The Darkness

2000-2006, 2011-
Justin HawkinsVocals, guitar, keyboards
Dan HawkinsGuitar
Frankie PoullainBass2000-05, 2011-
Ed GrahamDrums2000–06, 2011–14
Emily Dolan DaviesDrums2014-15
Richie EdwardsBass2005-06
Rufus TaylorDrums2015-

The Darkness Artistfacts

  • Their first album, Permission to Land, was made on the cheap in about two weeks but was wildly successful in the UK, where it sold over a million copies and earned the BRIT award for Best Album. Their second album, One Way Ticket to Hell and Back, took a lot longer and cost roughly $2 million. It sold closer to 100,000 copies.
  • Before forming The Darkness, Justin and Dan Hawkins were in a prog-rock band called Empire, with Dan, instead of Justin, on lead vocals. Justin became lead singer after he did Queen's 'Bohemian Rhapsody' in a karaoke competition at a millennium eve party. He acted out every line and did lots of star-jumps.
  • The Hawkins' brothers grew up in Lowestoft, Surrey. Drummer Ed Graham was in the same class at school as Dan, the younger brother. They met bass player Frankie Poullain, a Scot, whilst living in London. >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Tom - Trowbridge, England, for above 2
  • Justin Hawkins paid for The Darkness' first album by penning advertising jingles. He told The Guardian: "It was TV adverts. I did HSBC, Tango, Mars bars, Irn Bru, the Sunday Express gardening supplement TV ad."
  • Founder member and drummer Ed Graham left the band in 2014 and was replaced by Emily Dolan Davies. Justin Hawkins told UK's Classic Rock magazine of their stickwoman, who has previously worked with Bryan Ferry and Tricky. "She's got the chops and the attitude that you need to be The Darkness's drummer. She also makes us feel like dirty old men."
  • After the band's huge early success with debut album Permission to Land in 2003, things became trickier for them - second album One Way Ticket To Hell...And Back was a difficult follow-up, and then in October 2006 the band announced their breakup after Justin Hawkins left the band to enter rehab for drug abuse. He later revealed he had spent nearly £150,000 in three years on cocaine (which would explain the cocaine references in songs such as "One Way Ticket") and had grown tired of the grind of being in a band, touring, recording, promotional work and so on.
  • Whilst The Darkness were split up post-2006, several side projects emerged. Justin Hawkins performed solo under the name British Whale, attempting to enter the Eurovision Song Contest in 2007 and previously having success with a 2005 cover of the 1974 Sparks song "This Town Ain't Big Enough For The Both Of Us." He also formed a band named Hot Leg, which toured extensively and released an album Red Light Fever. Meanwhile, the rest of The Darkness made a new hard rock band called the Stone Gods, with Richie Edwards on lead vocals. They also released an album, Silver Spoons and Broken Bones, in 2008, and toured in support of Airbourne and Black Stone Cherry during their existence.
  • By early 2011, both side projects (Hot Leg and Stone Gods) were on hiatus, leading to mutterings that the original Darkness lineup could reunite. They indeed reunited in March 2011 and played the Download Festival that year. They toured extensively for the rest of the year, and several UK shows featured appearances from comedian Rufus Hound and Queen guitarist Brian May (often playing on Darkness songs "Bareback" and "I Believe In A Thing Called Love" as well as a cover of the Queen song "Tie Your Mother Down"). In 2012 came the comeback album Hot Cakes with "Nothing's Gonna Stop Us" released as the lead single in February 2012.
  • In 2015, the band announced that drummer Emily Dolan Davies, who had played the drums on their Last of Our Kind record, was leaving the band. Four days after this announcement, the band's official Facebook page declared her replacement to be Rufus Taylor - the son of Queen drummer Roger Taylor. Rufus had previously drummed for several projects, including as part of Kerry Ellis' backing band on solo tours and with Queen themselves.
  • Asked by Classic Rock magazine what kind of stuff he and his brother grew up listening to and getting into, Dan Hawkins replied: "We listened to a very varied, wide range of music, but the things that we really both together gravitated to were the sort of similar sort of artists like Queen, Aerosmith, AC/DC, Thin Lizzy and Abba. And the Eagles, actually. That's one that we've just not talked about really, never really sort of bandied around much."

    "Justin and I could play the two guitar parts," he added, "the solos at the end of 'Hotel California' when were like like 12 or 13 years old. That sort of thing informs you at that age."
  • Justin Hawkins studied media studies at Lowestoft College, specialising in photography. He told Kerrang!: "It's a big part of my life, taking pictures."

