The Darkness’ Frankie Poullain’s scene is cultured. The Darkness’ bassist states that his scene is: “tennis, amateur philosopher, French cinema, as I am half French, and I guess I like adventure tourism because I used to do that as a living, I enjoy going to rough places and exploring indigenous cultures and stuff.” As for his philosophy on life, only Poullain could take a quote from The Fall and qualify it as Socratic, when he states: “My philosophy on life would have to be a Socrates one otherwise I’m stupid. My philosophy on life is: ‘all those who seek entitlement and whose main entitlement is themselves shall receive the wrath of my bombast’”.
[pullquote]The Darkness’ sound in food form is aubergine. Aubergine is an enigma; it is purple, enigmatic, no one knows how to cook it, no one knows what to make of it, but when it’s cooked just right there is nothing more delicious.[/pullquote] Poullain’s dry sense of humour continues to flow as he comments on why he chose the bass. He states: “I picked up bass because I liked the look of it, because I’m tall and skinny, it would look weird with a guitar. Plus I like the aggression of it. You can be aggressive with the bass. Sometimes it feels quite punk and post punk being a bass player.”
Forming THE DARKNESS in the year 2000 with the Hawkins’ brothers, and (now departed) Ed Graham have had a rollercoaster ride. The multi award winning, multi-million selling have been through tough times and have come out ahead, especially with their new album Last of Our Kind, released in June 2015, and a new drummer Rufus Taylor (son of Queen drummer Roger Taylor), and extensive touring.
Discussing Poullain’s musical influences, he states that it went through “phases”. He explains: “When I was really young I was listening to mid 70s stuff to late 70s stuff: The Carpenters, ABBA. Then as you get older there’s the more serious stuff. I went through 80s alternative stuff, with Echo & The Bunnymen, New Order, etc etc. I went through all kinds of phases musically: classical stuff, then really alternative stuff like the Young Gods; quite heavy dissident stuff, like early Sonic Youth, grunge – hard not to be a Nirvana fan isn’t it. Pretty full round up of musical backgrounds really – the band is much the same. Justin is more of a pure rocker.”
The ups and downs reflect their four albums. Poullain states: “All four albums have a very distinctive sound, different sonic identity for sure. The first album was raw, rocking, hungry, lean, mean. The second album was emotive, decadent, ponderous. Everything is slightly too slow. The third was fizzy, poppy, maybe too much on pop rock side, a bit self-conscious cause it was our comeback album. This album is bloody, impassioned, and probably the warmest album we have done. Emily (Dolan Davies) gave the album a real warmth in the rhythm section. But she left. For three guys going through a mid-life crisis, to have a young blonde along, wasn’t good for touring. Now we have a new drummer, Rufus. He’s great, irreverent. Same sense of humour.”
Whereas Dolan Davies left because of the touring schedule, Poullain “loves touring”. He clarifies: “To get that buzz is just fantastic. The crowds are generous coming again, they come to get that kind of energy that they don’t get from other bands I guess, hopefully, kind of a collective euphoria. Now we’re getting along well with each other. The last campaign we had to change management and labels, and drummers of course. Now we are more empowered and in more control of our destiny and that’s the most important thing.”
Catch Poullain with The Darkness when they hit Australian shores next week.
The Darkness Australian tour dates:
Friday 6th HQ Adelaide
Saturday 7th Metropolis Fremantle
Wednesday 11th Forum Melbourne
www.ticketmaster.com.au / 136 100
Thursday 12th Tivoli Brisbane
www.ticketmaster.com.au / 136 100
Friday 13th Enmore Sydney
www.ticketek.com.au / 132 849
Presented by Blue Murder & Select Touring