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15 Minutes with Ed from The Darkness

Brian Foy | Wednesday, March 31, 2004

Are you surprised by your success back in the UK?It’s a long time to come. I think what we were surprised by was how we crossed over into the mainstream. We have a lot of fans that are teenage girls that like us. I think we always thought we could be successful, but the surprising thing is how we crossed over into the pop market as well as rock music.Can you compare your success back in the UK with how well the States have received you?The thing that surprised us is selling out capacity venues on our first proper tour of the United States. I think once you do the hard work in the United Kingdom then it definitely helped us here ’cause when we started to do the hard work here we were already starting at a high level. When you recorded Permission to Land and “I Believe in a Thing Called Love” specifically, did you know the album was going to be well received and the single was going to be a smash hit? Did you know after you recorded those that you had a hold of something?I think when we finished the album and looked at it we thought we had something that could be very successful. But that particular single “I Believe in a Thing Called Love” was one of the very first things recorded on the album – actually in a different session. So I think when we recorded that on our own in a different studio we probably didn’t realize how big it was going to be.Can you explain the concept behind the video for “I Believe in a Thing Called Love”? It’s really sort of to interpret it as you like. No really, we just like to have fun with the videos and say “let’s have a spaceship,” “let’s have a crab.” I don’t think there’s any real hidden meaning. We do work with the director and come up with all these stupid ideas and then he tries to sort of make sense of them and make stuff happen.Your second video in the United States for “Love is Only a Feeling” seems to be a totally different kind of video. What was the thinking for making a more laid back video?I think because it was quite a very serious and sensitive song really with the words, and people felt that a really crazy video wouldn’t fit right with it.Are you surprised at the press given to nonmusical aspects of the band?No, not really. That’s exactly what we heard in the United Kingdom when we first started. It seems to be first reaction how we look or the unusualness of Justin’s voice. Then further down the line people tend to look a bit deeper and comment on other things.How do you go about writing music?Well I’d say Dan and Justin were the main song-writers, but me and Frankie have a contribution. We’ve actually been in a country house in England writing. Dan will often come along with a riff or a piece of music and Justin tries to come up with melody ideas over it. Then we’d all sit together or play live together and arrange it.Permission to Land is such an eclectic sounding album, what do you attribute that to?That’s not really planned, that’s what comes out. I think in the future it could be even more diverse. People stereotype and say a lot of things about us, but on the actual record its actually quite diverse. There’s different styles of rock music and I think we’re capable of coming up with stuff that’s more diverse than that.Your EP, which contained a few of the songs off Permission to Land, came out two years ago. Can we expect to hear any new songs on the American tour?Possibly, just before we came to America we’ve been writing. We’ve got some new songs and for us all the songs on the record we played live for months and months before we recorded them. For us that’s the best way to work out if it’s a good song or not is to play it live. So you might well hear a few new songs on this tour.For your follow-up to Permission to Land do you feel any pressure or do you just let it fly and see what happens?I wouldn’t say we’ve felt pressure. We are aware of the fact that it has to be really good because it’s the second album. More so in the United Kingdom – the cynical attitude of people. Rather than being happy for you, people in the United Kingdom are waiting for you to fall. We’re all aware that the next album has to be really, really good, but then again we wouldn’t release it unless we thought it was really good anyway. I wouldn’t say we felt under pressure.