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Interview:
New album fulfillis Afghan Whigs frontman's promise
 

By GARY GRAFF
Digital First Media, @GraffonMusic

» See more SOUND CHECK

Ever since the Afghan Whigs reunited in 2012 after a nearly seven-year hiatus, frontman Greg Dulli has been asked about a new album from the band.

Dulli and company delivered this year, returning to their original label home at Seattle's Sub Pop Records for "Do To the Beast," the group's first new album in 16 years.

"It was a great experience to make the record," says Dulli, 49, who's launched a solo career as well as the Twilight Singers and the Gutter Twins, the latter with Screaming Trees' Mark Lanegan. "I said that I would only continue to tour with Afghan Whigs if we had new material to play, so in that regard it's been the emphasis of my prophecy. It happened really organically and quickly -- it was written, recorded and mixed in seven months.

"And it's been cool to go out and ply it and play the new material amongst the older songs and to build a show around it. All of it's been incredibly fulfilling."

Guitarist Rick McCollumn no longer part of the band, but Dulli says he embraced that as a challenge rather than a shortcoming on "Do To the Beast" with a variety of guest musicians. "I was kind of free to incorporate any kind of styles I wanted based on the talent available to me," he explains. "But I really don't feel like I write songs that much differently than I did when I was 16. It's all based on intuition and what I want to hear at the time, and then I sort of gather players who can play the ideas that I can't play."

And while "Do To the Beast" fulfills Dulli's "prophecy" for the short term, Dulli says he's confident that Afghan Whigs is a going concern for the foreseeable future -- though he notes that "I don't think I've written a song" since completing the new album.

"We've got a lot of shows booked and ahead of us, and we're having a great time," he says. "That's pretty ongoing to me. I try not to think too far into the future and just enjoy right in front of me. But I know we'll be back with some (more) new music, too. And probably some more after that."

The Afghan Whigs and Joseph Arthur

Wednesday, Sept. 10. Doors open at 7 p.m.

Saint Andrews Hall, 431 E. Congress St., Detroit

Tickets are $40

Call 313-961-8961 or visit www.saintandrewsdetroit.com




Web Site: www.saintandrewsdetroit.com

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