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  Re: One Way Ticket to Hell... and Back
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    PostPosted: 30 Mar 2011, 13:28 
Darkling
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Switch625 wrote:
I always thought it funny how that record was completely forgotten about.

There's a good reason for that: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9VgyF0i5EfM

And for what it's worth regarding One Way Ticket, it wouldn't surprise me if TD disown the vast majority of it. Dan's said in an interview since that the album shouldn't have happened and Justin said the band weren't writing good songs at the time. I'd imagine it brings back bad memories for them too, at least those memories that are in tact.

Personally, I can't say I love any of the tracks in the way I do on PTL. But for anyone interested, here's my verdict:

Likes: English Country Garden, Dinner Lady Arms, Seemed Like A Good Idea (should have been amazing but was made worse by over-production), Girlfriend

Dislikes: Knockers, Hazel Eyes

Mehs: One Way Ticket, Is It Just Me?, Blind Man, Bald.


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  Re: One Way Ticket to Hell... and Back
    PostPosted: 30 Mar 2011, 17:22 
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Is that a dislike of Hazel Eyes completely or the recorded version?

I'm genuinely intrigued to see what OWT material survives into any tour setlist. There does feel a bit of an awkwardness about that era, but it's hard to find anything that's a complete write-off.

I'd particular like to see some of the tracks that Frankie was involved with retained and given a second chance now we're back to the 'classic' line-up. DLA and Hazel Eyes specifically.


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  Re: One Way Ticket to Hell... and Back
    PostPosted: 31 Mar 2011, 01:22 
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Switch625 wrote:
Is that a dislike of Hazel Eyes completely or the recorded version?

The recorded version. The live version was excellent.


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  Re: One Way Ticket to Hell... and Back
    PostPosted: 03 Apr 2011, 22:41 
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I'm not a huge fan of One Way Ticket, but I think I'd like DLA, SLAGI and Hazel Eyes, possibly IIJM to make it through to future setlists. English Country Garden too, but I think only in a big arena

Adopting Curious's rating scheme, I rate OWT as follows:

Likes: Is It Just Me?, Dinner Lady Arms, Seemed Like A Good Idea (but agree that the album production stifled it), Girlfriend

Dislikes: Knockers, Hazel Eyes, Blind Man

Mehs: One Way Ticket, Bald, English Country Garden.


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  Re: One Way Ticket to Hell... and Back
    PostPosted: 04 Apr 2011, 23:45 
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[quote="Curious Orange"]

And for what it's worth regarding One Way Ticket, it wouldn't surprise me if TD disown the vast majority of it. Dan's said in an interview since that the album shouldn't have happened and Justin said the band weren't writing good songs at the time. I'd imagine it brings back bad memories for them too, at least those memories that are in tact.


I agree with what you say there - I think Dan is right. They should possibly have taken a break.....instead of what happened. But things happen for a reason. We learn from our experiences.
I personally would rather hear lots of PTL, maybe a couple of OWT songs and (hopefully great) new material if I saw them live now....


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  Re: One Way Ticket to Hell... and Back
    PostPosted: 16 Apr 2011, 11:43 
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To tell you the truth, I don't like One way ticket to hell ...and back: the songs mirror the (bad) mood the band felt at the time :|

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  Re: One Way Ticket to Hell... and Back
    PostPosted: 17 Apr 2011, 02:25 
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Offf topic but I'm sure I read something about Jason Donovan up there :o ,I was hoping it wasn't the one I was thinking of, but unfortunately it was, OMG, my eyes, my eyes, they're burning, sorry, can't ever have taken that guy seriously in anything he ever did and his (cough cough) Music, OMFG someone gimme a bucket! :twisted:

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  Re: One Way Ticket to Hell... and Back
    PostPosted: 18 Apr 2011, 12:24 
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Ah he's okay. Doesn't seem to have his head up his arse anyhow and seems pretty humble whenever he's interviewed over here. Also the guy dated Kylie... I mean for the time being he's 1-0 up on me.


