Seattle Times 2000
The Seattle Times
Entertainment & the Arts: Friday, October 27, 2000
CLUB WATCH / Tom Scanlon
“New band puts Afghan Whigs’ Dulli in a different light”
It’s 3:30 in the afternoon in Columbus, Ohio, and Greg Dulli is just
crawling out of bed.
Those who know the Afghan Whigs singer from his Seattle glory days – and, of
course, party nights, might be thinking: same old Dulli.
But it’s different now, Dulli swears. “I rarely go out,” he says, from his
motel room. “I think my wild nightlife days are in the past.”
The reason he is getting up so late, he says, is that he and his new band,
the Twilight Singers, were up until dawn rehearsing. Intense practice
sessions are something Dulli is not known for. Part of it is the fear
factor, as he and his mostly new bandmates – except for Whigs drummer
Michael Horrigan, who plays guitar here – must learn a set-list’s worth of
songs in just a few days, before their tour begins.
Beyond that fear, the new angles of this project have Dulli’s adrenaline
pumping. “The Twilight Singers has kind of reignited my passion for music.
All the touring and machinations of the music business kind of grind you
down. I’ve been in bands since I was 15, and I’m 35 now.”
Listening to his new band’s new CD, “Twilight as Played by the Twilight
Singers,” you might think, “Hey, this isn’t rock!” And that’s the point,
says Dulli. “I most definitely wanted to avoid making a rock record. I
wanted to make an atmospheric album.” He was aided in mixing
electronic-ambient touches by the British acid-jazz duo Fila Brazillia.
The last Afghan Whigs album, “1965,” found Dulli cutting the rock with sexy
soul/R&B (Prince being a great influence). Here, he plunges deeper in that
direction, with songs that range from flirtatious to seductive to begging.
In a favorable review, Spin magazine found Dulli “communicating
testosterone-drunk pathos with a genuflecting quaver in his throat.” USA
Today calls the new CD “a moody make-out record for night crawlers who
prefer sweet talk with a sour twist.”
The live version of the new songs will be a bit different, the ever-daring
Dulli promises: “We’ve kind of taken the tack of a 1930s Parisian cabaret
group. But (at) moments you’ll definitely be rocking.”
Though Dulli has many friends in Seattle, he no longer lives here. After
hanging his hat in Seattle for most of the mid-’90s, he now lives in Los
Excited as he is about the Twilight Singers, Dulli has not tossed the Afghan
Whigs aside. “As usual, if we’re not recording or on tour, we’re on hiatus.”
That’s good to hear, as the critically acclaimed “1965” might be the Whigs’
best album – this is hardly a band that is over-the-hill.