Disturbed frontman David Draiman ‘applauds’ Spotify for removing Neil Young’s music amid Joe Rogan spat

Draiman alludes to ‘free speech’ to praise Spotify

Peony Hirwani
Friday 28 January 2022 09:04
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Joe Rogan says young people shouldn’t ‘worry’ about getting Covid vaccine

Dave Draiman, the frontman for heavy metal band Disturbed, has “applauded” Spotify for removing Neil Young’s music.

Earlier this week, the singer had given the music streaming giant an ultimatum to either keep his music or Joe Rogan’s podcast on the platform.

Young had told Spotify to remove his music “immediately” in a now-deleted letter that expressed his unhappiness with the platform’s affiliation with Rogan and his podcast, that has hosted false information, including several misleading and baseless claims, regarding Covid vaccines.

Spotify had responded to the 76-year-old singer’s request and is in the process of removing his music from the library.

“We have detailed content policies in place and we’ve removed over 20,000 podcast episodes related to Covid since the start of the pandemic,” a spokesperson for Spotify said in a statement.

“We regret Neil’s decision to remove his music from Spotify, but hope to welcome him back soon.”

On Thursday (27 January), Disturbed frontman Draiman tweeted that he supported Spotify for making the “right call”.

“Daniel Ek [Spotify founder and chief executive], I applaud you and [Spotify] for making the RIGHT call, preserving #FreeSpeech and not capitulating to the mob,” Draiman wrote.

“I may not agree with everything Joe Rogan or his guests say, but they’re entitled to have the forum to say it,” he added.

In a separate tweet, Draiman clarified his stance on the issue, writing: “Let me be clear. I do not support ANY artist blackmailing any entity to follow an agenda THEY believe in, whether it’s [Neil Young] one side of the spectrum or [Eric Clapton] on the other.”

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“Music shouldn’t be used to show division. It should be used to bring people together IMHO,” he added.

Draiman’s tweets come at a time when actor Evangeline Lilly said she attended a rally supporting “bodily sovereignty” led by anti-vaxxer Robert F Kennedy Jr in Washington DC and, in an Instagram post, alleged without proof that those unvaccinated faced tyrannical measures.

Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, the World Health Organisation chief, had on Thursday thanked Young for “standing up against misinformation and inaccuracies” about Covid vaccinations.

He said that “we all have a role to play to end this pandemic and infodemic,” especially social media platforms.

Earlier this year, hundreds of scientists and medical professionals also asked Spotify to address Covid misinformation following one of Rogan’s controversial episodes about vaccines.

Rogan, who has a reported $100m (£74m) podcast deal with the streaming giant, interviewed widely discredited doctor Robert Malone, who claimed on his show that Americans were “hypnotised” into wearing masks and getting vaccines.

Malone also said in The Joe Rogan Experience podcast that the country suffered from “mass formation psychosis”, which psychology experts say is a concept that does not even exist.

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