We’ve Got A File On You: Greg Dulli

We’ve Got A File On You: Greg Dulli

We’ve Got A File On You features interviews in which artists share the stories behind the extracurricular activities that dot their careers: acting gigs, guest appearances, random internet ephemera, etc.

Afghan Whigs’ first album in five years starts with a feint — if a song that rocks as hard as “I’ll Make You See God” can be described as a feint. An inferno of roaring guitar chords and pounding drums, it’s a powerhouse track that makes for a grand introduction. But as soon as the smoke clears, the Whigs have settled into something more graceful, melodic, and dreamlike while maintaining the grit and scuzz of that initial blast.

According to lead singer and songwriter Greg Dulli, How Do You Burn? — the first Whigs release since the death of guitarist Dave Rosser in 2017 — reflects the strange circumstances of its creation. It’s an album born from an extended moment of isolation around the globe, performed by a group that has always thrived in the immediacy of live rock ‘n’ roll. The pandemic necessitated remote recording, a rarity for Dulli, but he’s pleased with the results of the process. He should be: How Do You Burn? is another impressive entry in this band’s catalog, capturing a new shade of the soulful glamour and back-alley danger that have always coursed through Dulli’s work.

Despite the breadth of their discography, the Whigs represent only a fraction of Dulli’s accomplishments. He’s made an enormous amount of music with an eye-popping array of collaborators, accumulating lots of good stories along the way. In a phone call from his Los Angeles home this summer, he shared some of those tales, touching on his history with the late Mark Lanegan, Dave Grohl, Usher, film director Ted Demme, and more. Below, read our conversation and check out the new video for How Do You Burn? single “A Line Of Shots.”

How Do You Burn? (2022)

This strikes me as a little bit of a haunted album since it’s the first one since Dave Rosser’s death, and then also since your close friend and collaborator Mark Lanegan dying, though he was alive during the recording of it. How did Dave’s absence hang over the whole thing? Was it hard to reproduce what he brought to the table?

GREG DULLI: Honestly I think Dave’s loss hung over my solo record a little more than this one. It was two years earlier than this. So it was a little fresher then. And I don’t even think I realized it until I went back and listened to it that I was working through my feelings of his loss. I think about Dave Rosser, Shawn Smith, Mark Lanegan, Ted Demme, all of my friends who have gone before me at least once a day. In terms of this record, I don’t really hear it haunted as much as I hear it kind of searching for an escape. We were all basically kind of cut off from each other for a long time, and in order to find some sort of normalcy or community amongst it all, you had to do things like “everybody test and go into a bubble” and things like that. So when I hear this record, I hear a little more of that. It’s as surreal as the times it was created in. For something that was made across state lines, it’s really cohesive, and it sounds like we’re all in the same room. So I’m pretty proud of that fact of the record. Certainly as time goes on, it’s rather unexpected that Mark left us. And know that that was the last stuff I recorded with him and will be now — that’s a bittersweet feeling for sure.

Was this the first time you’d ever worked remotely like that?

DULLI: No, I’ll tell you, the first time I did it was during the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. Because I was in New Orleans, not during the hurricane but directly after the hurricane. I was there during the curfew times, and nobody was coming in and out of there, so I was sending things off from there. That was probably the first time that I did it the way I did it here. This was much more extensive than then because I did a lot of the stuff myself back then. But I did farm things out across state lines back then too. That was my first experience with it. Obviously, these are force majeure times. You adapt or you get left behind.

Speaking of Mark Lanegan, I felt like the opening song on the album has almost a Queens Of The Stone Age vibe to it. You could also say it’s a throwback to an early Afghan Whigs type vibe. I thought that was an interesting — almost a little pump-fake for the sound of the rest of the record.

DULLI: [laughs] I’ve heard different reactions to it. My favorite was my friend Kevin who said it sounded like “Highway Star” by Deep Purple, and I fucking loved that. First of all, as a pump-fake, that song oddly came about while I was recording the second song. And while they were setting up the mics for me to record “The Getaway,” I just started fucking around on this dude’s guitar. And then I was like, “Oh fuck, this is kind of cool,” and I plugged it into an amp. Luckily Patrick was there, and all of the sudden, everybody there was like, “Hey, what are we doing here?” And I was like, “We’re gonna do this new thing now, and we’ll get to the other one later.” Some songs, they’re like, “Get out of my way, I’m coming.” And “I’ll Make You See God” was very much one of those songs. It came out really fully formed. And you don’t do a song like that and put it fifth. It’s sort of like, it’s in the front. It’s the lead dog. And I also knew — as soon as we started working on it, I’m like, “This is a perfect concert opener.” And indeed, that is what we’ve been opening with on the first 15 shows that we did.

Mark Lanegan gave the album its title. What’s the story behind that?

