HITS Daily Double
"We just wanted to get the music out there directly to the consumer."
——Larry Jacobson, Giant Records GM


Giant Records Breaks Act, Continues to "Stupify"
Chicago may be down in the dumps over Da Bulls and Da Bears, but the Windy City has produced a rock contendah in Giant Records' Disturbed, whose "Sickness" album has gone Platinum and sold more than 750k OTC since its release last March.

The first single, "Stupify," helped launch the album on Active and then PoMo radio with monster research, and the just-released second track, "Voices," promises to introduce the band to an even broader demo.

The four-member outfit—guitarist Dan Donegan, drummer Mike Wengren, bassist Fuzz and vocalist David Draiman—has backed up the airplay with nonstop roadwork, including a stint on Ozzfest 2000, a slot on MTV's "Return of the Rock" tour with Stone Temple Pilots and Godsmack and a current European jaunt.

After winning a bidding war to nab the band, Giant began its setup six months before the record's release with an Internet campaign and the distribution of several-hundred-thousand cassette samplers by a 600-strong street team.

"We just wanted to get the music out there directly to the consumer," Giant GM Larry Jacobson explained while polishing Irving's Italian loafers. "There is a culture, a lifestyle of fans constantly on the lookout for fresh, new groups who learned about this music through other fans. That's what we call marketing. We took a chance that they'd respond to this act."

Giant Promo domo and Vidal Sassoon Man of the Decade Bob Catania took some time out from hitting us with a cease-and-desist from the same hair jokes we've been using since 1992 to opine: "What really grabbed radio's attention was selling over 3,000 albums the first week of release without airplay. That gave radio a real sense of legitimacy about this band."

Catania went on to explain that the overlap between Active Rock and PoMo radio helped Disturbed increase its fan base. "Active Rock played a substantial role in establishing the foundation, but when PoMo got involved, we began to get stronger dayparts and rotations. The two formats were really complementary throughout the entire campaign."

With the help of MTV, Farmclub.com and PoMo radio, the band broadened its audience from hardcore male fans to females, who responded to the group's melodies, lyrics, energy and image, according to Jacobson. He feels "Voices" can continue Disturbed's progression in this direction.

"We're absolutely convinced there are at least two more singles on this record. Of course, I was also absolutely convinced ‘Little Nicky' would be Adam Sandler's biggest movie."

Added Catania: "For an act that was positioned as a metal band to sell close to a million records and to have one of the biggest tracks of the year at Active Rock and PoMo means we are breaking through to a mainstream audience. Can you please remove your shoe from my neck now, Irving?"