The Darkness' Dan Hawkins on Nostalgia Acts: "You're Going to Be Pretty Sorry... When They're All Fucking Dead!"

Categories: Interviews

It's somewhat difficult to find a photo of you without a Thin Lizzy T-shirt on. Do you, as a player, favor a particular guitarist from that group?

I'm a really big fan of Eric Bell's work, the really early, sort of more folky stuff -- that was really my introduction to Thin Lizzy, but people kind of often assume -- 'cause I guess that's the kind of music we make or whatever -- that it would be one of the more later guitarists. I mean, to be a bit shallow here, I think Scott Gorham is one of the coolest looking guitarist dudes to ever walk the planet, and still is, really! So, yeah, those two! Notice how I swerved getting it down to one there?

I absolutely expected you to mention John Sykes or Gary Moore!

Yeah! That's exactly the opposite, yeah? I love Sykes and they're both just total virtuosos, but the other guys, there is just something that does it for me. Mind you, I've always been more of like a Malcolm [Young, of AC/DC] rather than Angus kind of guy.

You and Justin [Hawkins] have a similar parallel to Malcolm and Angus Young, come to think of it. What was it like getting back together, and how has touring sober made a difference?

We only really had one falling out from when the band started to when it split up. We see things from the same angles, we're the same blood, you know? We have the same record collection, we were brought up by the same music loving parents, so we're good.

Touring sober has just been awesome, actually. I'm a rock 'n' roller, and I certainly have a tendency not to trust people who are sober [laughs] and I can understand why people would certainly not trust a band that were sober -- I mean, God, where's the rock 'n' roll in that?! You don't buy into all that when you're a teenager because you're into that music because it speaks to a part of you that basically is drunk! [laughs] I mean, that's one way of looking at it!

But it's been brilliant because you get to really focus on the music. One thing you forget is that, being drunk, and what you think of as being rock 'n' roll, is what happens after you've done the show, right? So, that means basically, you get hammered all night, and stay up all night, and do whatever, and take whatever, and do whoever, and you finally, hopefully, get over it about an hour before you go on stage. But, you're never really recovered. Every gig you do, you're completely hungover like a bastard, and to be honest, you're playing like shit. The great thing about being sober is it's all about what happens on that stage, in that moment. A great example is Angus Young, who's never had a drink, and is just doing things that can't be done! 

I recently met another music writer that had a very negative take on nostalgia acts and revivalist music, and we spent the entire time we had together arguing about its relevance. Do you have any thoughts on that?

People who get a bit up their ass about nostalgia acts and people who think these bands are there just to take people's money should ask how the audience that actually goes to see these people play feel about it. At the end of the day, you're going to be pretty sorry when you don't get a chance to see a band like Aerosmith play when they're all fucking dead -- which probably won't be too long [laughs] -- and the same goes for the Stones.

Just enjoy them while they're around! No one's made anything like Aerosmith or the Stones for God knows how long. They're a complete oddity! The reason they're around in the first place is because they were so different than everything else, which means it doesn't matter how old they are, they're still be completely different from anyone else! So, get off your fucking high horse and go see the band you want to see and stop fucking whining about it!

The Darkness with Hell or Highwater. 7:30 p.m., Thursday, January 10, at Revolution Live, 100 SW 3rd Avenue, Fort Lauderdale. Tickets cost $22 plus fees. Call 954-449-1025, or visit

Location Info


Revolution Live

100 SW 3rd Ave., Fort Lauderdale, FL

Category: Music

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