The Darkness guitarist and singer Justin Hawkins gave an interview to The Guardian with his brother Dan Hawkins, in which he reflected on how his drug addiction which led him to leave the Darkness.
When the Darkness released their debut album, ‘Permission to Land,’ in 2003, they stepped into the music scene with a strong start. The album sold over 1.3 million, and it reached No. 36 on the Billboard 200. It also reached No. 1 on the UK Albums Chart and stayed there for four weeks.
The band also planned an extensive tour to promote the album. The Darkness members were at the height of their fame, but this fast life dragged Justin Hawkins into a dark hole as he found himself struggling with alcohol and drug addiction. Although he is now sober, he always publicly talked about how his addictions negatively affected his career and private life.
During an interview with The Guardian, Hawkins recalled those difficult times and admitted that they could have achieved much more if he had been able to pull himself together. The Darkness frontman stated that all he tried to do at that period was stay conscious.
He decided to go to rehab to recover, but everything around him was a trigger, so he had to leave the band. Justin Hawkins also added that his drug addiction negatively affected all his relationships including the one with his brother, but they have patched things up now.
Justin Hawkins speaking on how his drug addiction affected his music career:
“At that point, everything I did was determined by drug addiction. It was really damaging; we would have achieved much more if I’d been able to keep it together. I can remember doing interviews and just about holding on to being conscious. I was white-knuckling it, and it affected all my relationships – the most important one being the one with my brother.
When I went into recovery, I had to leave the whole infrastructure around the Darkness, the lifestyle, and people – everything was a trigger. My heart would have exploded if I didn’t. My brother and I went through a two-year period of not really speaking. That was after I left the Darkness. The news didn’t go down well, which is fair enough. But blood is thicker than water; everyone knew we would be all right. We just needed a bit of time.”
Although he went through a challenging period, Justin Hawkins is now happy that everything has gotten back on track. The Darkness released their latest album, ‘Motorheart,’ on November 19, 2021, and now they will have an extensive North American tour to support the album in the following months of 2022.