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  Re: One Way Ticket to Hell... and Back
    PostPosted: 18 Apr 2011, 19:40 
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Downundermother wrote:
Offf topic but I'm sure I read something about Jason Donovan up there :o ,I was hoping it wasn't the one I was thinking of, but unfortunately it was, OMG, my eyes, my eyes, they're burning, sorry, can't ever have taken that guy seriously in anything he ever did and his (cough cough) Music, OMFG someone gimme a bucket! :twisted:

I just love him coz he did the voice of Buzz! How awesome is that?...Seriously...legend!

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  Re: One Way Ticket to Hell... and Back
    PostPosted: 02 May 2011, 13:47 
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spooner_22 wrote:
Downundermother wrote:
Offf topic but I'm sure I read something about Jason Donovan up there :o ,I was hoping it wasn't the one I was thinking of, but unfortunately it was, OMG, my eyes, my eyes, they're burning, sorry, can't ever have taken that guy seriously in anything he ever did and his (cough cough) Music, OMFG someone gimme a bucket! :twisted:

I just love him coz he did the voice of Buzz! How awesome is that?...Seriously...legend!


Jason Donovan does the voice of Buzz Lightyear?

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  Re: One Way Ticket to Hell... and Back
    PostPosted: 03 May 2011, 17:39 
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That one confused me a bit. Although it is some times the case that films, particularly animations are re-dubbed dependent on the target market. I think on of the Shrek films had different voice actors in the UK to it's release in the states.


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  Re: One Way Ticket to Hell... and Back
    PostPosted: 10 Jun 2011, 20:17 
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I have to say I love this album as much as the first. It may not rock as hard but its more varied musically, puts a smile on my face and as a fan of Queen I can really appreciate what they were trying to achieve with this. Bald is still the hardest rocking song they ever released with an ear-shredding final guitar solo and I love the piano in English Country Garden! Blind Man sucks though ;)


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  Re: One Way Ticket to Hell... and Back
    PostPosted: 16 Jun 2011, 17:11 
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Switch625 wrote:
Enjoyed reading that, but it just reminds me how much coke they were doing at the time. Also writing an anti-drugs song whilst you're still doing massive amounts of drugs. Hmm...


Ironically that may be one of the best insights. Often they want out soo bad while they are stuck using. Mind you the lyrics ....a bit two sided...I agree.


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  Re: One Way Ticket to Hell... and Back
    PostPosted: 24 Jul 2011, 18:59 
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In my opinion it's a brilliant album, not as good as Permission though. My fave tracks are One Way Ticket, Girlfriend and Hazel Eyes.

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  Re: One Way Ticket to Hell... and Back
    PostPosted: 04 Nov 2011, 04:59 
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wow this is my second post!!

it's a great album, obviously its not like the first album, but still having all the Permission To Land force...

Likes: all

dislike: "Bald"

Fav song: Is it just me? and One way ticket

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  Re: One Way Ticket to Hell... and Back
    PostPosted: 01 Jan 2012, 14:06 
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It's a brilliant album, but not as brilliant as Permission To Land. :D I hate the fact that Frankie doesn't play on this one. All the songs are still so fucking good, except Seemed Like A Good Idea and Blind Man - those are songs that could have been dropped out from the album. But all the other songs are great!! In my opinion the album's atmosphere is somehow different compared to Permission, but I can't really explain it :D

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  Re: One Way Ticket to Hell... and Back
    PostPosted: 02 Jan 2012, 14:21 
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When this album came out I was unbelievably excited and couldn't wait to listen to it. For weeks I was listening to it non-stop and I loved it.

However after the original novelty wore off it was clearer to see to me that it wasn't as good as PTL and there were a couple of average songs on it which PTL didn't have.

Still love the album but PTL is more of a proper rock album, less experimental and more natural. I hope the new album will replicate this and will take the band back more to their old style rather than the experimental side we saw on OWT

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  Re: One Way Ticket to Hell... and Back
    PostPosted: 11 Sep 2012, 17:06 
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Anyone coming with me?
I made this instead of doing my homework.
I have a bigger version too, but I can't upload any bigger here :)


Attachments:
trainticket.jpg
trainticket.jpg [ 166.09 KiB | Viewed 9665 times ]

