As I wrote at the time, they were the band who put the ‘sin‘ and the other ‘sin‘ into Cincinnati. It’s Lundi Gras in New Orleans and singer Greg Dulli, the man whose persona - part suave motherfucker, part louche ladies’ man, part mafia don - was the Whigs‘ driving force, escapes from the carnival chaos to the refuge of The R Bar, the French Quarter juke joint he now owns, and tells me why they‘re bringing badass back. I went to see Buffalo Springfield last spring, and the joy on their faces… For more details click here I typically enjoy the interviews - and particularly the baker's dozen features - but this interview reeks of fanboydom, which I guess is admitted to in the last question.
The audience is happy, the performers are happy, there’s just happiness everywhere! The acoustic tour I did a year and a half ago, John Curley (Afghan Whigs bassist) came out with me for five or six of the shows, and then I saw Rick Mc Collum (guitar) last spring when I was on tour with Twilight Singers, he came to the show and we had lunch. We never broke up the band for any reason other than we’d taken the band as far as we wanted to take it. We’ve got five gigs now, and we’ll play at least another 20 gigs, I would imagine. And I will come out swinging in whatever group I’m in. I was really looking forward to this when I saw since I love the Whigs and Twilight Singers, but this fell quite a bit short for me.
They held each other close on the floor of the club, going round and round slowly like it was the last song of your grade 8 school dance, the “Stairway to Heaven” moment. And while Derrick C Brown may have liked my all-black outfit, he lied to me. I ate some po’boys there because my local friend said I had to. And in the times that I’ve met him – when we were drunk as sailors in 1994 in Toronto, or in passing at Sub Pop’s 25th Anniversary in Seattle – he’d never not been a Gentleman to me. Dulli politely asked the offender to turn off the flash. The guy yelped out a “sorry.” Dulli couldn’t quite hear him, so asked for a repeat. Dulli was making it sound the way he does in most of his songs, like the devil’s creeping nearby, about to rain fire around you, or kiss you hard. About 2 minutes in, it came, an almighty crescendo. I usually listen to Dulli with my eyes closed, you see, because his shit is just so intense sometimes. His jaw was right there on the ground, too, I swear to gods. There were other moments, of course, a cover of “Paper Thin Hotel” by Leonard Cohen – who once told me I was beautiful, twice – and Dulli folded in a few lines from “She Loves You” by the Beatles, too.
He read his poem while they danced, over her shoulder. It’s a shifty little place across the street from the La Laurie house, but their All That Jazz po’boy was INSANE. But in Vancouver, we were all warned before the show – by my friend Larry who used to tech for Dinosaur Jr and has been on tour with Dulli for aeons – not to take photos with a flash. Like a “murder of crows”, is there a phrase for a collection of cringers? “HE JUST SAID HE WAS SORRY” a brave soul piped up, Canadian-ly. “Looks like your friend in Chicago had wrong information,” he yelled. But it was the Twilight Singers’ “Too Tough To Die” that was stellar again. It felt like too short a set, but by the time he kicked off the three-pack encore with “The Spell”, we were all under one.
” And it was for no other reason except that everyone wanted to have that communal experience again. We aren’t getting back together to make a new album. GD: Well, you’re getting the three of us [Dulli, Curley, Mc Collum], and you’ll have to wait and see who the other few people are. GD: Well, I suggested it to John when he was visiting me last summer, and we just talked about it for a few days, whether we would do it or not. There was a brief reunion in 2006 - what happened with that? We got together for a Rhino Records retrospective, and they asked us to cut a couple of new tracks, and we just got together in the studio. Reply to this Admin "and dream awhile, about your smile..the way you make your ass shake." Perhaps the most honest line ever about the beginnings of infatuation from the male view point.
And that went a long way, for me, in deciding to do this again. Was it directly from you, or did someone else come to you with the idea? We’re doing this one time: see it now, or never see it again. Three guys started The Afghan Whigs, and three guys made all six albums. We’re the only three guys who made all the records and did all the shows. That who you’re gonna see: you’re going to see The Afghan Whigs. And we kind of let it lay until Barry Hogan [All Tomorrow’s Parties founder] contacted me and was in a little bit of a bind after Guided By Voices were unable to fulfil their commitments. Again, we’ve always been friends so it’s not any kind of great thing of having to swallow your pride to get back in the room.