By Ricardo Santiago Rodriguez
With great honor and privilege, The UB Post has been granted the opportunity to an interview with bassist Frankie Poullain of the band The Darkness. Although The Post may have been humble about this, I was overjoyed at the chance to interview an international rock star. Francis Gilles Poullain, better known in the band as Frankie, was raised in Milnahort, Scotland. This international man of rock has had a large arrangement of talent along with his fellow band members. He not only is the bassist, but also a songwriter and author to a hilariously witty book Dancing in the Darkness (2009). With their debut release of 2004’s album Permission to Land, these international rock stars have been hitting the US in style. Almost everyone can remember their hit single, “I Believe in a Thing Called Love.”
Now with their release of the new album Pinewood Smile (2017), the band is going on tour. Their “Tour de Prance” will hit 26 cities in the US starting late March and early May. Baltimore will be the 20th city on their incredible tour stretching from the west coast going into the east. Be sure to start getting your tickets and follow The Darkness on Twitter and Facebook at the handle @thedarkness.
Here is what I learned from The Darkness bassist, Frankie Poullain.
How did the band come up with the cover art for new album Pinewood Smile?
By being imaginative and irreverent.
What thought process comes into play for The Darkness when creating a new album?
Good question. Being childish and impetuous to the point where we’re not actually thinking or processing like a grown up.
What is your favorite song on Pinewood Smile?
Does The Darkness engage in pranks or antics among each other while recording and/or on tour?
Certainly, the back lounge ‘guff vortex’ is a fate I wouldn’t wish on anyone, fish, flesh or fowl.
How did Diarrhea Planet land the opening spot as your special guests on Tour de Prance?
After Dan read their ‘Diarrhea of a Rock Star’ on the road opus.
What can we expect from your set list – in terms of hearing songs from all The Darkness albums?
Correct – every album will be represented.
What city on the tour are you most excited to visit?
Most excited to be surprised or proved wrong, that’s the beauty of this crazy country. Cities become depressed and sometimes downright dangerous but then they become regenerated through enterprise and collective spirit, it can be a joy to behold. Or it can be a bloody pain in the arse. It all depends.
Is there time within the tour where you and the band can enjoy sightseeing?
Yes we have a couple of days off a week, I went hiking in upstate Oregon last week. And yesterday I enjoyed the hospitality of the Pfister Hotel in Milwaukee – Elvis once stayed there. Does that count as sightseeing?
How do you personally get yourself motivated before a set?
Tearfully peruse the photo albums of my ex wives and calculate the alimony payments.
How did you choose to play the bass? Was it a difficult instrument to learn?
I was attracted to a sound that was submerged and hidden, that meant I could get away with the mistakes, or at least I thought I could…it’s hard on the fingers in terms of calluses and arthritic finger joints.
Did you ever have an alternate career choice?
Back up plans are for wimps and the faint hearted. Death or glory.
What can fans look forward to on Tour de Prance?
The time of their lives.
What is next for The Darkness after Tour de Prance? More touring and albums?
More albums – a surprise release to coincide with our Hollywood Vampires support slots in June and July – American and British vaudeville head to head.
A special thank you Frankie Poullain for taking the time out of his busy tour schedule for the interview. Another special thank you goes to Renee Harrison, from Publicity Please for helping The UB Post obtain an incredible opportunity.