Greg Dulli on the Current and Future State of the Afghan Whigs

Greg Dulli of the Afghan Whigs performs at Lollapalooza 2012. Photo: Tim Mosenfelder/Getty Images

The Afghan Whigs reunion is about 20 dates old now, and new ones are regularly being added. The band is splitting its time between big outdoor festivals in the U.S. and Europe as well as late-night club gigs. Hive got a chance to catch up with Whigs’ frontman Greg Dulli after his Lollapalooza set on this past Friday afternoon to find out what his ever-evolving future plans are for the reunited band.

When you started looking into material that you wanted to play again, how far into the back catalog did you get?         

We went back to Congregation. We’re gonna play at least one song from Up In It tomorrow [at a Lollapalooza aftershow]. We’re going all the way back now.

Your band isn’t an afternoon thing to listen to —

No.

Do you tailor your set with that in mind when you play festivals?

Yes. Songs that we’ve been opening with, they’re nighttime songs. We’re a nighttime band. I played at 4:15 because they told me to, not because I chose to. “Crime Scene” was not gonna happen. I’m not gonna sing, “Tonight” at 4:15. I’ll sing it at 4:15 in the morning in Madrid. But I’m not gonna do it here.

Some of the songs are so personal and about things that seem like they’d be unpleasant to revisit. How did you approach that?

Anything that’s unpleasant for me to revisit, I just don’t do. The rest of the songs are fully vetted and emotionally conjured on a consistent basis.

How do you relate to something like “Fountain and Fairfax,” which is about addiction and has lines like, “Let me tie off”?

It’s got the Bo Diddley beat. It’s got a killer hook. Watching everybody get ready for the moment where I say “Fountain and Fairfax” is very exciting. I have the same anticipation they do. The payoff on that song is worth the price of admission.

You covered “Lovecrime” by Frank Ocean. He’s playing Lollapalooza. Have you been in touch with him?

I have not been in touch with him. I saw him play in L.A. a couple of weeks ago – phenomenal. But I have never spoken to him.

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