Rockerilla Interview 10.04

© Raffaele Zappala – Rockerilla, October 2004

Interview conducted with Greg Dulli

QUESTION
Since your days with the Afghan Whigs your passion for recording and playing live other people’ songs is very well known. Besides the Uptown Avondale EP, She Loves You is your first full work entirely made of cover versions. When did you realise that you were ready to release such a record?

ANSWER
i think after the european tour i began to think of a covers record. whenever i play live i am possessed with the demon of interpretation and i begin to feel the spirits of other people’s songs course thru my veins. i have covered other people since i was a boy and i will cover them until i die.

Q
Are there any more songs that were meant to be included in She Loves You but were left off at the last moment?

A
* ain’t nobody/chaka khan
* cloudbusting/kate bush
* roses/outkast

i simply ran out of time. i went from the mastering plant to the airport to catch my flight to catania.

Q
I think that a good cover song should go beyond the original and walk on, living its own life, no looking back at its past. Tell me which is your favourite cover song ever and why.

A
there are too many great cover songs, but here are three:

all along the watchtower/jimi hendrix: the greatest cover ever. bob dylan wrote it and now he does it like hendrix. no more need be said.

we can work it out/stevie wonder: this beatles song is unchained in a positively joyous rhythm and blues classic by the master.

hallelujah/jeff buckley: leonard cohen is a fantastic writer, but a limited singer. here is one of the greatest voices in music history taking it to ecstatic heights. a beautiful rendition that transcends the original.

Q
Let’s try to figure out a Greg Dulli tribute album: from which artists of the current music scene you’d like to have your songs covered by? And which of your songs?

A
love/annie mae- martina topley-bird
esta noche- death cab for cutie
decatur st- d’ angelo
66- outkast
step into the light- gillian welch
citi soleil- jimmy cliff
be sweet- peaches
honky’s ladder- jay-z
when we two parted- radiohead
teenage wristband- pete townshend
faded- prince

Q
Which will be the next move of The Gutter Twins, the much-talked about project with your friend Mark Lanegan?

A
we will finish this winter. it will be molto figo.

Q
I know that your next record is almost done. When will it be out and what will it sound like?

A
it’s faster and funkier, yet melancholy still. there is a wall of sound technique and it is very lush.

Q
After the recent success of the italian joint tour with Afterhours, last week you played live as a guest musician with Afterhours in Bologna. Are there any plans for Twilight Singers and Afterhours to exchange favors again?

A
manuel will be our keyboard player/guitarist/singer for our american tour in october and our next tour in europe.

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