Although he aimed to please his audience, he felt the sting that so often accompanies fame—obsessive stalkers. He faced this issue in a manner characteristically his own, through humor and song. “‘Shit Ghost’ was a song about a stalker I had. It’s about being rubbishy threatening, just sort of saying the same clichés, sending me broken glass and stuff like that. It wasn’t nice, but it also wasn’t anything. It was just like a shit ghost.”
The Darkness learned firsthand and rather quickly that you can’t stay at the top forever. “I don’t feel that Frank leaving was a great thing for the creativity of the band. We should have tried to make that work a bit better, because I think he was a really great mediator between me and [my brother] Dan,” he remarked. “It was like everything that me and Dan did, the collaboration wasn’t as imaginative. We didn’t work as hard to try to keep things exciting.
“I also think The Darkness only had two albums in it to be honest. I don’t think that project had much more in it. Something that big and intense is going to become a parody of itself really quickly,” he admitted. “Whereas with Hot Leg I think there’s a lot more you can do with the players. It can really develop more because of the technical ability levels.”
Although Hot Leg began with material that was distinctively Justin—from the guitar solos, to the synthesizer licks, to the tongue-in-cheek lyrics, to the falsetto vocals—he promises Hot Leg will develop a fresh new sound beyond the genre he recently created and appropriately coined, “Man Rock.”
“I want Hot Leg to develop as a unit. What I had done for everything so far was record the songs myself and then bring the songs in for them to learn,” explained Hawkins. “But we want to change that and sort of have it evolve.”
What sort of multi-headed, man-rocking, woman-laying beast is Hot Leg going to become? “It’ll be a new sub-genre of rock, it’s going to be a lot more focused but possibly a bit more progressive. The arrangements might be a lot more ambitious. Like with ‘Chickens,’ you can still be progressive in three minutes. Speed prog. Pop prog? Prop? Pog? Kind of combine them,” Hawkins said as he wondered aloud.
Never one to be recognized for his modesty, Hawkins remarked flatly, yet sincerely, about his band’s musical creations. “I think everything that the Leg has put out so far has been really spot on. I don’t think that we’ve really done any bad songs yet. I think if we did, we wouldn’t put them out there.”
Over the course of the past few months, they’ve put out quite a bit of material. Last month they released their debut album Red Light Fever in Europe and are finalizing deals for distribution globally. They’ve also shared countless B-sides through their email list and MySpace page. Not so surprisingly, the Internet has provided a great forum for the band ranging from the group’s creation to their current expansion.