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2012.06.02. - Trondheim, Norway
2013.02.23. - Oslo, Norway
2013.02.24. - Kristiansand, Norway [CANCELLED]
2015.06.02. - Sweden Rock Festival, Norje, Sweden
2015.12.20. - London, England

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  Re: One Way Ticket to Hell... and Back
    PostPosted: 13 Oct 2012, 12:02 
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OWTTHAB is a great album. Really. There are no songs that I would skip and my highlights are One Way Ticket, Is It Just Me, Blind Man, ... erm, all actually.
It lacks the rawness of the first album though, but that is what you get with Roy as a producer maybe. It kind of sounds like The Darkness goes Queen's A Night At The Opera :)

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  Re: One Way Ticket to Hell... and Back
    PostPosted: 18 Feb 2013, 00:46 
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The Dark Lords.

They've been accused of many things, but never a lack of ambition. Now The Darkness, Britain's most popular rock band, return with an album the likes of which hasn't been heard in 20 years...


Justin Hawkins has a couple of words for the great British public. "Stupid cunts!" He cackles. He's not referring to those who buy The Darkness' records - good Lord, no - but to the increasing number of people who've been telling him you can't actually get, as The Darkness' album title would have it, a One Way Ticket To Hell... And Back. "Hey Dan!" Hawkins shouts across the room to his younger brother and bandmate. "Apparently you can't have a one way ticket for a return journey. Now why [voice of mock horror] didn't I think of that?!"

The Darkness frontman gives a 'why do I bother shrug'. "I've got a friend who says you should never underestimate the stupidity of the general public, and I'm actually beginning to think it's true..."

You have to feel for The Darkness. Half their critics think them so silly that they're actually a hoax. The other half, meanwhile, obviously believe they really are so stupid that they've mistakenly not called their album Return Ticket To Hell. As if that would be more sensible.

The Darkness may be silly, but they are not stupid. And even then, they take their silliness very seriously. One Way Ticket To Hell... And Back proves that. A massive leap in ambition from their Brit-winning debut of 2003, Permission To Land, it's the most over-the-top British album of 2005, possibly even the last decade. The expected Darkness elements - crunching riffs, shrieking falsetto, ballistic guitar solos, laugh-aloud lyrics - are all present. But to that, the Hawkins brothers have added sweeping orchestral arrangements, manic pianios, bagpipes, a Moog solo and panpipes. All wrapped in 10 swift songs concerned with cocaine mania, fear of baldness, granny romance, outdoor sex and more. As funny as it is fantastic, it deserves to cement their position as the UK's biggest, if strangest, guitar superstars. Despite the never-ending Spinal Tap references, The Darkness' very real success is not something you could make up...

"A REAL GROWER"

Today, at Gibson guitars' A&R centre in central London, Dan (28) and Justin Hawkins (30) are throwing guitar hero shapes for Guitarist and talking in-depth about music, a topic their image suggests is not always top of their agenda. It is. The brothers insist One Way Ticket... is a massive improvement on Permission To Land, and they both credit veteran Queen producer Roy Thomas Baker with allowing their ambition to flourish.

Dan: "We weren't looking for a producer at all, to be honest, when we started on this album. I just wanted to get the songs together. But we were persuaded to talk to people like Mutt Lange (producer of Def Leppard, AC/DC), Bob Ezrin (Pink Floyd, Alice Cooper)... then I met Roy Thomas Baker at an after-show party in LA. He instantly started making me laugh and I knew he and Justin would get on like a house on fire. That's really the criteria for us working with anyone."

"There's not much room for subtlety when you're standing in an arena full of thousands of people who just want to punch the air" Justin Hawkins

Justin: "Even though his body of work alone would be enough, the thing about Roy is he is only interested in making great records, but not necessarily ones that sound like him. Record companies are often the opposite. The ideal producer for a record company these days is someone who records everything in a month and then spends another month mixing everything in Pro Tools. Roy was only interested in getting great performances from the whole band and then mixing it creatively. A lot of records you hear these days, the mix is so compressed, everything's so linear!

"I think this album will be a real grower because you hear new things every time you listen. It's not like we've nailed a riff to a cross and just carried on - we did that a little too much on the first album, really. The way One Way Ticket... is mixed is totally different. In the long run, I think people are going to love it a lot more than the first record."

