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The Darkness pissed off Disturbed 20 years ago. Now David Draiman has apologised

Disturbed and The Darkness
(Image credit: Press)

The only thing we love more than a good rock star spat is when the spatees in question hug it out and become BFFs.

That’s precisely what has happened with Justin Hawkins of The Darkness and Disturbed’s David Draiman, when a potentially epic bust-up between the two was averted by some fast – and, let’s be frank, classy – action on the part of the latter.

The back story is this. As part of his regular YouTube series Justin Hawkins Rides Again (opens in new tab), the Darkness singer was recently asked what his worst experience was as a support act.

Hawkins responded by recalling a show opening for Disturbed at London’s Brixton Academy in 2002. 

He described how, during The Darkness’ set, the band were pelted by “shoes, bottles and coins… one of their fans threw a piece of chewing gum that presumably had been in their mouth, and it actually landed in my mouth.”

While Hawkins says he enjoyed the response, he added that the headliners were less than impressed.

“And then afterwards, David Draiman wasn't very pleased with me. I don't know; I think I may have issued an admonishment to the throng, which didn't go down very well with him. But what are you gonna do? Who gives a fuck? I'm just kidding.

“When things like that happen… If a band is supporting my band and then our crowd is not very nice to them, I would always go and apologize. That didn't happen with DIsturbed. I think it actually had the opposite effect and they were angry with us.”

A few days after the video appeared, Draiman himself took to Twitter to respond to the story. But rather than escalating the situation to a war footing, he instead offered an apology.

Draiman wrote: “Hey @JustinHawkins (opens in new tab) of @thedarkness (opens in new tab). Sorry you feel that way. There’s a lot of things I regret saying in the past and this is one of them. It’s been 20 years. I think we’re both old enough to have a pint at some point and laugh about it.”

A clearly surprised but pleased Hawkins replied in kind, thanking Draiman for his response: “This is awesome! I don’t drink any more but I’ll take a non alcoholic beer. Thanks @davidmdraiman so cool that you reached out :)”

But it didn’t stop there. Draiman sealed the deal on this unexpected entente cordiale, doubling down on his offer of a drink: “We’re both survivors of this industry. Im sure we both have stories to tell. Let’s figure out when we’re both in the same place/same time and make it happen. ”

Normally we’d have something snarky to say about all about this, but even we can’t find it in our cold, black hearts to rain on this particular parade. Respect to David Draiman for taking the high ground at a time when that doesn’t happen very often. We look forward to that Disturbed/Darkness collaboration in the not-too-distant future…

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Metal Hammer
Metal Hammer

Founded in 1983, Metal Hammer is the global home of all things heavy. We have breaking news, exclusive interviews with the biggest bands and names in metal, rock, hardcore, grunge and beyond, expert reviews of the lastest releases and unrivalled insider access to metal's most exciting new scenes and movements. No matter what you're into – be it heavy metal, punk, hardcore, grunge, alternative, goth, industrial, djent or the stuff so bizarre it defies classification – you'll find it all here, backed by the best writers in our game.