‘Behaving Dishonorably’:

Frankie Poullain On Pinewood Smile, Action Movies, and The Secret to Great Hair

Words by Audra Tracy
Photo Credit: Simon Emmett

In a world that seems to get increasingly more serious and emotionally sensitive by the second, it’s nice to have a band like The Darkness around. A band that still embraces the hallmarks of down and dirty rock n roll. A band that writes songs about pretty girls and their mums. A band that promises their shows will ‘make you shit your pants, in a good way.’

Yes, these UK glam rockers keep thrusting their riffs into hedonistic hearts across the globe, and they’re coming to Brooklyn Steel on April 20 to do just that. They’re traveling from sea to shining sea in support of their latest record, Pinewood Smile, bringing special guest Diarrhea Planet along for the ride, too.

Leading up to the band’s international Tour De Prance, bassist Frankie Poullain talks Pinewood Smile, action movies, and the secret to great hair…

Tell us about your latest album, Pinewood Smile – is there a special meaning behind the title?

FP: Pinewood Studios is the English Hollywood. The idea struck us as special because ‘Pinewood’ conjures up the suave style of Roger Moore and the immense brain and innovation of Alfred Hitchcock, qualities that we, perhaps naively, aspire to single handedly resurrect. Or ‘octo’-handedly if you prefer.

What was it like working with producer Adrian Bushby? Can you share any stories from the studio?

FP: He has a boyish enthusiasm, an excitable manner which is delightful and contagious. Funnily enough the story that comes to mind isn’t really a story, more a fable, the fable of the dreaded ‘crumble snooze’. Recording the album ‘live’ meant doing take after take, for hours on end. After that and the morning country run, we’d stuff ourselves with old fashioned carb laden English cooking and no one could quite resist the second helping of apple crumble and custard. After that our eyelids would be heavy with the promise of blissful repose. It was like being knocked out with chloroform. ‘Crumble snooze’ became a symbol of all that is wrong, and right, in the land of Pinewood.

What can fans expect from your show at Brooklyn Steel? How should they dress for the occasion? What should they drink?

FP: Four honorable men behaving dishonorably. Uncouth braggarts proud of nothing but happy to prance. Anyone who asks how to dress to a show isn’t welcome. The same applies to drink but if pushed I’d say whatever slakes the thirst. Listen to your heart.

How do you like to spend your downtime when in NYC? Do you have any favorite spots?

FP: I follow my nose. I like chancing upon spots with odd entrance signs or murky doorways where you’ll notice a well fed Italian or a tipsy Russian Jew blinking into the sunlight.

Your hair is rather amazing – what is your secret?

FP: Confused thought patterns. The curly brain syndrome.

If you could compare your concerts to an action movie, what would it be, and why?

FP: “Raiders Of The Lost ‘Arkness.” Why? Because it’s less sexist than “Womb Raiders.”


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