Dan Hawkins from the Darkness produced their latest album, Last of Our Kind,
formed The Darkness with his brother Justin Hawkins, and (for the most part) they've made music harmoniously together since blowing up the charts with Permission to Land
We chatted with Hawkins before the show about packing up his new mobile recording studio and fighting about music with his brother.
The Darkness plays Deluxe at Old National Centre tomorrow.
On the music the Hawkins brothers listened to as kids:
Dan says they loved "Europe, Huey Lewis and The News, and Queen, we were both massively into Queen. Jazz album was one of the main ones. I think maybe we might have picked that up when we were about 8 or 9 and started playing that from my dad's record collection. ... [Justin] was really into Dread Zeppelin, a sort of ska, funk, reggae renditions of Led Zep songs. The singer was like an elf — really out there! He loved it. On my end, I was really into shoegaze bands for a while, and he really couldn't stand those. The bands that we agreed on were Queen and AC/DC, really. And ABBA. I think most everything else we sort of disagreed on!"
On recording the new album:
"My main priority always as a producer or an engineer is to try and not over-produce it. That's the hardest thing for me, just to have confidence in what you've recorded and not fiddle with it too much. That's the real thing I wanted to achieve. I wanted to achieve tracks that we were either choosing just one whole take or half of one and half of another. The way I've gone about it in the past is to keep the band playing, and I put together my own 'best of' of all different takes. To involve the band more, to sit down and see how everyone felt about whole takes, rather than me just going and overproducing it. I'm getting better at it! I still have work to do in that area."
On shutting down his proper studio, Hawk's Nest, and going mobile:
"Running a studio I've found is akin to running a hotel — fucking exhausting. And [Leeders' Farm, Hawkins' commercial studio] wasn't making any money. So I put the best bits of gear and the things I couldn't live without, and I created a studio that could go anywhere. It's home for that record was my home in Norfolk at the time, basically a converted barn. My bedroom was the control room. The lounge was where we recorded guitars; drums were in the toilet. We're working out where the next location will be for the next record. I'd like to do it in a castle, something creepy like that."
On the sober tour experience vs. ... the opposite:
"When you can't remember anything about the town, that normally means the last time we went through roundabout the early 2000s, we had [a good time].