THE DARKNESS/HMV Picturehouse, Edinburgh & O2 Academy, Glasgow/09.11.11, 10.11.11
You’re playing in Edinburgh and Glasgow next month. Do you have many fond memories of playing in Scotland?
(Frankie Poullain, bass): No, Scottish people are c*nts…just joking! We have so many memories. We played a blinder at King Tut’s in 2003 and lured girls onto the bus and then tried to get them off when we realised the logistical difficulties of taking them down to Liverpool with us. Then a few months later we tore up the Barrowland, Phil Kay came on in a catsuit instead of Justin, and all of us sweating litres onstage and drinking gallons off. Then Edinburgh for the MTV awards and Christine Aguilera dressed up like a poodle rocker introducing us onto the stage. Finally, headlining T in the Park in 2004. All in the space of 12 months.
You’ve been back together for a little while now. How’s the reunion gone so far?
Japan was incredible, huge queues at the autograph signing, and we got a great reception in Finland, Spain and Sweden. But this is where it starts really, this tour – a new show, new songs, lots of surprises in store. Hopefully for the band too. We’d like to surprise ourselves and see what we’re capable of lean, mean and sober. Until we go away and get wrecked behind each other’s backs…
When you initially got back together did you find it tricky to remember the old songs?
Yes. Harder for me because I was the least practiced. Dan and Jus have gone up a level, their guitar playing is sensational at the moment, as they’ve been playing continuously on different projects. And Jus is singing like a sparrow. A buff sparrow in a catsuit.
This is your first UK tour in five years. What should fans expect from your live set?
Thrillingly daft mind-tingling heart-soaring genre-defying musical sounds. Some new stuff, some things we’ve never done before. Scary things. Songs we’ve never played before. We’re gonna have to be better than ever because we’ve never had a support band as wild and potentially show stealing as Foxy Shazam.
This year’s appearance at Download Festival was one of your first performances since you got back together. It seems like a lot of pressure. How was it?
Petrifying and purifying. Like walking through flames, what’s that Bukowski poetry book called again? ‘Burning in Water, Drowning in Flame’. We love pressure because we egg each other on and do imaginary chicken seed tossing at the feet of whoever is the most scared, just like kids.
How’s the glam rock scene in the UK right now? Have you noticed many changes in it since you were first making music?
I wasn’t aware of one. I suppose we have a glam tinge, but I’m not sure that Mud and Slade are influences on us. The Christmas song maybe contributed to that – and the 2ft flares that we all wore…but there’s nothing flared about our songs.
And finally – a lot of people don’t really take The Darkness seriously. Do you care?
That depends. Maybe it’s better to take enjoying yourself more seriously than you do self pity and wallowing in misery. Some of our songs are more serious than others, we just tend to present them all in a colourful and vaudevillian manner. We don’t take ourselves and each other seriously but we do take our songs and performances seriously. We’re a bit twisted, we like to push the boundaries of taste. Contrary. I suppose that’s the word.
Ultimately we find the so called ‘cool’ bands to be quite dull and conformist. We don’t like rules. Why would you play in a rock ‘n’ roll band if you were an obeyer of rules? That’s against the rules – of rock ‘n’ roll.