Interview: The Darkness Talk Reunion, Recreation, 'Pinewood Smile' and More

posted by Andrew Magnotta -

One thing you know about The Darkness is that whatever the band does, it will rock.

After coming on strong in 2003, breaking up in 2006 and returning in 2012, The Darkness has gone about its business making energetic, catchy and visceral rock and roll. On its new album, Pinewood Smile, The Darkness wrote and recorded straight from the guts. 

As frontman Justin Hawkins tells Q104.3 New York's "Out of the Box" with Jonathan Clarke, the album is as straight up as it gets.

"The stuff we recorded was all bass, drums and rhythm guitar all at the same time...Nearly all of it was live," Hawkins says. "Then we had a couple of weeks of overdubs after that. But there's no click tracks, no metronomical guidance whatsoever. So any fluidity in the tempos comes from the band working together. 

"Like they used to do," adds drummer Rufus Taylor.

Pinewood Smile is Taylor's first album with The Darkness, after he joined the band in 2015, shortly after the release of Last of Our Kind

Son of Queen drummer Roger Taylor, Rufus is a natural on the drum throne. Hawkins says it was Brian May's guitar tech, Pete Malandrone, who recommended Rufus for the opening.

"He contacted us and said, 'Oh, by the way, guys, you should think about Rufus,'" Hawkins recalls. "He said—and I'm paraphrasing to a degree—[Laughing] 'He's really talented, he's a great drummer, really nice, a good laugh, and he's probably off shagging super models at the moment.' Which was obviously Pete's perception of Rufus' life."

Rufus couldn't confirm or deny, but he says he's felt welcome in the band ever since. 

Check out the full interview above. 

Pinewood Smile is available now. Get all The Darkness' tour dates here

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Check out the video for The Darkness' "All the Pretty Girls":