Interview with The Darkness at Y Not Festival – Dan Hawkins and Frankie Poullain


Before their headline set at Y Not Festival, Dan Hawkins and Frankie Poullain of The Darkness sat down for a quick chat to talk about Hot Cakes, Broadway musicals and Come Dine With Me.

The Darkness
Interview, Y Not Festival 2013
added: 8 Aug 2013
interviewed by: Ian Pemberton

Who came up with the design and the concept for the artwork of your latest album Hot Cakes?

Frankie:Our manager…when we came up with the phrase ‘hot cakes’ we were all sat in a taxi and we were bored, somebody said it and we were all like ‘that’s a great title’. We wanted something food related and not too clever. When you think of hot cakes, you think of waking up in the morning, sweetness…that’s the vibe we were all kind of on at the time. We don’t drink anymore, well not to excess anyway, so the difference between us and us ten years ago is that we wake up in the morning enthusiastic, so it ticked all those boxes. Then our manager started to make it happen, he found the painter, the artist…an Argentinian artist, Diego Gravinese, he did it in that realistic style and it all started to happen.

Because you have all stopped drinking and partying as hard, would you say that the new album is more of a rejuvenation and new direction for the band rather than continuing what came before?

Frankie: I think it’s both really, it’s both.

Dan: I’d say it’s a reintroduction not just for the audience but for us into what we were doing, it’s quite varied It’s definitely a more studio album whereas the next one will be more of a live based album. We’re planning to do something along the lines of a series of one-off gigs to showcase new material that we’re recording next year because I think it’s important to keep the energy levels up when you’re making your album rather than disappearing into a hole for god knows how long.

If you were on Come Dine With Me, who would you have as your guests and what would you cook for them?

Dan: I love that programme!

Frankie: I’d go for Irvine Welsh, you know the Scottish writer who did Trainspotting? Yeah I’d like him as a guest. He’s pretty smart so then I’d like someone pretty stupid aswell…like…oh shit…think of someone stupid.

Dan: Ed!

Frankie: (laughs) Oh fuck, I take that back, I’m stupid so that will cover that base.

Dan: Chris Eubank! Irvine Welsh, and the fourth person would be…

Frankie: Maybe someone not British…Gerard Depardieu!

Dan: Gerard Depardieu, Rick Waller…that guy would fucking eat anything! (laughs) Sorry Rick, that’s harsh.

Frankie: You need people with big appetites!

Dan: I’d cook something really basic…actually no, I’d cheat and have someone cook it for me

Yeah, like when people get a takeaway and have it passed through the kitchen window

Dan: I would definitely do that!

If you had a film made about the story your band, who would you have play yourselves in the movie?

Dan: I think we’d be more inclined to have a broadway musical. Wayne Sleep would be Justin, Lionel Blair would be Frank. I’d be Jamie Theakston (laughs)

Frankie: And Ed?

Dan: Al Murray?

Any young and upcoming bands that you would love to have on tour with you or are excited about?

Dan: I quite liked the band that were on before this one, they were quite good (The Temperance Movement). There’s an old school band from Scotland called The River 68’s that are a similar kind of thing actually. There’s quite a lot of these classic rock bands coming through now that are doing the bluesy thing, but really well. Foxy Shazam, an American band that toured with us, fucking mindblowing, a really amazing live band. They have that kind of thing that a lot of bands don’t have because when you start watching them, after a couple of songs you realise that you don’t give a fuck whether you like the song or not because you just have to watch them.

If you could give any of the bands any piece of advice, what would it be?

Dan: Bands have a tendency to try one kind of music or a line-up and they don’t seem to be getting anywhere so they start battling themselves, then they sack someone, change the name and change direction, do it for another year again and again. You need to have not the best musicians in a band, but the people who are really committed and you could imagine spending the rest of your life in a band with and then stick with it.

Image courtesy of Bethany Turner

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