The glam rock era may be over, but British rock band, The Darkness are here to show us the way back to good old days of crunchy riffs, melodic choruses and an all-round great time.
Best known for classics ‘I Believe in a Thing Called Love’, ‘Love is Only a Feeling’ and ‘Growing On Me’, the band release new album Easter is Cancelled on October 4 and have announced a massive tour playing Adelaide on March 15, 2020.
The Darkness, who busted out onto the scene in 2000, are famous for their theatrical performances and bringing the theme of excess into their personas on stage, which has added to the success of their band.
Some may see it as ‘taking their life to the extremes’, but bassist Frankie Poullian is proud to say he lives his life without something to hide behind.
“I think if you were talking about living life to extremes it’s about having emotional courage, having an open heart, and exposing yourself to lots of different kinds of people, taking risks in the kind of people that you meet and the romances you have and the adventures you have. I think that’s a sign of extremes,” he says.
These forms of living life to extremes have helped them learn more about themselves as a band and develop music that has reflected well on their influences, which stem from typical ’80s chart toppers to artists like The Carpenters.
Frankie defines these moments as a, “transcendental state of mind,” essential moments of pinnacle influences to the music he creates today.
“I remember seeing ‘Ashes to Ashes’ on Top of the Pops, when I was a teenager, and the video for that and the song, it just completely blew my mind. And then also listening to Kate Bush, when I heard her do ‘The Man with a Child in His Eyes’ and ‘Wuthering Heights’ just sitting thinking, My goodness, what planet is this creature from. She’s completely in her own world, and made me think I’d love to create something, create a different world with different rules than the rules we have in conventional society,” he says.
Frankie’s influences have come full circle in his ‘journey of discovery’, with his idols beginning with alternative bands like Joy Division, The Smiths, Echo & the Bunnymen, The Cute and The Cocteau – all staples to creating the rock foundations that many bands use as influences today as they are all known for their great, classic rock song writing.
Discovering bands like the Bee Gees and then diving deeper into artists including Robert Wyatt, Miles Davis and Marvin Gaye all contributed to Frankie’s love of music and helped him become the musician he is today.
Easter Is Cancelled throws the band even further into success as the new album is focused around questioning your purpose.
Rock bands have faced backlash and copycat accusations over the years but The Darkness intend to set the record straight with this album.
“[Rock and roll has] become such a mainstream idea now. Rock and Roll has become prostituted by fashion, it’s become cheapened by all the bands that are just virtually following the uniform of just like wearing like a crucifix around your neck, having tattoos, it’s just a tired old cliché. It really needs some new life breathed into it. On stage your older guys like us, it’s a little challenge to come up with new ideas and to take risks. That’s the question we asked ourselves on this album,” Frankie says.
Most of the time, touring is hard on bands but Frankie sees it as an opportunity for growth amongst the fans and his band mates. The idea of giving the fans something to cling onto through live shows and giving people a fun time keeps the band driving on throughout their tours.
“It can be very special connecting with your band members. In a real, proper band it’s like a family. Those moments can be really special, but to remember those moments there’s a lot of travel and isolation, you’re cooped up; long flights, long journeys, lots of time to kill, so it can be really draining. Buts that’s the sacrifice, that’s the thing, we’re here to in service to the people. Some people say art is a gift to the gods,” he says.
The Darkness are excited to return to Australia to share their new album and Frankie says, although we are far away from the rest of the world, we are delightfully reckless.
“Some people in Australia are delicate souls, and you can be quite lost in that Australian culture. It can be a tough place to be, because you got that sense of isolation and separation from the rest of the world. They give less of a shit. They’re more in touch with themselves. You know, they go for it, they’re less precious,” he says.
Easter Is Cancelled is out now and available to listen here. The Darkness will be touring Australia in March 2020, with tour dates and tickets available here. Go ahead and find out more about The Darkness here!
By Grace Kungel and Jessie Salamon