Dan Hawkins (musician)
Dan Hawkins in 2013
|Birth name||Daniel Francis Hawkins|
12 December 1976 |
|Genres||Hard rock, glam metal, glam rock, heavy metal|
|Occupation(s)||Musician, guitarist, producer, songwriter|
|Instruments||Guitar, vocals, bass, drums, percussion|
|Labels||PIAS, Atlantic, Must Destroy|
|Associated acts||Stone Gods, The Darkness|
|Gibson Les Paul|
Daniel Francis Hawkins (born 12 December 1976 in Chertsey, England) is an English rock guitarist, best known as a guitarist and backing singer of the UK band, The Darkness. The band fronted by his older brother Justin Hawkins, achieved notable mainstream success between 2002 and 2006. He also plays lead guitar for Stone Gods. He is influenced by hard rock and glam metal genre such as Led Zeppelin, Aerosmith, Def Leppard, Whitesnake, AC/DC, Queen, Mötley Crüe and Thin Lizzy.
After moving to Lowestoft, he attended Kirkley High School and achieved good grades in his GCSEs before leaving his hometown behind for the bright lights and cosmopolitan lifestyle of Camden, London. From a young age, he aspired to be a musician, beginning on drums, moving on to bass and finally mastering the guitar. Back in his early days in his professional career, he worked as a session guitarist for various artists including Natalie Imbruglia. Previous bands include Vital Signs and Empire before The Darkness consisting of Justin Hawkins, Ed Graham, Frankie Poullain and later, Richie Edwards, became a mainstream success. With The Darkness he has won Brits, MTV and Kerrang awards and the prestigious Ivor Novello Award for songwriting in 2004. The Darkness split in 2005.
In 2006, after The Darkness disbanded, Dan regrouped with bandmates Richie and Ed to begin the band that would, after the recruitment of bassist Toby Macfarlaine, become Stone Gods. He played lead guitar in the band and saw their debut album Silver Spoons & Broken Bones, which was well received by critics. Stone Gods went on hiatus in 2011, preceding the reunion of The Darkness.
Dan Hawkins was involved with the production process during the recording of both The Darkness's albums, learning the skills alongside famed producer, Roy Thomas Baker. He co-produced B-sides for One Way Ticket to Hell... and Back. His first credited project was Stone Gods' album Silver Spoons & Broken Bones with the record producer, Nick Brine. Hawkins also built and owns a luxury, commercial residential recording studio 'Leeders Farm' in Wymondham, Norfolk where The Darkness albums were recorded, which is run by Brine and his partner Katy Dann. Bands such as The Dandies, Arctic Monkeys, Seasick Steve, The Rifles, Teenage fanclub, Wild Beasts, and more recently ex Thunder guitarist Luke Morley's new band The Union have all recorded there.
Hawkins' guitar of choice is the Gibson Les Paul and his main instrument, both live and in the studio, is his well used 2000 Honeyburst Standard (known by Dan and his fans as 'Dune') which he played extensively in The Darkness and in Stone Gods. Over the years he has owned and played several Les Paul Standards and currently tours with 6-8 of them including a second 2000 Honeyburst (nicknamed 'Terry'), a Wine Red 1997 Standard (known as UB40 which is used for the songs 'Givin' Up' and 'Friday Night'), a late 1970s Sunburst B-stock formerly owned by the guitarist from the band Sputnik), a 2003 Goldtop (belonging to his guitar tech, but borrowed for tours), a late 1990s Standard re-finished in white, and a 2013 Honeyburst Flametop.
During 2003-2006 he used a Gretsch Elliot Easton solid body for the song "Black Shuck" but this was sold to fund the recording of the second Stone Gods album. Another guitar that has not been seen during this reunion is a 2000 Standard in black (nicknamed 'Black Shuck') that was previously also used live. He also owns a Gibson Les Paul Custom Black Beauty which was originally handbuilt for Jimmy Page, but Page decided it was too heavy and rejected the instrument; Page is one of Hawkins's biggest influences. It is fitted with a Fishman Powerblend pickup and is used for the song 'Love is only a feeling'. It is also known that when Dan was waiting for the arrival of a different humbucker to put into the instrument his then-guitar tech said that he had a Kent Armstrong prototype humbucker that was taken out of one of Angus Young's Gibson SG's. He fitted Angus's old humbucker to the guitar and liked the sound so much that he left it in.
Among a variety of amplifiers, his primary choices are Marshall amps, particularly the 1959 SLP and Handwired Re-Issue models (as is exemplified in videos of The Darkness live at The Astoria, London in 2003). For his 'dirtier' sounds in Stone Gods, he played a Marshall JCM 800 Re-Issue head through Marshall 1960AX/BX cabinets, combined with a Diezel Herbert head. He has also been seen recently using both a Vox AC30 combo and a Wizard Modern Classic head to compliment his several Marshall stacks. Effects wise, a vintage Ibanez TS-808 Tube Screamer pedal is his mainstay for overdrive, but recent photos of his 2012/2013 touring rig show additional pedals from Electro Harmonix, MXR, Strymon and Devi Ever among others.
A large amount of Hawkins' distinct tone comes from his use of heavy gauge strings. He uses Ernie Ball Beefy Slinkys (typically; 11, 15, 22p, 30w, 42w, 54w) and Jim Dunlop Maxi Grip 0.73mm picks.
- Fischer, Peter (1 March 2006). MASTERS OF ROCK GUITAR 2: THE NEW GENERATION. Mel Bay Publications. pp. 82–. ISBN 978-3-89922-078-0. Retrieved 7 May 2011.
- "Darkness get songwriters' honour". 27 May 2004. Retrieved 25 December 2013.
- "The Razz: BACK FROM BRINK; Darkness Reveal Their Secret Split during Making of Album". Daily Record (Scotland), accessed via HighBeam Research (subscription required). 29 September 2005. Retrieved 25 December 2013.
- "Silver Spoons and Broken Bones". AllMusic. Retrieved 25 December 2013.
- "The Bands Used to Really Enjoy Being in a Studio Back Then...". The Western Mail, accessed via HighBeam Research (subscription required). 11 August 2012. Retrieved 25 December 2013.
- "Darkness guitarist Dan Hawkins sheds light on tsunami relief, world domination and Les Paul Jr. amp". Gibson.com. Retrieved 25 December 2013.
- "Dan Hawkins on Jimmy Page.(Trading Graces)". Guitar Player, accessed via HighBeam Research (subscription required). 1 May 2004. Retrieved 25 December 2013.
- "Dan Hawkins, Justin Hawkins and The Darkness". Everydayguitargear. Retrieved 25 December 2013.