Not every band member is meant to get along with each other.
Being around somebody 24/7 can often exacerbate tensions, and adding the element of business into friendships can make things worse.
Years on the road can really change a person, and every single one of these fights hasn’t been pleasant to see, and band fights can range from massive arguments behind closed doors to straight-up fistfights.
No band is going to play for decades and not get into a few arguments here and there, but these arguments have been documented for the world to see. Here are some of the messiest fights between bandmates ever.
Slipknot: Corey Taylor vs. Sid Wilson
Slipknot has always been upfront about inner-band tension during the Iowa sessions, and some of that anger was captured on camera as well.
While they were out on tour, the band are about to go onstage when Sid Wilson starts getting on Corey Taylor’s nerves. As the opening music from their debut starts, you hear Corey absolutely go off on Sid saying,
‘Fuck you! I’m so fucking pissed at you. Fuck off you little bitch!’ before Sid walks off to his position on stage. These guys sound like they can’t stand each other for a second, but maybe they need that kind of energy before they unleash Hell when the show starts.
Van Halen: EVH vs. DLR
After Eddie decided to bring more synths into the equation on 1984, Dave was not happy changing up the formula, instead going solo and naming his record Eat Em and Smile alluding to Diamond Dave eating Van Halen for breakfast.
Eddie might have taken the high road then, but he later made his own jabs in the press, saying that Dave has his ‘Vaudeville schtick’ going on whenever he goes out on tour and maintaining, “Dave’s the rock star, but I’m the musician.”
The Van Hagar years even had a retort to Eat Em and Smile, making a dad pun with their album OU812 just to screw with Dave a little bit. Considering how much bad blood was going around, it’s a miracle that we saw Dave come back decades later for A Different Kind of Truth.
Poison: Bret Michaels vs. Bobby Dall
Poison was the life of the party of 80s hair metal, but things weren’t so rosy years later.
After celebrating 20 years of being in a band together, Bobby Dall’s temper boiled over when he thought that Bret Michaels had sabotaged his stage setup, ending with him hurling his bass at Bret in the middle of the show and walking offstage. Even when everyone touched base afterward, Bobby couldn’t even remember what prompted him to get so angry.
Rikki Rokkett has said that the band dynamic is a lot different these days, saying that a fight like that would probably mean the end of Poison if it happened again. The world of hair metal might have its ups and downs, but only Poison can take a band celebration and turn it into a sparring session.
Metallica: James Hetfield vs. Lars Ulrich
When James returned from rehab during the Some Kind of Monster, their therapy sessions quickly turned into a fight when James complained that the band wasn’t respecting his sober schedule.
You can feel the tension in the room in the doc, as Lars tries his best to hold his ground before James says he doesn’t enjoy playing music with Lars that much. While we’re getting the Cliffnotes version of events on film, the whole argument ends with Lars yelling ‘Fuck!’ in frustration before walking over to James and screaming it in his face.
There’s a good reason why Metallica got a therapist to help them, but this was the moment when it looked like they were about to break up.
Misfits’ Brain Damage Drunken Performance
You would think everyone in the Misfits would be in a great mood at Halloween but things were not the case in 1983.
During a show on Halloween night in Detroit, drummer Brain Damage decided to get drunk before the show and was in no shape to perform once he got onstage. After trying the first two songs, Doyle Wolfgang Von Frankenstein tapped into his inner Darth Vader, escorting him off the stage and getting the drummer for the Necros to come up and play the rest of the set.
That turned into the last straw for Glenn Danzig though, announcing from the stage that it would be the final Misfits show he would play with the band. The show may have gone over well, but this was the end of an era for the classic Misfits sound.
Brian Marshall’s Drunken Stupor
The road can really test one’s patience, and fists can go flying once alcohol gets involved.
When Creed was pulling through town on one of their first major tours, Mark Tremonti woke up one morning feeling the entire van shake, only to find Brian Marshall and Scott Stapp fighting in the lounge area. Wearing only boxer shorts, Mark pulled both of them off each other, but not before getting kicked by boots on the way out.
That turned into one of a few wake-up calls for Brian, who ended up getting treatment for alcoholism after the fact. Coming right after the night of a gig, this probably isn’t the most pleasant way to be woken up in the morning.
John 5 Is Not Having Marilyn Manson’s Schtick
During the beginning of ‘The Beautiful People,’ Manson was strutting across the stage in huge boots and a Mickey Mouse hat when he got in John 5’s way onstage. It was the wrong day for a stunt like that, with John throwing down his guitar in the middle of the intro and getting ready to throw down before cooling off and returning to his place.
Manson doesn’t seem cognizant of what went down in the clip, just moving on to the other side of the stage like nothing happened. It’s pretty clear why he moved onto bigger and better things, joining up with Rob Zombie.
The Foo Fighters Almost Crumble
In 2002, there was a good chance the Foo Fighters were going to call it a day.
After Taylor Hawkins recovered from an overdose, Dave Grohl chilled out by playing drums for Queens of the Stone Age and came back to the Foos wanting to control everything. By the time they were due to play a festival, all hell broke loose.
After his first rehearsals in the band, Chris Shiftlett said that you could have cut the tension in the room with a knife before Dave and Taylor started screaming at each other, with Taylor feeling betrayed that Dave went out with Queens instead of committing to the band.
The guys decided to perform that one date, but letting that anger out on stage made them reevaluate why they were playing rock and roll. They eventually made their new record all over again, but it was worth it to still have them around.
Anthrax: Charlie Benante vs. Frank Bello
Being in a band often means you feel a familial connection with your bandmates, but it gets complicated when you have actual blood relatives in the mix.
Charlie Benante is actually Frank Bello’s uncle, and when they threw down in the studio, both were out for blood. During the making of Anthrax‘s Persistence of Time, the studio turned into a war zone, with Charlie and Frank throwing everything they could get their hands on at each other in between expletives.
Scott Ian mentioned being really uncomfortable once he got into the studio, recalling “Me and Danny Spitz were just looking around at each other like ‘what do we do?.’ Frank admitted that he can’t help his anger issues, but Charlie says that ‘bottom line I would still do anything for him.’
Family can be tough in a band, but all of those arguments fade away once the music starts.
Lamb of God: Randy Blythe vs. Mark Morton
Since Mark claimed the whole song was about Randy, things got testy on tour when Randy challenged Mark to a fight one night. After both of them got drunk on the tour bus, they started to go off on each other, working their way out of the bus and throwing a few punches at each other.
Thankfully most of the punches didn’t land well before their tour manager stepped in and told them to let go of each other. This wouldn’t be anyone’s pick for the first major fight they’d been in, but it was just the beginning of all the ‘Redneck’ tension boiling over.