The frontman of metal-parody band The Darkness has said he likes to “connect” with gay audiences.

Justin Hawkins, 37, has also hinted that his own sexuality is a subject for speculation, saying in an interview: “My sexual persuasion is no one’s business but my own – but I’m easily persuaded. Just kidding.”

He added that his flamboyant onstage outfits were, he thought, a good tool for reaching out to an alternative audience.

He said: “It’s funny because it came up recently in a German interview. They reckoned that when you Google Justin Hawkins, one of the first things that comes up is ‘Is Justin Hawkins gay?’

“And I’d like to think that’s because there’s something I do that connects with a gay audience.”

The Darkness formed in 2002, amalgamating elements of 1970s classic rock and 1980s hair metal with over-the-top theatricality, falsetto singing, seemingly endless guitar solos and lyrics that seemed to both revel in and mock the sexist viewpoints of bands they related to.

Justin added that the group – made up of himself, his brother Dan, Ed Graham and Frankie Poullain – are a “bit effeminate” in their style.

Speaking to the Guardian, he said: “Yeah. I think we’re all a bit effeminate. We’re not men’s men, much as we may appear to be so.”