Daily Times – Show of the Week
The Daily Times
By MICHAEL CHRISTOPHER
Greg Dulli has been on the road seemingly non-stop over the past couple years. First, it was alongside Mark Lanegan in The Gutter Twins and more recently on last year’s stripped down solo acoustic tour that spanned his career from the days with ‘90s alt-rock superheroes The Afghan Whigs up until the present, performing tracks from his then forthcoming Twilight Singers effort “Dynamite Steps,” which he will showcase Tuesday at The Trocadero.
“Honestly, I didn’t play in an electric band in over two years, we did mainly acoustic shows,” Dulli told Rock Music Menu. “This has been kind of a refreshing change.”
Debuting a few of the “Dynamite Steps” tracks live on the acoustic tour proved to be a challenge for the singer for a number of reasons.
“I did “Gunshots” a few times, but I ended up ditching that one because it didn’t work,” he says. “I learned that “Never Seen No Devil” was a perfect candidate for a stripped down song – it changed the way we played it. The way I played it on the acoustic tour and the way it’s done on the record, live it’s now a combination of the two.”
Like so many of the records Dulli has put out during his career, “Dynamite Steps” has no shortage of the number of tracks on each song (“To put it mildly,” he adds), and stripping a song down to its bare bones structure provided him with a different perspective on the acoustic tour in front of an audience after practicing them out alone at home first.
“Getting down to a song’s essence, it let me know whether my songs were good or not,” he said. “And to be able to play songs from back when I was 23 years old? That was immensely rewarding to me.”
That jaunt was comprised of what Dulli calls “a bunch of great moments,” but he’s now turned his focus back to The Twilight Singers and the full rock and roll band. And despite his history in what was one of the most impressive live outfits in The Afghan Whigs, he won’t be revisiting his past and mixing the catalogs together in concert.
“I played Whigs songs on the first couple (Twilight) tours because I needed material,” he said. “As soon as “Powder Burns” came out (in 2006), I didn’t need material anymore. I played those songs out of necessity — but not without integrity. I’m not saying I’ll never sing them again; if I call it me, then that allows me to do songs from my entire life.”
It’s hard to believe, but with the Whigs disbanded in 2001, Dulli has created just as many albums as when he was in that group. And time wise, he points out, this coming October he’ll have been a Twilight Singer longer.
But there’s still hope for an Afghan Whigs reunion; when asked if a summer festival organizer like Perry Farrell of Lollapalooza asked him to get the guys together and roll back the clock, he had gave a notoriously typical sly, Cheshire cat response.
“If his wife asks me, I’ll consider it,” he said, referring to the stunning Etty Lau Farrell.
Then letting out a long, loud, smoky laugh, Dulli has to go because, like always, there’s a show to be put on.