Since the reunion of the new school glam rock band the Darkness, fans have been buzzing for a new album. After a handful of British tour dates, the band returned to the studio to compose their highly-anticipated reunion album – their first since the 2005 full-length ‘One Way Ticket to Hell… and Back.’

The Toronto Sun recently interviewed the flamboyant and commanding leader of the Darkness, Justin Hawkins, about reuniting, the upcoming album and Hawkins’ battle to stay sober.

“The thing that was infectious about this was that we didn’t care. We weren’t doing it to become huge. We weren’t doing it because we’re ambitious. We’re doing it because we are genuinely loving the music,” raves Hawkins. We’re back to square one, where it’s just music and the creative process … We have to fight for it. It’s gloves-off time and it’s time to get your hands dirty. It’s time to get in there and change people’s idea of what we’re doing, so it’s going to be hard work and I’m aware of that, and that’s what I’m excited about getting my teeth into now. I would sort of approach it more like a sportsman than an artist.”

Hawkins offered insider info on the progress of the band’s next album. “I think we’ve got nine of the required songs done or finished, all sounding shiny and good … It’s kind of nearly finished now. I’d like it to be on my birthday really, which is the 17th of March. I think that would be the ultimate gift to myself.”

The 36-year-old singer/shredder also addressed his current sobriety. I’ve been old and clean and health-conscious and all those things for what seems like an eternity — like ages, you know? It’s not like I’m counting even … It’s not an ascetic life but it is pretty simple — a little house near my parents, near the sea, my girlfriend, the dogs, cats. I just write songs and keep myself in shape. And that’s it, you know. That’s my life. I think I’ve done enough living now to write the next couple of albums. I’ll start living again when I’ve run out of songs.

The Darkess are set to bring the love to North America for the first time since their breakup, beginning their journey in Toronto, Canada, on Feb. 1.

The Darkness 2012 North American Tour Dates:

2/1 — Toronto, Ontario | Phoenix
2/3 — Boston, Mass. | Paradise
2/4 — New York, N.Y. | Irving Plaza
2/7 — Philadelphia, Pa. | Trocadero
2/8 — Washington, D.C. | 9:30 Club
2/10 — Detroit, Mich. | St. Andrew’s Hall
2/11 — Chicago, Ill. | Metro
2/12 — Minneapolis, Minn. | First Avenue
2/15 — Denver, Colo. | Summit
2/17 — Las Vegas, Nev. | House of Blues
2/18 — Phoenix, Ariz. | Celebrity Theatre
2/19 — Los Angeles, Calif. | House of Blues
2/21 — San Francisco, Calif. | Fillmore