Justin Hawkins joked about wishing the Darkness hadn’t written a Christmas song, because of the way it affected the band’s touring plans.
In a recent episode of his YouTube blog, he commented on other artists’ experiences of life on the road and offered a piece of advice to groups that were just starting.
“I’d love to step out of a bus and be in 100 degrees searing heat,” Hawkins said. “That would be astounding. We always tour in the winter because we got a Christmas song. So, that was a mistake. … Guys, if you’re coming up or just about to break through, don’t write a Christmas song – do a summer smash instead. The touring’s much more fun.”
The Darkness released “Christmas Time (Don’t Let the Bells End)” in 2003, and it reached the Top 10 in several territories across Europe. Seeming not to have learned their lesson, they released another seasonal single, “I Am Santa,” in 2015, but perhaps tried to rectify the error with 2019’s “Easter Is Cancelled.”
You can watch the interview below.
Among his other memories of touring, Hawkins picked out the particularly difficult experience of a press day in Japan, where the Darkness gave interviews in one hotel room then posed for pictures in the corresponding room on the floor above. “So we did interview, photographs, interview, photographs, interview, photographs,” he recalled. Then it was interview – ‘Would you like some lunch?’ ‘Yeah!’ – photographs. Interview – McDonald’s in the fucking lift, going up to the photographs bit. We were doing this for 12 hours, and the record company lady said to us, ‘You know, no band’s ever done that before.’ And I said, ‘Well, why the fuck are we doing it then?”
He went on to echo comments made by some of the artists featured in his video. “That little bit of time that you spend onstage, connecting with your audience, doing the thing you actually were born to do, makes up for all the other stuff you have to put up with,” he explained. “Of course, you have to make sacrifices to do this – it’s the best fucking job in the world! You don’t just get given it. You’ve got to work for it.”
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