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Wednesday, October 11, 2006

After completing a stint in rehab, THE DARKNESS singer Justin Hawkins has left the band to focus on his recovery, according to newspaper The Sun. The rest of the band has reportedly vowed to carry on without him, with bass player Richie Edwards (who replaced Frankie Poullain in May last year) expected to take over as frontman.

In an interview with The Sun, Hawkins talks openly about his battle with booze and drugs, and claims he spent more than £150,000 (approximately $278,000) on cocaine over the past three years. According to Classic Rock, Hawkins, 31, told The Sun: "'One Way Ticket…' is, of course, thoroughly autobiographical. I was consuming up to five grams [of cocaine] a day which cost me £1,000 a week, sometimes more. I regularly used to stay up for four days at a time on coke and alcohol binges. It affected every single decision I made. Everything was decided on the basis that I wanted to take cocaine at some point. I would demand that we were the first on at awards shows so that I could get on with my drinking and drugging."

In August Hawkwins pulled out of a festival in Denmark and checked himself into rehab. "I got in there and broke down," he told The Sun. "I was shaking like a leaf and going through cold turkey."

Hawkins is now in the early stages of recovery and says he is enjoying a quiet life with girlfriend Sue Whitehouse, manager of THE DARKNESS.

He said: "It sounds stupid but I now get a thrill from things like putting on a cashmere cardigan and feeling how soft it is. I never used to notice things like that. I don't feel cured, though — you never do."

On his decision to quit the band, Hawkins said, "I feel bad for the others (in the band). 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."

Hawkins added that he considered quitting THE DARKNESS last year before the band set off on a world tour, but carried on before entering rehab in August.
The singer said he will now concentrate on recording a solo record and writing music for films.

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