Confessions: Justin Hawkins

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WHEN WAS THE FIRST TIME YOU FELT LIKE A ROCKSTAR?

“It was in the late 80s when I realised I had the same haircut as Joe Satriani. I was reading a guitar magazine and I saw an advert for a plectrum manufacturer, and Joe Satriani was endorsing them. I’m trying to think how you could describe the haircut… it was short at the front and long at the back – I’m sure there must be a word for it! Ha ha! But I had the same haircut and I saw my future as a rockstar in that photo.”

What’s the most expensive thing you’ve ever bought?

“I once ordered a Fabergé egg mayonnaise sandwich… ha ha!”

Did you eat it?

“Of course! It put me out of action for a few weeks, but it was worth every penny…”

What’s the weirdest thing a fan has ever given you?

“I once received three two-litre bottles of maple syrup. It was from a fan from wherever maple syrup comes from, I suppose. Where would that be? Up towards Canada… Vermont, I think. I don’t know. Anyway, two bottles were for me, and she asked me to give the third to Ginger Wildheart.”

What did you do with them?

“I gave all three bottles to Ginger. He probably drank them…”

What’s the stupidest thing you’ve done while under the influence of mind-altering substances?

“I’ve never altered my mind. Will you print that, please! I’ve done lots of stupid things, though. Probably the stupidest was Eurovision [Justin was defeated in the 2007 heats by Scooch – Europop Ed].”

What’s the strangest gig you have ever played? And don’t say Eurovision…

“It all seems normal once you’ve done it for a while… but playing the Jackass 2 film premiere [in 2006] was fairly surreal. There was a huge pillar in the middle and the temptation to climb it was irresistible. It was a terribly unusually shaped stage. And it was a hospital-themed event, so there were nurses ‘injecting’ people with alcohol and guys being strapped to beds and fed shots. It was just a lot of hospital-based drinking activities, basically, with The Darkness climbing a pole in the middle.”

What’s the worst injury you’ve ever sustained onstage?

“I’ve never really had a bad injury. I thought I’d broken my finger once, climbing another pole in Sheffield… at the Barfly, I think. I fell from the pole and my little finger got bent back, but it doesn’t matter because I never use that finger anyway. Only really good guitarists use the little one. It’s just a vestigial flap of skin to me – utterly useless.”

Who would win out of a fight between you and your brother Dan?

“Dan. He’s taller, younger… I don’t know, though… I have more martial arts training. I think it’d actually be a really close fight. Dan’s the most determined person I know, and I think he’d fight dirty if he had to.”

Has it ever come to blows with you two in the past?

“It has, and I’ve usually come out on top, but we were younger then and my age was an advantage. Now it’s a disadvantage. I’m no longer the big brother, you see. I’m just the runt of the litter now.”

**How many catsuits have you owned over the years? **

“It’s difficult to say. I sold most of them, but I probably still own about 10 or 11 – the key ones. I’ve still got the Get Your Hands Off My Woman video catsuit [a fancy stripy number – Catsuit Ed] and the tweed one from the Growing On Me video. I’ve got the I Believe In A Thing Called Love catsuit [white with silver flame outlines – Catsuit Ed] and the one I wore when we headlined Reading [in 2004], which was made by Dior and has lots of sequins on it. Ones like that, I’ve kept. I’ve lost a few – I’ve no idea where they are. Some are in storage at the band’s facility. There are some at my mum and dad’s place. There are some being made, even as we speak. They’re everywhere, you know. There’s probably about another 80 out there, just lost in the ether…”

Finally, do you Believe In A Thing Called Love?

“There’s only one kind of love, and that’s man love! Ha ha. I’m just joking. Of course I do. I believe in unconditional familial love. There’s man-woman love, man-man love, and woman-woman love. I think love is a genuine and real thing that should be shared by two or more consenting adults at any point – sex, love, all that stuff. What I should say is that I believe in several different things called love. I think that’s what I’ve learned.”