While The Darkness's debut album, Permission to Land, quickly became a worldwide phenomenon in 2003 with its embrace of classic rock bombast and glamour, but contrary to the band's image at the time, Permission to Land was one of the most economical hits of its generation.
Before getting a big break with his band, frontman Justin Hawkins made ends meet writing advertising jingles that imitated the work of his hard rock heroes. Years of advertising work helped Justin hone his composing and producing chops and when a significant payday finally came — an ad for IKEA — he spent the proceeds on guitars and studio time that for The Darkness's first EP and album.
"That was actually one of the cheapest albums made that year that was big ... about 20 grand," he tells Q104.3 New York's Out of the Box with Jonathan Clarke. "We took a little room at the end of 2KHZ Studios ... and they had a little end room that we put a mezzanine in, and that was where we did all our overdubs and stuff. When there was downtime, we'd go and sneak into the big room and record drums.
It was at Scrubs Lane where the band recorded its debut EP "I Believe in a Thing Called Love," "Love Is Only Feeling" and a version of "Love on the Rocks With No Ice." The band changed venues to track the remainder of the full-length album.
Twenty years later, The Darkness is celebrating its debut with a new tour and a 20th anniversary deluxe edition of Permission to Land, containing B-sides, live cuts, alternate versions and demos.
As Justin notes in his Out of the Box interview, many of the B-sides are completely new to American audiences, as they were never released her before.
"We've kept some of the really interesting B-sides [in the live show]," Justin adds. "When I say interesting, I think I'm talking about a B-side that you make because you know it's going to be a B-side. So you're not trying to make it a single, you don't want it to be on the record, you're not trying to, you know, make a singalong chorus, necessarily. Interesting stuff: dramatic monologues and weird solos and things."
Watch the full conversation via the player above!
Go here for more information on the album reissue and tour.
Check out the iconic music video for The Darkness' "I Believe in a Thing Called Love":