Interview: Rufus Taylor of The Darkness

Interview/Words by Tam Schilling

The Darkness will be spreading their Easter Is Cancelled message across the land with an Australian and New Zealand headline tour in March 2020. On a mission to lead us to the sunlit uplands of inclusivity, togetherness and rock’ n’ roll fellowship, The Darkness will play shows in Perth, Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide, Brisbane and Auckland. We caught up with drummer Rufus Taylor ahead of their upcoming tour.

In under two weeks you guys will be in Australia for a run of shows for your latest album “Easter is Cancelled”. What can we expect from the tour?

Lots of fun and lots of loud music. We can't wait to get down there, we love it every single time. You're from Brisvegas, love that place! We had four days off in Brisbane last time and we really enjoyed it. It’s going to be great. We are doing two sets now. We are doing the whole Easter Is Cancelled album from start to finish which is very ballsy, but it pays off.

Normally bands only play whole albums live if it's an anniversary.

Yeah exactly. You wouldn’t usually dare, but some genius had the brilliant idea for us to do this. The second set is the fun time party set.

With all the craziness in the world surrounding the Coronavirus are you concerned at all about travelling?

No. You can't really let it control your life. I mean, we are getting a direct flight to Perth *laughs*. I think it's still fine to buy Corona beer *laughs*.

Everywhere in Australia at the moment has gone really crazy buying out all the toilet paper from the shops, it's quite insane.

What is the deal with the toilet paper there? Like, should I bring my own toilet paper? *laughs*. That is going to create a whole different problem which we don’t want to even think about. I hope the aftermath doesn’t happen before I get there. Let’s hope our hotel rooms are stocked up on toilet paper.

You have a couple of days off whilst in Australia, do you have any plans on what you will do or what you would like to visit?

Off the top of my head I cannot remember which places we have days off; I think we do in Brisbane. We always like to go play Tennis somewhere. We love our tennis; it gets really fucking heated. If we can do a bit of surfing we will, but mainly tennis. As a band we love to play tennis. Everyone has their own fortes, Justin is a bit of an all-rounder, Frankie is the spin doctor. He can spin anything from anywhere and Dan is just kind of raw determination with not very great technique or anything, he just runs about the place. He has this move called the crab where he just kind of hovers right in front of the net and just smashes it. And me, I’m the server.

Do you have a favourite memory from touring to Australia?

I’ve got this friend who lives in Brisbane. I won't say his name, but his name is kind of big. He is a cool guy and he has a few contacts out there. We had four days off the last time we were there, and he was like “yeah mate, what do you want to do?”. Dan was like “I want a boat”. My mate goes “oh yeah – just take this boat and I'll sort you out a driver so you can have a BBQ and stuff”. I spent like 300 bucks in the supermarket on loads of chicken and steak and stuff and of course the veggie options. He took us to this island that’s just off of Brisbane and we cooked up the BBQ. It was awesome, and it was a really cool place. That’s probably my favourite memory. It was such a really random request, but he made it happen.

What was the bands inspiration when writing the album Easter Is Cancelled?

Well, we did the music kind of collectively on the most part. There was a lot of songs where Dan & I came up with the musical arrangement for. We work closely together. We can come up with nearly a full song arrangement in like 20 minutes. Then we just give the song to Justin and he goes “yep I love it” and then he disappears for 10 minutes and he comes back with a perfectly written song. He knocked the lyrics out of the park on this album. Sometimes we help him around with the lyrics but this one he just smashed the whole thing. All the lyrics are all Justin's on this album. Some of the songs took a lot longer. We even shit canned about eight songs for this album. We finished them, but they just didn’t cut it.

With online music streaming services taking over physical album sales these days, how did this effect the release of the new album?

This album has done really well, we are really happy with how it's doing. We’ve seen a massive improvement in a couple of countries which we were struggling a bit in which is good. I was looking at the Spotify thing that tells you how your year was and there was a massive jump in listeners in Australia. We are really looking forward to getting down there and seeing everyone come out to support us at our shows. Obviously, we always want physical albums to be out there and we do sell a good amount. People just don’t buy them as much anymore, it’s a real shame. I still buy them, most of friends do, but it's just the world we live in now.

Is the band working on any new music at all?

Not yet, we get asked to do the odd thing here and there, like the odd movie soundtrack will come up. Other than that no. We will start writing new music again at some point. We just have to finish our tour of the current album in Australia, New Zealand and America first.

Your Dad is Roger Taylor from Queen, what was it like growing up with a father who is in one of the most famous rock bands in the world?

Well I didn’t really realize until a certain age. He was just Dad to me. I was too young to understand properly when he took me to some big concerts.

Other than your dads influence what were some of the bands that influenced you into the Hard rock/Glam metal world?

I’ve always loved the Darkness, I’ll be honest with that. I think I was 15 when I saw their first video and they kind of blew my mind as there was nothing like that happening at the time. The Foo Fighters were one as well, I was 12 when I first seen the Foo Fighters.

Before we go do you have any words for your Australian fans?

In an Australian accent “how ya goin, cant wait to see ya” Laughs.



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