Justin Hawkins says The Darkness helped bring rock back to life

Justin Hawkins of The Darkness
(Image credit: Mariano Regidor/Redferns)

The Darkness' Justin Hawkins has weighed in on the 'rock is dead' debate, a notion first notoriously put forward by Kiss' Gene Simmons in 2014 – and one that has been argued over ever since.

In the new issue of Classic Rock, Hawkins says that although the genre may be alive and kicking, it's usually in a "resting state" up until an exciting band or artist comes along to "rejuvenate" it from its slumber. One band Hawkins believes is responsible for pulling off a Sleeping Beauty moment such as this is The Darkness.

"It’s always a bit dramatic when people say: 'Rock is dead' or 'Rock has lost its mojo'. It hasn’t. It generally has an idling mojo until something comes along and reinvigorates everything," he explains.

"It happened with Nirvana and, dare I say it, it happened with The Darkness. There’s that burst of interest, and then it goes back to its resting state"

Speaking of the state of modern music, he continues, "There’s been some stuff that’s been nearly exciting recently, but I find it hard to get into artists who only have one very specific influence – one particular album by one particular band."

"Just get another influence, mix it up. People used to say that The Darkness were like AC/DC and Queen. That’s two influences. Two is literally twice as good as one."

Elsewhere, Hawkins discusses the importance of having an "ego" in a successful rock band. The frontman states, "If you don’t have an ego, you’re not doing it right. But that can lead to problems, as we found out in the past."

"We saw it all explode once before, and the situations that could potentially lead to that still happen, but we’ve learned to avoid it exploding again. It just takes a little bit of understanding of each other, and of yourself as well." 

You can read the full interview in the latest issue of Classic Rock, out now. It features an all-new interview with Deep Purple, plus an exclusive official Deep Purple CD, as well as features on Rush, Status Quo, Jerry Cantrell, Van Halen, Dooms Children, Florence Black, Dream Theater, Primal Scream and more.

The Darkness will release their new studio album Motorheart this coming Friday.

The Darkness - Motorheart

(Image credit: Cooking Vinyl)
Liz Scarlett

Liz works on keeping the Louder sites up to date with the latest news from the world of rock and metal. Prior to joining Louder as a full time staff writer, she completed a Diploma with the National Council for the Training of Journalists and received a First Class Honours Degree in Popular Music Journalism. She enjoys writing about anything from neo-glam rock to stoner, doom and progressive metal, and loves celebrating women in music.