PD: Kansas City. You know, barbecue, Dorothy ...
Oh, that's right. "Carry on Wayward Son" and all that.
That's us. Why are you in the studio on your vacation?
I'm not real good with the time-off thing. At first, you think, Oh, fantastic! A vacation! And then, a couple days later, you can't sleep because you miss your bunk. I think they call it "tour psychosis" or something.
So do you shack up on the bus at home, too?
I'm thinking about getting a vibrating bed that's too small so I have to curl my feet up. That'll make me feel at home.
What's it like being a part of the Darkness hysteria?
We've been headlining some shows in the UK that are similar in size to the shows we've been supporting for the Darkness in the U.S. We've been in support mode, so it's nice to see a couple thousand people singing along to your songs. You go, "Oh, yeah, that's what headlining bands get off on."
What's the biggest difference between touring here versus the UK?
We've had to get used to playing a shorter set in support. We're used to giving it the full Ron Jeremy treatment, so playing for 45 minutes is just foreplay for us.
Did your American tour with AC/DC prep you for this go-round?
We fucked up with AC/DC so bad. We played without a backdrop. We didn't have any merchandise to sell. We were completely unprepared. Although it didn't really matter, because we weren't going to win any new fans. AC/DC fans are die-hards. With the Darkness, the crowd is a bit more curious, a bit more receptive.
Why is it so hard for British bands to break into America?
All these teenagers come back from America frustrated, but they aren't really willing to put in the work. Then a bunch of old fuckers like us say, "Bring it on, big daddy!" That's something, to get onstage to absolute silence and leave to deafening applause.
Has the Darkness gone rock star on you guys?
I think part of the reason they have us on tour with them is so they can't go all rock star on us. You can't get an attitude around your friends, because they'll say, "What the fuck are you doing?" It's a great English tradition to take the piss out of each other.
Have people lost the ability to be proper rock stars?
I don't think they've lost it so much as they've just forgot how much fun it is. You can program your brain to think anything is reality, and you have these dull people singing dull songs, and kids think that's what music is all about. Thank God we grew up when rock stars were big, bold, tight-trousered gods. You couldn't kill a rock star, because he was having too much fun.
What will make it fun again?
We need America. You always kick the world's ass with entertainment. Now everybody's pissed off and depressed. America has always had dodgy politics, but you've also always produced such fantastic stars. Where's the Fonz? I grew up with Bazooka Joe in my mouth and Converse on my feet. Where's the America I love? I demand that America produce some proper rock stars to get rid of these bored, miserable cunts.
How does your album differ from those put out by the bored, miserable cunts?
It's catchy as all fuck. It's catchy as SARS, this record. It's not one of those albums that collects dust after you listen to the one single. It's something you listen to once a week or once a day, even. But it's tough for bands starting out these days to make a complete album. Record companies are desperate for hits. You either hit big with your first album, or you're out the door. Wake up, guys! I mean, U2's first album was shit.
You're popular at home but unknown here. Is America the last horizon?
America is the first and the last. It's the only land to conquer. It's the only place we need to crack to feel like we're any good. Lately, America has taken to Brits -- at least British bands that don't suck -- like never before, since maybe the '60s. But a lot of people seem to think all British music is whiny guys with quiet guitars. What the fuck? We invented heavy metal! Sabbath, man, and Led Zeppelin.
Is America ready for the Wildhearts and the Darkness?
People need to have fun now more than any time in history. They need to leave a show and go, "Fuck, I had a great time." People are so ready for that. Nobody knows who the fuck we are, but people are going crazy when we get onstage. That's how ready they are. It's a shame these kids have so much negativity as a soundtrack to their youth. You don't die when you're 30. It ain't all doom and gloom. You should be running around onstage making absolute fucking clowns of yourselves. You need to act like a complete tit when you're young and not leave it up to old fuckers like us.
Are the Wildhearts ready for America?
Let's face it -- the Darkness is eventually going to have to stop and record a second album. And when they do, we're going to jump right into their fucking seat. This is music you can have sex to. I mean, who fucks to Staind or Disturbed? There is room for everyone, but who is left playing guitar that anybody would want to fuck? My mother's first concert was the Kinks. She went with my father and was so turned on by Ray Davies that she and my dad went home and had sex. Then I was born. And that's the power of rock and roll. It can birth a baby who grows up, comes to America and bugs the fuck out of you until you buy their record.