„The Darkness“-Gitarrist Dan Hawkins im Britishrock.cc-Interview - britishrock.cc
 
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„The Darkness“-Gitarrist Dan Hawkins im Britishrock.cc-Interview
25.03.2006
Seit ihrem Durchbruch vor drei Jahren erhitzen The Darkness die Gemüter – ja, sogar eine Wertedebatte zettelten sie an: Wie schamlos darf man sich am Lebenswerk der eigenen Idole bedienen, um es ihnen in Sachen Rock’n’roll-Lifestyle gleichzutun? Justin Hawkins und Co. kümmerten die Debatten um ihre Musik und ihr Image herzlich wenig. Niemand konnte sie von ihrem Weg, der geradewegs in die (dunkle) Vergangenheit der Musikgeschichte führte, abbringen.

Pure Provokation zwischen Hair Metal, Glamrock und allem, was sonst noch widerlich-kultig und gerade deswegen interessant zu sein scheint zwischen all den superhippen Indierockern – hier fühlen sich die Gebrüder Hawkins und Kumpanen zu hause. Schräge Texte und nicht minder wahnwitzige Musik, eine schaurig-schöne Fleischbeschau live on stage – so könnte man das Erfolgsgeheimnis von The Darkness umschreiben. Mit „One Way Ticket To Hell … And Back“, dem Nachfolgewerk ihres Debütalbum „Permission To Land“, wagte man es sogar, die Schrauben der musikalischen Intensivtherapie nochmals anzuziehen.

Scheinbar ideale Vorraussetzungen für ihr Wien-Gastspiel, welches doch nur eine weitere Station ihres Triumphzuges sein sollte – möchte man meinen. Doch als Justin, Dan, Richie und Ed ihre Blicke in die begrenzten Weiten der BA/CA-Halle streifen ließen, trauten sie wohl kaum ihren Augen. Gut möglich, dass sie sich an eine der ersten Bühnenerfahrungen in ihrem Heimatstädtchen Lowestoft erinnert fühlten. Der Grund? Warum auch immer, ihr Konzert war bei weitem nicht ausverkauft – im Stehplatzbereich mäßig voll (zur Zeltfest-Gemütlichkeit fehlten nur noch die Klappbänke und –tische), die Sitzplatzebene wurde erst gar nicht geöffnet.

Das alles wäre ja nur halb so wild, hätte wenigstens das Wiener Publikum ihren Teil zu einem tollen Abend beigetragen. Es hatte jedoch eher den Anschein, als sitze den Hardrockern der Hauptstadt an diesem Montag das vergangene Wochenende noch in den Headbanger-Knochen (oder war es die Frühjahrsmüdigkeit?). Zwischen den Songs herrschte bedächtige Stille und selbst als sich Justin Hawkins von seiner Security wie der nächste englische König durch die „Massen“ tragen ließ, wich man eher respektvoll zurück, als sich auf ihn zu stürzen. „Highway To Hell“, ein Klassiker, der auch in jeder Schihütte seine Zielgruppe findet, entpuppte sich als das einzige Highlight dieses seltsamen Abends – im Übrigen vom neuen Bassisten Richie Edwards intoniert.

Drei Stunden vorher, als die Welt von The Darkness noch in Ordnung war, habe ich mich mit Ausnahmegitarrist Dan Edwards unterhalten. Justins „little brother“ erwies sich dabei als ausgesprochen sympathisch und schlagfertig. Selbst ein auf dem Tisch liegender Spiegel in dem uns für das Interview zugeteilten Raum konnte ihn nicht aus der Ruhe bringen („supposed to hang on the wall, shouldn’t it?“). Ganz im Gegenteil: Dan amüsierte sich darüber so hervorragend, dass er nicht anders konnte, als Kollegen Richie von seinem Interviewpartner wegzuzerren, um das uns dargebotene Bild mit ihm zu teilen.

THE DARKNESS, BA/CA Halle Wien, 20. März 2006
Interview with Dan Hawkins

Spring seems to have finally arrived and The Darkness are in town – the perfect combination, I would say.

Yeah! Actually, we had a snow storm following us around Northern Europe. It’s nice that finally it’s all over.

Do you think that your second record is better than the first one? 

Well, personally I’d say so, but it’s like if you have two daughters and someone asks you who of them you love most. Well, I enjoy listening to it more than to our first record. To make “Permission To Land”, we didn’t have any time at all. 

Do you have a favourite song to perform live? 

Hmmm, I don’t know. At the moment, it’s probably “Givin’ Up” but apart from that I enjoy the new ones. 

Do questions about being in a band with your brother annoy you? 

Well, they occur all the time but it’s no big deal. People seem to be interested in stuff like that. We’re very different people, but we’re mates. We don’t argue about anything at all.

Recently, Justin celebrated his birthday. Did you party hard?

Fuck, yeah! In fact, we still haven’t stopped. We started in Milan and partied all the way through, including the gig in Munich. I’m a little bit hung-over today.

You’re going to perform in Australia and Japan. Is that something special you are looking forward to?

It’s gonna be amazing! Our tour in Australia was sold out in about 15 minutes. Japan isn’t a great place at all, people are not that outgoing there. But to tour in Australia is the best thing in the world: fuck the sound check, go to the beach and return five minutes before the gig – with a tan! 

Would you say that nowadays it is still possible to write songs which will be remembered as classics? 

Yeah, definitely! I mean, very few songs from the seventies or even the sixties right at the time appeared to be classics. It takes time to judge that, but I’m sure that it can be done.

Which one will it be from The Darkness? 

I don’t know, we’re only on our second album so we’ve got a lot more to do. I don’t think we’ve written a classic yet.

I read – I don’t know whether you really said it or not – that you called your hometown a place where people go to die because there are a lot of retirement centres. Tell me something positive about it!

That’s what I told a guy from a local newspaper from Lowestoft who came to see our show. Well, it’s quite a small town. I think that it’s a nice place but there could me more going on for the kids to do.

It is said that you once were a very talented football player. Are you still interested in it? 

No, not until I stop smoking. I get dizzy when I run around for a few minutes! We play football on this tour quite often. The venue is a good place to do that before anyone is there. But I have to watch out – one sprained ankle and the gig’s off. 

Are you excited about the upcoming championships this summer in Germany? 

Yeah, I can’t wait. I get really into football now. Did Austria make it?

I’m sorry; we won’t be part of it. Bad luck, you know. But Austria and Switzerland are hosts of the next European Championships. So, in 2008 you’ll have to reckon with us!

Really? Wow, I didn’t know that. That’s great! 

Do you think England has a chance of becoming this year’s world champion? 

I think they have better chances than everyone else. It’s a wealthy team, isn’t it? But forget about the fuckin’ lion spirit, they all get paid so much! I’m not sure if they still get pissed the night before like back in the day.

Where do the most enthusiastic The Darkness fans come from?

Italy! We played in Milan, in front of 6.000 screaming fucking nutcases. They jumped up and down all the time! 

Is it true that you painted your fingers in superglue to protect them when playing guitar? 

Yeah, basically because I broke a string which slashed my finger up. So, that did hurt, wasn’t nice. In fact, superglue was invented to heal wounds, believe it or not.

Which are the most frequent occurring questions?

‘Did you feel pressure making the second album?’ is so dull.

Did you? 

No. Well, and all the ‘troubles in the band’ questions. We had someone in the band that shouldn’t be in the band. We fired him and everything’s really good at the moment.

Do you prefer playing at your own concerts or at festivals?

Concerts, I’d say. Festivals can be good. I like to be in control of what I’m doing. At festivals, everything’s a bit random and you never know what it’ll sound like.

Do you think that it is easier to start something in England than somewhere else?

Yeah, I agree. I think that bands from London or from England are quite lucky in the same way that bands from New York or L.A. are because there are just far more people that can see you and help you in your career. If you’re from the middle of nowhere it’s pretty difficult with the media and everything. I think that it’s the same in Austria. I guess it’s also easier here when you start up in Vienna.

Please tell me what you think about those names of Austrian bands! 

‘When The Music’s Over’.

That’s a good name! ‘When The Music’s Over’, I love that name. Isn’t that…

Yes, it’s influenced by a Doors song.

‘Zeronic’.

‘Zeronic’, how do you spell that? Ah, with a ‘zero’ in it? Is that meant ironic or what? Ok, I think I kinda get that.

‘3 Feet Smaller’. 

‘3 Feet Smaller’? It’s ok. Isn’t that the name of a…, oh no, that’s called “Six Feet Under”. Are they short? Are they dwarves or what? 

No, they aren’t! Maybe just musically, they’re a punk band. 

‘Naked Lunch’.

‘Naked Lunch’? That’s the name of a book. Oh, what’s it’s name?

To be honest, I don’t know.

‘Rising Girl’.

That’s not bad. Like a flower? Yeah, it’s good. 

No girl in the band, actually. 

‘Shiver’.

There are a lot of bands on the planet that are called ‘Shiver’ but none of them are big. Maybe they are the ones that become big.

‘Julia’.

‘Julia’? Is that a band? 

‘Life Brothers.’ 

‘Life Brothers’… I like that! ‘Life Brothers’, that’s pretty good. ‘Life Brothers’…

‘Garish’.

Good band name.

‘Limetree’. 

Should change their name. 

THE DARKNESS, BA/CA Halle Wien, 20. März 2006  

25.03.2006, 21:48 von T. Hochwarter


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