There have been lots of stories of the months spent recording yet - given that you were still touring the US a year ago - has the album really taken very long?

Justin: "It takes what it takes. For what we've achieved, we've done it in good time. Our A&R guy turned up to a recording session and in his briefcase he had this sheet, headed: Timelines And Bugets. I said to him, (sinister whisper) You can fuckin' forget that, lad. Double the bugget, scrap the bleedin'tgimeline! And to his credit, he went for it."

Was it always the intention to make such a colourful, even grandiose album?

Dan: "Well, there were certain songs, like [string-drenched ballad] Seemed Like A Good Idea At The Time, that were almost like an empty shell until we put the orchestra on it."

Justin: "An empty shell... but with a really heavy roof (guffaws). I had to go back and put piano on that because at one point it was just acoustic guitar, bass, drums... and this fucking massive orchestra."

Dan: "We worked really closely with [classic Elton John strings arranger] Paul Buckmaster. It was quite difficult because we were in England doing vocals at this point and he's in LA. And he's pretty out there, Paul. Let's just say he hasn't got the best phone manner."

Justin: "One difficulty was that we haven't got the musical vocabulary to talk in the same language as he does. He got a bit condecending at some points and we were all getting genuinely upset because we didn't want to use anyone else, because his work is just brilliant. But when you have to sing lines down the phone and explain that you want it to be the instrument that's in between a cello and a violin..."

Dan: "A viola (smiles). I know that now."

Justin: "...So it's been difficult. But it was worth it because, in the same way Roy mixes records, the string parts on this are constantly changing.

When the real orchestra arrived it was very moving, actually."

As we speak, the band are preparing for a run of TV performances to promote lead single, One Way Ticket, a serious/funny anti-cocaine rave- up. Given the subject matter, are the brothers surprised it's even being played on radio?

Justin: "I AM surprised. CD:UK have asked me not to seng the word 'gak' and I agreed. We have a lot of young fans, so fair enough. So it will be: 'several massive choking lines of glorious...something'. Only problem being, on CD:UK you can't play live so there will be a backing tape of the vocals going.."

Dan and Justin together: "GAAAAK!"

Justin: "It's funny. I've already had all these serious questions about the album title, and now we've got a blatant cocaine song on the radio. And it's all because we are supposedly a bunch of silly cunts that no one takes seriously. We've got a serious message across. All because of our perceived stupidity."

"There's a misconception of this band that we only want to make money. We're not going to sacrifice our integrity, nor our sense of fun"
Dan Hawkins


"IT'S LIKE FISHING"

Acting stupid will come as a welcome relief after a difficult year for The
Darkness. Justin's suffered his own problems with drugs in a period when he nearly left the band, and original bassist Frankie Poullain departed when recording was already underway. Although the usual reasons of 'musical differences' were cited, both Hawkins insist it was really more personal.

Dan: "There were huge communication problems when Frank was around."

Justin: "It's the reason I wasn't at [main recording studio] Rockfield very much. I hated being in the same room as him. He accused me of ripping him off all the time, he never got to grips with the fact that my fiancee is also the band's manager. If somebody's that distrustful of you, they're not a real friend. He played mind games to try and drive a wedge between Dan and me, and it worked for a while. But as soon as we kicked him out it was brilliant again. The excitement's back."

Dan: "Frank didn't have much of an input musically, and he isn't into rock music anyway. That sounds harsh but it's true. I've decided not to accommodate people's bullshit any more..."

Justin: "Apart from mine!"

Dan: "Yeah (laughs), but I had to get Justin back into the band, properly. I was in the studio a lot on my own, just with Roy. And I knew I had to get an undeniably awesome sound - give Justin something he could really get hold of."

Was there a lot of pressure on you, Dan? You're responsible for the basic songs and tracks and you had to play bass on the album too...

Justin: "I need to interject here. Dan is the most fantastic bass player I've ever met. It was the first stringed instrument he took up after drums and that experience makes him a brilliant rhythm guitar player. But he picked up bass on this record like he'd never been away. It really was quite special for me to hear.."

