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Interview:
Afghan Whigs at Saint Andrews, 3 Things To Know
 

By Gary Graff
ggraff@digitalfirstmedia.com, @GraffonMusic on Twi

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Since Afghan Whigs are 15 years into its second tenure as a band. and the group is in as good a shape, if not even better, than it’s been since 1996.

The Cincinnati-formed alternative rock troupe’s new “In Spades” is just its second album since reuniting in 2012, after an 11-year hiatus. Frontman Greg Dulli is still writing songs with pathos and a wide array of emotions, and the Whigs continue to rock hard but with sophistication and plenty of R&B-influenced groove.

The Whigs did lose guitarist Dave Rosser earlier this year to cancer, which has given the group even a little more charge as it tours in support of “In Spades”...

• Dulli, 52, says by phone that 2014’s “Do To The Beast,” the Whigs’ first album in 16 years, was crucial to the group’s return to active duty. “I think making that last album blew a lot of wind in the sails,” Dulli explains. “Doing the tour and being able to play new material was like blood for us. We continued with the momentum and kept on going ‘til we got something we liked.”

• “In Spades” was also a collective effort, according to Dulli, something he felt the band had gotten away from over time. “It was the first time probably since ‘Black Love’ (in 1996) that it was a group in the studio playing live,” he says. “Eight of the 10 songs on the record were played live in the studio -- and very alive. I’m very particular about songs once they get going, but I gave little to no direction to the individual players. It’s all their own interpretations of the material that I’ve bought to the group. It’s a group effort in every way.”

• Dulli says that, “I love making records,” but his primary reward in playing with the band these days is being on stage. “Nothing is like playing in front of an audience,” he says. “When you play live on stage with a group like this, over and over, night after night, something else begins to happen. There’s just an unspoken communication between the players. We have like an on stage telepathy between us. We’re all really good friends and there’s a great dynamic between us and we all know each other. There’s a fearlessness to try anything when you know everybody and you’re comfortable and you can be vulnerable and creative and all the great things you need to do to make great art.”



If You Go:

• Afghan Whigs and Har Mar Superstar,

• Tuesday, Sept. 26. Doors open at 7 p.m.

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

• Tickets are $33

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

Web Site: www.saintandrewsdetroit.com

Send your thoughts and comments to Gary Graff

 



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