The Darkness frontman Justin Hawkins has called opening for Disturbed his “worst experience as a support act.” In his own YouTube series, the singer recalled an unpleasant incident involving Disturbed’s audience at a show at the Brixton Academy in London, as well as the disappointing reaction he got from Disturbed singer David Draiman.
It all started when an audience member lobbed a piece of chewing gum at the stage, landing a direct hit straight into Hawkins’ mouth while he was performing. When he verbally lashed back at the crowd, he drew the ire of Disturbed’s David Draiman.
“I was singing [makes choking sound],” Hawkins said of the flying gum. “It was just a brilliant shot; I had to respect it, really. 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 f**k? I’m just kidding [at the time].”
Hawkins praised Disturbed’s music as “brilliant, if you like that sort of thing,” but says he would have handled the unruly crowd differently.
“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,” Hawkins continued. “That didn’t happen with Disturbed. I think it actually had the opposite effect and they were angry with us. But… not my problem.”
Update: David Draiman and Justin Hawkins hashed things out over Twitter, with Draiman tweeting, “Hey @JustinHawkins of @thedarkness. 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.”
Hawkins responded, “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.” The Disturbed singer then answered, “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.” To which Hawkins concluded, “Yeah!!! I’m down. I just slid into it DMs on Instagram.”
Back in 2004, Draiman expressed his disdain for The Darkness, telling Metal Edge [via Blabbermouth], “To be perfectly honest with you, I think that The Darkness is a joke, and that’s, unfortunately, exactly what the world wants. The world wants rock bands to be idiots. The world wants rock bands to be these bumbling buffoons, these morons who made fun of themselves and their music and their art and don’t take themselves seriously in any way.”
He continued, “And it’s funny, I wouldn’t even go ahead and say anything about them per se, unless they had already laid down the gauntlet. I heard of late that they have decided to start slinging shit in our direction, that we are an example of one of the bands that they’re completely against. That to them, we symbolize this whole wave of nu-metal that is near its death. Are you f**king kidding me? The irony is that they opened up for us in London at Brixton Academy, and here they are talking shit about us. I like [the song “I Believe in a Thing Called Love”]. I have nothing against the song. I can’t argue that it’s a catchy goddamn song, but it’s not metal. It’s pop-rock. How dare they call themselves metal? That’s not metal. It’ll never be metal.”
As previously reported, Mastodon’s Brent Hinds also had choice words when recalling his band’s stint on the Mayhem festival tour with Disturbed, lambasting the band’s fans as a “f**kin’ bunch of drunk Americans” and calling the experience “gay ass sh*t.” Mastodon’s Brann Dailor quickly apologized for Hinds’ use of a homophobic slur and to Disturbed themselves, saying, “We also have no ill will towards Disturbed, they were always super cool to us on the Mayhem tour.”
Below you can watch Hawkins discuss the incident with Disturbed below, and see the recent Twitter exchange between Hawkins and Draiman.
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 🙂Advertisement
— Justin Hawkins (@JustinHawkins) July 15, 2022