Greg Dulli: In the Twilight Zone
By Randy Harward
It’s 10 p.m. in Greg Dulli’s Stockholm hotel room and 1 p.m. at Harp’s satellite office. The business at hand is to discuss Dulli’s latest Twilight Singers album, Powder Burns. It’s one helluva record, the same intensely soulful rock ’n’ roll we’d expect from Dulli—even more so. It rocks, in spots, like Gentlemen the 1993 album by Dulli’s former band Afghan Whigs. No matter which flag the guy runs up his pole, it doesn’t move with the wind—it makes the wind.
Speaking of the wind, and which way it blows—today it doesn’t seem like Dulli’s in album-plugging mode. He’s in full insta-bro mode, ready to just shoot the shit. And why not?
Harp: The new album seems to bring you full-circle back to the Afghan Whigs.
Dulli: The Twilight Singers started out as a side project and I think I probably carried preconceptions of what it was with me, myself, even though it was mine. I had to define it for myself. It was always meant to have different singers each time, which it always has, and also I set out to make atmospheric music which was different from the Whigs. When I came around to this one, I decided to put the preconceptions aside and say, “These songs will be what they want to be. If the fact that they call back to my former band? I loved that band. I was in it.
The Headless Horsin’ Around Man
Harp: If you were going to lose a part of your body, but you could keep it in a jar, would you? Which part would it be?
Dulli: I have to go on my instant thought. Even though it’s gonna make it hard to keep on existing, I would want my head in a jar. And I would wanna walk around as a headless creature, put a pumpkin on my neck. I’d like to go around just freakin’ people out as the headless guy. “Look, he’s here again.” Who? “The Headless Guy.”
Harp: What’s your last thought as your head hits the pillow?
Dulli: Wow. Honestly, it’s probably, “Did I turn the sprinklers off?” I have a garden.
Harp: What sort of stuff do you grow?
Dulli: Well there’s your bougainvillea, which is a big one. Roses, of course. I have a variety of herbs and bushes. I got some crazy things that I don’t really know what they are.
Harp: Are any of these things smoke-able?
Dulli: I can’t really go into that on account of the ghetto birds that fly over my house all the time. But I haven’t paid for weed in a long time. And I smoke weed. [laughs]
First printed in June 2006