Justin Hawkins of British rockers THE DARKNESS has confirmed to Dawn Osborne of TotalRock Radio that he and his bandmates have begun compiling ideas for the follow-up to 2019's "Easter Is Cancelled" album.
"The idea of the next record, for me, is I'm only writing stuff that I really, really am gonna have fun singing and playing," the frontman said (see video below). "So I just want it to be a really uplifting album. I don't want it be like one of these lockdown albums that is all about the situation. THE DARKNESS's job is to provide some kind of relief from the world and something uplifting that doesn't refer to the misery and the uncertainty and the suffering and all that we have had to endure. Our music should be aspirational and it should talk about the world I actually live in, where nothing like that really affects me. The only thing I miss is touring, but then once this is all finished, we'll be back out there and it'll be fine."
Justin, who presently resides in Switzerland, elaborated on his songwriting approach this time around, saying: "I love being emotionally honest at the risk of shooting myself in the foot [laughs] — really exposing the character defects and personality disorders that I have. I can't wait to explore and celebrate those, really.
"Some people think that music is cathartic, and you describe all this darkness that's inside you and then you feel better and your audience feels better because they feel less alienated because they realize that they're not the only people that feel like that. There's a bit of that about us, but at the same time, we've got to celebrate the parts of our personalities that are dysfunctional.
"I totally understand and appreciate the need for a greater emphasis on men's mental health and all that sort of stuff, but for me, without the madness, you can't create anything," he explained. "I think songwriters shouldn't be doing therapy; they should be writing songs.
"The other thing to remember is that when you write a song, if you write it quickly, you're capturing a moment in time. So the way you feel is expressed in the song itself, but then as soon as you've finished writing the song, you might not feel like that anymore. And you don't necessarily need to feel that way to be able to sing it later. As long as it's a great song, it doesn't matter.
"So, for me, when people say, 'Oh, are you happy or are you sad?', I always reject that question because I think the human experience is a whole spectrum of emotions," Justin added. "And it's not determined by events in your life. 'Cause you can feel great about the coffee that you're drinking but terrible about the loss that you've just suffered. Or your dog licks you in the morning and then shits on the carpet later on. You're gonna have anger, contentment, companionship and all these things that make you feel good, and also you're gonna have to deal with some actual shit. That's just an example of it. So you have a spectrum of emotions that you experience — a whole gamut of it. So when you write a song, make sure you're honest about how you feel when you write it, not what you wanna say with the song. Otherwise, it's less effective as a way of propelling or expressing something."
"Easter Is Cancelled" was released in October 2019. It became the band's fourth Top 10 album and topped the Official charts Top 40 Rock And Metal chart and the iTunes Rock chart, while receiving swathes of critical praise as the band continued to prove why they are one of the most beloved U.K. rock bands of our time.