Justin Hawkins spoke to Billboard about the lyrical inspiration for “Rock And Roll Deserves To Die”, the first single from the British rockers’ new album, “Easter Is Cancelled”.
“We were looking at a video of some new rock band, and it was just formulaic,” Justin said. “There was nothing original going on — nothing boundary-challenging in it — so they were pretty annoying to watch. So my brother was looking at it, and he said, ‘Well, you know what? Rock ‘n’ roll deserves to die!'”
THE DARKNESS frontman admitted that he doesn’t find much of interest in the modern rock world, preferring to look back to his early influences for inspiration.
“I do love music, and I long for it to be better,” he said. “But in a lot of cases, it isn’t. I always want rock to be better because when I was growing up, it was fucking awesome. It was the most exciting genre, the most challenging — there was androgyny, there was bawdiness in the lyrics, there was emotions, there was makeup, there was all that stuff going on, and it was really exciting.”
He continued: “Nothing new has happened within my cherished genre for a long time, and that makes me sad. And angry. Sometimes you hear a retro band come along and they sound great because they’re doing what we’ve all grown up loving, and it’s difficult to be excited about it because it has superficial charm and it’s nostalgic, and there’s nothing underneath it to make it really sing to your heart, you know? The way you want it to and the way it used to. So what we’re saying is, ‘We’re throwing down the gauntlet,’ and the biggest irony is that THE DARKNESS is the band that’s doing it.”
“Easter Is Cancelled” was released on October 4 via Cooking Vinyl. The disc is a mini-rock opera examining the role of the musician in the barbarous culture of the world today. At the heart of the tale is love, loss and heartbreak, where redemption is ultimately found in the brotherhood of band friendship and the power of the guitar.
THE DARKNESS will play “Easter Is Cancelled” in full, alongside a set of its very greatest hits, on its upcoming headline tour. They will play 19 dates across the U.K. starting in November.