DULLI I named an EP of his years ago. It was just an offhand comment that I made. You know, like when the wind blows, and you kind of shiver? And I said, “Here comes that weird chill.” And he was like, “Hey, can I use that?” And I’m like, “Sure.” And then he put out an EP and I was like, “Oh, fuck! Cool.” So, loosely we were having a conversation, and he was like, “It’s sort of — you know, what do you like? How do you burn?” And I’m like, “What’d you say?” He goes, “How do you burn?” And I’m like, “…Can I use that?” He’s like, “Yeah, go ahead.” And, same thing. I think when I pressed him about it, that’s what he said. He was like, “What do you like? What turns you on? How do you burn?” And I loved that. And he had returned the favor, so to speak.

That’s such a weird, interesting phrase. Is that just something he came up with?

DULLI: I guess so. I mean, Mark is a trippy dude. As I used to say when we toured together, “Sometimes you speak in tongues, dude.” So that was one of those moments that I’m just glad I was around for. I loved it. I wrote it down immediately, and I knew immediately it would be the name of the record. I loved it.

Friendship And Collaborations With Mark Lanegan (1989-2022)

How did you and Mark first meet?

DULLI: We first met in I want to say ’89? And we did not get along. Later we ran into each other somewhere in Pioneer Square in Seattle, and that was the first time we just kind of stood and talked alone. I don’t even think that cellphones were a thing yet when we talked, so there wasn’t any kind of “Hey, here’s my number, let’s hang out.” Somehow we got in touch with each other. We both moved to LA around the same time, and somebody put us in touch I want to say in, like, 2000? 2001? We went to lunch, and then we started hanging out every week, and then a couple times a week, and then we started bringing guitars out. We weren’t even recording. He would teach me blues songs, and I would teach him country songs, and we were just kind of entertaining each other.

And then I had started working on what became Blackberry Belle by the Twilight Singers. And I actually wrote this song called “Number Nine,” and I wrote it for him, for us to do a duet with. And that was the first time that we went to tape. And it’s still one of my favorite songs that I’ve ever done, certainly that I did with him, that it was the first song that we recorded together. And then he asked me to sing on [the 2004 Mark Lanegan Band album] Bubblegum. I sang on a couple songs on Bubblegum. And then we started kind of loosely collaborating, just every once in a while.

I actually thought I had him in the Twilight Singers for a minute, and then he started touring and recording with Queens, and that was — he was gonna make more money with Queens than he was with Twilight Singers. And then I toured as the keyboard player in his band for a short tour. And then we just sort of — at a certain point he gave up his apartment, and I’m like, “Wow, I think Lanegan is my roommate now.” All of his stuff was in my spare room, and he had a key, and it was like, “Oh, looks like he lives here now.” We were roommates, we were collaborators. And then he sprung the Gutter Twins idea on me, and I thought that was cool. I think we recorded like three Christmases in a row, but never any other time. You know, just at the end of the year we’d be like, “Hey, what are you doing?” And all of those songs made it onto Saturnalia.

But I think it was when he joined the Twilight Singers in 2006 [that we became so close]. I heard the Massive Attack song “Live With Me” that Terry Callier sang lead on, who — Mark and I both loved Terry Callier. And later we’d meet him in Ireland. It’s always wild how that happens. But Mark wasn’t in Queens anymore. I said, “I’ve got an idea for a song I want to do. Do you want to come to New Orleans and play it with us?” He ended up coming to New Orleans, and he never left. He stayed in the band. He did all of the Twilight Singers’ Powder Burns tour. Then he turned that into Gutter Twins. Then we went out and toured acoustically after that. We probably played like 350 shows together in five years. We basically spent like five years together on the road. We went around the world like five times. South America, Australia, New Zealand, just everywhere. We went everywhere. And he became my brother then. Rosser was in the band then, too. Rosser and Mark became super close. When we peeled off from Gutter Twins and did the acoustic tour, it was just me, Rosser, and Lanegan. And we didn’t have a tour manager, we didn’t have roadies. It was just the three of us, and we’d get on a plane and make our way around the world. We were a power trio in every sense of the word. And some of the best memories of my life…

That’s awesome. I didn’t realize you guys lived together.

DULLI: Yeah, we lived together for probably six months? I think? He was leaving and touring with Queens, and I was leaving too, so it wasn’t like we were together the whole time. But he certainly — I had a cat named Clyde back then, and Clyde and Mark were fast friends. So Mark would stay and watch Clyde. It actually worked out really well for me.

Blackberry Belle is one of my absolute favorite things you’ve done. It came out when I was in college, and I listened to that one a lot.

DULLI: You know what, Chris? It is absolutely one of my favorite things that I’ve ever done, too. One of those records where I would not change a thing. I love every song on it. I wouldn’t take any of them off or change them in any way. That’s as good a record as I can make.

Working With Scrawl’s Marcy Mays On “My Curse” (1993) And “Domino And Jimmy” (2022)

As a Columbus resident, I wanted to ask about your history of collaborations with Marcy Mays, who co-leads Scrawl and founded the great Columbus music venue Ace Of Cups among other things. I used to write about the local music scene here, and the video of you guys performing “My Curse” together at Reading Festival is often circulated around Facebook within a certain corner of the community. I’m wondering about your connections with that Columbus scene in the ’90s, how much overlap there was between that and what was happening down in Cincinnati, and how you ended up working with Marcy.

