Tag Archive | "the darkness"

The Darkness Announce North American Leg of “Tour de Prance”

The Darkness Announce North American Leg of “Tour de Prance”

The Darkness – Photo by Simon Emmett

England’s most distinctive, multiple award-winning, platinum-selling, hugely entertaining rock gods and one-time saviors of rock n’ roll turned international pleasures THE DARKNESS – Justin Hawkins (vocals / guitar), Dan Hawkins (guitar), Frankie Poullain (bass), Rufus Tiger Taylor (drums) – have announced the North American leg of Tour de Prance kicking off on March 29, 2018 in Los Angeles at The Fonda Theatre and wrapping in Dallas on May 2nd at South Side Music Hall. The Darkness will ignite stages across the land to celebrate their fifth album Pinewood Smile, due out October 6th via Cooking Vinyl.

Tickets for Tour de Prance go on sale Friday, September 29th @10am local times. Visit www.thedarknesslive.com for further information.

Written in Putney and recorded in Cornwall, England, Pinewood Smile was produced by Grammy Award-winning Adrian Bushby (Foo Fighters, Muse). The album finds The Darkness in electrifying form, delivering some of the most sharp-witted, infectious, humorous and downright brilliant songs of their career. Pinewood Smile also features the drumming and vocal talents of gorgeous new band member Rufus Tiger Taylor, son of Queen legend Roger Taylor.

The Darkness’ ‘Pinewood Smile’ drops October 6th, 2017.

In addition to the glorious, hard-rocking, autobiographical album opener “All The Pretty Girls” that intellectually examines the fact that when you’re a rock star you get a lot of attention from ladies and discussing the ethical conundrums that come with that, the album boasts the swashbuckling “Buccaneers Of Hispaniola,” the expletive-strewn howl of frustration that is “Southern Trains,” the hugely emotional “Why Don’t The Beautiful Cry?,” the globally anthemic “Japanese Prisoner Of Love” and the ode to pumping out smash hit after smash hit “Solid Gold,” in which The Darkness address the turbulent nature of the music industry and how they have enjoyed its flamboyant highs and spectacular lows.

“All The Pretty Girls,” “Solid Gold” and “Southern Trains” are available across all streaming platforms and via download with pre-orders of the album.

2018 North American leg of Tour de Prance:
3/29 – Los Angeles, CA @The Fonda Theatre
3/30 – Las Vegas, NV @Brooklyn Bowl
3/31 – San Francisco, CA @Regency Ballroom
4/2 – Portland, OR @Crystal Ballroom
4/3 – Seattle, WA @Showbox
4/4 – Vancouver, BC @Vogue Theatre
4/6 – Salt Lake City, UT @The Complex
4/7 – Englewood, CO @Gothic Theatre
4/8 – Kansas City, MO @The Truman
4/10 – Milwaukee, WI @Turner Hall Ballroom
4/11 – Chicago, IL @Park West
4/13 – Detroit, MI @Majestic Theatre
4/14 – Cleveland, OH @Agora Ballroom
4/15 – Toronto, ON @The Phoenix Concert Theatre
4/17 – Montreal, QC @Corona Theatre
4/18 – Philadelphia, PA @The Trocadero Theatre
4/20 – Brooklyn, NY @Brooklyn Steel
4/21 – Sayreville, NJ @Starland Ballroom
4/22 – Boston, MA @Royale
4/24 – Baltimore, MD @Rams Head Live!
4/25 – Norfolk, VA @The NorVa
4/27 – Charlotte, NC @The Underground
4/28 – Atlanta, GA @Terminal West
4/30 – New Orleans, LA @Civic Theatre
5/1 – Austin, TX @Emo’s
5/2 – Dallas, TX @South Side Music Hall

‘Pinewood Smile’ is due out on October 6th. Pre-order the album at https://thedarkness.lnk.to/PS. Follow the continuing adventures of The Darkness on social media via Facebook and Twitter. For all the latest news and tour dates, visit the band’s official website at www.thedarknesslive.com.

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THE DARKNESS: Frankie Poullain On Bringing ‘Pinewood Smile’ To The Masses!

THE DARKNESS: Frankie Poullain On Bringing ‘Pinewood Smile’ To The Masses!

Frankie Poullain – Photo by Simon Emmett

England’s most distinctive, multiple award-winning, platinum-selling, hugely entertaining rock gods and one-time saviors of rock n’ roll turned international pleasures The Darkness – Justin Hawkins (vocals / guitar), Dan Hawkins (guitar), Frankie Poullain (bass), Rufus Tiger Taylor (drums) – will unleash their highly anticipated fifth studio album, ‘Pinewood Smile,’ on October 6th through Cooking Vinyl. Written in Putney and recorded in Cornwall, England, ‘Pinewood Smile’ was produced by Grammy Award-winning Adrian Bushby (Foo Fighters, Muse). The compositions have all the crucial elements of classic Darkness fare, but with added layers for the ears to peel away at…like a sonic onion, but a lot tastier. The album also features the drumming and vocal talents of gorgeous new band member Rufus Tiger Taylor, son of Queen legend Roger Taylor.

‘Pinewood Smile’ finds The Darkness in electrifying form, delivering some of the most sharp-witted, infectious, humorous and downright brilliant songs of their career. In addition to the glorious, hard-rockin’, autobiographical album opener “All The Pretty Girls” that intellectually examines the fact that when you’re a rock star you get a lot of attention from ladies and discussing the ethical conundrums that come with that, the album boasts the swashbuckling “Buccaneers Of Hispaniola,” the expletive-strewn howl of frustration that is “Southern Trains,” the hugely emotional “Why Don’t The Beautiful Cry?,” the globally anthemic “Japanese Prisoner Of Love” and the ode to pumping out smash hit after smash hit “Solid Gold,” which finds The Darkness addressing the turbulent nature of the music industry and how they have enjoyed its flamboyant highs and spectacular lows.

