THE DARKNESS recently spoke to the U.K.'s Kerrang! magazine about the tabloids, festivals, success, meeting QUEEN and that "difficult second album." Several excerpts from the interview follow:
Kerrang!: Do people in the States view you differently than they do in the UK?
Justin Hawkins (guitar/vocals): "The actual perception that people get in the States from listening to the music and watching us is no different from anywhere else in the world. People assume that there's this lack of understanding of irony and it's crap. They're just people, same as anyone else. They're no different from people in the UK or Malaysia or wherever. It is all backwards over there, though. We've played a few of these radio station jamborees where we end up on a bill with lots of bands who sound nothing like us and it's basically an arse kissing exercise where we're saying 'Thank you so much!' to the radio station when really it should be the other way round. It's very strange."
Kerrang!: Do you feel under pressure to deliver a stunning second album?
Dan Hawkins (guitar): "We can do whatever we want. As long as there are hits on the album, we can give everyone what they want. We're award-winning songwriters! (laughs) We know how to arrange songs and what makes people tick. And throwing money at something doesn't make it good. We're still going to pay for this album ourselves."
Ed Graham (drums): "Some bands take months and months over albums and I don't think that's necessarily a good thing."
Dan: "The first album is like a Hyundai, souped-up to the bollocks, a mid-80s thing with a massive spoiler on it, under-lighting and a huge engine in it. We spent twenty grand on it to make it go like a supercar. But the second album is going to be the real supercar."
Justin: "We just need a super worldwide smash! Let's just re-arrange the chords of 'The Final Countdown'!"
Dan: "We've just got to nail the vibe."
Justin: "Nail the vibe? (laughs)"
Kerrang!: Now to the important stuff. How much money have you all made?
Justin: "Fuck all!"
Ed: "I've spunked quite a lot of it. The first chunk of money I got, after being skint for years and years, I wasn't very careful with, I must admit."
Dan: "There's plenty of time to get sensible!"
Ed: "There's never as much money as people think. Once you're running a big production and a big show and you're paying a lot of people's wages, and you're constantly touring like we are, people assume we're rich but we're not at all."
Justin: "People think we all live in castles but it's all about perception. We turn up in helicopters and limos and so that's how people perceive us, but it's very different from the harsh reality of it. I might drive a Jag but they practically gave it to me. They want the Jag to be seen as a rock star's toy."
Dan: "We don't like to do without because we did for so long."
Ed: "In terms of lifestyle you feel you want to live this lifestyle that technically you can't afford but you do it anyway!"
Dan: "The best thing I got for free was a guitar that was owned by Jimmy Page. He had it made to his exact specifications but it was too heavy for him. Gibson have been so good for us. They're the best guitars in the world! Make sure you keep that bit in!"
Read the entire interview at this location.