Dan: "It's like riding a bike, I suppose. We did the main bass tracks in just four days, and after that we got to mess around. This must be one of the only albums ever with multi-track bass parts. Is It Just Me? actually has two bass parts, played so close together you possibly might not notice. Roy said, Let's not just stick the bass in the middle of the left/right mix with the drums, that's so conventional, let's pan them. Because I'm not very experienced on bass I just went, Okay, give it a go! And this album sounds absolutely massive because of that."

With all the strings, horns, multi-tracked guitars and much more piano, you must be concerned about how you're going to cope with this live?

Justin: "Couldn't give a toss! Making a record and doing a show are totally separate things. The songs we've rehearsed so far sound incredible. We're a much heavier band live. There's not much room for subtlety when you're standing in an arena full of thousands of people who just want to punch the air. But on the record, there are high notes I've never sung before. And I don't think I'll ever sing them again."

"This album will be a real grower because you hear new things every time. In the long run, I think people will love it more than the first."
Justin Hawkins

Dan: "I was a bit nervous actually. As soon as we finished mixing, I went
into rehearsal with Richie [Edwards, Dan's ex-guitar tech and now the band's new bassist] to try to piece this album together for a live set. it was actually a lot easier than I thought. It's funny; when you're on the road for such a long time it's a mistake to think you're getting better as musicians. What really gets you better is doing something new..."

Justin: "You get into all sorts of bad habits on the road (sniff)."

Dan: "...And when you get back to writing and rehearsing new things you get a new focus. It's been a great period for the band, I think."

People have this notion that Dan's the studio-head, while Justin handles lyrics, singing and solos: how is a typical Darkness song written?

Justin: "The lyrics come last usually, same as most bands. Some days I can write inspired hilarious stuff in five seconds flat. But usually I work hard. But I've left it all to Dan this time. He's got his own brilliant ideas without me trying to make it cock rock all the time."

Dan: "It's actually a very collaborative thing we do, more so than people think. If I try to take the music too far..."

Justin: "It never gets finished!"

Dan: "It's like fishing. I sit there for hours until I get a bite from Justin... then we reel it in."

Justin: "I write the vocal melodies so it's important to be around when Dan's basic song is coming together. It's rare that he gives me a whole tune. Love On The Rocks With No Ice was one, Black Shuck another... but both were on the first album. We had time them. Russ Abbott could haved written lyrics to those. Do you remember Atmosphere? Well, his second single was the same tune but with different lyrics, wasn't it? There's that cliche about having years to write your first album and three months to do the second: it's kind of true. But you get through that. It's all about the vibe. Or atmosphere, as Russ would have it."


Despite your American success, you're still a particularly British band, especially when it comes to humour. You do realise that you'll soon be doing loads of US interviews explaining what 'dinner lady arms' are...

Justin: (very agitated) "Oh, the Americans don't have a clue. Not the citizens, the record company. They've done some new artwork and it reads Dinner Ladies Arms. That's not the song title! And they always say Take Your Hands Off My Woman, as opposed to GET Your Hands... Just because they speak a different version of English to us they think they can fucking tamper with my song titles? Well, they CAN'T!" [Justin then turns off Guitarist's tape recorder to deliver some unprintable allegations about American record companies.]

Dan: "Don't get us started on America! There's a good chance we won't step foot in America again unless they stop messing stuff up. There's a misconception of this band that we only want to make shitloads of money. We're not going to sacrifice our integrity, nor our sense of fun, to do just that. We are NOT going to compromise.."

ROCK FOR LIFE

'Compromise' is not an accusation anyone can aim at The Darkness. Their
sound, image, and ideas all seem to belong to a different era: their success has been mostly built on word-of-mouth, spectacular live shows and work ethic that would put supposedly 'more serious' bands to shame. For as long as they can make it last, they're flying the flag for freaky unfashionable yet gloriously delivered bombastic British rock. They have a few kindred spirits out there, but they know there aren't many...

Justin: "Do Me Bad Things are brilliant, but no-one at a record company would have put those nine people together."

Dan: "And Tokyo Dragons sound good. But, again, they've had all sorts of shit from record companies. For the February tour, I want bands who haven't even got a deal for support acts. We're the only fuckers who seem willing to give rock bands a chance."