Jason Price of Icon Vs. Icon recently caught up with The Darkness’ Frankie Poullain to discuss his life in music, the making of ‘Pinewood Smile’ and what the future might hold for these rock ‘n’ roll legends!

How did music first come into your life and what went into finding your creative voice early on in life?

In the back of my Mum’s car 1977, she taught Italian classes on Saturday afternoons and took us there because she couldn’t afford a babysitter. I remember hearing The Carpenters “Calling Occupants of Interplanetary Craft” and being blown away by the voice, the melodies, the arrangement and the words. Though of course at the time I didn’t break it down into those components, I just felt my young impressionable brain melt.

What made you want to pursue your passion professionally?

The deep feelings that music gives people, the ability to transport us and forget for a moment the horror show that we are as a species.

You’ve come a long way from the early years as a musician. Looking back, what are your fondest memories of your leaner years as a professional musician and how did these experiences impact the artist we see today?

I had many lean years. Those years made me less precious, blocked and fearful, as I witnessed many talented friends and acquaintances who fell by the wayside because of those traits. Sacrifice is key, sacrifice and courage, mainly of an emotional kind. Physical courage is overrated in my opinion, unless we’re talking about defending your country against Nazis.

The Darkness continues to explore new musical territory. What fuels your creative fire and keeps you so driven?

Our values, both musical and as people. The Hawkins brothers have a strong work ethic when they are fired up. We also have a sense of duty to do what we do best, which is to inject a sense of euphoric abandon into a sterile joyless world that takes itself way too seriously.

To what do you attribute the longevity of the band?

Propecia. Gym induced endorphins. Dolphins. Hawk The Slayer. Brotherly Love. Ice Eyes. Gibson. Erectile Dysfunction. Dementia. Death. Rebirth. The small of a woman’s back.

The Darkness’ ‘Pinewood Smile’ drops October 6th, 2017.

What got the ball rolling for ‘Pinewood Smile’ and made now the right time for a new record?

Mortgage repayments.

What were your aspirations or goals for this album as you started the process of creating this new album?

No goals as such, just to be true to our exacting standards. We are all tough on each other. Rufus Taylor was making his first album with us and we encouraged him to sing two duets with Justin – in at the deep end as they say.

How did what you envisioned this album differ from what you have ultimately achieved?

Interesting question. It’s never what you imagine it will be. Bands will always like to say ‘this is our Detroit soul album’ or our ‘White album’, but it usually sounds like just any other album by that band. However we are different, this really is our techno ‘Astral Weeks’. Finally.

For those haven’t heard the new record, how does it compare and contrast to the work The Darkness has done in the past?

It’s denser. And yet wetter somehow. It’s also exceedingly thick.

What can you tell us about the songwriting process for the album and gathering the right mix of tunes?

The process began in Alicante, on Spain’s Costa del Hell, and then Inverness in the Highlands of Scotland, before a couple of visits to Cornwall on England’s South West peninsula. The locations always seem to leave an imprint on the material. In this case they made them more watery and touristy. Tunes is the right word. The mix isn’t so important, more that each song has an identity.

The Darkness teamed up with producer Adrian Bushby for ‘Pinewood Smile.’ What did he bring to the table for a project like this one?

He brought two hard rock balls and a metal banana, plonked them on the table and said ‘Let’s do this’.

You have been working with the other guys in the band for many years now. What do they bring out in your creatively?

I’ve learnt so much from them – they don’t fuck around. Well they do sometimes, clearly, but whiny whimpery nonsense will not be tolerated. Neither will feeling sorry for yourself or ripping other people off; unless those people go by the name of AC/DC.

The Darkness – Photo by Simon Emmett

What were the biggest challenges you encountered while bringing the album to life?

Stacking up harmonies while waiting for the Cornish pasties to arrive. Recording the backing tracks with Ru and Dan live, we had to do up to 50 takes sometimes, just to get the right feel but it was worth it.

They say you learn something from each album you put out. Does that hold true with this one?

Yes. We learned that a stitch in time saves nine. And to look before we leap. But most of all that a Rolling Stone gathers no Kate Moss. Not yet anyway.

The majority of music fans don’t give much thought to the business side of the music industry. What does it take to keep a band like The Darkness on the rails and moving forward in ever-changing climate like we see today?

Smoke and mirrors. Almonds. Ginger. A compass. An umbrella. A corporate slave trader cracking the whip behind us.

I’m sure the way you viewed rock ‘n’ roll as a kid differs slightly from the way you see things today. What does rock ‘n’ roll mean to you?

Good question. Making up the rules as you go along, to suit yourself and no one else. Trying to be rock ‘n’ roll is pathetic and should be kicked in the bollocks with steel toe capped boots.

How do you feel you have most evolved as an artist through the years?

I now play the cowbell with the thicker handle end of the drum stick as someone told me it would sound better.
It does.

Last year, The Darkness was joined on stage by Tim Cappello, the legendary sexy saxman from ‘Lost Boys.’ By all accounts, he is an awesome guy! What is your recollection of the epic meet up and performance? (Check out the performance here!)

He’s such a pro and like a lot of talented musicians who don’t give a shit, he’s unintentionally funny. Sheer attitude, class and dedication. When he thrust his hips towards me I was in heaven.

You have a lot of productive years ahead of you. Where do you see yourself headed musically in the future, both short and long term?

Thank you for the faith. Short term – explode into our pants. Long term – explode into oblivion.

