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    The Darkness

    Become fan 19 Rate 2 Like & Share
    Genre:Metal, Rock
    Rank: history »
    5.0/5 from 2 users

    Most Popular Songs (more)

    Holding My Own lyrics
    2Mighty Wings lyrics
    One Way Ticket lyrics
    4Shake (Like A Lettuce Leaf) lyrics
    5I Love You 5 Times lyrics
    With A Woman lyrics
    7Grief Hammer lyrics
    Black Shuck lyrics
    9Upshit Creek lyrics
    Conquerors lyrics

    Most Popular Albums (more)

    1Last of Our Kind [2015]
    The Platinum Collection [2008]
    Permission To Land [2003]
    One Way Ticket To Hell ...And Back [2005]
    Hot Cakes [2012]


    11th October 2006:

    Hawkins in 'I quit' shocker

    JUSTIN HAWKINS has sensationally revealed he blew more than £150,000 on cocaine in the past three years – during a secret battle with chronic drug addiction and alcoholism.

    The Darkness frontman, 31, decided to talk openly about his cocaine shame in a moving interview to warn others about the dangers of drugs.

    Justin also delivered the shocking news that he is QUITTING the band – which will carry on without him.

    The singer – renowned for his outrageous catsuits – has been clean for nine weeks after undergoing intense treatment at the famous Priory clinic in Roehampton, London.

    The extent of his cocaine and booze problem will shock fans of The Darkness – who cracked the charts in 2003 when their single Growing On Me debuted at No11.

    Weeks later their album Permission To Land went straight in at No2 before reaching the top spot, shifting 1.5MILLION copies in the UK alone.

    On the surface, Justin seemed to be living the rock dream. But privately he was struggling to cope with the pressures of fame.

    He sought solace in cocaine and vodka, covering up the extent of his use to even his closest mates and family.

    Justin confessed: "I hit absolute rock bottom. I spent over £150,000 on cocaine in three years – a frightening amount. I was consuming up to five grams a day which cost me £1,000 a week, sometimes more.

    "I regularly used to stay up for four days at a time on coke and alcohol binges.

    "I became secretive, volatile and verbally abusive, a really unpleasant person to be around. There were lots of periods I don't even remember, blackouts.

    "I couldn't even tell you how much I was drinking – it was all day when we were on tour. My weapon of choice was vodka. It has affected every aspect of my life, with the band and my girlfriend Sue."

    Justin's addiction became so bad that all he cared about was getting his next fix of the white powder.

    The guitarist, who grew up in Lowestoft, Suffolk, organised his entire life around the drug.

    Justin confided: "It affected every single decision I made. Everything was decided on the basis that I wanted to take cocaine at some point.

    "I would demand that we were the first on at awards shows so that I could get on with my drinking and drugging.

    "I feel like I've lost three years of my life. I'm only just coming to terms with what has happened because I was always off my face."

    Justin is relieved the drug has not made his nose totally disintegrate – unlike other famous cocaine casualties including Danniella Westbrook and Status Quo's Francis Rossi, who both destroyed their septums, the flesh dividing the nostrils.

    He explained: "On the surface my nose looks OK but there are problems higher up. I'm lucky I still have a septum. It was always terribly sore but I would just take more cocaine to kill the pain. I was constantly blowing out blood.

    "And it played havoc with my eating habits. Some days I ate nothing and others I ate constantly."

    Justin started taking cocaine when The Darkness first attracted attention in 2002 with debut single I Believe In A Thing Called Love, which charted outside the Top 40. The re-release of the song the following year saw them claiming No2 in the singles charts – followed by prizes at the Brits and MTV Europe Awards as well as a Mercury Prize nomination.

    Justin's addiction grew at an equal pace to his band's fame.

    He explained: "Initially it was a huge slab of fun. We performed with heroes like Def Leppard and we had control over what we were doing. All my dreams came true. We did the private jets and fancy hotels. I bought designer clothes and expensive guitars. I headlined the Reading Festival.

    "But the simple truth of it is that when you realise your dreams they are not special any more, particularly when you are in the midst of addiction.

