The last time The Darkness played Irving Plaza in 2012, they just rebounded from a nearly six-year hiatus and were about to embark on a Born This Way tour with Lady Gaga—a fitting opening slot for the bombastic, glam rockers. “I’m happy to be of service,” said Dan Hawkins of fans’ delight at the return—a second time around since a chaotic split in 2006—for the Suffolk-bred, hair metal rockers with their “Blast of Our Kind” tour.
A year earlier, the band just started putting the pieces back together following its turbulent end in 2006, following a Hawkins brother reunion when guitarist Dan and vocalist Justin started writing and connected with the remaining band members, and cooked up the Bob-Ezrin mixed Hot Cakes.
Now touring North American behind Last of Our Kind, the band’s fourth studio album is gushing with hairspray-stiff riffs, more angst—and a touch of stress. During production, the band had relationship issues but this time it wasn’t a civil war. “We parted ways with our management and labels, and we pretty much sacked everything and started again,” guitarist Dan Hawkins told Royal Flush. “We wiped the slate clean. We made it completely off our own backs. I think that kind of explains why there are some heavier, angrier songs on there.”
Hawkins never thought the band would get back together following the split when brother, vocalist Justin Hawkins, entered rehab, switching off The Darkness’ light and later taking on a new band, Hot Leg, while brother Dan, and other Darkness band mates, entered Stone Gods. The Hawkins brothers rekindled their relationship in 2011 by starting to write again and now the band is in a different place—physically, mentally, musically. “We just have much more to laugh,” said Hawkins. “It’s all based on hanging out, having good time, and we do things together. It’s about the band, so no one pining after doing something else.”
He added, “For us it’s [Last of Our Kind] a more proper return to form showing the way forward.”
Hawkins believes that fans have been missing more Darkness riffs, so the band obliged. “I’m appreciate and thankful that through the blizzard of the first time around and all the mistakes that we made, that we managed to come of it out on the other side with an incredibly loyal fan base and that we can actually do this for a living. Hallelujah!”
The Darkness return to Irving Plaza on Oct. 27; additional Blast of Our Kind tour dates.