The Darkness admit the first hours of their reunion felt right – but sounded wrong.
The glam-rock four-piece got back together in 2011 after their original lineup began falling apart six years previously with the sacking of bassist Frankie Poullain, followed in 2006 by the departure of frontman Justin Hawkins.
He went on to form Hot Leg while brother Dan kept the rest of the band together as Stone Gods. But last year they confirmed they’d reunited, and release third album Hot Cakes today.
Justin says: “The surprising thing about getting back together was that it felt completely natural. Before we started playing there was a slightly awkward energy. But as soon as we plugged in it felt right, and we concentrated on the fun aspect.”
Dan adds: “After two or three hours it felt like we’d never been away. Going through the old songs felt like riding a bike.”
“It didn’t sound like we’d never been away,” continues Justin. “It sounded appalling. It was a bad sound, but a good feeling.”
Dan agrees: “It was a rickety old bike.”
The album title came about after they dismissed a previous idea for being “too sexy.” The frontman explains they found inspiration in Meat Loaf’s Bat Out of Hell.
The idea was: “Let’s try to find something like that – that’s fast. We came up with Rat Up a Drainpipe, which is a bit too sexy.
“We thought, Hot Cakes, which is fast. They go cold fast or sell fast, but it’s a fast thing. And it has the advantage of some sexual innuendo.”
While much of the album was recorded at Dan’s farm in Norfolk, and more at Rockfield Studios in Wales, some was tracked in London. That experience reminded the band of their startup era around 2000, when all four members lived in bedsits near each other in the English capital.
In response to the years of acrimony that punctured their career, Justin sings in the track Every Inch of You: “I’m in a band with my brother and my two best mates.”
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