Those attending the concert by The Darkness on Thursday night (Jan. 10) at Revolution in Fort Lauderdale who aren’t familiar with the group’s live performances are in for a big surprise. The British glam-rock band – which is touring in support of “Hot Cakes,” its first album in eight years – puts on an amazingly energetic show, starting with dynamic frontman Justin Hawkins, whose otherworldly falsetto will give you chills. The group’s sound is so over the top that it almost sounds like a parody (think Queen meets Quiet Riot, with an extra dose of attitude), but the members insist it’s all serious. Like so many other bands, The Darkness has had its share of rehab and substance abuse issues, and even broke up from 2006-11. But they’ve reunited and are now back in full force. Drummer Ed Graham talked to Miami.com about the show, their musical influences, and touring with Lady Gaga.
How does it feel to be all back together again?
It feels great to be back together again. Back in 2006 when we split, we'd grown apart, and had various problems with each other. Now we're all getting on, having fun and the atmosphere is more like when we first got together years ago.
Everyone's doing well - happy and healthy?
The whole band is a lot healthier and happier than before. Justin works out constantly, as you will see from his body, and we've cut out the huge amount we used to drink all the time.
What can we expect from your show at Revolution?
You can expect to hear songs from all three of our albums, and witness and feel a full-on rock show.
Have you ever performed in Miami/Fort Lauderdale?
We've never performed in Fort Lauderdale before, and can't wait to get there.
The Darkness is well-known for its energetic concerts. What makes your shows so much fun?
Part of the reason is that Justin is a very unique frontman, and no one knows what he's gonna say or do next. That and we all give it 110 percent every time.
"Hot Cakes" is your first album in eight years - how do you feel about it, and was there a musical mission going into recording it?
The recording of "Hot Cakes" was easier and more natural than the two previous albums. The first was recorded quickly on a budget, and the second was a long and drawn-out process.. The time and production on "Hot Cakes" felt right. There are two songs on the record, "Every Inch" and "Nothin's Gonna Stop Us," that are over 10 years old and we used to play in pubs in London in 2000.
How much of your music is making fun of glam and hair-metal, and how much is genuinely embracing it?
Our music does not make fun of glam or hair metal in any way. It is real.
Who are some of your (and the band's) biggest musical heroes or influences?
Some of the band’s influences are things you might expect like Aerosmith, AC/DC, Queen and Led Zeppelin, but we all have broad musical tastes which include more alternative, folk and world music elements.
What did you think when you first heard Justin's falsetto?
I think I, like many people, was astounded when I first heard Justin's falsetto. I just didn't know the guy could make that sound.
How was touring with Lady Gaga?
Touring with Lady Gaga was great. It gave us the opportunity to play to tens of thousands of people in countries we had never been before. We got to see a lot of South and Central America and won many new fans.