‘Pinewood Smile’ is due out on October 6th. Pre-order the album at https://thedarkness.lnk.to/PS. Follow the continuing adventures of The Darkness on social media via Facebook and Twitter. For all the latest news and tour dates, visit the band’s official website at www.thedarknesslive.com.

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The Darkness To Unleash New Album, ‘Pinewood Smile,’ On October 6th

The Darkness To Unleash New Album, ‘Pinewood Smile,’ On October 6th

England’s most distinctive, multiple award-winning, platinum-selling, hugely entertaining rock gods and one-time saviors of rock n’ roll turned international pleasures The Darkness – Justin Hawkins (vocals / guitar), Dan Hawkins (guitar), Frankie Poullain (bass), Rufus Tiger Taylor (drums) – is back with their fifth album Pinewood Smile, due for release October 6th through Cooking Vinyl.

Fresh off shows with Guns N’ Roses and headlining European summer festivals, The Darkness will continue touring the UK extensively through early 2018 and unleash their power on U.S. stages in Spring 2018. Details coming soon.

Written in Putney and recorded in Cornwall, England, Pinewood Smile was produced by Grammy Award-winning Adrian Bushby (Foo Fighters, Muse). The compositions have all the crucial elements of classic Darkness fare, but with added layers for the ears to peel away at…like a sonic onion, but a lot tastier. The album also features the drumming and vocal talents of gorgeous new band member Rufus Tiger Taylor, son of Queen legend Roger Taylor.

Pinewood Smile finds The Darkness in electrifying form, delivering some of the most sharp-witted, infectious, humorous and downright brilliant songs of their career. In addition to the glorious, hard-rockin’, autobiographical album opener “All The Pretty Girls” that intellectually examines the fact that when you’re a rock star you get a lot of attention from ladies and discussing the ethical conundrums that come with that, the album boasts the swashbuckling “Buccaneers Of Hispaniola,” the expletive-strewn howl of frustration that is “Southern Trains,” the hugely emotional “Why Don’t The Beautiful Cry?,” the globally anthemic “Japanese Prisoner Of Love” and the ode to pumping out smash hit after smash hit “Solid Gold,” which finds The Darkness addressing the turbulent nature of the music industry and how they have enjoyed its flamboyant highs and spectacular lows.

“All The Pretty Girls” is available across all streaming platforms and via download with pre-orders of the album for the instant gratification of fans.

The Darkness on the web:
http://www.thedarknesslive.com/
https://www.facebook.com/thedarknessofficial/
https://twitter.com/thedarkness

ABOUT THE DARKNESS
2003 gave birth to one of the most extraordinary and best loved rock bands. The Darkness released their debut album Permission To Land to overnight success, topping the UK charts, going 5x Platinum and selling over 1.5 milion copies in the UK alone. It spawned a series of hit singles including “I Believe In A Thing Called Love,” “Growing On Me,” “Get Your Hands Off My Woman” and “Love Is Only A Feeling.” The album clocked up a series of awards including three BRIT Awards, two Kerrang Awards and an Ivor Novello for Songwriters Of The Year, amongst many others.

The Darkness played a number of landmark shows, including a headline set at the 2004 Reading and Leeds Festivals, as part of a whirlwind career of global touring as international sensations. The band then built upon the success of their debut with their 2005 follow up One Way Ticket To Hell… And Back, which produced the Top 10 hit “One Way Ticket.”

In 2006 Justin Hawkins left the band, checking into rehab and The Darkness fell apart. Following successful treatment, the band reformed in 2011 touring Europe and South America in 2012 with Lady Gaga. The band released their comeback album Hot Cakes that year and Last Of Our Kind in 2015.

In 2016 “I Believe In A Thing Called Love” was featured in a wildly popular Apple Music commercial starring Taylor Swift.

The Darkness have now returned in 2017 with Pinewood Smile, delivering some of the most sharp-witted, infectious, humorous and downright brilliant songs of their career.

Addressing Pinewood Smile and The Darkness’ undoubted relevance in 2017, Justin Hawkins asks, somewhat rhetorically of the world at large, “Why should anybody care? Because if you don’t, we’re fucked!! History will remember us as the apathetic generation who negligently ushered in a dreadful dystopian age that may or may not come to be known as The Rise of the Arseclowns. We cannot allow this to continue! You may not give a shit about Brexit or Trump, but PLEASE… give a shit about The Darkness otherwise the last bastion of cultural sensibility will fall and our airwaves will be polluted by meaningless pop purveyed by arseholes and morons… Oh wait!”

ABOUT THE DARKNESS DOCUMENTARY
The full breadth of The Darkness’ legendary rise to the top, spectacular slide to the bottom and steady climb back up the greasy pole of rock n’ roll is soon to be laid bare in glorious detail. Currently in production is a philosophical, darkly humorous and deeply personal documentary of The Darkness’ comeback, due for release in 2018.

The documentary is being created by world-renowned photographer and filmmaker Simon Emmett (Jay Z, Matt Damon, Helen Mirren). He has recorded over 250 hours of footage to date, capturing the past, present, hopes, dreams and inner mental turmoil of The Darkness.

As Justin explains, As soon as Permission To Land was wrapped up I already knew it was going to be a mega smash. But I also knew that the second album would not be, and that we’d split up, and I knew we’d come back together and I knew the comeback would be fabulous. The fabulous element of the comeback hasn’t materialised as yet, but it’s all a work in progress. To be frank – the story of The Darkness is: years of perspiration, overnight sensation, over-saturation, temporary separation, reunion elation, career renovation, Pinewood Smile creation!”

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Blu-ray Review: Kevin Bacon Brings Light To ‘The Darkness’

Blu-ray Review: Kevin Bacon Brings Light To ‘The Darkness’

the-darkness-movie-2016-2

This week Steve Johnson takes a look at Universal’s release of “The Darkness.” This fantastic supernatural horror film stars Kevin Bacon and was produced by the team that brought us “The Purge” and “Insidious.”

