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Hawkins exclusive

August 6, 2008

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Justin unveils his new project Hot Leg and looks back on The Darkness

06 August 2008 – The Darkness’ former frontman Justin Hawkins makes his live return at a gig at London’s Proud Galleries tonight (6 August).

Hawkins quit the Darkness in 2006 after a much publicised battle with substance abuse, but now he’s back with his new band, Hot Leg.

Post Darkness

Hawkins told 6 Music that he left The Darkness to give himself a chance to recover from his battle with alcohol and drug addiction.

He said: “I left for lost of different reasons. Obviously the ones that were to do with my recovery were fairly well publicised at the time. I think, by and large, there were creative differences as well.”

So, with newfound time on his hands, Hawkins said he got into tennis and dealt with the come down from his former lifestyle.

He said: “I needed to do that, just in terms of the booze stuff, it was pretty important to do that anyway. If you’re gonna give your recovery a fighting chance then you really have to put it first until you’re stronger.”

As to whether it feels strange to be back in the public eye after all this time, Hawkins said: “Yeah, I mean I don’t think the eye is as public as it used to be, this is much more low key.”

“The drummer’s amazing, the bass player’s amazing, the guitarist is phenomenal. I think it will just be an intense night of man rock.”
Justin Hawkins

His new band

And it seems the genesis of his band name is already a mystery.

When 6 Music asked him how it sprang to existence, Hawkins responded: “I think it’s because when I originally conceived the name I saw it as a leg for an L, so it was like a name with a built in logo type, and I never realised it was nuclear reactor.”

And he’s fond of the new name and project: “I liked the fact that it was singular as well, much more focussed – which I think musically is the difference between this and my previous band, much more single minded in its pursuit of man rock.”

As for what people should expect from the first Hot Leg tour, which sees them play four dates in London, Birmingham, Manchester and Glasgow from 6-9 August, Hawkins said: “The drummer’s amazing, the bass player’s amazing, the guitarist is phenomenal and me. I think it will just be an intense night of man rock.”

For this project Hawkins has taken control, setting up Barbeque Rock Records, of which he is Managing Director and head of A & R.

He jokingly told us they’ve just signed a new record label, for the impressive amount of 100 million dollars. Before laughingly saying: “It’s a tax maneuver, it’s just paper.”

Looking back on The Darkness days

The singer said he’s not at all worried about being forever associated with his former band.

“I spent 6 years of my life in The Darkness. It’s not the sort of thing you can turn around and pretend didn’t happen and I’m actually quite proud of the work that we did – not all of the work we did.

“When I think of what we achieved in a year, we went from opening Glastonbury to headlining Reading and I don’t know if many people can say that really.”

Georgie Rogers
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