As we're running late, we agree this is a fine manifesto on which to end. We wish each other well, and The Darkness depart for another promotional bout of spreading their word. The Hawkins brothers, their guitars and entourage squeeze into a small lift and we decide to take the stairs. Ten minutes later, we're at the inn next door with friends, detailing The Darkness' bright new world. We barely care about the fire engine that draws up across the street. The Darkness do. They've been stuck in that lift two floors up for the last half hour, and only London's firefighters can release them. Finally, The Darkness get permission to land... again.

Honestly: you couldn't make it up.


Just the Ticket!

The key guitar tracks on The Darkness' new album: in Dan and Justin's own words...

ENGLISH COUNTRY GARDEN

A 78mph romp alluding to outdoor sex, led by Justin's fevered piano
playing which - against all logic - was recorded first, so Ed Graham had to lay down his drum tracks to an erratic beat. A future single...?

Justin: "Roy thought it was a contender. Nothin' wrong with that one, boys! It's got the best knob joke, certainly."

Dan: "It was massive fun to record because it speeds up and slows down so much."

Justin: "I did my piano at Rockfield, on the Bosendorf Freddie Mercury used to record Bohemian Rhapsody - excellent piano. It's got the guitar solo I'm most proud of, too - it's so fucking fast. But because it's piano-led as a song we've had to find a new way of doing it live. Dan's written a special piece to allow me time to switch from piano and get a guitar on for my solo - and it's awesome. The rest of the time I'll be banging away like Chas and Dave."

ONE WAY TICKET

The album's lead single is a comic/serious take on cocaine abuse. Justin's
keen to emphasise it's an anti-drugs song. Features a Coral guitar sitar solo from Justin.

Dan: "We've already been asked whether we've tried to use as many instruments as possible on this record, but that wasn't the case. We just tried to use whatever each song needed. And, err, quite a few that weren't."

Justin: "We hired in a snare drum that belonged to [Led Zeppelin's] John Bonham. The Coral sitar was one that [The Rolling Stones'] Brian Jones played. We wanted to use some stuff that has heritage. The sitar just sounded good... and funny."

KNOCKERS

Bawdy and hard-riffing, this odd to a big lovin' woman is, if you like, and
update of AC/DC's Whole Lotta Rosie. Most likely the second single...

Dan: "I used the Jimmy Page Les Paul for that, along with a dobro for the slide parts. It's a good 'un. You can just imagine driving across America with Knockers on."

Justin: "Did you read The Observer's review of the album, Dan? It said that we were obviously in a 'much darker place' or something. Eh? Knockers is just tit jokes!"

Dan: "Stitch-up merchants. They probably wrote that because they wanted an interview with us and they didn't get one. We only speak to magazines we like."

HAZEL EYES

Stomping Celtic-flavoured tale of a Scottish fishwife who settles in The
Darkness' hometown of Lowestoft. Sounds like a guitar scrap between AC/DC, Thin Lizzy and Big Country, with the Red Hot Chilli Pipers adding bagpipes. One of Dan's favourites...

Dan: "Hazel Eyes has got a LOT of guitars on it. And at least a million tunings. The intro reminds you of [Thin Lizzy's] Emerald? It's funny you say that. Emerald's not a Thin Lizzy song I've heard a lot, but now I've listened again it must have gone in subconsciously. I was trying to be more like Brian May, in the way it fades in, the EBow tone... It's quite regal."

Justin: "There were loads of points where we over-egged it on this record. There's tons more bagpipes on the early versions of Hazel Eyes. Believe me, this is the simplified version."


Gear just in.


Today, Justin Hawkins is showing he's got balls of iron by turning up at
Gibson's offices with a new guitar custom-built for him by Ibanez. Christened The Refresher, it's a variation on a Vai-designed jem with gaudy geometric paint job, a lightning bolt body recess and 'Justin' (with lightning bolt 'S'. of course) emblazoned on the upper body.

"I designed this guitar on my computer and they've matched it right down to the Pantone colours," he beams. "The fret inlays are the best: I sent them a jpeg diagram of what I wanted and they've pulled it off." There are no plans for a commercial signature model.

