“The Internet has totally revolutionized the way I’ve approached it all really. MySpace has been brilliant, because even when I wasn’t active and not getting my stuff together there were a lot of people there that were really supportive of me. Keeping in touch with those guys really helped me to formulate my plan,” said Hawkins. “Now, subsequently, they’re all there for me. It’s really a good, moving sort of thing really.”
Touring can sometimes prove a bit challenging for niche musician as often times the band’s music doesn’t necessarily suit the headlining act’s audience. In such cases, Hawkins has the situation handled. “We had a difficult audience on tour recently, so I changed one of those sing-back songs to ‘Boo, we hate you!’ where it was just a ‘Woah, huh!’ kind of thing before. People would be booing us, but inadvertently taking part in the show. Little victories like that mean a lot to me. I like to play with them to be honest.”
What fans may have noticed is that a signature part of his onstage appearance has been absent since the darker days of The Darkness, namely the catsuit. But need not fret, its rebirth is upon the horizon. “The thing is I got too big for them, but I’m back in business now”, he said with a smile as he glanced down at his notably slimmer figure. “I’m having them made as we speak. By the time I come to America, they’ll be ready.”
In a surprising reflection of both deep dedication and unhesitating determination, he’s aiming to make it in the States even if it means leaving his native home of England. “America is a priority for Hot Leg. In fact, it might be the priority at the moment,” he said.
“We’re looking to get some American management and all that stuff and treating America with the time and respect it deserves. That means moving there and doing it properly. I think if you’re going to spend your time working as hard as we work, might as well do it somewhere else, exotic and fresh, new and exciting.”
As for his decision on where he’ll settle down, his response was a little less certain. “I think for weather, LA. I’ve heard loads of stuff about NY and L.A. I mean I love both places—maybe somewhere in the middle, equidistant between the two.”
At the close of the interview I posed an off-base question regarding the world’s current economic crisis. Surprisingly, it proved to garner his most poignant response. What does the world need today? “Faith. Just have a bit of faith, because it’s not easy for anybody. We’re all in the same boat. Faith and brothership or whatever it’s called. What’s that one,— brotherhood! But not just specifically male.” Whatever the other thing is, it’s clear he believes in a thing called faith.
As I sat across the table from Justin “Dave” Hawkins and heard his vision for the band and his passion for songwriting, it was clear that beneath his witty, comedic personality and ridiculously teased-out hair was a true, hard working, honest musician. Coupled with his faith in Hot Leg, it seems his plan to break beyond the shadow of The Darkness is very much real; all while maintaining the brilliant charisma that brought him success the first time around. In his own words, “Hot Leg’s totally irrelevant in every possible way—in a good way.”