A Definition: Frankie Poullain from The Darkness.

"When the people around you look at you as if you're a crazy person, that is the moment when the penny drops… That was the moment I started listening and everything changed."


After a raft stellar comeback shows around Australia, Frankie Poullain and the reincarnated The Darkness have proved a second and even third life is not as impossible as some might think.


Famously leaving the group in 2005 due to "musical differences" Poullain now thanks the people who "pulled his head in". Eventually helping to revive of one of the worlds most infamous rock groups.


" We were all in the mindset that it would never happen. In our eyes, it was impossible. It would never happen because of our past and how it ended in such a sour and public way."


"Finally you start listening to the people around you, the people who care. You learn to swallow your pride and reflect on your failings. We all did."


Since his departure, Poullain has led a very different life away from the stage and from the parties. He travelled a lot, mainly in South America where he bought a block of land in Ecuador. He got married and subsequently divorced, spent a bit of time in Barcelona, wrote a book, "bought and sold a few things" and wrote a couple of songs in between.


" I guess I bought that land in Ecuador because I'm stupid. That's as interesting as that story gets," he says, laughing.


Describing the The Darkness' early days as a precede to a life of partying and "forced labour", it is no surprise then that the rails quickly became unstuck.


"The record industry back then was desperate for us to continue at the pace we started out at. The group got strung out and exhausted, that's the skinny of it."


"At some point you need to decide when enough is enough, what is the best for your music and your fans."


"It was the packaging and the branding of The (original) Darkness that contributed to the exhaustion of the group. We are much more comfortable now that aren't worrying about merchandise and fucking lunchbox's."


Now a little older and a little wiser, Poullain says the group is functioning as good as, if not better, than they were back in the early 2000s.


"We rediscovered our appetite again for ‘real rock ‘n' roll music'. The stuff we all got into the business for in the first place."


"Our problems and our downfalls were all good problems to have for a rock band. We all know and understand the issues we once faced and none of us have any regrets… It is a happy camp around The Darkness."


Returning to the stage, however, was no easy process for the once Venezuelan tour guide. After more than six years absent from the world of rock stardom, Poullain says their first rehearsal gigs in Norwich at the beginning of 2011, were a hair-raising experience.


"Norwich last year, just before the Download festival, was a way for us to break the ice and learn how to work as a band again on stage. I am not going to lie, we were shitting ourselves," he says.


"I hadn't stepped onto a stage or in front of a group of people for more than six years and to go from nothing to a stage in front of 150,000 people would have been a real head fuck."


Since the reunion announcement, Poullain, the Hawkins brothers and Graham have worked at repairing the rift that caused their break up and eventually coming to a close with their lead singer admitted into rehab.


"We have spent all our time on this album. It has really consumed our lives again. But in order to properly repair the band's relationship we focused on writing and overseeing the entire process together."


"I see The Darkness lasting now because we are all much older and much more mature… We are already thinking of a second album."


Their recent string of shows was received with open arms to say the least. Fans let bygones be bygones and sent the boys packing with a swagger of new found confidence.


And so they should. The Darkness has given the monotonous generation of indie followers an authentic and old school rock n roll story to rave about when they are old and cant leave their couch for fear of dislodging their colostomy bags.


While others have only attempted (poorly) to create what they do so naturally, The Darkness has risen and fallen in spectacular fashion and still makes even the most conservative of grannies as toey as a cornered nun.


"This is definitely a new era of The Darkness. Everything is shiny and new again. This will define us."

Follow The Dwarf on Facebook

Comments ()