The artwork shows bassist Frankie Poullain and drummer Rufus Taylor brandishing daggers and a sword at the feet of Jesus Christ, who is portrayed by Hawkins. And, asked by Sky News (opens in new tab) if he thought the cover glamourises knife violence, Hawkins replies: “I hope we’re not glamourising that."
He explains: “What we were trying to do was interfere with biblical iconography and the sources we studied to assemble that image was from hundreds of years ago.
"We didn't recognise that it might be insensitive in the current climate. We saw it as something as escapism in talking about an imagined scenario from an alternate reality, and if we have offended anybody, all we can do is apologise.”
As for his portrayal of Jesus, Hawkins adds: “Yes, that's controversial, but then again Willem Dafoe has played Jesus, no one gives him a hard time. We are not denying the existence of Jesus Christ.”
The Darkness are currently preparing to head out on the road in support of Easter Is Cancelled in the UK and Ireland, with further shows planned across Europe in early 2020.
Find details below.
The Darkness are also featured in the latest issue of Classic Rock Magazine, which is on sale now (opens in new tab). In the interview, we go backstage with the band as they explain why they had no issues supporting one of pop's biggest artists recently.
Issue 268 features Queen as the cover stars and comes with a giant, double-sided Freddie Mercury poster, an extra magazine featuring the ultimate album-by-album guide to Queen's discography and a 148-page Queen eBook.
The Darkness: Easter Is Cancelled (opens in new tab)
The Darkness have just released their sixth studio album Easter Is Cancelled. The follow-up to 2017's Pinewood Smile features the lead single Rock And Roll Deserves To Die.
The Darkness: Easter Is Cancelled (signed colour vinyl) (opens in new tab)
Townsend Music is selling Easter Is Cancelled on striking orange vinyl. And that's not all, the record is also autographed, making this one to add to the collection.
The Darkness: Easter Is Cancelled Deluxe CD (signed) + vinyl (signed) + Cassette + Signed Band Photograph (opens in new tab)
In addition to the orange vinyl, Townsend Music also have this mega-package with the album on vinyl, cassette and CD, with bonus tracks AND a signed photograph.
The Darkness 2019 tour dates
Nov 26: Belfast Limelight, UK
Nov 27: Dublin Academy, Ireland
Nov 29: Nottingham Rock City, UK
Dec 01: Birmingham O2 Academy, UK
Dec 02: Leicester O2 Academy, UK
Dec 03: Southend Cliffs Pavilion, UK
Dec 05: Norwich UEA, UK
Dec 06: Cambridge Corn Exchange, UK
Dec 07: Bath Pavilions, UK
Dec 09: Portsmouth Pyramids, UK
Dec 10: Brighton Dome, UK
Dec 11: Watford Colosseum, UK
Dec 13: Manchester Academy, UK
Dec 14: Newcastle O2 Academy, UK
Dec 15: Glasgow O2 Academy, UK
Dec 17: York Barbican, UK
Dec 18: Liverpool O2 Academy, UK
Dec 20: London Roundhouse, UK
The Darkness 2020 tour dates
Jan 25: Strasbourg Laiterie, France
Jan 26: Paris La Cigale, France
Jan 27: Bordeaux Krakatoa, France
Feb 03: Lyon Ninkasi KAO, France
Feb 04: Zurich XTRA, Switzerland
Feb 08: Munich Technikum, Germany
Feb 10: Vienna Simm City, Austria
Feb 11: Nuremburg Hirsch, Germany
Feb 12: Berlin Kesselhaus, Germany
Feb 14: Copenhagen Amager Bio, Denmark
Feb 15: Stockholm Nalen, Sweden
Feb 17: Oslo Rockefeller, Norway
Feb 18: Gothenburg Pustervik, Sweden
Feb 20: Hamburg Markthalle, Germany
Feb 21: Cologne Essigfabrik, Germany
Feb 22: Sint Niklas De Casino, Belgium
Feb 24: Amsterdam Melkweg Max, Amsterdam
Feb 25: Frankfurt Batschkapp, Germany