Alt-rock vets join forces as Gutter Twins
By Cortney Harding
NEW YORK (Billboard) – For a duo who refer to themselves as the “Satanic Everly Brothers,” Greg Dulli and Mark Lanegan are rather polite, friendly fellows.
Over lunch at an Italian restaurant in New York, they chatted easily about favorite TV shows (Lanegan is partial to AMC’s “Breaking Bad,” Dulli is obsessed with “Lost”) and gamely retold the story of how an offhand comment to a writer finally compelled them to finish and release the long-gestating Gutter Twins record. That album, “Saturnalia,” which arrives March 4 via Sub Pop, is a collection of moody, bluesy tracks that incorporate Lanegan’s broken-down growls and Dulli’s sexy rasps.
Lanegan and Dulli have both spent formative years recording for Sub Pop, with Screaming Trees and Afghan Whigs, respectively. Lanegan also has issued five solo albums via the Seattle label.
The Gutter Twins played their first show on Valentine’s Day at New York’s Bowery Ballroom and, after a quick trip to Europe, begin their maiden U.S. tour March 1 at San Francisco’s Noise Pop festival.
The speed at which things are now moving for the duo is in stark contrast to the protracted assembly of “Saturnalia,” which was put on the back burner because of Lanegan’s commitments to Queens of the Stone Age and his own projects, as well as Dulli’s work with the Twilight Singers.
“We recorded the first song on Christmas of 2003, and we recorded the last song, ‘God’s Children,’ in September of 2007,” Dulli said. “It was only really when Mark came on tour with the Twilight Singers in January of 2007 that we decided to really get down to business and finish it off.”
Both men seem so satisfied with “Saturnalia” that they’re ruling out possible reunions with their old bands. “I love all the guys from the Whigs, but we left it in a good place,” Dulli said. “I think 15 years was enough,” Lanegan said quietly when asked about Screaming Trees.
“We both learned a lot writing this record, because we each had to keep the other person in mind all the time,” Dulli said. “But it wasn’t as hard as I thought it would be. I think we work well together.”