Wer wagte daran zu glauben, dass der Hair Metal der frühen Achtziger eine Renaissance erlebt? Sind wir uns ehrlich, das hat niemand wirklich kommen sehen. Dennoch schießen seit dem Debüt "Permission To Land" von The Darkness die Glam, Sleeze und Hair Metal Bands aus dem Boden, wie die Pilze. Steel Panther, Dela Cruz und Sister sind nur einige Wenige der aktuellen Formationen. Irgendwie hat das alles einen Nostalgie-Touch und trotzdem macht es immer noch Spaß, mit der neu gewonnen Jugend nochmal so richtig abzurocken. Und was würde da besser passen, als natürlich ein Darkness-Konzert? Das Quartett, dass nach ihrem Zweitlingswerk "One Way Ticket To Hell…" das ein oder andere interne Problem hatte, legte von 2006 bis zum Jahr 2011 eine Regenerationspause ein.
Da hatte man den Titel wohl doch zu wörtlich genommen. Irgendwie war ihnen alles aus den Fingern gerutscht: Zuerst wurde Original-Bassist Frankie Poullain der Band verwiesen und dann war es Sänger Justin Hawkins, der mit seiner Drogensucht die Band zum Kentern brachte. Während er versuchte wieder clean zu werden, spielten die restlichen Mitglieder unter dem Namen Stone Gods das hervorragende Album "Silver Spoons and Broken Bones" ein. Aber auch Justin war nach seiner Regeneration nicht tatenlos und gründete die Formation Hot Leg. Auch ihn ihren Reihen gab es eine Auskoppelung in Form des Albums "Red Light Fever" zu verzeichnen, wobei gesagt werden muss, dass Justin Hawkins das Album komplett alleine komponiert und eingespielt hatte. 2011 war es dann endlich wieder soweit und man konnte sich einigen The Darkness im Original-Lineup noch eine Chance zu geben. "Hot Cakes" war das beeindruckende Ergebnis und zeigte die Engländer wieder in alter Frische.
Lady Gaga nahm sie dann als Support mit auf Tour und ab da konnte der neue alte König den Thron wieder besteigen. Seitdem sind sie unermüdlich auf Tour, um sich ihre Fans wieder zurück zu erobern. Bei der Gelegenheit haben wir uns natürlich ein Interview mit den englischen Rockern nicht entgehen lassen. Sie erzählen vom Leben auf Tour, den Konzerten mit Lady Gaga, wie es mit den Nebenprojekten Stone Gods und Hot Leg weitergeht oder ob sich die Fans auf ein neuerliches Instrumental, wie schon das grandiose "Bareback", freuen dürfen?
Viel Spaß beim Lesen!
Michael: Thanks for taking the time for this interview! How are you doing?
The Darkness: Very great thank you. We just played the best London show of our career so we are buzzing!
Michael: Can you please introduce yourself to our readers?
The Darkness: My name is Dan Hawkins and we are a pub and stadium rock band called The Darkness.
Michael: Last month you did a lot of touring. Is it still fun to be on the road?
The Darkness: We tour constantly, it is our life and a good one. The road can be a cruel mistress, but is always a fun one!
Michael: What part of the touring job do you enjoy the most?
The Darkness: The moment the lights go down and you hear the crowd erupt … and of course all the free sex.
Michael: Does one have to be more entertainer nowadays when compared to 20 years ago? What do you think?
The Darkness: We don't know what day or decade it is most of the time - we just go flat out and try and dazzle people into not realising we are mostly playing 3 chords.
Michael: What's your favourite 'Darkness' song on stage and why?
The Darkness: Concrete from the new album because, unusually for a darkness concert, people start beating the shit out of each other and it's really fun to observe!
Michael: How do you deal with the fact that you are often far away from your friends and family?
The Darkness: We fall back on the fact that when we have time off its uninterrupted and 100% focused on the family. Most people have to cram it all into a weekend - we sometimes have a month off!
Michael: Has there ever been a moment in your musical career where you felt like having lost the energy to go with the touring? What did you do?
The Darkness: Never. Never will.
Michael: How's Justin doing?
The Darkness: Amazing - the fittest strongest funniest most talented vocalist/guitarist on the market.
Michael: How did the tour with Lady Gaga come to be? That seems to be a strange package.
The Darkness: She picked us - we said yes! If rock is going to move forward, you have to show the kids how its done!
