Music Talk Discuss music in all its forms: CD, MP3, DVD-A, SACD and of course live

Justin Hawkins Quits the Darkness

Old 10-11-06, 11:11 AM
  #1  
DVD Talk Legend
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Dec 1999
Location: Hail to the Redskins!
Posts: 24,518
Justin Hawkins Quits the Darkness

Can't imagine the band without this guy.
------------------------

Hawkins in 'I quit' shocker

By SEAN HAMILTON
October 11, 2006

JUSTIN HAWKINS has sensationally revealed he blew more than £150,000 on cocaine in the past three years — during a secret battle with chronic drug addiction and alcoholism.

The Darkness frontman, 31, decided to talk openly about his cocaine shame in a moving interview to warn others about the dangers of drugs.

Justin also delivered the shocking news that he is QUITTING the band — which will carry on without him.

The singer — renowned for his outrageous catsuits — has been clean for nine weeks after undergoing intense treatment at the famous Priory clinic in Roehampton, London.

The extent of his cocaine and booze problem will shock fans of The Darkness — who cracked the charts in 2003 when their single Growing On Me debuted at No11.

Weeks later their album Permission To Land went straight in at No2 before reaching the top spot, shifting 1.5MILLION copies in the UK alone.

On the surface, Justin seemed to be living the rock dream. But privately he was struggling to cope with the pressures of fame.

He sought solace in cocaine and vodka, covering up the extent of his use to even his closest mates and family.

Addicted ... singer would go on four-day booze binges


Justin confessed: “I hit absolute rock bottom. I spent over £150,000 on cocaine in three years — a frightening amount. I was consuming up to five grams a day which cost me £1,000 a week, sometimes more.

“I regularly used to stay up for four days at a time on coke and alcohol binges.

“I became secretive, volatile and verbally abusive, a really unpleasant person to be around. There were lots of periods I don’t even remember, blackouts.

“I couldn’t even tell you how much I was drinking — it was all day when we were on tour. My weapon of choice was vodka. It has affected every aspect of my life, with the band and my girlfriend Sue.”

Justin’s addiction became so bad that all he cared about was getting his next fix of the white powder.

The guitarist, who grew up in Lowestoft, Suffolk, organised his entire life around the drug.

Justin confided: “It affected every single decision I made. Everything was decided on the basis that I wanted to take cocaine at some point.

“I would demand that we were the first on at awards shows so that I could get on with my drinking and drugging.

“I feel like I’ve lost three years of my life. I’m only just coming to terms with what has happened because I was always off my face.”





Justin is relieved the drug has not made his nose totally disintegrate — unlike other famous cocaine casualties including Danniella Westbrook and Status Quo’s Francis Rossi, who both destroyed their septums, the flesh dividing the nostrils.

He explained: “On the surface my nose looks OK but there are problems higher up. I’m lucky I still have a septum. It was always terribly sore but I would just take more cocaine to kill the pain. I was constantly blowing out blood.

“And it played havoc with my eating habits. Some days I ate nothing and others I ate constantly.”

Justin started taking cocaine when The Darkness first attracted attention in 2002 with debut single I Believe In A Thing Called Love, which charted outside the Top 40. The re-release of the song the following year saw them claiming No2 in the singles charts — followed by prizes at the Brits and MTV Europe Awards as well as a Mercury Prize nomination.

Justin’s addiction grew at an equal pace to his band’s fame.

He explained: “Initially it was a huge slab of fun. We performed with heroes like Def Leppard and we had control over what we were doing. All my dreams came true. We did the private jets and fancy hotels. I bought designer clothes and expensive guitars. I headlined the Reading Festival.



Wild ride to the top ... Justin's crazy stage antics masked pain



“But the simple truth of it is that when you realise your dreams they are not special any more, particularly when you are in the midst of addiction.

“We never really had a chance to sit back and enjoy things. It all happened so quickly. And I never coped with it all as well as I thought I would.

