A Cheeky Interview with Frank Poullain of The Darkness

With Song River

In 2003 with their debut release, Permission to Land, The Darkness came to a grand hard rock/metal glam stand. Forming in 1999 out of Lowestoff, Suffolk, band mates Justin Hawkins (lead vocals, guitar), his brother Dan Hawkins (guitar, backing vocals), Frankie Poullain (bass, backing vocals) and Rufus Taylor (drums) created an album that went quadruple platinum. The Darkness debut album produced hits like, "I Believe in a Thing Called Love", "Growing on Me", "Get Your Hands off My Woman", and "Love is Only a Feeling", and their sales hit well over the 1,300,000 mark.

With challenges, disbanding, reunions, rehabs, readjustments over the next few years in June of 2015 they released their fourth album, Last Of Our Kind. In April 2015 drummer Rufus Taylor joined The Darkness and the rest now is the only special sound and a bit glamtastic metal rock being spread across the globe one Darkness conversion to the Darkness Army at a time.

Whether it's odd references or Brit humor, bassist Frank Poullain, is a hoot to interview. The band as a whole keeps a rather nonchalant, unpretentiousness to them. They are here to make music, and they take what they love to do, perform, very seriously with a refreshing humorist sport at who they are.

Song River: You are currently on the Back To the USSA tour in support of new album Last Of Our Kind. Do you think The Darkness sound is best experienced live?

Frankie Poullain: No shit Sherlock! (laughed)
SR: I will take that as a definite maybe (laughed).
On the road in America, what food or restaurant seems to be your kick in the pants obsession where you must stop and eat at least once while here or do you even like American food?

FP: I hate the food here. It's obscene. 95% of the time that is. The remaining 5% is superlative. That applies to everything, not just the food.

SR: What food from home do you miss when you’re on tour over here?

FP: I miss good bread and cheese. And fish. And vegetables. And fruit. And cereals. And sandwiches that you can actually fit in your mouth and not look like a pig when you're eating it. 

SR: After the tour is over, are the plans for the next album underway and what more can we look forward to from The Darkness?

FP: Yes, we are writing some more material with Rufus and sticking it down in the studio later in the year. It's gonna be dynamite.
SR: The Darkness have received many awards: Kerrang/Brit Award/MTV Europe to name a few. What if anything do these recognitions mean? Do you think nominations and awards really, in the end, make or break a band or does it rest entirely with the fans?

FP: They mean very little, ultimately. Pointless and patronizing. Until you win one and then they are of vital significance and pregnant with meaning. Seriously, I don't even look at my awards, they are all in boxes and cupboards. 

SR: How did your fan group The Darkness Army get started?

FP: A bunch of groovy cats making sweet Darkness love. 

SR: How did the addition of Rufus Tiger Taylor as The Darkness drummer come about?

FP: It was meant to be. Nothing was gonna stop it from happening. 
SR: For Rufus himself, has there ever been any pressure felt or expectations to live up to, being who is dad is and all? 

FP: Ask him that, don't reckon so, though, his father is very laid back and a great laugh. 
SR: Who did the album cover art for Last Of Our Kind?

FP: Nick Roche, an Irish artist friend and Phil Robertson, a very talented programmer. 

SR: What does it represent?
FP: It represents cosmic innocence. (Imagine a lava lamp and wavy fingers motioning in the air)

SR: Could you elaborate on this statement from The Darkness website about music, rock in particular, that it has reached the age of 'saccharine' and such? 

FP: Artificially sweet, isn't it obvious? 

SR: Where might we find you hanging out any given weekend night back home? 

FP: Reading a book. Swallowing an oyster. Contemplating the day's football and significance thereof.