THE DARKNESS bassist Frankie Poullain spoke to the Cleveland Free Times about the group's over-the-top image, which has led Spin writer Chuck Klosterman to write in the February issue of the magazine that "THE DARKNESS cannot succeed in America," citing the little-known fact that Americans don't love to laugh and rock at the same time.
"If you look at image, you think, 'Any band that looks like that, surely they can't have good songs," Poullain admitted. "Skeptics say that. It takes longer for people to get us. But I think that's good because we challenge their initial impressions. We're not easy to get. If you're not obsessed with analyzing and credibility, then you can take us at face value. We have a great singer, and there's depth to the songs as well."
"I think the true part of 'Spinal Tap' is in people who take themselves very seriously," Poullain said, referring to the brilliant 1984 rockumentary/mockumentary chronicling the band SPINAL TAP's tour of the United States. 'If you watch MTV, for example, about the making of a certain band's video, you see an overbearing, egotistical lead singer shouting at the camera man and all that kind of stuff. If you see that kind of thing, you see 'Spinal Tap'. It's someone in a crap band releasing crap music and with crap sentiments on a massive ego trip. That's 'Spinal Tap'. Not us. We're happy to embrace the ridiculousness of what people think is ridiculous. One man's meat is another man's poison, basically. We like to think we're changing the rules."
THE DARKNESS' music's obviously derived from '80s metal acts, but Poullain says the songwriting has more in common with '70s rock.
"We are into '80s rock, but we're also into '70s rock," he said. "There's a bit of both. I like to think we give it a bit of a twist. We don't sing about fast cars and strippers and stuff. I don't think the lyrics are as trite as, for example, MÖTLEY CRÜE. 'Dr. Feelgood' and 'Girls, Girls, Girls' are great songs, but when you listen to their greatest hits, there's less quality songwriting on their hits album than on our debut album." [Read more]