“I went through a period of doing drugs during shows. I would come off stage and do a line and then go back on. But it affected my voice so I switched to starting the minute I came off stage. I wouldn’t stop until I blacked out. Every day focused around drink and drugs.



Simply the chest ... debut album sold 1.5m copies in UK alone



“I’d have a stash of drugs which I’d use myself and a stash I shared with other people.”

Despite all my years on the showbiz circuit, Justin’s revelations come as a real shock to me.

I first met the singer before The Darkness were even signed and immediately fell for their refreshing brand of old-school rock.

I’ve followed his career closely since, interviewing him many times. I never saw any signs of his secret snorting.

Not dis-band-ing ... group will carry on without Justin


But looking back there was a glaringly obvious clue on the band’s second album One Way Ticket To Hell And Back.

The title track starts with the sound of someone snorting a line of coke and is clearly about the Class A narcotic. When I challenged Justin about the song after the album’s release last November, he brushed it off before talking about the dangers of cocaine.

Now he admits the song is “of course, thoroughly autobiographical” and told me, “There is no time I’ve met you when I was not using it”. He continued: “But you have to understand that I have always publicly had a very anti-drugs stance — for the right reasons. My family has been affected by heroin in the past. A close family member was addicted.

“That is one of the reasons I found it hard to be open about it. It flew in the face of my moral code and my values.”

Things reached crisis point for Justin this summer. The second album had not done as well as the band had hoped, peaking at No11, and Justin was no longer happy in the band.

He toyed with the idea of leaving last year and even released a solo single — a cover of Sparks’ hit This Town Ain’t Big Enough For Both Of Us — which reached No6. But then The Darkness set off on another major world tour . . . and Justin’s addictions got even worse.

In August he pulled out of a festival in Denmark and checked himself into rehab.

He said: “I started to hear voices. I thought my dad was speaking to me and he wasn’t even there. And I was starting to hallucinate.”

Chat ... Justin and Sun Man Sean


But it was only when he got to The Priory clinic that he realised just how bad the situation had become.

Justin said: “I thought I’d go in, do a lap of the grounds and come back out.

“But I got in there and broke down. I was shaking like a leaf and going through cold turkey.

“So I joined the month-long addiction treatment programme. It was exhausting.

“People have this unfair view of places like The Priory as a holiday camp for celebrities. But the work they do there is so important.

“There were people from all walks of life — housewives and builders.

“We had nothing in common other than drink and drugs but I made friends for life. I’d love to become a counsellor.”

During his spell in rehab, Justin made the difficult decision to quit the band he formed with brother Dan and best friend Ed Graham. They will carry on without him — with bass player Richie Edwards (who took over from Frankie Poullain in May last year) expected to take over as the frontman. Justin said: “I feel bad for the others. It will be an upheaval. But it’s time for me to move on.

“It would be damaging to my recovery to stay on. I’m not blaming the band for my problem — I am an addict. There are people who can be in bands and stay clean, but I’m not one of them.

“I am going to do a solo record at some point and get into scoring films. But this is all new so the future is still uncertain.”

Justin’s main goal right now is to save others from the nightmare of cocaine addiction. He added: “I have to say please avoid getting into it at all costs.

“Let’s not pretend — there are upsides to drugs. It’s a thrill, a bit naughty.

“But you pay a price. You lose a massive chunk of your life — and money.”

Although Justin is still in the early stages of recovery, he is buzzing with excitement about his new, clean life of domestic bliss with girlfriend Sue Whitehouse, manager of The Darkness.

He enthused: “It sounds stupid but I now get a thrill from things like putting on a cashmere cardigan and feeling how soft it is. I never used to notice things like that. I moved into a lovely house a couple of years ago but I’m only enjoying it now. Everything used to be at arm’s length and numbed. I feel like I have woken up from a stupor. My gran died recently and I was really upset. Before I would have self-medicated to block it out.

