THE DARKNESS frontman Justin Hawkins spoke to Chaoszine about the band's upcoming album, "Motorheart", set for release on October 15 via Cooking Vinyl. Asked what it was like making an LP during the pandemic, Justin said (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET): "The [other] guys [from the band] were writing from London, and I was working here [home] in Switzerland. And we had this thing; it's called Listento. So when I was recording my vocals, I was able to communicate with my brother [THE DARKNESS guitarist Dan Hawkins], who was producing the record from the U.K. So I'd be able to talk to him. And he'd be doing my takes. It was kind of like as a plugin on Pro Tools.
"When you think about it, if I'm in the vocal booth with my headphones on, and the producer is outside the vocal booth, it's the same level of interaction as to use Listento and be in a different country," he explained. "It doesn't really make much difference — the thousands of miles between us is irreleveant, really, because it's the same experience; I can hear his voice but I can't see his face, just like in a normal studio. So it became pretty normal, actually, as soon as the recording process started. The only difference would be in the writing — we didn't collaborate in the same way with the writing. But we all had the same manifesto going into it. We wanted to make an uplifting rock record with just good-time boogie rock on it. We didn't wanna have anything clever, nothing too metal-y, nothing too acoustic-y and nothing too… There isn't really a power ballad on this album; we normally do a power ballad. There's no sad songs on it. It sounds like an AEROSMITH album or something like that — it's just a bit of good-time rock and roll."
Asked if it was hard to get into the mood to write an uplifting album during the COVID-19 crisis, Justin said: "We didn't wanna make a lockdown album. In the beginning of that thing, there was a lot of lockdown music coming out, and it was music that was influenced and informed by the experience of the pandemic. And it's tempting to do that kind of thing, but I don't think it's our job. I think our job is to provide something else, really. Our fans wanna hear us pissing about and doing stupid [stuff]. Other people can do the other stuff; we'll just do what we do. Even if you feel sad, it's good to write a happy song, I think. There's more than one way to approach every situation, and THE DARKNESS way probably, whilst it's tempting to do serious and sad stuff, that's not what our audience wants to hear, and I don't think it's what we wanna do, really. We just wanna have a good time."
THE DARKNESS will embark on a full U.K. tour in November and December this year with support coming from BRITISH LION, the side project of legendary IRON MAIDEN founder and bassist Steve Harris.