British rockers The Darkness — led by brothers Justin and Dan Hawkins — did not anticipate reuniting after a decidedly acrimonious split in 2005, after two albums. But it seems that blood, and music, are thicker than water.
"We fell out really badly," says guitarist Dan Hawkins, 35, who formed the band Stone Gods while his 36 brother recorded under the name British Whale and Hot Leg. Their relationship gradually thawed however, and by Christmas of 2010 they were getting on well enough to visit each other.
"I ended up staying at Justin's house, where the inevitable happened — we wrote songs together, just like we've been doing since we were 8 years old, and it just kind of snowballed from there."
The Darkness re-formed to play Britain's Download Festival during the summer of 2011, which led to a full-fledged reactivation of the band. The group, according to Justin, has "nine of the required songs done, all finished, all sounding shining and good," and it hopes to have new music out during 2012, though any release date is "pretty vague" as the group plays its first North American shows in nearly seven years, previewing new tune such as "I Can't Believe It's Not Love," which was the first song they wrote after reuniting, "Best of Me" and "Out of This World."
"Our fondest memories of audiences is from the States," Justin recalls. "I remember kind of being overwhelmed the first time around and thinking it was exactly why we wanted to it in the first place. I always hoped America would be a great place for us, and on that first tour it felt like it was going to be. ...
"It's going to be hard work, and I'm aware of that. That's what I'm excited to get my teeth into now. I sort of approach it more like a sportsman than an artist."
The Darkness and Foxy Shazam perform Friday, Feb. 10, at Saint Andrews Hall, 431 E. Congress St., Detroit. Doors open at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $20. Call 313-961-6358 or visit www.livenation.com.
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