“I don’t feel cured, though — you never do. I go back to The Priory from time to time and attend meetings. But I am feeling things for the first time in ages.”
DVD Josh is offline  
Old 10-12-06, 01:48 AM
  #2  
DVD Talk Limited Edition
 
argh923's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Muncie, IN [Member formerly known as abrg923]
Posts: 6,341
Awful, AWFUL band. Won't miss the guy.
argh923 is offline  
Old 10-12-06, 05:45 AM
  #3  
DVD Talk Hall of Fame
 
Lateralus's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2001
Location: Valley of Megiddo
Posts: 9,569
It was an awful band but I'm glad he is trying to get his life back together.
Lateralus is offline  
Old 10-12-06, 06:15 AM
  #4  
Banned
 
Join Date: Oct 2002
Location: teXXXas
Posts: 1,389
They're OK; but they're definitely fucked without him.
zombiezilla is offline  
Old 10-12-06, 09:14 AM
  #5  
DVD Talk Godfather
 
The Bus's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2001
Location: New York
Posts: 54,814
I never expected this band to have more than one great album. Too bad the guy's money went into some lucky drug dealer's pocket.
The Bus is offline  
Old 10-12-06, 09:32 AM
  #6  
Moderator
 
Giles's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 1999
Location: Washington DC
Posts: 33,475
Originally Posted by zombiezilla
They're OK; but they're definitely fucked without him.

yes they are... they should get that other crack head Pete Doherty
Giles is offline  
Old 10-12-06, 09:37 AM
  #7  
DVD Talk Legend
 
Join Date: Feb 1999
Location: Chicago, IL
Posts: 24,104
SHIT! SHIT! SHIT!


i was coming here to start this thread but I was going to call it:

do you still feel sorry and empathy that singer Justin Hawkins quit band?
GuessWho is offline  
Old 10-12-06, 04:14 PM
  #8  
DRG
DVD Talk Legend
 
Join Date: Aug 1999
Location: ND
Posts: 13,388
I actually like the band, especially the second album. The band probably won't have much future without him. That said, if this move will help him avoid killing himself I'm all for it.
DRG is offline  
Old 10-12-06, 08:40 PM
  #9  
Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2002
Location: Denver
Posts: 239
This really sucks because I absolutely love The Darkness. They are/were a really fun band and won't be good without Justin. I never got the chance to see them in concert because they didn't do a U.S. tour, which pissed me off. In my opinion, they would have been more successful if they have gotten themselves out there more. I wish all of them luck.
Dudikoff is offline  
Old 10-12-06, 08:54 PM
  #10  
DVD Talk Hall of Fame
 
Join Date: Oct 2001
Location: San Diego, CA
Posts: 7,533
Originally Posted by Dudikoff
This really sucks because I absolutely love The Darkness. They are/were a really fun band and won't be good without Justin. I never got the chance to see them in concert because they didn't do a U.S. tour, which pissed me off. In my opinion, they would have been more successful if they have gotten themselves out there more. I wish all of them luck.
You must not love them that much! They DID a US tour. And it was sold out. They even did a US tour documentary that was aired on British television. They did Loveline and all that. 2004. Wildhearts opened much of the tour.
nodeerforamonth is offline  
Old 10-12-06, 08:55 PM
  #11  
DVD Talk Hall of Fame
 
Join Date: Oct 2001
Location: San Diego, CA
Posts: 7,533
Originally Posted by abrg923
Awful, AWFUL band. Won't miss the guy.
Thanks for letting us know!
nodeerforamonth is offline  
Old 10-12-06, 10:42 PM
  #12  
DVD Talk Gold Edition
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: The city with no sports championships...Cleveland
Posts: 2,109
they skipped out on a concert in cleveland..i hope this band has career misfortunes (no deaths or anything)
paulringodaman is offline  
Old 10-12-06, 11:16 PM
  #13  
DVD Talk Legend
 
Join Date: Feb 1999
Location: Chicago, IL
Posts: 24,104
they did not tour the US for 'one way ticket' though
GuessWho is offline  
Old 10-13-06, 09:34 AM
  #14  
DVD Talk Hall of Fame
 
Join Date: Oct 2001
Location: San Diego, CA
Posts: 7,533
Originally Posted by paulringodaman
they skipped out on a concert in cleveland..i hope this band has career misfortunes (no deaths or anything)
??? I believe I have an audio of a live show from Cleveland. I think the Cleveland show was also filmed for MTV. I could be mistaken.
nodeerforamonth is offline  
Old 10-13-06, 05:35 PM
  #15  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2003
Posts: 311
theres an article in the new Rolling Stone "Hot" issue about how he, Pete Doherty and the singer from Keane were at the same rehab facility and that they actually wrote some songs together. It almost sounded like a joke but I think it was supposed to be factual.

Sucks that he's leaving. Their last album was flawed, but it had some really great stuff on it.
fallfan is offline  
Old 10-14-06, 06:14 AM
  #16  
DVD Talk Special Edition
 
Join Date: May 2002
Location: Florida
Posts: 1,707
Hands down THE best band to come along in years. period. (the people above who said they are aweful are out of thier minds, go listen to your audioslave CD and leave me alone) I hope they work it out and get back together. if not, thank you for bringing back real rock.
turborobb is offline  
Old 10-14-06, 09:34 AM
  #17  
DVD Talk Hall of Fame
 
Join Date: Oct 2001
Location: San Diego, CA
Posts: 7,533
Sex and drugs and rock'n'roll: Out of the Darkness

Only two years after a hit album, a Brits triumph and
a meteoric rise to fame, flamboyant rocker Justin Hawkins is quitting the band that made him famous, citing problems with alcohol and cocaine. Jonathan Brown reports

Published: 12 October 2006

Justin Hawkins was always certain his band The Darkness were capable of causing a stir. "In a sterile rock scene we are a musical vasectomy reversal," he told one interviewer in 2004. Such confidence went round the world. "Is Justin the hottest rock sex god since Robert Plant stuffed his pants?" swooned the Chicago Tribune a few weeks later, seduced by the sight of Hawkins in strutting the stage in spangled leotard and flame tattoos.

It was a view clearly shared by the judges of that year's Brits, as they lavished three
prestigious awards upon the four young band members from Lowestoft. The Darkness
walked off with gongs for best group, best rock act and best album for their quintuple
platinum selling debut, Permission to Land.

Few acts have risen from obscurity to stardom quite so fast as The Darkness. They were embraced not just by the popular and music press, but analysed in the highbrow culture columns of serious journals. Even Tony Blair claimed he was a fan.

They were variously credited with reinventing Eighties hair rock or reviving the pomp rock of a decade earlier. Perhaps more than anything, they were lauded for injecting a much-needed sense of humour back into a musical landscape dominated by gloom rockers like Coldplay and Radiohead. But the group were nagged by a persistent doubt. Critics wondered whether they were no more than a supercharged
novelty act. Was there was anything more substantial behind their post-ironic
preening and posturing? On the surface it didn't seem to bother the enigmatic front
man with the extraordinary falsetto.

"We are anything but cool," admitted Hawkins. "The world has changed around us. We are still the biggest tossers you are likely to encounter, but, for some reason, that is all the rage now. Being uncool is the new cool."

But there were problems too. When Atlantic Records announced the release of the band's second album, One Way Ticket To Hell and Back, it camped up the rock and credentials accrued during The Darkness's few years of fame. "Everything you've heard is true. All of it. The exhaustion and the fear, the pressure, the paranoia and the pan pipes, the breakdowns and the break-ups, the sackings, sitar solos and the endless studio sessions," it said. There was one omission from this roll call of rocker's delights: cocaine.

Yesterday, Hawkins, 31, revealed that he was quitting the band after battling drugs and alcoholism for the past three years. The singer's problems had been something of an open secret in the music world. Not least because the title track of the second album began with the sound of a line of cocaine being consumed. If anyone was in doubt as to whether Hawkins' cocaine addiction was anything other than debilitating, they needed only to look at the name of the song. "I hit absolute rock bottom. I spent over £150,000 on cocaine in three years - a frightening amount. I was consuming up to five grammes a day, which cost me £1,000 a week, sometimes more," he told the Sun.

The singer says he has been clean for nine weeks after attending the month-long
addiction treatment programme at the Priory clinic in Roehampton. But, he recalled,
cocaine and booze had robbed him of three years of his life. "I regularly used to stay up for four days at a time on coke and alcohol binges. I became secretive, volatile and
verbally abusive, a really unpleasant person to be around. There were lots of periods I
don't even remember; blackouts," he said.

Everything had revolved around drug taking. He insisted on going on stage first during
awards ceremonies so that he could finish early and spend the rest of the night night
snorting cocaine and drinking vodka. "I wouldn't stop until I blacked out. Every day
focused around drink and drugs," he said.

It is a far cry from his early days as a fresh-faced aspiring young rock star. Friends recall that during his teenage years he used to practise with his brother Dan (a member of the band) in the garage of the family's Suffolk bungalow, a stuffy room packed with instruments and soundproofed with old egg boxes.

Not only could the Kirkley High School pupil imitate all the strutting moves of his guitar-god heroes such as Queen's Brian May and Led Zeppelin's Jimmy Page, but he could reproduce their solos note-perfect.

Yet, according to The Darkness legend, it was not until he performed a virtuoso karaoke version of "Bohemian Rhapsody" at his aunt's pub at Beccles in Norfolk on Millennium Eve, that his brother was convinced of his suitability as a future frontman, rather than just another lead guitarist. Styling himself Justin "Danger" Hawkins, the musician had played in several bands, going on to form the heavy metal outfit The Commander while studying music technology at Huddersfield Technical College. By the time he met up again - musically speaking - with his brother Dan and childhood friends Frankie Poullain and Ed Graham, all four were living in London. The Darkness was born.

Hawkins was earning a living writing commercial jingles which he hawked between the
advertising agencies on an old four-track recorder. There was some success - he counted Swedish mega-retailer Ikea among his clients - but the life of an anonymous musical technocrat was never going to fulfil his childhood dreams of rock stardom.

At first The Darkness were written off by the critics merely as a musical joke. The band's first EP was released in August 2002 on a tiny independent record label, Must Destroy. Only 1,000 copies were pressed but six weeks later the track "I Believe In A Thing Called Love" received its first Radio One airplay, championed by DJ Jo Whiley.

Media interest began to grow and the band started looking for an album deal. Meanwhile, tours with established groups like their teenage idols Def Leppard as well as Deep Purple and Wildhearts were beginning to help them build a fan base.

The turning point was a headline gig at the London Astoria in the spring of 2003. The
venue was sold out and fans and reviewers went away to spread the word. By now a major deal was in the offing with no less a label than Atlantic Records. But first The Darkness were booked to open that year's Glastonbury before a live audience of 350,000. Millions more watched the television coverage at home.

Atlantic flew them in by helicopter, a gesture out of all proportion to their then stature. But the band delivered a blistering performance, despite the 10.30am warm-up slot. Permission To Land crashed into the charts at number two and the group went on that summer to support Robbie Williams at three sell-out shows at Knebworth. A critically acclaimed appearance at Reading set the seal on a
breakthrough summer.

The following 12 months saw six visits to the US, festival appearances in Europe, Japan and Australia, a Mercury nomination and of course the Brits. An 18-date tour to promote Permission To Land culminated in three nights at Wembley.

But according to Hawkins, the problems were beginning to mount. "All my dreams came
true. We did the private jets and fancy hotels. I bought designer clothes and expensive guitars... But the simple truth is that when you realise your dreams they are not special any more, particularly when you are in the midst of an addiction," he told the Sun. The drugs masked his feelings and undermined his long-term ability to cope, he recalled.

And for all his camp charm, not everyone loved Hawkins. A week after triumphing at the Brits, the singer and his manager/girlfriend Sue Whitehouse called the police after
receiving death threats. The critics were putting the boot in, too. Britpop author John
Harris dismissed the band as "four gurning pasticheurs who have traded in the idea that music can manage anything thrilling or transcendent, in favour of the pleasures of the occasional guffaw."

By the end of the year, bassist Frankie Poullain had left amid bitter recriminations.
Speaking in May this year, Poullain said: "Justin was letting success go to his head and taking too much cocaine, which I thought was clouding his judgment. In my view he had gradually become delusional."

Hawkins' love life was also in a troubled state. He split with Sue Whitehouse and was
romantically linked to American rock singer Jennifer Stephens. He also revealed how he
had suffered from bulimia, taking laxatives to stay slim as the endless touring and
drinking took its toll. "I had the catsuits designed to have a bit of give in them to allow for any expansion round the middle, but I still didn't want to end up looking as fat as Elvis in his later years," he said.

Despite publicly declaring that he had quit alcohol, there were well-publicised tumbles off the wagon and some all too public spats. He made headlines when he swore at a young female fan in Los Angeles, reducing her to tears. He said he thought the girl was a music critic from the New Musical Express.

He took on U2's Bono when he claimed to have improved on his vocals in the remake of "Do They Know It's Christmas?". Then he slammed Coldplay's Chris Martin for his work with Fairtrade. The same year he accused Pete Doherty of being "a junkie, a useless waste of space". (The two were said to have buried the hatchet when they were both receiving treatment at the Priory.)

Concern mounted earlier this summer when The Darkness were forced to cancel an
appearance at the Skanderborg Festival in Denmark. The second album only made number 11 in the charts and rumours circulated of their imminent demise.

In a statement commenting on the split, the band blamed their frontman's problems on
overwork. They insisted they would stay together and denied the record company was on the verge of dropping them.

As for Hawkins, he says he is feeling positive about his new life, enjoying everyday
pleasures previously masked by drugs. He is planning a solo career and says he might
even work as a drugs counsellor. The band he helped make famous may be planning to
continue without him, but Hawkins insists his appetite for life, like the famous flames that adorn his midriff, will never be extinguished.
nodeerforamonth is offline  
Old 03-07-07, 08:58 PM
  #18  
DVD Talk Limited Edition
 
Join Date: Jul 2003
Location: SnogBox
Posts: 7,188
I just found this out.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Darkness

Closest thing to Queen in this century...well aside from that Queen tour I suppose, but you get what I mean.

I agree the second album showed a lot of improvement over the first.

Again.
Superman07 is offline  
Old 03-09-07, 11:17 AM
  #19  
DVD Talk Ultimate Edition
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: OKC, OK
Posts: 4,352
I didn't know this band was still around. I also didn't know they were even successful.
RagingBull80 is offline  
Old 03-09-07, 11:42 AM
  #20  
DVD Talk Legend
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Dec 1999
Location: Hail to the Redskins!
Posts: 24,518
Originally Posted by RagingBull80
I didn't know this band was still around. I also didn't know they were even successful.
Well, they are more successful than you. I've heard of the darkness, but I don't even think I've read a post of yours before now.
DVD Josh is offline  
Old 03-10-07, 02:32 AM
  #21  
DVD Talk Ultimate Edition
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: OKC, OK
Posts: 4,352
Originally Posted by DVD Josh
Well, they are more successful than you. I've heard of the darkness, but I don't even think I've read a post of yours before now.
I was only making a statement. I had no clue that they were that big. I thought they were kind of a novelty act but I'm glad for their success.

I'm sorry that you haven't read any of my posts. I guess I should get myself out there more. And yes, you are right; they are more successful than I. I'm glad you pointed that out for everyone here.
RagingBull80 is offline  
Old 03-10-07, 02:11 PM
  #22  
Cool New Member
 
Join Date: May 2002
Posts: 45
Originally Posted by RagingBull80
I didn't know this band was still around. I also didn't know they were even successful.
Don't worry - they're a footnote. If even that.
Pope V is offline  

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Archive Advertising Cookie Policy Privacy Statement Terms of Service

Copyright © 2018 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.