    "We never really had a chance to sit back and enjoy things. It all happened so quickly. And I never coped with it all as well as I thought I would.

    "I went through a period of doing drugs during shows. I would come off stage and do a line and then go back on. But it affected my voice so I switched to starting the minute I came off stage. I wouldn't stop until I blacked out. Every day focused around drink and drugs.

    "I'd have a stash of drugs which I'd use myself and a stash I shared with other people."

    Despite all my years on the showbiz circuit, Justin's revelations come as a real shock to me.

    I first met the singer before The Darkness were even signed and immediately fell for their refreshing brand of old-school rock.

    I've followed his career closely since, interviewing him many times. I never saw any signs of his secret snorting.

    But looking back there was a glaringly obvious clue on the band's second album One Way Ticket To Hell ,And Back.

    The title track starts with the sound of someone snorting a line of coke and is clearly about the Class A narcotic. When I challenged Justin about the song after the album's release last November, he brushed it off before talking about the dangers of cocaine.

    Now he admits the song is "of course, thoroughly autobiographical" and told me, "There is no time I've met you when I was not using it". He continued: "But you have to understand that I have always publicly had a very anti-drugs stance – for the right reasons. My family has been affected by heroin in the past. A close family member was addicted.

    "That is one of the reasons I found it hard to be open about it. It flew in the face of my moral code and my values."

    Things reached crisis point for Justin this summer. The second album had not done as well as the band had hoped, peaking at No11, and Justin was no longer happy in the band.

    He toyed with the idea of leaving last year and even released a solo single – a cover of Sparks' hit This Town Ain't Big Enough For Both Of Us – which reached No6. But then The Darkness set off on another major world tour , and Justin's addictions got even worse.

    In August he pulled out of a festival in Denmark and checked himself into rehab.

    He said: "I started to hear voices. I thought my dad was speaking to me and he wasn't even there. And I was starting to hallucinate."

    But it was only when he got to The Priory clinic that he realised just how bad the situation had become.

    Justin said: "I thought I'd go in, do a lap of the grounds and come back out.

    "But I got in there and broke down. I was shaking like a leaf and going through cold turkey.

    "So I joined the month-long addiction treatment programme. It was exhausting.

    "People have this unfair view of places like The Priory as a holiday camp for celebrities. But the work they do there is so important.

    "There were people from all walks of life – housewives and builders.

    "We had nothing in common other than drink and drugs but I made friends for life. I'd love to become a counsellor."

    During his spell in rehab, Justin made the difficult decision to quit the band he formed with brother Dan and best friend Ed Graham. They will carry on without him – with bass player Richie Edwards (who took over from Frankie Poullain in May last year) expected to take over as the frontman. Justin said: "I feel bad for the others. It will be an upheaval. But it's time for me to move on.

    "It would be damaging to my recovery to stay on. I'm not blaming the band for my problem – I am an addict. There are people who can be in bands and stay clean, but I'm not one of them.

    "I am going to do a solo record at some point and get into scoring films. But this is all new so the future is still uncertain."

    Justin's main goal right now is to save others from the nightmare of cocaine addiction. He added: "I have to say please avoid getting into it at all costs.

    "Let's not pretend – there are upsides to drugs. It's a thrill, a bit naughty.

    "But you pay a price. You lose a massive chunk of your life – and money."

    Although Justin is still in the early stages of recovery, he is buzzing with excitement about his new, clean life of domestic bliss with girlfriend Sue Whitehouse, manager of The Darkness.

    He enthused: "It sounds stupid but I now get a thrill from things like putting on a cashmere cardigan and feeling how soft it is. I never used to notice things like that. I moved into a lovely house a couple of years ago but I'm only enjoying it now. Everything used to be at arm's length and numbed. I feel like I have woken up from a stupor. My gran died recently and I was really upset. Before I would have self-medicated to block it out.

    "I don't feel cured, though – you never do. I go back to The Priory from time to time and attend meetings. But I am feeling things for the first time in ages."

    ©2005 News Group Newspapers Ltd.

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