not a member? click here to sign up
Whatever Happened To The Lycra Lads?
Comeback kids The Darkness dish the dirt on their reunion, explain why they’re happy to ride Lady Gaga’s coat-tails and tell us that they don’t care if they annoy Radiohead anoraks.
Edwin McFee, 28 Sep 2012
Lycra-clad classic rockers The Darkness have always been a band of survivors. Over the last 12 years the four-piece have faced various stints in rehab, engaged in some fairly public bust-ups (which led to their split at the end of 2006) and even enraged some of their more conservative fair-weather fans by featuring a gi-normous pair of flying breasts in their show (dubbed the “Boob Chariot”) during their ill-fated stadium tour for their second record One Way Ticket To Hell…And Back. While a fraction of these trials and tribulations would break most bands, The Darkness seem to be cut from a different cloth though and their just released reunion record Hot Cakes goes a long way in proving that they truly are the cockroaches of rock ‘n’ roll. When we recently caught up with frontman Justin Hawkins to talk about their comeback, the singer tells us that he never doubted they’d re-group some day.
“I always knew I’d get back together,” he confesses. “I said it at the time of our break-up as well. It fell on deaf ears a little bit (or possibly reluctant or resistant ears). For me, getting back in a room with the rest of The Darkness was like wearing a sausage skin, really. It was a bit uncomfortable at first. Once you get settled in it feels great.”
Recorded in guitarist Dan Hawkins’ home in Norfolk, Hot Cakes is the sound of a band hell-bent on reminding the world why they loved them in the first place. Featuring countless hooks all delivered by Justin’s unmistakable falsetto, it sounds like the boys haven’t missed a beat despite their five years apart.
“In general, this album is a bit dirtier than our other two and that’s the way we like it,” laughs the singer. “Two of the songs are from olden days (‘Nothin’s Gonna Stop Us’ and ‘Every Inch Of You’ are about ten years old). They’re all new after that. One of my favourites is ‘She’s Just A Girl, Eddie,’ which was the last track we wrote for the record. It’s a song that was intended to try to help our drummer Ed recover from a broken heart. He ended up whinging to us for months and months on end about his love-life and I ended up saying to him ‘For fuck’s sake Ed, you’re in the fucking Darkness. You can have loads of women if you want them.’ In a nutshell, it’s got a ‘plenty more fish in the sea’ vibe.”