The Darkness talks new album, tour - watch the new video
Reunited English glam rockers The Darkness -- known for their falsetto hit "I Believe in a Thing Called Love" -- are promising a return to organic rock with their forthcoming third studio album.
"We just wanted to develop the songs and make sure they were really spot-on and basically take a minimal approach across the board apart from when we need to go really over the top," guitarist/vocalist Dan Hawkins during a recent teleconference.
"So, yeah, I guess it's kind of following on from the first record rather than the second, which was kind of more about the production than the songs, probably."
The first example of the new material surfaced today, when the new single and video "Nothing's Gonna Stop Us" -- the band's first new song in six years -- was unveiled. The video can be seen below.
The as-yet-untitled album, which does not yet have a release date, comes on the heels of the band's March 2011 reunion. The Darkness split in the fall of 2006 when lead singer Justin Hawkins (Dan's brother) left, leaving the remaining members to form Stone Gods. Justin Hawkins started Hot Leg and wrote songs for artists such as Meat Loaf.
The Darkness reunited, according to Dan, after a series of family meetings -- "not AA meetings, I might add, only certain members of our family are alcoholics, not all of them. I'd say at least less than 40 percent.
"We kind of messed up a couple of occasions, and Justin came to a band that I was in called Stone Gods," Dan continued. "We played in London and he came down to see us play. I went down to see his band play when they were playing at Brighton's where I was living. And I might have had a few too many and might have gotten on stage and ran through an old Darkness song, and I think that kind of fueled the fire, really."
Dan ended up staying at his brother's house over the Christmas holiday that year and The Darkness reformation inevitably happened.
"We kind of did what we've been doing since we were about 8 years old -- just write songs together and it kind of snowballed from there," Dan said. "[We] weren't supposed to really do anything [in 2011], but we had this offer from Download to play the festival in England. It was a really good billing and it was supporting Def Leppard and it seemed like the perfect time to just go for it."
The plan was to finish the album and release it this year, Justin said. But the demand for live performances, including that June Download date, was just too great. The Darkness begins its first U.S. tour since 2004 tonight (2/1).
"I think in an ideal world, we'd have had some music sort of released and ready, you know, so the people can sing along to the new stuff," Justin said.
"We were slightly concerned, in all honesty, that we didn't want people to sort of perceive our kind of reformation as some kind of cash-in or, you know, about the money.
He said he believed that if there was new music before the tour, it might allay those fears.
"But in the end, we've managed to gather momentum in the U.K. with some really great reviews and people old fans and new fans loved it," Justin said. "Now, we have a broader age range than ever before, which we didn't think was possible. It's all kind of been really positive and made us feel welcome."
That has injected a positive vibe into the making of the third album.
"I think it's funny because on the first record ... we were being called an '80s rock band, stuff like that, but some of the things that we were doing, you would never see on a typical album by a band like that," Justin said.
"So on the second one, we had less time to sort of write stuff and we thought, 'OK, what is it that people want us to do? What is it. We tried to second-guess what our audience actually wanted from us."
Justin explained that The Darkness "got it wrong." Fans just want to hear the band "having a good time again."
1 - Toronto, Ontario - Phoenix
3 - Boston, MA - Paradise Rock Club
4, 6 - New York City, NY - Irving Plaza
7 - Philadelphia, PA - Trocadero Theatre
8 - Washington, DC - 9:30 Club
10 - Detroit, MI - St. Andrew's Hall
11 - Chicago, IL - Metro
12 - Minneapolis, MN - First Avenue
15 - Denver, CO - Summit Music Hall
17 - Las Vegas, NV - House of Blues
18 - Phoenix, AZ - Celebrity Theatre
19 - West Hollywood, CA - House of Blues
21 - San Francisco, CA - Fillmore
23 - Portland, OR - Roseland Theater
25 - Seattle, WA - The Neptune
14 - Suffolk, England - Thetford Forest