Hawkins discussed the incident on his YouTube channel Justin Hawkins Rides Again two weeks ago, in a video entitled ‘I Pissed Them Off Big Time’. In response to a fan asking about Hawkins’ “worst experience as a support act”, the singer recalled a 2002 show at London’s Brixton Academy where the band opened for Disturbed.
Given the considerable difference in styles between the two bands, The Darkness were not treated well by Disturbed’s fans. “They were throwing stuff like shoes, bottles and coins,” he said. “Somebody threw a piece of chewing gum, which had presumably been in their mouth, and it landed directly in my mouth as I was singing.”
After the set, Hawkins recalled that Draiman “wasn’t very pleased” with him, which he believes was down to him “giving an admonishment to the throng”. “If a band is supporting my band and then our crowd is not very nice to them, I would always go and apologize,” Hawkins concluded. “That didn’t happen with Disturbed. I think it actually had the opposite effect, and they were angry with us.”
Draiman and Hawkins went on to publicly dismiss one another in later interviews, with Draiman saying that The Darkness were “not metal” and “a joke”. “The world wants rock bands to be idiots,” he said to Metal Edge at the time. “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.”
Upon seeing an article on Blabbermouth reporting on the original YouTube video, Draiman took to Twitter on Friday (July 15) to personally apologise to Hawkins. “[I’m] sorry you feel that way,” Draiman wrote. “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 then responded to Draiman, saying it was “so cool” that the singer “reached out” to clear the air between them. “I don’t drink anymore, but I’ll take a non-alcoholic beer,” he replied.
Disturbed recently released ‘Hey You’, their first new single in two years. The Darkness, meanwhile, most recently released their seventh album ‘Motorheart’ in November 2021.