Here’s a quick synopsis before we enter the darkness:

From the producers of “The Purge” and “Insidious,” comes this terrifying supernatural thriller starring Kevin Bacon (“Black Mass,” “X-Men: First Class”) and Radha Mitchell (“London Has Fallen,” “Silent Hill”). When their young son (David Mazouz, TV’s “Gotham”) brings home five mystical stones he found on their family’s camping trip to the Grand Canyon, Peter (Bacon) and Bronny (Mitchell) notice strange things happening in their house. Having awakened dark forces bound to the rocks, the family fights for survival as malicious demons feed off their fears and threaten to destroy them.

'The Darkness'

‘The Darkness’

REVIEW: Oh man! It’s finally September! You know what that means, right? We are right around the corner from Halloween! Unlike previous years, I am trying to ease into the season. It’s hard, but I’m doing my best. I imagine a week from now I’ll have the decorations up and will be downing pumpkin beer like it’s water. Anyway, let’s get down to the real business at hand. I fancy myself a slasher or creature feature fan but, lately, I have taken a turn toward the supernatural side of things. Recent films like “Insidious,” “The Conjuring” and “Sinister” sealed my new found love of the sub genre. “The Darkness” is the new kid on the supernatural block and it does not fail in its attempt to bring the spooky.

“The Darkness” begins with a seemingly normal family vacation to the Grand Canyon. While exploring the canyons, the Taylor’s young son stumbles upon some rocks that are not meant to fall into young hands. Upon returning home, the family’s struggles escalate and so do the things that go bump in the night. We are talking about mysterious noises and shadows, freak animal encounters, a neighboring dog that barks for no reason, and mysterious handprints manifesting out of nowhere. Yeah, good luck sleeping after watching this one late at night. The film starts off slow, but that is not to its detriment. I enjoyed the building crescendo of terror. Is this movie as good as “Insidious” or “Sinister?” No, but that doesn’t mean you should skip it.

“The Darkness” features great performances all around. Kevin Bacon and Radha Mitchell are great as the troubled Peter and Bronny Taylor. In full disclosure, I’m a huge Kevin Bacon fan. If he is in a film, I’m there with my money out. David Mazouz’s portrayal of Michael is fantastic. While he didn’t have much dialogue, he delivered the best performance in the film. Lucy Fry also delivers a solid performance as Stephanie Taylor. Be on the lookout for Paul Reiser as Kevin Bacon’s slimy boss. Imagine that, Paul Reiser playing a slimeball in a horror film. Damn you Burke … damn you … oh sorry … back to business.

the-darkness-movie-2016-3

Universal has put together a fairly decent blu-ray package for “The Darkness.” The film’s transfer is flawless. This is especially evident during the family’s trip to the Grand Canyon at the opening of the film. As my fellow horror nerds know, a great audio mix is key for a supernatural horror film like this. This one delivers the goods and kept me looking over my shoulder. I suggest hitting the lights and fire this one up late at night.

The amount of special features on the disc won’t blow you away, but the quality of them will. The highlight is an alternate ending I wish they would have kept in the film. It is scarier and more shocking than the theatrical ending. I was genuinely spooked. Needless to say, I wasn’t roaming the hallways of my house in the dark after watching. Be sure to check it out. Rounding out the special features are nine deleted scenes, some of which would have been quite good in the finished film. Make sure you take a look at the deleted scene featuring Kevin Bacon in an elevator. I may never be able to get into an elevator at night again.

THE VERDICT: “The Darkness,” while slow at times, is a great entry into the realm of supernatural horror. If you are a fan of what Blumhouse delivered up until this point, you should head to the store and pick this one up. You will not be disappointed.

“The Darkness” is available now on Digital HD, Blu-ray, DVD, and VOD.

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ICON VS. ICON PRESENTS: Acid Pop Cult Podcast – Episode 198: Tickle Whip

ICON VS. ICON PRESENTS: Acid Pop Cult Podcast – Episode 198: Tickle Whip

acidpopcult-podcast-2016

This week on Acid Pop Cult, the gang is back at full strength with the return of Jmo. The show kicks off with a look back at some hilarious dentistry woes from there past, as well as the big reveal on Jmo’s weeks ahead. Hank offers a slightly spoilery look at two of his favorite shows with reviews of ‘Better Call Saul’ and ‘Game of Thrones.’ Meanwhile, Jason gives a big shoutout to The Sexy Sax Man himself, Tim Capello, as he prepares to play with The Darkness next week. Jeremy confesses his hatred of people’s love of Prince and begins to turn heel on Kevin Smith before giving us a look at the music streaming options available through Amazon! We love this show because it is heavily stacked, just like our women. Spread the word, leave a review and be sure to tune in each week for the latest and greatest!

Rate and review the show on iTunes! Hell, it’s a podcast so nice, you should rate it twice! Send us some feedback on Facebook or Twitter.

Download the latest episode of Acid Pop Cult on iTunes!


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Check Out The New Trailer For ‘The Darkness’ Starring Kevin Bacon

Check Out The New Trailer For ‘The Darkness’ Starring Kevin Bacon

Check out the new trailer for the upcoming Kevin Bacon thriller, THE DARKNESS, which hits theaters Friday, May 13, 2016. The film comes from the director of the cult classic, WOLF CREEK, Greg McLean.

Synopsis: As a family returns home from vacation at the Grand Canyon, they innocently bring home a supernatural force that preys off their own fears and vulnerabilities, threatening to destroy them from within, while consuming their lives with terrifying consequences.

