The Darkness’ Dan Hawkins Discusses the Band’s New Album, ‘Pinewood Smile’
Fresh off touring with Guns N’ Roses and headlining European summer festivals, The Darkness have returned with their fifth album, Pinewood Smile (set for release on October 6).
Produced by Adrian Bushby (Foo Fighters, Muse) the new album boasts glorious hard rock anthems like “All The Pretty Girls,” the emotional “Why Don’t The Beautiful Cry” and the groove-ridden “Solid Gold,” which finds The Darkness addressing the turbulent nature of the music industry and how they’ve enjoyed its flamboyant highs and spectacular lows.
In addition to the distinctive guitar tones of Dan Hawkins, Pinewood Smile also features the drumming and vocal talents of newest member, Rufus Tiger Taylor, the son of Queen legend, Roger Taylor.
I recently spoke with Hawkins about Pinewood Smile, songwriting, gear and more in this exclusive new interview.
How would you describe Pinewood Smile in terms of its sound and maybe how it relates to some of the band’s previous work?
I think it’s more urgent than some of the other albums and maybe a little bit edgier. It’s hard to sum up. It’s kind of like The Darkness on steroids.
What’s your writing process like? Does it begin with a melody? A hook? What inspires you when you write and create?
It depends and always comes in different ways. The first album was primarily written on acoustic where we’d be sitting around talking about things. Normally, I’d be in my own world making music and riffs and writing backing tracks while trying to pick up on the conversations that are going on in the room. This album was slightly different.
I wrote all of the music with Rufus in a rehearsal room at full volume. There are so many ways of getting around making noise these days with V drums and pods, and every fucker’s got their own studio these days. We wanted to get away from that and get back to it sounding good when you’re standing up playing it loudly. We wrote it in a very uncivilized way.
Let’s discuss a few tracks from Pinewood Smile, beginning with “All The Pretty Girls”
The backing track was written in London and me, Rufus and Frankie had it recorded and demoed. Then Justin came in with this idea based on a line about how all the pretty girls love me for who I am, but only when I’m selling out stadiums. Basically, if you’re just a tight-jeaned, long-haired, ugly mother fucker no one really cares. But the second you’re doing well it increases your beauty in the eyes of a lot of people. It’s a funny observation.
Read the rest of my
Interview with Dan Hawkins by Clicking Here!