After a five-year hiatus and a seven-year gap between albums, The Darkness want to make up for lost time according to guitarist Dan Hawkins.
“I think it’s important the next album comes out quickly,” Hawkins tells Billboard. The Darkness released its third album, “Hot Cakes,” in August, following 2005’s “One Way Ticket to Hell…And Back” and a fractious split that saw Hawkins and his brother, Darkness frontman Justin Hawkins, start other bands. “(‘Hot Cakes’) has been a great introduction to let people know we’re back. Now we need to keep the output up, really.”
To that end, Dan Hawkins says that “every day we set up our little (portable) studio and start jotting down ideas,” and The Darkness already has a timetable for the next release.
“It’ll be out in 2014,” he promises. “This year we’ll be touring (to support ‘Hot Cakes’) and writing, then early 2014 we’ll hopefully be recording it or continuing to write it, and get it out later that year.” As for what Hawkins expects to sound like, he cracks, “EDM? We could do our version of EDM — really shit EDM.”
But seriously, folks…”I think we want to get even more old school. We want to make it even more of a performance record. We just want to be really brave and try to do something as live as humanly possible, warts and all. We’ve lost a bit of that in music today. It’s time to get a bit of character in there, so we’ll be going for something as fucking Route 1 as possible.”
And, Hawkins adds, he isn’t worried about another schism interrupting The Darkness reunion. “We’ve settled into a nice groove, really,” he says. “We feel like more of a team than we did before. If something is broke, you’ve got to fix it, haven’t you? And that’s what we did. I think (success) went to all of our respective heads, but you’ve got to go there, haven’t you? What’s the point of being in a rock ‘n’ roll band if you don’t take it to 11? Now the music is on 11, the gigs are on 11 but the drug intake is on, like, zero to one. That’s how it should be.”
The Darkness is currently in the midst of a U.S. tour that wraps Feb. 2 in Aspen, Colo. A European run starts on Feb. 16 in Copenhagen with Australia to follow in April, and Hawkins expects The Darkness to be on the festival circuit this summer. The group also did a recent run opening for Lady Gaga in South America, which Hawkins says was “great. We got on really well. She was really nice to us. Her sort of core people are just really cool and down to earth. They made us feel very welcome.”
He adds, “It was really a good laugh. But we were playing 45 minute sets every three days or so, which sounds like heaven but drove us a bit mad, really. We’re used to doing more, you know?”