Dan Hawkins ponders the brilliance of Iron Maiden and whether the Darkness is the last of its kind

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By Steve Newton

A couple of the famous rockers I’ve interviewed lately have been raving about the new Iron Maiden album, The Book of Souls. Judas Priest singer Rob Halford, for example, called it “a fantastic achievement” a couple of weeks ago. And the Darkness guitarist Dan Hawkins is mightily impressed as well–especially for a guy who hasn’t even heard it yet.

“I’ve heard it’s really good,” said Hawkins. “God, they’re brilliant, aren’t they? I love that they just do their thing, and that’s it. You know, ‘Take it or leave it, we don’t care.’ Brilliant.

“I’ll take it, thanks.”

Hawkins–and his bandmates in the Darkness–are pretty shiny themselves, I’d say. When it comes to carrying on the tradition of heavily melodic, Les Paul-driven ’70s-style guitar-rock, few bands are as worthy. I asked Hawkins if the title of the band’s latest album, Last of Our Kind, was referring to the Darkness being the final torchbearers of that particular sound.

“Well I don’t know,” he replied. “I mean my brother [singer-guitarist Justin Hawkins] kinda steers clear of that question, because I think he likes to leave it more for the fans, really. But I guess maybe we are.

“All of our favourite bands are quite old now,” he added, “so at some point–unless something goes horribly wrong–we might turn out to be the last man standing, who knows.”

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