THE DARKNESS stars Kevin Bacon, Radha Mitchell, David Mazouz, Lucy Fry, Matt Walsh and Jennifer Morrison. Directed by Greg McLean and written by McLean, Shayne Armstrong and S.P. Krause, the film was produced by Jason Blum, Bianca Martino and Matt Kaplan. The film will be released by BH Tilt in coordination with High Top Releasing.

the-darkness-poster-2016

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LAST OF OUR KIND: Dan Hawkins On The Triumphant Return of The Darkness!

LAST OF OUR KIND: Dan Hawkins On The Triumphant Return of The Darkness!

the-darkness-2015-4

The Summer of 2015 sees the return of a an undeniable force in rock as multi-award winning band THE DARKNESS triumphantly return with their most powerful album to date — ‘Last of Our Kind.’ 

‘Last of Our Kind’ is the meaty and impassioned follow-up to 2012’s ‘Hot Cakes,’ which saw the band reunited having enjoyed a well-publicized and well-deserved hiatus. As distinguished guests of Def Leppard, The Darkness destroyed Download Festival in 2011, then waved goodbye to their loved ones and toured planet Earth for over 18 months. They rounded off 2013 with a celebratory tour marking the 10th Anniversary of their legendary Number One debut album, ‘Permission to Land,’ which featured the classics “I Believe In a Thing Called Love” and “Get Your Hands Off My Woman.” It was the fastest-selling debut album by a British band in America since The Spice Girls.

‘Last of Our Kind’ is the fourth studio album by The Darkness and was produced by guitarist Dan Hawkins. Penned in Ireland and is bursting with the very finest rock-based music available to mankind, as one might expect. Additionally, ‘Last of Our Kind’ is the first album by the iconic band to feature new drummer Emily Dolan Davies. She replaces original drummer Ed Graham who departed under mysterious circumstances. Having been drumming since 1999, Emily has played with everybody from the likes of Bono, Bryan Ferry and Tricky. Now she has shown herself to be equal to the ultimate music challenge. A legend in her own right, Davies brings an undeniable new spark to this already amazing rock and roll outfit. 

The band recently unveiled the animated video for lead single ‘Barbarian’, a typically hefty piece of riffmongery that only The Darkness could bring to life in such a unique way. Frontman Justin Hawkins describes the song as having “not one but two dramatic monologues, a guitar solo that has been declared ‘irresponsible,’ a riff that weakens lady-knees and a chorus that makes grown men shit directly into their pants. The lyrics describe the Viking invasion of East Anglia which culminated in the decapitation of Edmund the Martyr. So yeah, classic Darkness.”

Jason Price of Icon Vs. Icon recently caught up with guitarist/producer Dan Hawkins to discuss the band’s longevity, the inspiration for and creation of ‘Last of Our Kind’ and what the legendary band might have in store for us in the years to come! 

Dan Hawkins of The Darkness

Dan Hawkins of The Darkness

It is a treat to talk with you today, Dan. I have been a fan of The Darkness for quite some time.

Great stuff! A long suffering fan!

Going back to your early years, what are some of your earliest memories of music?

Oh, blimey! My parents were quite into their rock ‘n’ roll. They used to party quite a lot. It was the ‘70s, so it was definitely acceptable to have lots of people around, drink lots, smoke lots and play the music really loudly with the kids upstairs! My earliest memories of music are trying to get to sleep but not being able to because of the sound of rock ‘n’ roll downstairs!

What performers had the biggest impact on you early on?

Much like a lot of people, my main influences were the music my parents were listening to. My dad was a big Queen fan. He was also into Neil Young, Deep Purple and David Bowie. He loved artists like those and was a bit of a Pink Floyd fan. The type of music you like is very much defined by the type of drugs you take, isn’t it! [laughs] My parents were more drinkers than smokers, so less Pink Floyd and more Blondie, Rolling Stones and so on and so forth! [laughs]

They say the music business isn’t for those faint of heart. What made you pursue music as a career?

Dan Hawkins of The Darkness

Dan Hawkins of The Darkness

That is an interesting one. Primarily, you don’t think of it as a career when you are young. My brother and I picked things up from when we were very young. I was playing and a competent drummer by the age of 8 and learned to play guitar a bit, and certainly bass, by the age of 12. At that time, I was playing in pubs on bass. I only ended up being a guitarist by default really. I also thought I would be a drummer or a bass player. I wanted to sit in the back and not really have to do much! [laughs] Unfortunately, things didn’t really work out that way! I happened to be in a band where the guitarists were pretty dire. We were in the studio for our first proper session with this name producer, Rick Nowels. The guitarist was taking so long to get this one really simple guitar part and it was ruining the whole session. The producer called time and said, “Everyone go to a break.” I stuck back and started to chat with him. He said, “Do you think you could do this guitar part?” I said, “Yeah, I can do it in no time.” I put it down in one take. The singer came back and heard it and fired the guitarist straight away! [laughs] I started playing guitar and that is where I have been ever since! I never really thought it would happen that way. If anything, I thought I might be a studio engineer or someone else behind the screen, if you know what I mean.

The Darkness has had their fair share of highs and lows over the years. Is there any secret to the longevity of the band?

Blimey, yeah. We have had our tough times, yeah. It’s like a marriage isn’t it? There are ups and downs but you just have to keep sticking to it. People always ask me advice for up and coming bands, the only thing you can really advise them to do is never give up and not change what you are doing because it is not particularly trendy at that point in time. There are so many great musicians that haven’t really gotten anywhere because one minute country-rock is the big thing and the next alternative-grunge is the next big thing and they keep changing what they do to suit what they think people might like. At some point in life, you basically have to put your flag in the ground and say, “This is what I do. It is who I am.” The sooner you do that, the better. I think that is what has kept us going all this time.

