Interview: A Chat with Dan Hawkins from The Darkness

Monday, March 27, 2017

Before The Darkness hit Australia for Groovin the Moo, I chatted to Dan Hawkins about coming back to Australia, style and Violent Soho's invite to play cricket.

Emily: You have gifted us with coming to headline the Groovin the Moo, how excited are you about returning to Australia?
Dan: Oh it’s always awesome. In a way, it’s a place that we all wished that we lived. It’s only because of certain attachments in the UK that we didn’t move out there the first time we toured there. Yeah, we love it and can’t wait to come back. We spent quite a bit of time in Melbourne the last time we toured, which is weird because we are usually in and then straight back out. We became quite fond of it, and in a way, it’s our spiritual home. 

And are you excited to be able to see the more remote parts of Australia that the festival will be taking you to?
Yeah, I mean we're up for bang up anything. It’s a bit of myth that musicians get to see the world. We see the assholes of a lot of roadies, and the inside of the tour bus at 2 am. So any chance to get out and explore, we're up for that!

Groovin the Moo is mixed with lots of different musical styles and sounds. What is The Darkness going to bring to the mix?
Well blimey…I guess we’ll be the meat to their potatoes. Yeah, we will be bringing meat mostly (Laughs).

And so, Aussie band Violent Soho who are also playing at Groovin the Moo…
Oooh, that sounds scary!

(laughs) No, they're really lovely, don’t worry!
Oh, so they're not actually violent?

No, it’s just all in the name. 
Oh good (Laughs).

Well, they said that they want to have a game of cricket with you. Would you be down for a game?
(Laughs) I would be well up for that! As long as we don’t use real cricket balls because as it turns out, I’m not insured to play cricket with a real cricket ball. Maybe we can wrap it in bubble wrap or something?  This is real rock 'n' roll hey? Got to protect my genitalia…or what’s left of it anyway (Laughs).

You guys also have a series of sold-out sideshows, after having to add on two extra shows in Melbourne...
(Still laughing) I’m sorry I just can’t believe that I mentioned my genitalia…well it’s out there now, isn’t it…not literally, it’s not actually out there now! (Laughs) Anyway sorry, carry on…two sold out shows?

Yeah, your sideshows and having to add extra shows because they have all been selling out…How is the atmosphere different from a festival show to your own shows?
Oh you know to be fair it’s all the same to us. We have a default setting, and that’s fucking going like the clappers and that’s it really. We treat every audience the same. People say “to play every pub like it’s a stadium” and we kind of play stadiums like they're pubs. It’s always the same. Were a party rock band basically. A pub party rock band. And we just go out to have a really great time and hope that everyone will follow suit. And if they don’t, they can fuck off anyway.

And so fashion wise, what inspires The Darkness on stage? Have you guys got a stylist or do you just have a really great gift for looking fabulous on stage?
Well, thank you very much, dear! Back in the day, we had people who helped us realise our ideas, I would like to say now that there was some sort of plan, we talk to each other about the sort of things we're excited about creating and we all have individual people making the clothes for us. So quite often when we turn up and see what each of us is wearing when were in the dressing room of the first gig of the tour and were just like “What the fuck is that?” and like “are you serious? Did you not get the memo? I thought we were going to be like this”. So yeah, it’s absolutely fucking random, and we never know what’s going to happen. I never know what people are going to turn up in or dressed as. I suppose it’s a bit like a fancy dress party with no theme.

(Laughs) Sounds like heaps of fun! Now out of all the music that you guys have released during your time in the band, is there one particular track that you’re still super excited to play live? 
This sounds like complete rubbish, but we only play songs that we really like playing live. And sometimes that has been at our own expense…we have singles, and the label would turn up and ask “why aren’t you playing the single?” and were like “because we think it’s shit!” (Laughs) At one of our single campaigns, we refused to play all three singles at our managements despair. We were like “fuck it! They're boring!” (Laughs).

You guys are such rebels! 
I Know! But no one fucking bought them anyway, so it doesn’t matter! So yeah if we play something on stage it’s because we love it! We all really do love every song and everything that we're doing.  

Now you guys have been spending some time in the recording studio earlier this year, does that mean we are getting a new album from you guys?
I’m in the studio right now actually! So yeah it’s actually happening now! We're almost done! It’s really exciting. I think just after the summer we will start releasing stuff. I’m hoping that we might get something out while we're in Australia, but I doubt it! So yeah, stuff will start appearing on the interweb maybe September.

Sounds great! Looking forward to it!
Yeah me too.

Catch The Darkness at the below dates: