It was storytime at the JBTV studio when Justin and Dan Hawkins of The Darkness shared the legends that inspired their songs “The Black Shuck” and ‘Barbarian”, along with the the story that inspired their latest track “Japanese Prisoner of Love.”
“’There is a church near where we grew up called Blythburgh Church. It’s huge wooden door that has scratches on it which some people say was caused by lightning. Some say it was caused by Black Shuck, which is the Suffolk hellhound,” Justin remarked. “The Black Shuck’ is about that hellhound. In England, every county has a hellhound, traditionally, which is a big black dog that is seen anecdotally by folk. The people say ‘sorry, that fire? That was the hell hound running across the field!”
“What about the ‘Japanese Prisoner of Love?’ Is this about a real prisoner of love?” asked Jerry. Justin responds: “It’s called ‘Japanese Prisoner of Love’ because a ‘Japanese prisoner of war’ is the expression that has become so often associated with the second world war. It is kind of a love song about human rights atrocities [laughs]. I visited Alcatraz as a tourist, I did the audio tour and I experienced solitary confinement with the other tourists. There was a Japanese guy that was taking photographs. He was the Japanese prisoner of love.”
Formed in the year 2000 in Lowestoft, Suffolk, The Darkness became a household name beginning in 2003 with their debut album Permission to Land. The band went quadruple platinum with their hits “I Believe in a Thing Called Love,” “Love is Only a Feeling,” “Get Your Hands Off My Woman,” and “Growing On Me.” “We were really accepted in SXSW, it was a really good territory for us.” Their musical style — a perfect fusion of hard rock, glam metal and heavy metal — paired with their charismatic stage presence continues to cement their place as legends in the music industry.
“Your songs are going to live on forever, and ever and ever,” said Jerry. Justin: “I think 75 years after our death after our music becomes public domain, we’re going to have to cryogenically freeze ourselves so we can claim royalties even after death.”
The Darkness played to a packed house at Park West alongside Diarrhea Planet for their Tour De Prance! tour following the JBTV show and will continue their tour until mid May. Find more information about upcoming tours and more HERE.