After lead vocalist and guitarist Justin Hawkins’ departure from The Darkness in 2007, fans were filled with anticipation about the future of the U.K.-based rock band. Now, their prayers have been answered. After a personnel overhaul in 2011—the band now features brothers Justin and Dan Hawkins as well as Frankie Poullain and Rufus Taylor—and the 2012 release Hot Cakes, the Darkness is back with their newest album, The Last of Our Kind.
This new record came with no shortage of challenges—including the band’s decision to change drummers once before recording the album and once after, “just for luck,” according to Frankie Poullain. That wasn’t the only change the band was going through.
“The Last of Our Kind album recording process took place in Dan Hawkin’s ex studio in Norfolk’s Leeders Farm; the last time we recorded there was in 2012 for Hot Cakes as the studio was being dismantled,” Poullain explains. “Each time we finished a song we had less space and less equipment as Dan was selling his gear off and the studio was being converted into a living space. This time, two years later, it was the other way round: his family’s living space was being re-converted into a makeshift studio so we could save money and buy time.”
The resulting music is something that Poullian says truly expresses where the band is. “We gambled a lot on this album, from the songwriting period onwards—turning what we thought were good choruses into great verses and middle 8’s,” he says. “We also turned what we thought were managers into ex-managers.”
By the time The Darkness had finished recording, major changes occurred—original drummer Rufus Taylor made his comeback and the recording space made its official transformation from living room back to studio. Everything is as it should be, says Poullian, and “that demonstrates the method to our Darkness madness.”