Ready for Lift-off:
Sequins and Space Travel with Dan Hawkins of The Darkness

Words by Audra Tracy

It’s 1PM on a Wednesday, and The Darkness just pulled up in Dallas. They’re getting ready for a show at the House of Blues, which is just one of the many stops on their Back In The USSA tour. The band’s king of riffs, guitarist Dan Hawkins, is taking stock of his surroundings, and he paints us a picture of the scene before him.

“The crew are leaving the bus and loading up, carrying really heavy things”, he describes in his lively British accent. “There’s chewing gum on the pavement, and there’s a Hooters over the road. So my day is sorted!”, he jokes.

Yes, the boys from the UK have returned stateside to bestow the virtues of glam rock upon every American wild child within earshot. The Darkness are currently on the road plugging songs from their killer 2015 record, Last of Our Kind – a title that quickly sums up where the retro rockers stand in today’s EDM-saturated musical landscape.

“The bands that we looked up to that haven’t split up or died are getting very old, aren’t they?”, he notes. “It’s interesting, there’s a possibility that in maybe 10-15 years, if we are still making albums, we’ll be the only ones left. Anyone else left may just join into one massive super group, and we’ll probably be their support band”, he laughs.

For now, the headliners, along with special guests Raven Eye, are making their way through nineteen American cities, including a local stop at New York’s Irving Plaza on May 2.

“God, I love New York”, Hawkins says. “Probably the most fun thing you can do in New York is just walk for hours, it never gets boring. Whenever I go there, my brother [lead singer Justin Hawkins] and I will literally run all around Central Park the first thing in the morning. I think that is my favorite run in the world. It’s really inspiring”, he goes on, “you just see every different type of person, and all of them are out in the park and kicking ass.”

Known for their over-the-top live shows, The Darkness will undoubtedly be kicking some ass on this current tour. But, given an unlimited budget, how would the band take their rock n roll roadshow one step further? Dan Hawkins has a few stellar plans in mind.

“I had this idea, not for this album, but the one before that – I wanted to be the first band to play in space”, he shares. “So the record label was looking for ideas for the album launch, and I asked if we could call up Mr. [Richard] Branson and get that spaceship of his flying about, and get us to play its maiden voyage. And then there was a really long pause…I don’t think they took it very seriously”, he laughs.

“What I’m trying to say is”, he concludes, “if we had the money, we would become a cruise ship band… but in space.”

Until then, you can catch The Darkness here on planet Earth. See all tour dates | Last of Our Kind