with Jocelyn Hoppa
Greg Dulli, frontman for the now defunct Afghan Whigs, is the current mastermind behind Twilight Singers. Dulliís been on the music scene for a long time, contributing to an otherwise dying breed of rock Ďní soul with his uncanny ability to capture and make beautiful that shit-done-gone-wrong feeling. His over-confident, over-sexed, and over-drugged personality traits can be witnessed at Warsaw, April 3.
Greg Dulli: Go ahead caller.
The L Magazine: Hey Greg, this is The L Magazine calling. Got time for an interview?
GD: Sure. Right now Iím looking for my car. I went to a party in Malibu last night and I have on a different pair of shoes, which fit me perfectly.
The L: Are they better than your last pair?
GD: They are newer and cooler. I wouldnít have picked them out personally, but I am going to keep them. And if I canít find my car, Iím going to hotwire this Thunderbird, which is open because itís a convertible.
The L: CoolÖuh, so weíre going to go on a criminal spree together?
GD: Well, ya know, Iím not going to give you the license plate number. Hey, where are you? Are you in Brooklyn?
The L: Yes, I am. In a little neighborhood called Dumbo.
GD: RightÖ Brooklyn, itís the new Staten Island, right?
The L: Yes. Exactly. So, youíre about to start another tour.
GD: Well, yes, we toured America and then Europe and we are about to tour America again. And right now Iím touring a parking lot in Malibu looking for my car. So, the tour never stops. These shoes are cool as fuck. They are maroon suede.
The L: So, other than stealing Thunder-birdsÖ
GD: Iím going to steal it for sure.
The L: Öwhat do you typically look forward to when going on tour?
GD: You get paid to be self-involved and thatís pretty hot.
The L: Hot indeed. So, youíre originally from Ohio and now live in L.A., which are two very different places. What, environmentally, informs your music the most?
The L: Yeah, in terms of landscape and cultureÖ
GD: Well, my neglect of the environment is best underscored by the fact that I use spray on deodorant.
The L: All right. Were you stealing Thunderbirds in Ohio?
GD: No, but Iím going to today. I stole motorcycles in Ohio and was a paid larcenist.
The L: Paid? So why didnít you just keep doing that?
GD: Well, because I was somebodyís sucker and uh, you know, I wanted to be my own boss. Which I am right now, for better or worse.
The L: Yeah, you own some bars out there in L.A. too huh?
GD: Yeah, I own two of them.
The L: I take you for a jukebox man. What kind of music do you have in your bars?
GD: The greatest. Extremely varied. Have you ever had somebody come up to you and ask, ďWhatís your favorite record of all time?Ē
The L: Yes.
GD: And what do you say?
The L: I canít pick a favorite because I like too much music.
GD: Exactly. I say, ďFuck you man. What is your favorite food of all time? You know, whatever looks tasty and is in front of me right now.Ē So, thatís my answer. Itís eclectic and varied and self-involved, which kind of goes along with my whole theme.
The L: Does being self-involved help with your stage performance?
GD: Sure. Iím playing for me. The only person Iím trying to impress is me, and I do so every time.
The L: Where am I at here… (searching page for questions he might actually answer)
GD: Are you lost in the supermarket?
The L: Nooo. Unfortunately Iím not lost in a supermarket. Itís difficult to get lost in a New York supermarket. What has been influential to your overall sound? Iím particularly curious about the funk and soul aspect.
GD: I grew up listening to it. My mom was 17 when I was born, so I inherited her record collection and she was a hipster. She liked a lot of black music, so thatís what I heard at first until I started hanging out with the people down the street who were listening to Zeppelin and the Stones.
The L: You wrote 30 songs in preparation for Blackberry Belle, which seems rather prolificÖ
GD: For me it is. For a guy like Ryan Adams, he does that before lunch. And they are all life changing, and Parker Posey weeps after she hears them, and then she goes and vomits.
The L: UhÖ so, when normally preparing to record an album, how many songs do you usually have?
GD: Up until this time, if I need 11 songs, I would write 11 songs and then go play basketball. But, as Iíve gotten older itís become more interesting to me. And now Iím doing a new Gutter Twins record with Mark Lanegan (Screaming Trees), and heís more inspiring than any other person Iíve ever met. He pushes me to write songs every day.
The L: You once said that you voted for Larry Flint because you went to one of his parties and got laid, so that was worth a vote. Hopefully you havenít had any late nights with GWB in the pastÖ
GD: No, but his two daughters came to my bar. Yeah, and they were kind of slutty. I had a chance at them. But I ainít fucking a Republican. I remember that we charged them double because they put a credit card down and I just jacked it up.
The L: Howís the car search coming along?
GD: I canít find it so Iím going to hotwire this fucking Thunderbird. I really am.
The L: And drive away with the help of your new kicksÖ sweet.