008’s Destructible, and 2010’s Asylum—debuted at number 1.
A large part of Disturbed’s popularity is due to Wengren’s jackhammer beats. Always completely in sync with his bandmates, the drummer often drives Disturbed’s songs with thunderous tom work and gigantic half-time breakdowns. Wengren was profiled in the April 2003 and October 2006 issues of Modern Drummer.