The Darkness will soon release “Last of Our Kind.” What goals or expectations did you have for the album going into the process?

The Darkness - 'Last of Our Kind'

The Darkness – ‘Last of Our Kind’

The main thing was I got to be a bit more in control of what happens on this record. I got to engineer it, produce it and mix it. We were finally able to have one vision, so it wasn’t watered down at all. We were able to actually see through what we wanted to do in the first place. I guess the main thing was a realization after the last record. which was it doesn’t matter how good the people working on the record are it is going to get watered down if you use different people to do the different elements of the album. One of the main objectives was that we shouldn’t think of ourselves as songwriters anymore. [laughs] It sounds stupid but at some point someone handed us the Ivor Novello Award for Songwriter of The Year and, at that point, we thought we must be great songwriters, whereas, we are primarily riff writers. That is what we should be anyway and that is what I tried to put right on this album. I tried to get back to the way we did the first record, which was to find an unbeatable riff and then try to turn that into a song, rather than writing a song and trying to add a riff to it. Most of the backing tracks on this album can be played instrumentally and will still sound really tidy. That is what we really wanted to go for!

The Darkness always had a sort of medieval vibe through the music and the same is true of this new album. What took you guys down that road early on?

Yeah, we have always had an element of that, especially on the first record. Songs like “Black Shuck,” where it is basically storytelling about East Indian folklore, or “Curse of the Tollund Man,” which was one of the B-Sides from that campaign, have always been there. I think Justin [Hawkins] just has a keen interest in history and he just got his teeth into a couple of ideas really. For whatever reason, I think it really suits our sound. There was no real theme and I can’t even remember why we started it or went down that route! [laughs]

It seems to be working for you! [laughs]

Thanks! Yeah! [laughs]

What can you tell us about the typical writing process for the band at this point in time?

I suppose it is always changing really. As I said, I think it is more a case of having a bunch of riffs or a backing track that really kicks ass before Justin will attempt to write anything over top of it vocally. We were really, really harsh on ourselves on “Last of Our Kind.” Anything less than really, really brilliant wasn’t going to cut it. We actually started writing for this record a long time ago on the tour with Lady Gaga, which was a long time ago. We had a lot of stock to choose from. I would say we had 30 to 40 songs this time. We wanted to write in inspirational surroundings as well. We wanted to be inspired instead of just writing to do something because it was time to do it. We wanted to do something because we were inspired to do so. We started off the writing sessions in Ibiza and then we moved to Glenshire Island, which is just off the west coast of Ireland. It is a very remote, and I would say medieval, island. I think that is where we drew a lot of inspiration for songs like “Roaring Waters” and “Barbarian.”

The Darkness strike a pose.

The Darkness strike a pose.

You have some new blood in the band these days with drummer Emily Dolan Davies. What are your recollections of meeting her and what does she bring to The Darkness?

It is a real shot in the arm for us. So far, the people who have seen Emily play live have been completely blown away, just as we have. It is really great that someone is flying the flag for female drummers in hard rock. It is unheard of really. She is great! When we first got together to play, it was in my bedroom. [laughs] Basically, I set up the whole band in my bedroom and made some sort of makeshift soundproofing on the walls. I have to say, I didn’t do it particularly well! [laughs] We fired up and we were playing as the rooms shuddered and everything was falling down around us! She must have thought we were a complete bunch of fucking idiots for the most unprofessional audition she had ever seen! [laughs] I knew straight away that she was a perfect fit! I really wanted to make a record without click tracks, without a metronome guiding the drummer and keeping the drummer in time. I didn’t want any mucking around on Pro Tools or anything like that. I wanted it to be whole takes. Apart from one song, which is cut between two takes, every song on this record she has done in one take! It was literally myself, her and Frank playing together and that is it. I think you can really hear it on the album. I know we are all very happy with her.

As a producer, what is the biggest challenge of making this new album as both an artist and a producer?

Dan Hawkins

Dan Hawkins

Weirdly, the thing I find the hardest as a producer when I am producing my own band is that I find it so hard to not really pay attention to my guitars as much as I do everyone else’s parts. By that, I mean I will go to the nth degree to get the drum sound I want! Fucking tedious! I can’t settle for anything less than a brilliant drum sound and then I get to the point where I am overdubbing my guitar and tracking them down and I have to try not to rush. I think because I have been a producer/engineer all of that time, I find it to be an inconvenience recording guitars! [laughs] I would much prefer someone else do them! I had a really good assistant on this record, who is also a guitarist, so I spent a bit more time than I normally would on my guitar. I think this album came out being one of the best sounding albums I have been involved with.

You have seen a lot of changes in the music industry over the past decade plus. What is the biggest obstacle you face today as a member of a band like The Darkness?

I guess the biggest obstacle is being able to fund the art. That is the bottom line. Essentially, I think we have reached a broader audience through the videos and that kind of output that we have had. Making videos, for instance, like “I Believe In A Thing Called Love,” cost a lot of money. To get to that level of production is quite a production. These days, the money is just not there and people aren’t buying the records for $13.99 in the millions. They are buying the song they like that they heard on the album or they have already downloaded it for free. Ultimately, there is just less money in the industry, which means you have to work harder to make things happen. There is less freedom in a way. Some musicians would argue that is not the case and, because it is a level playing field, people have to use their brains a bit more. I just think if the budget wasn’t there, some of my favorite films would never have been made and this is the case with albums and videos these days. Do you know what I mean? Record companies used to invest a lot of money into making albums, putting out videos and developing bands but the money just isn’t there anymore, so we aren’t getting the chance to do the more outrageous things that we could once do.

The Darkness - A tremendous force in rock and roll!

