Overwhelming powers of Darkness

The Darkness, from left, are drummer Ed Graham, bassist Frankie Poullain and the brothers Hawkins (aka Justin and Dan).

It might not be the most famous of Brit rock brotherly disharmonies, but the Darkness’ singer Justin Hawkins and his guitarist brother Dan have had their fair share of sibling incivility. The brothers’ lack of good communication was certainly one cause for such a long hiatus for the hair-metal revival band.  

“There’s a lot of stuff that we were getting bogged down in, and that was just not worth it, you know,” Justin says via phone just after completing a sold-out autumn tour in the U.K. 

“The whole ‘life’s too short’ thing is a good lesson, really,” he says.

A 13-date North American tour — the band’s first trek to the U.S. in eight years — kicked off last night in Toronto. So far, after reuniting for Britain’s Download Festival last June, it has been a triumphant return. 

But it was triumph that factored into the band’s original problems. After exploding in 2003 with their big hit, a catchy pop metal piece called “I Believe In A Thing Called Love,” things went haywire. Reports of Justin’s overindulgence in rock ’n’ roll’s mythical pleasures were rife, but the falsetto-ing frontman says it’s the simple life for him from now on.

“When you have a simple existence and it’s just about music, then you do great work. And I’m sure that’s the same for everybody,” he says. “The minute you start trying to balance other factors, it just becomes unmanageable.”

Ambitious ‘Collapse’

Justin Hawkins has put aside his hiatus side projects British Whale and Hot Leg, but says he’d like to write a musical soon.

“Not like a musical of our songs, but actually [one with] a storyline. I started to work on one that was called ‘The Collapse Of The Lowestoft Fishing Industry,’” he says, referring to the band’s hometown, a once lucrative fishing port. “It was going to be, like, the main character has lost his throat to cancer so you have to sing all the songs in a voice box.”


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