Michael: How was the tour?
The Darkness: South America was like playing a headline show every night to 75000 + people. There's some great footage online of the Sao Paolo show.
Michael: On "Hot Cakes", you covered Radiohead’s "Street Spirit". What's the story behind that decision?
The Darkness: We were going to record it as a B side as we never actually recorded it but had been playing it for years - it was too good to leave off the record.
Michael: Do you play any covers on Stage, too?
The Darkness: „Should have known better“ by Jim Diamond sometimes makes an appearance on Stage.
Michael: What's your formular to keep the band clean of conflicts?
The Darkness: Argue a lot - that way there are no creeping resentments.
Michael: What's the reason you started with music and what makes it so special for you?
The Darkness: I like the idea of being paid to take the greatest drug in the world - the one that sends shivers down your spine but doesn't leave you in the gutter after prolonged use.
Michael: How do you know when you are finished? Today, one has so many possibilities to put more and more into a song and rework it over and over again until it's literally “produced to death”.
The Darkness: As soon as a performance is 'acceptable' we are done. Best to move on quickly so u don't get a distorted view of it....
"Everybody have a good Time" - Official live video:
Michael: Is there a point where you might lose objectivity when looking at your own work?
The Darkness: By looking too long and hard...
Michael: Is there any chance to get another instrumental track like the "Bareback" from you anytime soon?
The Darkness: Oh yes! All we have to do is forget to put lyrics on - which is what happened on bareback! I like instrumentals.
Michael: Have there been any changes in the production part since the album "Permission To Land"?
The Darkness: Not really - less goblin noises and monologues but we'll be putting that right on next album.
Michael: You have a new album out which is called "Hot Cakes"! What's the story behind it?
The Darkness: We wanted to come back with an album that was really fun, sounded massive and reflected how we were feeling at the time. A magazine called it rabble rousing - which was pretty accurate really.
Michael: What’s more useful for you: Praise or critics?
The Darkness: Criticism - I find it impossible to take praise, or criticism come too think of it, lol!
Michael: How did you do the songwriting and what was the most difficult part of it?
The Darkness: Songwriting with Justin is easy … I get into a zone and can write up to 10 full backing tracks of music a day...Justin will fish out the things he likes and we take it from there.
Michael: "One Way Ticket to Hell" was more on the bombast side of rock. Why did you go back to your roots?
The Darkness: I think bombast is in our roots as much as raw hard rock - Hot Cakes is a kind of mix I guess.
Michael: Are you already working on new material?
The Darkness: Yes and it is the best stuff we have ever done. We are writing constantly and really want the next album quick out of the gates.
Michael: If you could change one thing in music industry, what would it be?
The Darkness: Music only being released (or listenable to) on vinyl.
Michael: What happens to your side projects 'Stone Gods' and 'Hot Leg'? Are they on hiatus only or are they literally history?
The Darkness: Stone gods made an album and we are all good friends still. We would like to release it one day and probably do a tour, but TD and Bush are mine and Robins priority so we don't know if or when hat would happen.
Michael: What's the reason for the long awaited comeback of Frankie?
The Darkness: Cos he's fucking awesome, an enigma and was one of the reasons anyone cared about this band in the 1st place.
Michael: What do you think, how has the music changed over the last 30 years and especially in the last years?
The Darkness: Getting worse, and much worse.
Michael: Is there a movie or a computer game you would have liked to compose the score for?
The Darkness: Lord of the rings - not the explicit one.
Michael: Has there ever been a fan who went too far? Who did something strange or dangerous?
The Darkness: One fan brought his grandmothers stuffed dog for us to sign...ed signed e and d on each testicle.
Michael: What do you think about the rock cliché of "sex, drugs & rock 'n' roll"? Is it still alive or only a romantic look on the touring-job?
The Darkness: Believe me it's alive and well and it's in the job description - we have managed to stay in the job only just, so have eliminated the drugs part!
Michael: In 2012, Colorado and Washington decided to legalize Weed. What do you think about that?
The Darkness: Mmm … probably for the best.
Michael: What's planned for the near future of the band?
The Darkness: More touring & then recording the next album!
Michael: Thank you very much for the interview! Maybe a few final words for the people out there?
The Darkness: We have such an amazing fan base that have stuck by us despite everything. Thank you so much we will never disappoint you again - and by way of a thank you we will be rocking as hard as we can until we laterally die.