Justin Hawkins, the flame-tattooed frontman of glam rockers the Darkness, has quit the band. The singer, who entered rehab for drug and alcohol addiction in August, has been clean for nine weeks and has opted to quit the band in an effort to avoid the temptation to fall back on old ways.
“I feel bad for others in the band,” Hawkins told U.K. paper The Sun. “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.” The singer said that at his worst, he was consuming up to five grams of cocaine a day and “became secretive, volatile, verbally abusive, [and] a really unpleasant person to be around.” The paper estimated that Hawkins spent £150,000 (about $275,000) on cocaine over the past three years.
Hawkins told the paper that he made the decision to quit the Darkness while in rehab and that his fellow band members will carry on without him, with bassist Richie Edwards (who replaced former bassist Frankie Poullain) likely to take over as frontman. For his part, Hawkins told The Sun he plans to “do a solo record at some point and get into scoring films. But this is all new so the future is uncertain.”
Talk: Will the Darkness be able to soldier on without Hawkins? COMMENT
On SPIN.com: Darkness Frontman in Rehab
On the Web: