Something Other Than Singing Cinched Justin Hawkins Becoming The Darkness’ Frontman
The Darkness frontman Justin Hawkins has one of the more recognizable voices in rock, but during a recent chat with Yahoo! Entertainment's Lyndsey Parker, the singer revealed that it wasn't his vocals that ultimately got him asked to front the band.
As Hawkins revealed, he had been a keyboard player in a group with other members of what would become The Darkness prior. But there was another factor that eventually put him over the top when it came time for The Darkness to pick their frontman.
"Everyone knew I could sing," recalled Hawkins. "I was doing backing vocals and I've sung in things before. Fun stuff when I was much younger... 18 or 19."
But, recalling that moment when he was suggested to lead the band, Hawkins explained, "It was more I did an interpretive dance to 'Bohemian Rhapsody' at a New Year's Eve party at the end of 1999, and for some reason my performance captivated the pub that we were in. My brother [guitarist Dan Hawkins] was like, 'You should be the frontman,' that's it.... (laughs). I was like, 'This is what I've been saying.'"
The singer admits that he might not have fit the mold of what most rock frontmen were at the time, explaining, "I always knew what I would want my frontman to do and so when that band was looking for a frontman, I actually did audition for it. But my idea of a frontman is not the same as what most people who were trying to make it in the music trade in the late '90s would think of it as. That would be Verve-y and Radiohead-y, a bit more serious songwriting done in a cool way and that's really not what I do (laughs)."
The group officially formed in 2000, with their major label debut Permission to Land surfacing three years later. With a throwback sound to the dynamic rock of the '70s and Hawkins' falsetto-belting on "I Believe in a Thing Called Love," the band captured the imagination of the listening audience at the time.
The Darkness, "I Believe in a Thing Called Love"
The Darkness are currently celebrating the 20th anniversary of Permission to Land this year with special tour dates and a reissue that's due on Oct. 6. Pre-orders are available here.