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Ready to rock: Chicago band Disturbed carries hard rock torch to Toyota Center on Jan. 24

Hard rock has seen better days. A little more than a decade ago, it was everywhere.

Korn was king, and its legion of followers included Limp Bizkit, Taproot, System of a Down, Papa Roach … there's more, but you get the idea.

When all the dust settled from that musical whirlwind, Disturbed reignited the genre with an animalistic rage. Fortunately for those of the hard rock persuasion, they're still bearing the torch in a cyclical downturn for the genre. And you'll be able to see them live at the Toyota Center in Kennewick on Jan. 24. Sevendust and Skindred will open.

"Metal fans aren't fair-weather fans," Disturbed bassist John Moyer said in a recent interview while discussing what has kept them going after selling 10 million-plus albums.

"This tour we really wanted to hit places we don't normally go. But we're excited because often these are the most intense shows ... everyone is just so fired up we're there."

As change is the word in Chicago (where the group is based) these days, they've been experiencing quite a bit of it lately. The group was nominated for its first Grammy for the song Inside the Fire from their latest album Indestructible, which debuted at No. 1 in 2008.

That album "seems to harken more … to the dark, primal nature on The Sickness," their 2000 debut, lead singer David Draiman told Billboard magazine. The tougher sound also reportedly comes from a rough couple of years relationship-wise for Draiman.

Moyer says Indestructible is the band's best yet, but certainly doesn't want to diminish the fan-beloved The Sickness.

"(The Sickness) is something special," Moyer said. "I don't think we could recapture that magic even if we tried. Then again I don't think we need to. Lyrically and melodically, we're better than ever. We're just trying to be the best us that we can be."

Speaking of The Sickness, specifically in being down with it, where did that crazy monkey sound of oooh-wah-ah-ah-ah, come from?

It's pretty clear Moyer has told this story before.

"That little part in the song was just supposed to be a stop or a pause in the music, Moyer recounts. "Then David is just riffing and shouts out ooh-wah-ah-ah-ah. The band just stops and looks around at each other and says what are you doing? (while laughing). Then he just says hold on guys, I think I'm onto something."

Then all of a sudden that little accident or whatever has become one of the more signature bits in rock today.

So, Moyer says, you'll surely be hearing that one along with many of their other hits like Prayer and Stricken, even though the focus of the tour is behind the new album.

"It'll be a healthy mixture."

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