What is your process of writing the lyrics for The Darkness’ songs?
It varies from song to song. Sometimes a couplet occurs to me and I have to stop whatever I’m doing and make a note of it. I have thousands of notes that don’t make any sense to me any more, but when I’m charged with the task of finishing a song, as I often am, these little mini ideas can come in very handy. Sometimes I have something very specific that I want to express, and sometimes it’s just feelings pouring out. It’s always laborious because I’m a perfectionist and I’m very fussy about rhymes and meter. I am lazy in most aspects of my life, but certainly not in poetry.
In your opinion, what is the most important thing in songwriting?
Nobody owes you respect as a songwriter, it has to be earned. You’re only as good as your last song, so never phone it in. It doesn’t have to take a long time to write a song, but the quality control process MUST. Also, baby doesn’t rhyme with crazy. Only a fucking moron would write that if they cared. So we can assume that songwriters who do that either don’t care, or they are thick as shit. Or 9 years old.
Are you ever scared of revealing aspects of your personal life/experience to strangers through your music?
No. Within the realms of songwriting I’m not afraid of anything.
What is the best lyric that you ever wrote (the most meaningful for you)?
“We Are The Guitar Men” off our new album ‘Easter Is Cancelled.’ I was very careful about where the rhymes landed and the journey within each sentence. I fully believe the sentiment, and it’s a song that must be sung.
What inspired “Heart Explodes” from your new album ‘Easter Is Cancelled’?
“Heart Explodes” is written from the perspective of a guy who thought he was skipping joyously into life’s big love, only for a traumatic event early in the relationship to completely change the personalities involved. It’s about what happens when love and cruelty become indistinguishable. It’s bleak, bleaker, but full of hope. It’s about sitting with disappointment and celebrating freedom. It was inspired by the view of the North Sea from my parent’s home. And love and death. The usual stuff.
And what inspired “Choke on It”?
“Choke On It” was inspired by the uncertainty and anger that oozes from a broken relationship. Obvs.
Do you remember the day you wrote “In Another Life”? Can you tell us about it?
I don’t remember that particular day at all.
‘Easter Is Cancelled’ is the first ever concept album from The Darkness. What is the link/common theme among the songs of the new album?
There are many. Multi-verse theory, guitars, unrequited love, anger, death, disappointment, fishing, freedom, hope, power, fellowship and ‘awesomenitude.’
What is the best suggestion your producer (bandmate and brother) Dan Hawkins gave you while recording the album?
What are The Darkness’ plans for the upcoming months?
Rehearse, recite, rest, write, record, repeat.
To conclude the interview a short Q&A session, please answer with the first thing that comes to your mind:
- Define in one word your album ‘Easter Is Cancelled:’ Unbeatable.
- The best show you ever played: They are all awesome in completely different ways.
- The one thing that you must have with you backstage: My brother.
- The soundtrack of your childhood: Queen, ABBA, Dire Straits, Fleetwood Mac.
- Your favourite song lyrically speaking, that was not written by you: “The Range War” by Todd Rundgren.
- Last question is “unusual,” please share your best relationship advice: If you can’t win, stop playing.