The Darkness – A tremendous force in rock and roll!

Looking back on your career so far, how have you most evolved as an artist and where might you see yourself headed in the future?

I often think about that. You look at the Rolling Stones and you think, “They are showing no signs of stopping in their 80s!” Look at AC/DC and the fucking bullshit they have had to deal with over the past year and they are still going on tour! [laughs] We’re not fucking stopping! [laughs] I’ve got the feeling that is really how we see ourselves now. I certainly do! It’s hard work being away from your family but ultimately it is the best job in the world, so why the hell would we want to stop doing it? I love producing bands and I will continue to produce The Darkness as long as The Darkness wants me to produce them. If I have time to produce anyone else, I will certainly do that but my priority is being the guitarist in The Darkness, rather than the producer. I would definitely consider working with another producer, perhaps even on the next record. Who knows? I am always open to learning from people and seeing what else others can bring. I do seriously think that we can possibly regenerate some sort of glam rock revival in a way! [laughs] I still think the hard rock riff in a tuneful way is something that will never die. If anything I think it will have a resurgence in popular music. Who knows, maybe we will be the ones to do it again! We will be there trying, that’s for sure!

Absolutely! Thanks for your time today, Dan! “Last of Our Kind” is definitely a record to be proud of and we look forward to spreading the word!

Brilliant! Thank you so much, Jason!

CONNECT WITH THE DARKNESS:
www.thedarkness.co.uk
www.facebook.com/thedarknessofficial
https://twitter.com/TheDarkness

The Darkness is Justin Hawkins (vocals/lead guitar), Dan Hawkins (guitars/backing vocals), Frankie Poullain (bass/backing vocals) and Emily Dolan Davies (drums/backing vocals). ‘Last of Our Kind’ – due out June 1st through partnership with Kobalt Label Services.

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ICON VS. ICON PRESENTS: Acid Pop Cult Podcast – Episode 129: Friday The 13th Extravaganza

ICON VS. ICON PRESENTS: Acid Pop Cult Podcast – Episode 129: Friday The 13th Extravaganza

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This week on the Acid Pop Cult Podcast, Jason and Jeremy celebrate horror’s most important holiday; Friday The 13th. Jeremy takes on a look back at the beloved franchise and counts down his favorite kills by Jason Voorhees. Be sure you give us a listen as we are offering up all the details on how to win an exclusive ‘Friday The 13th: Jason Lives’ screen print by artist Chris Garofalo at Quiltface Studios! Jason discusses his recent interviews with Dan Hawkins of The Darkness and former pornstar turned DJ/Producer Lupe Fuentes. If that’s not enough, We’ll see you next Tuesday (K)night!

Check out the podcast on iTunes, served fresh weekly, at this location > 

This week’s show related links:

APC Presents – FRIDAY THE 13TH: The Top 12 Boobies of the Series

Friday the 13th Part 6 at the Colonial Theatre

Friday the 13th Film Locations in Blairstown, NJ

Camp No-Be-Bo-Sco Features some awesome Friday The 13th Memorabilia in their store!


Acid Pop Cult on iTunes Click here!
Acid Pop Cult on Twitter – @acidpopcult
Acid Pop Cult on Facebook – facebook.com/AcidPopCult
Jeremy on Twitter – @almostgothim
Jason on Twitter – @iconvsicon

 

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The Darkness To Unleash ‘Last of Our Kind’ On June 1st

The Darkness To Unleash ‘Last of Our Kind’ On June 1st

the-darkness-2015-1

Summer 2015 sees the return of multi-award winning band THE DARKNESS, with their fourth album Last of Our Kind – due out June 1st through partnership with Kobalt Label Services.  The album produced by guitarist Dan Hawkins, boasts new track, “Barbarian,” currently manfully straddling the information super highway and is a palate cleanser for Last of Our Kind.  Penned in Ireland, where the band play a small but perfectly formed tour in March, the record is bursting with the very finest rock-based music available to mankind, as one might expect.

'Last of Our Kind'

‘Last of Our Kind’

Last of Our Kind is the first album to feature new drummer Emily Dolan Davies.  She replaces original drummer Ed Graham who departed under mysterious circumstances.  Having been drumming since 1999, Emily has played with everybody from the likes of Bono, Bryan Ferry and Tricky. Now she has shown herself to be equal to the ultimate music challenge.

Emily’s ability is face-shatteringly evident in “Barbarian.”  Frontman Justin Hawkins describes the song as having “not one but two dramatic monologues, a guitar solo that has been declared ‘irresponsible,’ a riff that weakens lady-knees and a chorus that makes grown men shit directly into their pants. The lyrics describe the Viking invasion of East Anglia which culminated in the decapitation of Edmund the Martyr. So yeah, classic Darkness.”

Last of Our Kind is the meaty and impassioned follow-up to 2012’s Hot Cakes, which saw the band reunited having enjoyed a well-publicized and well-deserved hiatus. As distinguished guests of Def Leppard, The Darkness destroyed Download Festival in 2011, then waved goodbye to their loved ones and toured planet Earth for over 18 months.  They rounded off 2013 with a celebratory tour marking the 10th Anniversary of their legendary Number One debut album, Permission to Land, which featured the classics “I Believe In a Thing Called Love” and “Get Your Hands Off My Woman.” It was the fastest-selling debut album by a British band in America since The Spice Girls.

Last of Our Kind will be released on limited edition color vinyl, CD and download. The Darkness will be announcing more touring plans for later this year very, very soon.

Track listing:  Barbarian * Open Fire * Last of Our Kind * Roaring Waters * Wheels of the Machine *Mighty Wings * Mudslide * Sarah O’Sarah * Hammer & Tongs * Conquerors

THE DARKNESS is:  JUSTIN HAWKINS (vocals/lead guitar), DAN HAWKINS (guitars/backing vocals), FRANKIE POULLAIN (bass/backing vocals) and EMILY DOLAN DAVIES (drums/backing vocals).

