Q&A: The Darkness

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England rock gods The Darkness are back on American shores and will be making their way to the halls of the Regency Ballroom in San Francisco on March 31. The legendary rock outfit comprised of Justin Hawkins (vocals/guitar), Dan Hawkins (guitar), Frankie Poullain (bass) and Rufus Tiger Taylor (drums), released their fifth album Pinewood Smile on October 6, 2017. To help continue to promote their latest masterpiece, the quartet has embarked on a North American tour that they’re calling the “Tour de Prance.”

We wanted to check in with the extravagant brits, so we reached out to their bassist Frankie Poullain to talk about what fans can expect at their shows, what their take is on the music scene today, and what they think of San Francisco audiences.

First off, why is the tour called “Tour de Prance?”

Because we’re musical poseurs as opposed to French cyclists.

What can fans expect from The Darkness on the tour this time around?

Hubcaps, oily chains and glistening spokes whirring at the speed of light.

What’s the production like on Tour de Prance?

Fantastique. A bit garlicky perhaps.

Frankie Poullain

What are some differences touring now compared to when The Darkness first started?

Since then the western world has descended into barbarism. The Renaissance heralded an end to the last dark age of man, one that spanned more or less a thousand years. Alas, we have managed barely 500 years of cultured civility since, and now we descend again, this time at a greatly accelerated rate due to our suicidal abuse of science and technology. Apart from that, it’s pretty much the same.

Any crazy road story you can share?

The crazy ones must remain untold – ‘code of the road’.

I read that The Darkness has a documentary coming out. What can you tell us about it?

It’s very revealing and therefore stomach-churningly hard to bear for us as private, delicate and sensitive creatures. That should mean it’s fun to watch for gratuitous nosy parkers and voyeurs.

What’s your take on the state of the music industry today especially as it relates to Rock n Roll?

Who gives a shit? The industry is industry, i.e exploitation and bean counting. There is less cocaine around, that’s probably the biggest difference. Too many musicians spend their time whining about the industry when they should just be making music and expressing their actual feelings.

What’s a piece of advice about the music industry that you can share with aspiring musicians?

Don’t trust anyone except for your mother. And your pets. And your muscle memory.

You’re set to play the Bay Area at the end of the month. What do you think about San Francisco audiences?

They’re laid back, knowledgeable, gaudily attired and they don’t care who knows about it.

What’s one thing that most people would be surprised to find out about you?

That I only just started wearing pajamas.

The Darkness plays the Regency Ballroom this Saturday March 31, 2018 // 8:00 pm/Doors 7:00 pm // $25.00

Photos by Simon Emmet

An avid drummer whose discography includes albums on Digital Nations (a Steve Vai imprint), music critic Louis Raphael has always kept a pulse on the San Francisco music scene. After many years as the San Francisco Music Examiner for Examiner.com and AXS.com, he decided to start Music in SF® as a way to showcase what the San Francisco music scene really has to offer.

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