Heavy metallers Disturbed have branded flamboyant rockers The Darkness "a joke" - who should stop calling themselves a metal band.

The American stars are annoyed The Darkness, who have divided opinion with their playful version of eighties heavy rock, started off supporting them at gigs - but are now so big they have been criticising heavy metal merchants like themselves.

Lead singer DAVID DRAIMAN rallies, "It's all supposed to be a joke. And it's funny. I heard that they have decided to start slinging s**t in our direction and that we are an example of one of the bands that they're completely against.

"That to them we symbolise this whole wave of nu-metal that is near its death. Are you f***ing kidding me? The irony is that they opened up for us in London at Brixton Academy and here they are talking s**t about us.

"I like the single, it's a catchy 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!

"Don't claim to be something you're not. Don't claim to be metal. Don't claim that you're authentic and we're not. F*** you!"

15/03/2004 17:07