07 Apr 2007

Question time

+ posted by FlamingWhopper

'I'm not desperate to revive my career' - Justin Hawkins, the falsetto-voiced former singer of the Darkness, on entering Eurovision

You were a huge star when you were lead singer with the Darkness. Now you and your friend Beverlei Brown want to represent Britain at the Eurovision Song Contest. Why?

I've been enjoying a long break and Eurovision doesn't seem to affect anything else. It's so removed from everything else that happens in music - it's something that you can afford to do and then crawl back under your rock. It's a nice way to break it up. I actually had a dream about it. I can't remember the specifics - just that I woke up with a really positive feeling.

Is it all part of some ironic masterplan?

If it's a masterplan, I don't really see to what end. Just to make everyone feel stupid? No. It's not.

Is it a desperation thing - to revive your career?

I'm not especially desperate to revive a career; I was actually desperate to get out of my career six months ago. I'm not terribly keen to get back because of the tedium of being in a band and answering questions like that.

I've been on some bookies' websites and you are 7-4 favourite to win Making Your Mind Up (in which the public chooses which act will go on to Eurovision). How will you feel if you lose out to Brian Harvey (the former East 17 singer) or Liz McClarnon from Atomic Kitten?

A combination of relief and despair, probably.

What's your song (They Don't Make 'Em Like They Used To) like?

It's an up-tempo, stomp-along duet with lots of brass. It's not what I'd call a rock song, but I've got millions of those.

Will you be singing falsetto?

Yes, mostly.

Will you resurrect the catsuit?

I'll resurrect the catsuit if I get to the final. It will give me another couple of months to try to shed my puppy fat - more like middle-aged man fat.

Why did the Darkness split?

I wouldn't say they have split. They are working on the next record, I think.

But you're not involved?

No, I don't want to be in the group any more.

Are you guys still talking?


What made you leave the group?

It had become less and less rewarding. The whole thing became like a business. I joined a band; I didn't join a bank. I got really pissed off with it. Plus, I took a load of drugs, you know.

Is it true you had a £1,000-a-week drug habit?

I would say that some weeks it was worse than that.

Do you still have it?

I haven't touched a granule of cocaine or a drop of alcohol for months. In fact, I've given up smoking now as well.

Did you go to rehab?

I did the addiction treatment programme at the Priory. I haven't looked back since.

Do you worry that if you become successful again you will end up getting wrecked all over again?

No, because if I do it again - and that is if -then it'll be on my terms. I won't do things the same way and I won't do things for the same reasons that I used to do things. I'm not going to do anything that jeopardises my health.

It's not a road you are going to go down again?

No, I didn't like it there. It's a dark place.

What do you hope you get out of Eurovision?

I don't anticipate gleaning any respect or anything. I've been doing music at a professional level for 10 years, the last four years as a famous person, and it's always put food on the table and I've always enjoyed doing it. This is just another thing to do, something I thought I would enjoy doing. I just don't understand what the supposed goal is for people who think I've got a masterplan. What on earth could I possibly hope to achieve by being the object of ridicule for millions of people? Everything I do is almost trying to hammer home the point that I don't care. I'm not trying to be cool. I don't want to be in the Arctic Monkeys.

Do you still want to be in the biggest band in the world?

No, I never said that. I've always been misquoted on that one. Increasingly, I just want to have a good time.

Credit: Hannah Pool | guardian.co.uk/


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