'The New Light In The Darkness!'
No one believes in the power of the big guitar, the spangly cat-suit and the irrepressible hook more wholly than The Darkness. They are evangelical in their mission to bring back stadium ready rock, the pomposity of the guitar solo and grandeur of the true frontman.
The band’s debut full-length Permission to Land, featuring the hit single “A Thing Called Love”, solidified these Brits’ place in the annals of rock. Steering firmly clear of ridiculous, The Darkness’ histrionics make spaceships, tigers and bared chests logical accompaniments to songs that are immediately memorable and utterly timeless.
Now the band have just released its sophomore album, One Way Ticket to Hell ... and Back on Atlantic Records. The album’s first single “One Way Ticket” will instantly suck you in and make you a card-carrying disciple of the band that is determined to put ferocity back into rock n’ roll.
In fact, this album will finally erase any doubt that The Darkness is anything less than classic!
Chatting recently with The Darkness' new bassist Richie Edwards, I first wondered with The Darkness havingg such a British sound, what their game plan for conquering America was? ”In my point of view, we don’t really have a game plan at all for that. It’s the kind of thing that if it happens, it happens. I think ultimately if people don’t get it, they don’t get it. I just don’t think there’s any way of winning people like that around.“
So, with you now onboard, was it a case of right place right time or was there something afoot before Francis’ departure?! ”No, absolutely not. I was with the band for two years as Dan’s guitar tech, so we’ve always been very close. I certainly didn’t do anything with my time with them to feather the nest, so to speak. I didn’t wheedle my way in, no. It was totally out of the blue. Yeah, I definitely wasn’t spending the last two years going ‘I can do that I can do that’,” he laughs. ”No, not at all. Not at all.”
It’s been claimed that this is the ‘rebirth and redemption of The Darkness.’ So what happened so drastically in-between?! ”Obviously there was the personnel change, but to be honest that was the only problem, I think; that there was so much tension between Justin and Frankie that people had stopped enjoying themselves and having a good time. And when you get to that point in a band and you’re constantly on the road, if you’re not having fun it becomes hard work. And I think it got to the point where that needed to be fixed. And at one point there it was either going to be Justin or Frank that left … and it was never gonna be Justin, you know! And then literally from the moment that that happened and he was sacked; and I was brought in about 30 seconds later, it just became alright again! And then everybody was having fun again. And you really just can’t put price on that, you know.”
Has Frankie shown you any malice towards you having taken over his slot I the band? ”To be honest, I’ve not spoken to Frankie and I’ve not seen him! I like the guy and I always got on very well with Frankie, but I never felt guilty when I took on this job. ‘Cause if it wasn’t me it would have been someone else. I know the band are happier now, and he’s probably happier now. I think this is the best all round, … at least for me, anyway,” he laughs.
With your album title being One Way Ticket To Hell … And Back, I’m wondering at what point does a one way ticket anywhere get you back again?! ”OK, well, picture it this way: on a U-shaped track a train rolls along, drops down into Hell, has a bit of a peep round, and then you come back up and your coming home back the other way. It’s just a bit of a gag really, but take from it what you will.”
As much as The Darkness has tried to play down the Queen/Freddie Mercury influence in its music, I’m finding it very self-induced on this new recording! Am I wrong?! ”Yeah, to be honest there are parts where I can see it. Particularly in some of the layered harmony guitars, but I think that it’s still been massively overplayed. And yes, all of us are very big Queen fans, but we’re not a Queen tribute band by any stretch of the imagination!”
Finally, musically sum up this new generation of The Darkness! ”Erm, … Happy, Heavy, Rock.”
Interviewed by Russell A. Trunk
If you would like to win a brand new copy of The Darkness' new CD, just answer this easy question: With more than 3.5 million debut records sold to date, this British band are truly larger than life right now, but which City in the UK are they actually from?
Send me your answers and if you're correct you'll be in the running to win one of these great new CDs! Just send us an e:mail here before March 1st with your answer and the subject title 'DARKNESS CDs' to: firstname.lastname@example.org
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