Hallelujah, The Darkness are coming. Led by the dapper, non aging, rock n roll front man Justin Hawkins there’s only 22 more sleeps until they arrive in Australia. While you are waiting checkout our interview with Justin and learn all about the new album, what’s in store live and the secrets of rewinding the age of your appearance.
SB: Hi Justin, I’ve got a bunch of questions and they’re in no particular order, I understand it’s late in the U.K so I’ll shoot them quick, bang, bang, bang…..How old were you when you realized you had that amazing falsetto voice?
JH: I don’t actually know, I think I probably always sang that way to be honest. Probably 13 or 14 I guess when I first recorded something.
SB: Was it something you nurtured or did you just open your mouth one day and go......AaaaaaaaaaaaaaaahhaaaaaaaaahhhaaaaaYeaaaaaaaaaaaaaah?
JH: No, no I just opened up and did it. I used to be able to sing a whole lot higher than I do at the moment in like a Mariah Carey whistle voice.
SB: It must have been a lovely surprise to realise you were able to do that?
JH: I know, it used to come out occasionally on early recordings, but it’s not something I can do anymore really.
SB: What made you guys decide to include Australia on your “ Nothings Gonna Stop Us “ Tour? It’s a long way to come….
JH: Australia has always been really important to us. Like when we first came over and did Big Day Out, that was a huge moment for us and we were really excited. That was a great bill for us, opening up and doing really early slots. Just to be on it made us really happy. And then, like the last episode of The Darkness, the one country that stood by us was Australia. We always have fond memories of it and have just been really excited to comeback. It’s one of the really important places for us, in some ways more important than the U.K. For me personally it’s all about Australia, Japan and America. I could go between those three places for the rest of my life and be perfectly happy.
SB: So, will you be playing rock n roll for the rest of your life, or do you think you’ll get tired of doing it?
JH: Something’s clicked in me now. I love the routine of the tour. I get up and I know exactly what I’m doing with my day, I get off the tour bus, into the venue, do my preparations and workout and all that stuff, I’ll sing the songs usually. The only time I’m a bit lost is when it’s a day off, I don’t know what to do with myself. I’m literally, loving it at the moment and I can’t see myself getting bored with it.
SB: Have you guys got anything exciting in store as far as stage production goes, will there be any riding of tigers?
JH: I think on the second album we used to do bigger production-ee stuff, I think because maybe the material needed it or warranted it, but we pretty much come from the perspective of being an old school rock band. Some songs are a bit glossier than others but essentially we’re four guys with guitars, actually two of us have guitars but there’s still four guys. So I’m really enjoying the more stripped down stuff.
SB: I mean really, stage props are fun, but it’s really about the rock isn’t it.
JH: Yeah, totally and there’s no substitute for it. Some of the most unforgettable shows I’ve been to have had no production whatsoever and some of the most forgettable show’s I’ve done had a lot of production. I’d much prefer to have the emphasis on what’s really important, like you said, the rock.
SB: The next question kinda relates to production..… Will you be wearing a green and gold cat suit with maybe and emu and kangaroo motif?
JH: Oh my goodness. You’ve just given me the best idea. Green and gold?
SB: Yep, the Australian colours are green and gold.
JH: Green and gold yeah, I think that’s also the Lotus colours. Awesome idea.
SB: How long has your new album been in the pipeline?
JH: We started recording it properly last April, but we had to stop recording it because we had to do all the festivals that we did last summer in Europe. So, that stopped things for a while and we got back in, on and off. It’s been about a year or something. It’s finished now and we’ve just got to decide which songs to include and use as bonus tracks, B- sides and stuff. One of the really good signs is that we can’t decide which ones. It’s pretty cool, there’s a good blend of old school rock and then some more luxurious rock and then there’s a big power ballad on it. We’re very happy with the mix of material.
SB: I saw a clip of you guys at the Download Festival in 2011 and I noted, not to piss in your pocket, that you all look younger than you did eight years ago. What’s your secret?
JH: We look younger? I don’t know why that would be. Maybe it was the gruelling, gruelling schedules we had last time around. I don’t know.
SB: So, no secret? No macrobiotic diets?
JH: To be perfectly honest there is a bit of that going on… Pretty much a pescatarian diet. I used to eat a lot more meat than I do now. I used to smoke around 20 a day and I don’t smoke anymore, although I did have a smoke on my birthday as a treat.
SB: And you haven’t had the urge to have another one?
JH: Ah, no. Not really. I didn’t really enjoy it. I think you need time away from it to realise how gross it is. Can you still smoke in pubs and stuff in Australia?
SB: No, that’s all over, in fact, you can’t even smoke outside government buildings and some outdoor restaurants….
JH: I think it’s like that everywhere isn’t it. I gave up just about the time of the smoking ban about five years ago.
SB: So you guested on the Steel Panther album Feel the Steel a few years back. Were you able to exchange any tips on hairdo’s, outfits and rock with the Steel Panther guys?
JH : Lexxi and I really clicked and in fact I was on the phone to him today, he’s in London at the moment so I’m gonna go see him play on Saturday. But we’re always, literally, if we’re in the same town we’ll go shopping together. It’s like we are “those” guys.
SB: Just two more questions, they only require one word answers….Have you ever set fire to a hotel room?
JH: I’ve done everything but. No, is the quick answer.
SB: Describe “One Direction” in a word.
SB: Fabulous answer! Thank you Justin Hawkins.
So there you have it. Tickets for the 2nd Melbourne Show and Adelaide will be on sale 16th April, if you don't have internet access and have to stay up all night with the phone on redial you best do it! Otherwise jump on the following websites to order tix for the greatness that is The Darkness.
Fri May 4 Eatons Hill Hotel BRISBANE QLD With special guests Nine Sons Of Dan 646 South Pine Road Albany Creek Tickets $72.00 + credit card fee where applicable from www.oztix.com.au
Sat May 5 Newcastle Panthers NEWCASTLE NSW With special guests Voodoo Sons Corner Of Munibung & Pendlebury Rd, Cardiff Tickets $72.00 + credit card fee where applicable from www.moshtix.com.au
Sun May 6 UNSW Roundhouse SYDNEY NSW With special guests Voodoo Sons University of New South Wales, Kensington Campus, Sydney Tickets $72.00 + credit card fee where applicable from www.ticketek.com.au
May 10 ANU Bar CANBERRA ACT With special guests Fun Machine The ANU Bar and Refectory Australian National University Union Inc. Tickets $72.00 + credit card fee where applicable from www.ticketek.com.au
JUST ANNOUNCED Tickets available 16th April
Wed May 9 The Palace MELBOURNE VIC
www.ticketek.com.au 2nd Melbourne show
Sat May 12 Thebarton Theatre ADELAIDE SA
www.venuetix.com.au all ages show