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The Darkness Announce “Let Them Eat Cakes” Tour For 2013!

The Darkness Announce “Let Them Eat Cakes” Tour For 2013!

The Darkness

After several months on the road with Lady Gaga in 2012, multi-platinum British rock group THE DARKNESS are set to make a triumphant return with their upcoming headlining world tour “Let Them Eat Cakes.” The U.S. portion of the trek will kick-off January 10 in Ft. Lauderdale, FLand wrap-up February 2 in Aspen, CO before the band heads to 15 countries worldwideincluding Scandinavia, Germany, England, France, Switzerland, Italy, Australia and New Zealand (see full world tour routing below). The “Let Them Eat Cakes” world tour marks the band’s first headlining run since the release of their new album HOT CAKES, out on Wind-upin North America and PIAS in the rest of the world. HOT CAKES was produced by the band’sJUSTIN and DAN HAWKINS with long-time collaborator Nick Brine and mixed by Bob Ezrin. Theresulting 11-song cycle delivers epic rock anthems and infectious pop choruses. Listen to a sampling of HOT CAKES here: http://bit.ly/S2h07B.

Renowned worldwide for their potent and energetic live shows which BLACKBOOK called, “Hands down the most entertaining rock show you can see these days…” (October 22,2012), JUSTIN HAWKINS (vocals/guitars), DAN HAWKINS (guitars/backing vocals), FRANKIE POULLAIN(bass) and ED GRAHAM (drums)–continue to garner rave reviews for their epic, not-to-be-missed live shows.  The LA WEEKLY noted, “Wonderfully eccentric and trend-detached, The Darkness also stand on their heads (sometimes literally) to deliver the most unashamedly entertaining show in contemporary hard rock” (October 19, 2012). Elsewhere, CAMPUS CIRCLE added, “British rock act The Darkness, known for its eccentricity, blissful energy and supreme dynamism, brought its A-game to Club Nokia. No over-the-top pyrotechnics were needed for the act…Its simple good humor, warm interaction with the audience and perfectly executed sound made this one concert to remember…everyone was in a state of euphoria” (October 30, 2012).

THE DARKNESS ‘LET THEM EAT CAKES’  WORLD TOUR 2013 (PART ONE)

JANUARY 2013 – NORTH AMERICA
Thur 10th   FT. LAUDERDALE, FL               Revolution
Fri 11th      ORLANDO, FL                            Hard Rock Live
Sat 12th     ATLANTA, GA                             Masquerade
Mon 14th   PITTSBURGH, PA                       Stage AE
Tues 15th  BALTIMORE, MD                         Ram’s Head
Fri 18th      ATLANTIC CITY, NJ                    House Of Blues
Sat 19th     BOSTON, MA                               Paradise Rock Club
Mon 21st   TORONTO, ON                             Phoenix
Wed 23rd   COLUMBUS, OH                          Newport Music Hall
Fri 25th      DETROIT, MI                                The Majestic Theatre
Sat 26th     MILWAUKEE, WI                          The Rave
Sun 27th    CHICAGO, IL                                The Riviera Theatre
Tues 29th  MINNEAPOLIS, MN                       First Avenue
Wed 30th   KANSAS CITY, MO                       Beaumont Club

FEBRUARY 2013 – NORTH AMERICA/MAINLAND EUROPE
Fri 01st       DENVER, CO                              The Summit Music Hall
Sat 02nd     ASPEN, CO                                 Belly Up
Sat 16th     COPENHAGEN, Denmark           Amager
Sun 17th    STOCKHOLM, Sweden               Tyroz
Tues 19th  TAMPERE, Finland                      Pokkahive
Wed 20th   HELSINKI, Finland                      Circus
Fri 22nd     GOTHENBURG, Sweden            Tradgarn
Sat 23rd    OSLO, Norway                             Rockefeller
Sun 24th   KRISTENSAND, Norway              Kick Scene
Tues 26th HAMBURG, Germany                   Grunenspan
Wed 27th  AMSTERDAM, Holland                 Paradiso

MARCH 2013 – UNITED KINGDOM/MAINLAND EUROPE
Fri 01st       SHEFFIELD, UK                          City Hall
Sat 02nd     MANCHESTER, UK                     Apollo
Sun 03rd    GLASGOW, UK                            Barrowlands
Tues 05th   NEWCASTLE, UK                        City Hall
Wed 06th   WOLVERHAMPTON, UK              Civic
Thur 07th   LONDON, UK                                Hammersmith Apollo
Sat 09th     PARIS, France                              Bataclan
Sun 10th    ZURICH, Switzerland                    Volkshaus
Mon 11th   MILAN, Italy                                   Alcatraz
Wed 13th   MUNICH, Germany                       Backstage Werk
Thur 14th   VIENNA, Austria                           Arena
Sat 16th     WARSAW, Poland                       Stodola
Mon 18th   BERLIN, Germany                       CC Live
Tues 19th  COLOGNE, Germany                  Kanting
Wed 20th  LUXEMBOURG CITY, Luxembourg  Den Atilier
Thur 21st  ANTWERP, Belgium                     Trix

APRIL 2013 – AUSTRALIA / NEW ZEALAND
Tues 02nd   ADELAIDE, SA                            AEC
Wed 03rd   BRISBANE, QLD                         Riverstage
Fri 05th      SYDNEY, NSW                            Hordem
Sat 06th     MELBOURNE, VIC                      To Be Confirmed
Mon 08th   AUCKLAND, NZ                          To Be Confirmed

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