“We’re trying to do the AC/DC version of a two-pronged attack, especially when we play live”: The Darkness’ Justin and Dan Hawkins on the high-volume twin-guitar secrets behind Permission To Land

The Darkness' Dan (left) and Justin Hawkins perform onstage in San Francisco in 2023
(Image credit: Steve Jennings/Getty Images)

Every once in a while, a group will come out of nowhere and give rock music the good kick up the arse it desperately needs. In 2003, that band was called The Darkness, and it was their debut album, Permission To Land, that took the sound of Gibson Les Pauls and cranked Marshall amps to the very top of the UK charts. 

It is often said the greatest twin-guitar bands – from Thin Lizzy and AC/DC to Aerosmith and Guns N’ Roses – boil down to the chemistry shared between both players, which is something The Darkness have always excelled at. 

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Amit Sharma

Amit has been writing for titles like Total GuitarMusicRadar and Guitar World for over a decade and counts Richie Kotzen, Guthrie Govan and Jeff Beck among his primary influences as a guitar player. He's worked for magazines like Kerrang!Metal HammerClassic RockProgRecord CollectorPlanet RockRhythm and Bass Player, as well as newspapers like Metro and The Independent, interviewing everyone from Ozzy Osbourne and Lemmy to Slash and Jimmy Page, and once even traded solos with a member of Slayer on a track released internationally. As a session guitarist, he's played alongside members of Judas Priest and Uriah Heep in London ensemble Metalworks, as well as handled lead guitars for legends like Glen Matlock (Sex Pistols, The Faces) and Stu Hamm (Steve Vai, Joe Satriani, G3).