Comments: 30

  • Ali from Ar, UsSo glad they are touring and working on new material! Rufus Taylor is an awesome addition to the band. He fits in really well and he is a fantastic drummer.
  • Eric from State Collge, PaI love these guys, they really bring back the image of 70's glam rock
  • Josh from New York, Nyugh how much longer is justin in rehab i could really use another darkness album.
  • Janet from Perth, AustraliaThe Darkness are the best band for years as they show the true spirit of rock, playing their instruments well and writing fantastic songs. It's really sad that Justin was such an idiot as to get into cocaine because he's an absolutely brilliant performer with both guitar and vocals.He'll be sadly missed from the band, but I'm sure that Dan and the others will cover for him or find a replacement, although Justin can never really be replaced. Ritchie Edwards replaced Frankie Poullain incidentally.
  • Janet from Perth, AustraliaCorrection - Justin and Dan come from Lowestoft in Suffolk,not Surrey as Tom from Trowbridge said.
  • Marjana from Idrija, Other....i love their music,....they are gods....
    - Marjana,Idrija,Slovenia
  • Danny from Sydney, AustraliaI love the darkness. But the thing about them is everyone says they hate them, but secretly listens to them. I used to walk around saying "pfft, Darkness suck" but I'd listen to "I beileive in a thing called love" secretely. Then one day I just thought, "yeah why not?, I'll buy the album". I now listen to it once or twice a day.
  • Shawn from Hiddenite, NcI had a chance to see them on their "permission to land" world tour in Charlotte NC and they were great! During "love on the rocks" I got caught up with the security surrounding Justin and got carried all the way across the venue, Justin looked down (as he was on a guards shoulders playing the solo) and let me strum the guitar, It Was GREAT!
  • Natalie from Redding, CaIt seems like they stepped in a time machine and were brought to nowadays. I love that they offer something truly unique to rock music. They are called the Darkness, but they are not all dark and down. They are a fun and talented band that not everyone gets, but those who do, will never get tired of their songs, no matter how often they play them.
  • Sofi from London, EnglandWent to see the darkness at wembley last weekend! It was the best concert ever! They were amazing!!!
  • Tracy from Huntingdon, EnglandI saw The Darkness in the summer of 2003, and they totaly blew me away! The songs were brilliant and the whole atmosphere that went with the show was something unforgettable. Dan Hawkins you are a ROCK GOD!!!
  • Jules from London, United Statesdarkness are good but theyve nicked (early) van halen's gig without a doubt...
  • Tom from Trowbridge, EnglandQueen were also seen as a novelty act at first.

  • James from Bransgore, EnglandJustin Hawkings can sing higher than most girls. Haha. I think he uses falsetto vocals though.
  • Rich from Derby, EnglandOh, and I forgot to mention - The Darkness drummer bust my drum kit a few years ago when he used it. Now he's famous, has he offered a replacement? NO!!! So not only is he sh1te, he's tight...
  • Rich from Derby, EnglandAren't The Darkness like a bit sh1te? C'mon, you must agree???
  • Saz from Xxxx, United Stateshi guys the darkness are cool!!
  • Tom from Trowbridge, EnglandMany people have labelled The Darkness as merely a novelty act. They said the same thing about AC/DC. Need I say more?
  • Will from Portland, Oroh man, he declined! I agree, Freddie Mercury is a better singer, but still, that would have been cool!
  • Matt from Toronto, CanadaJustin Hawkins was asked to go on tour with the
    remaining members of
    Queen.(to replace Freddy Mercury) but declined because he
    felt hecouldn't live up to Mercury.
  • Will from Portland, OrI like the darkness! The reason people aren't posting comments is because none of their songs are on the site.
  • Saz from Xxxx, United StatesThe Darkness rock beyond belief!!!
  • Charlie from Thomaston, DcI love the darkness especially for bringing back true rock and roll in a wolrd full of really bad punk rock!
  • Sarah from Milwaukee, WiYeah, the Darkness rocks hard...they are gonna bring back true rock n roll! I saw them at Summerfest June 26th...Justins voice is amazing, but the only song they're really known for in the U.S. is "I Believe in a Thing Called Love" and all these dumb posers say they like the Darkness when they don't and it gets annoying...anyways...rock on TRUE Darkness Fans!
  • Matthew from Nr London, EnglandI'm seriously upset with this website cos it doesn't list any darkness songs. There's so much you coudl say about them... :( ah well, thats probably cos they haven't had any hit singles in America yet, just wait for their second album out this year...
  • Lee from Ellesmere Port (england), United StatesI'm in love with ED! :) and proud of it.
  • Saz from Xxxx, United StatesI No the Darkness are great!! Dan Hawkins is always wearing thin Lizzy t's!!
  • Aishling from Dublin, IrelandSaz course people love the darkness how could they not!!! Well over my side of the water there huge!!! was just at a festival called oxygen and they closed!! they were amazing!! there fantastic close runners up to tin lizzy lads and that says a lot!! there fantastic!!
  • Saz from Xxxx, United StatesGOD does nobody like the darkness or something?? I think they're great!
  • Saz from Xxxx, United StatesThe Darkness are amazing and seriously brave They have a really unique talent and I luv em! xxx
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