For the new album, Justin mostly relied on his Les Pauls. He has two Gibson custom shop Justin Hawkins Signature series guitars, one in silverburst, one in pinkburst: both have PAF pickups, a Bigsby vibrato tailpiece and fingerboard inlays of flames rendered in mother-of-pearl and abalone. He also has two stock Gibson Les Paul Customs, one in black and one in white (The Alpine Slut) and a reissue Gold Top.

His 1969 Ampeg Dan Armstrong guitar (names The Perspex Avenger) is often used for solos, and you'll eventually be seeing that live on the band's forthcoming February tour. "I bought it about three years ago with my uncle's inheritance money when he died, before we were even signed, so it's really special to me. It's quite fragile, but I want to use it live. It plays so fast."

Justin's amps are Mesa Engineering Triple Rectifiers, one set for rhythm, one for lead. These run into four Standard Rectifier cabinets, two for each channel. All the amps and cabs are covered in red-tooled leather.

"I love Mesas!" he shouts. "To pull off a Les Paul-plus-Marshall sound you've really got to be able to hit the guitar hard. Dan does that, but I'm not that sort of player. I need the amp to do a lot of work for me. I love the Mesa sound, plus they built me my dream amp as a birthday present to myself. It's covered in real horsehair. Can you imagine... a palomino amp? So I must say: (in explicable cod Caribbean accent) Big up di Mesa!"


Les is more.


Dan stays true to the classic rock set-up

Dan Hawkins is even more devoted to Gibson Les Pauls. For this album, he admits: "we spent four days just going through every amp, every guitar we could get our hands on. I hired in a '59 Les Paul [from the fabled 1958-60 'golden years'] and lots more. But I'm not a retro-activist; I'm not going to play something just because it's old." So his three main Standards - none 'vintage' - remain. One is in honeyburst (known as Dune), one in black (Black Shuck, which has had the neck pickup removed: "I never used it!") and one in cherryburst. All are fitted with PAF pickups.

He also has a Standard fitted with a Seymour Duncan custom pickup at the bridge and a Seymour '59 at the neck in dark sunburst, and a similar white Standard but with a BurstBucker 3 pickup at the neck and fitted with a Fishman Powerbridge transducer. He also owns a three-pickup Les Paul Custom 'Black Beauty', His other main guitars are a Gretsch Elliot Easton Signature series (retro-fitted with Seymour Duncan custom pickup at the bridge and a Seymour Duncan '59 at the neck: "it sounds more like an SG now"), a stock Gibson SG and a Gretsch Malcolm Young Signature series. That said, a key part of One Way Ticket...'s sound was a borrowed Jimmy Page signature (see Just the Ticket! boxout). 'Jimmy' - with its coil-tap humbuckers - stars on Is It Just Me? and Dan's solos on Seemed Like A Good Idea At The Time.

Dan runs three Marshall SL100 heads and one Matamp Green 120 through three Marshall 1960 Vintage AX 4 x 12 and three Marshall 1960 Vintage BX 4 x 12 cabinets. After reading a Guitarist review [good lad!] before recording, he also bought a Mesa/Boogie Lonestar, "which, like you said, sounds awesome. And I never liked Mesas before." That and his Marshalls are the bedrock backline. His main pedals are a Line 6 Delay Modeler and an early issue Ibanez Tube Screamer. Dan's custom gauge Ernie Ball strings are heavy: .11, .15, .22(plain), .32, .44 and .54.

Heroes & Zeroes!

The guitar stars who still rock The Darkness' world


Justin: "Eddie Van Helsworth [sic]; hero! Angus Young: heeero!"

Dan: "Malcolm Young; another hero. Brian May; total hero."

Justin: "Being a good guitarist was so unfashionable for a time. You'd be typecast as 'a sad metaller'. It was grunge that caused that. What a fucking shame!"

Dan: "Guitarists don't seem to be recognisable any more...[leans over Guitarist's recorder] C'mon kids, just play some bloody good solos!"

Justin: "I still like nothing more than Eddie Van Helsworth kickin' off. It's class! You want a guitar zero, too? Eric Clappedout (cackle). Oh yes."



Thanks to Gibson A&R Centre. We hope you've fixed your lift.


Guitarist
December 2005
Michael Leonard

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