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We Interview The Darkness

Lock up your daughters/sisters/bi-curious boyfriends and dust off those leather pants people, because British glam rock sensations The Darkness have just announced their upcoming Australian dates for the “Nothing’s Gonna Stop Us” Tour! Newly reformed and balls deep in a multi-national tour, The Darkness land on our shores in May to play only five thrilling dates, starting in Brisbane at the Eaton’s Hill Hotel.

Known for their killer riffs, colossal anthems and tongue in cheek lyrics, these shows are a must-see for those who require their rock and roll a little bit dirty, a little bit sexy and flamboyant as a bucket of sequins. Tickets for their tour went on sale this morning and AAA Backstage’s Bailey got on the phone with guitarist and falsetto master Dan Hawkins for a quick chat and some weird sexual innuendo….

So, tickets for your Australian tour went on sale this morning, and your return has been getting a huge reaction and excitement here! How have the shows gone so far?

Yeah really ace, I guess since we’ve reformed I suppose 95 percent, maybe more than that actually, has sold out, which is a real surprise to us, we weren’t sure how it was going to go, I mean, it was quite a leap of faith really after so many years, and without a new album out yet, I cant believe people are coming out in their droves!


Did the temporary break you guys had allow you to kind of mend ties with Justin and start fresh? Did recording the new album feel a bit more cohesive?

Absolutely yeah, I think it had to happen, you know it reached boiling point, shall we say, and the reset button had to be pressed I think. Everyone’s pleased to be working with each other and seeing each other most of the time haha!


You can definitely get kind of sick of seeing the same people every single day though hey!

Yeah exactly, imagine like an office job, like a 9 to 5 job, but then make it 24 hours a day for you know, pretty much 10 months of the year, oh and we sleep together too, not sexually haha on the bus!

What influenced you guys this time around? Can you give me a little sneaky idea or preview of what the new record is like?

I suppose in some ways its back to the old school Darkness sound that we had initially, its going to sound ridiculous, we’ve tried to hone down, or tone down the production of the record, and make it more of a band-based rock album actually.


I guess the more you produce something and rework it really hard, it morphs into something else, rather than keeping it really clean and not as dramatic.

Absolutely! I’ll give you an example, one the second record- which we’re still really proud of- that was a big production and the way that it was and the relationships in the band at that point meant that none of us were really talking to each other. So we kind of did our parts separately in the studio, whereas this one we’re all in the room together so I think that just makes a kind of more exciting record sometimes. So (the album) is rocky but it’s pretty varied as well, we haven’t you know, we’ve never tried to fit into some kind of genre, we’ve always just had fun with the songs that have come out and then not been afraid to piss around really!

I’d love to know how many guitars you take on the road. Are you a bit of a collector? I know you play a lot of Les Paul Customs….

Yeah, I had about 27 Les Paul Custom's at one time, I was a Les Paul Standard man and Justin was a Les Paul Custom man, so that was the main difference between us two, but thats changed and thankfully I found one type of Les Paul Standard that I really really liked and its not particularly an expensive one. Fairly recently I’ve stopped mucking about trying to find the ultimate tone and I just went out and bought as many guitars that I love that I could find. I have 6 or 7 of the exact same, almost exactly the same guitar haha!


They all kind of tweak differently though, and you have to play around with them to find the sound that you think applies to the music your making as well?

Yeah, I use a lot of capo’s and the pitch of the song changes pretty much on every song, that why I have to have quite a few guitars in a row to handle the key changes… rather than fumbling around with the capo after each song so that’s why I have a guitar tech getting the guitars ready for the next song. I’ve customised a few of my guitars, like the pick ups for slightly heavier songs, and I use Powerblends to turn an electric guitar into an acoustic as well!

What kind of crazy things do you guys ask for in your rider? You should ask for something really obscure and see what happens! Do you ever test the waters and ask for something ridiculous?

Oh yeah haha! We used to get so much booze on the road it was ridiculous, we’re sober now so in place of that is all nut and berries haha!


So rock and roll.

Yeah I know! The one thing we do demand, and this comes from Justin, is three perfectly ripe avocados... Maybe next time we'll ask for a round avocado!

The Darkness definitely epitomise modern glam rock and roll, what can Aussie fans expect to see on the upcoming tour? Are you gonna bring the catsuit back or is it completely banished forever?

The catsuit's already back!

Is it?!

The catsuit never really went away haha, I think you’ve only seen one photograph, when you come to the gigs you’ll see them…! (groans)


When I told my mate Keith today that I was interviewing you, he asked me to ask you, and I have no idea what this means, but is your song “Growing On Me” about ummm, crabs?  I read the lyrics and I’m sure it’s either about a girl that gets under your skin and can’t stop thinking about or it’s actually just about….crabs. Thoughts?

Hahaha that’s very specific! I think he might be barking up the right tree there. I think you can apply that to love as well….


Well you kind of can, like really wanting to get rid of something that you really can’t get out of your hair haha!

It has a dual purpose, two meaning’s, that song!


I really apologise for that question haha fuck!

That’s alright darlin’. Tell your mate well spotted!


Lastly, I saw a recent photo of you and you were rocking the foxiest moustache- Do you have any grooming tips for our male readers?

Haha yeah, there’s no process, it’s all natural, you’ve either got it or you don’t!


By Martina Bailey Pitrun- AAA Backstage

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