23 Dec 2005

The Darkness: "A Lot Of People Hate Us"

+ posted by FlamingWhopper

For a band that thrive on extremes, it's only logical that there can be no grey area when it comes to liking The Darkness. You either love their cat-suited, over-the-top glam antics, or you hate them for those same reasons. And even with the release of their second album, the cleverly titled One Way Ticket To Hell... And Back, The Darkness are finding that many of their hecklers haven't yet quieted down.

"Oh, they're still there," says guitarist Dan Hawkins with a shrug. "They're still hating us. A lot of people hate us, but it's not like we really care."

One of the band's most notorious ongoing feuds is with NME, the British music rag that Hawkins declares is "fucking rubbish." Given that the magazine seems to delight in taking shots at The Darkness particularly Hawkins' frontman brother Justin as often as it can, it's no small wonder that Hawkins dismisses it.

"It's a more known magazine across Europe than it is in the U.K., because everyone in the U.K. knows that it's just sensationalist bullshit," Hawkins snorts. "It's a gossip magazine. It's rubbish."

"It's a total misconception that NME is taken seriously in the U.K.," adds bassist Richie Edwards. "It's kind of funny, though they reviewed our new album and gave it a 7/10 score.

"They even said something like, 'Despite what you think about the band, this is a great album.' And then the editor made the guy write another review because it's not editorial policy to write nice things about The Darkness. But our press office has got a copy of the original review, so, essentially," and here Edwards makes a grasping motion with a devious grin, "we've got them by the bollocks."

The Darkness take their live spectacles which have become infamous for their pyrotechnics, unitards and showers of confetti very seriously. Although their theatrical stage show is going to be "a lot worse" for their upcoming tour, according to a chuckling Hawkins, The Darkness like to follow an easy formula when it comes to putting on a wicked concert.

"The format of our rock show is very simple: If you guys have a good time, we've done our job," explains Hawkins. "You don't have to like the band to enjoy one of our shows, I think."

"We could go out there and just riff," says Edwards, "and it'd still be fun. I think we're good enough to just have some fun with it as well."

"But hopefully this next tour isn't as strenuous as the last one," Hawkins adds with a weary smile. "I mean, we've learned to say no, you know?

"It's more important to look at 10 years down the road instead of one year. We've learned that world domination is for dictators, not rock 'n' roll bands."

Credit: Caitlin Hotchkiss | www.chartattack.com

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