THE DARKNESS frontman Justin Hawkins spoke to Greg Prato of Songfacts about the title of the band's upcoming album, " "Easter Is Cancelled", which is due on October 4 via via Cooking Vinyl. The artwork features what appears to be members of THE DARKNESS beating down Roman guards as Jesus — played by Justin — attempts to escape from the bonds of crucifixion.
Justin explained: "Last year, I was asked to compile a book of my lyrics and poems and musings — anecdotes. One of those stocking fillers for the ultimate DARKNESS fan. I didn't have time to do it, because we were working on the album; we had a couple of songs, and that was the beginning of the process, really. So I said, 'I haven't got time for this, but perhaps we can do it next year.' My manager suggested I write a little Easter poem, so I wrote an Easter poem, and it went, 'Wishing you Easter pleasure that you cannot measure, boola boola, boola boola.' I thought that 'boola boola' bit would have a slightly Buddy Holly/'50s vibe to it. Kids love that. And then my manager shot back, 'Easter is cancelled.'
"For me, that's an ideal starting point for the album title discussion," he continued. "Up till then, 'Rock And Roll Deserves To Die' was a potential album title, but it was a bit negative. 'Easter Is Cancelled', in a way, is positive — there's no need for the crucifixion. Which leads into a bit of the multiverse theory that everyone loves at the moment — especially me. It's one of my favorite things, the idea that there is a universe where I don't feel like slitting my wrists when I can't get the heating to work and I'm freezing my nuts off. In an alternative universe, there is a tank full of oil just waiting to permeate up through the floorboards and make me feel good about my life. So, that's what keeps me going: that somewhere, on another frequency or plane, life isn't shit. [Laughs]
"I understand that there is some concern about the abhorrent misuse of religious iconography. Because of course, we're the first band that's ever done that. Nobody's ever played with that imagery before. And it's not my fault that I'm this buff. When I'm representing Christ the Savior... it's not my fault that I'm buff. I tried to cut back food, and some of the fat went and then the muscle ratio went through the roof. That's just the way I'm built."
"Easter Is Cancelled" is the follow-up to 2017's "Pinewood Smile", which was the third album since THE DARKNESS's 2011 reunion.
THE DARKNESS burst on to the scene with its multi-platinum 2003 debut album, "Permission To Land".
Having initially split up in 2006, following the departure of Justin Hawkins, THE DARKNESS decided to get back together five years later and released the comeback album "Hot Cakes". This was followed by two further LPs, "Last Of Our Kind" and the aforementioned "Pinewood Smile".