DULLI: I first saw Scrawl in — whenever Plus, Also, Too came out. [Ed: 1987.] I saw them play at the University of Cincinnati at the student union. I loved them. I loved her voice. I loved to hear her and Sue [Harshe] sing together. The Whigs, we started covering “Green Beer,” which is on that record. Marcy was born in West Virginia, and I have a lot of relatives and I spent a lot of time in West Virginia as a child. It turned out our areas were probably about 10 miles away from each other. We bonded on a mutual love of ’70s hard rock and heavy metal, and Scrawl used to do an incredible cover of “Stranglehold” by Ted Nugent, one of the sickest grooves ever. Ted doesn’t sing it, by the way; it’s sung by Derek St. Holmes, who’s thankfully not a fascist, which allows me to still be able to enjoy the song “Stranglehold.” And he wrote it too!

Anyway, I’ve been friends nonstop with Marcy for over 30 years. In regards to “My Curse” on Gentlemen, that song was a lot for me to even come up with. As I tried to sing it, it just felt like it should be — I had been kind of going at myself for an entire album, it felt like the female in the story should have a voice. So I asked her if she would be that voice, and she thankfully said yes. And so there’s that.

And when the pandemic started cranking, I’m sure you, like many people, started talking to people from far away all the time, just checking how they were. Marcy and I were probably talking once, sometimes twice a month. But when Marcy and I talk, we talk for like two or three hours. I’m sure you have friends where you have to make time because it’s not going to be a “hey what’s up” conversation. You’re gonna get into it a little bit. So at the end of one of those calls, I just said, “Hey, we should do something again one of these days. It would probably flip people out.” And she said, “That’d be great, let’s do it.” When we got off the phone, I was like, “Man, don’t be that guy who says you’re gonna do something and then don’t do it.” And I wrote the song within a week and send it to her, and she fucking crushed it.

So you wrote it with her in mind.

DULLI: I wrote it for her, literally. “My Curse” I did not write for her. I don’t even know who I wrote it for, but she took it over. And this one I wrote specifically for her. And she even said, “Where’s your part?” And I said, “I can’t do my part until I hear you sing your part. I can’t even write my part until I hear you sing your part.” And then I heard her sing her part and I literally wept when I heard her performance. And that’s how I was able to write my part of the duet to respond to that.

Black Republicans (1985)

I was able to find one video on YouTube of your pre-Whigs band Black Republicans. It has like 240 views and two comments. So if I understand correctly, you were living in LA, and then you decided to move back to Cincinnati to start a band? What’s the logic there?

DULLI: I was living in LA in 1984 and moved back because of a family emergency, and I had to look after my sister. And that’s when I started Black Republicans. Black Republicans actually started originally in ’83, and we were two guitars, drum machine, and clarinet. [laughs] You know, like Echo & The Bunnymen with a clarinet, but punk-rock style. And the clarinetist was also the drum programmer, which is pretty hilarious. When I came back I decided to keep the name, and then we formed the band you apparently saw on YouTube. What was the song?


DULLI: “DUI,” nice! You gotta send me that. Is it video or audio?

It’s video.

DULLI: Wow! It’s probably at J.R.’s, I’d guess. That’s a trip.

It’s at Skeeter’s.

DULLI: Oh Skeeter’s, Hamilton, Ohio. That’s my hometown. That is wild! So I came back home and I ended up starting that version of the band with two dudes I went to high school with. And then we found a drummer who ended up having the place where we practiced at. It was out on a farm. His name was Dean. Really great drummer — like, incredible drummer. I don’t think he realized what we were gonna end up getting into. He was a little, you know — he was very much a kind of classic rocker, but we corrupted him properly. But that was just a way to start working out — I was trying to write songs, but I didn’t play guitar yet. It actually was the impetus for me to begin playing guitar.

Somewhere around the latter part of ’85, we started noticing this guy with a beard coming to all our shows. And finally he came up and talked to me after a show one night, and after he introduced himself, he then said, “I’m better than your bass player.” And I was like, “Oh, alright!” And we talked a little while longer. I’m like, “Alright.” We had him come out. We listened to him play. His name was John Curley. And he was indeed, and we got him into the band. And then I left again. I moved to Phoenix, Arizona in May of ’86. I was back in Cincinnati by October ’86 because guess what? May through October in Phoenix is fucking hot! Like, “hell no” was my attitude at that point. When I came back, on Halloween of 1986, the four guys who made the first four Afghan Whigs records played in a room together for the first time. And that is the legend of Big Top Halloween. Literally, our first rehearsal was on Halloween of ’86.

That’s probably well-circulated trivia, but it’s the first time I’ve heard it.

DULLI: I don’t know that it’s wide public knowledge. Sort of you walking me through Black Republicans got the timeline going for me. But I do absolutely remember that because trick-or-treaters were knocking on the door while we were trying to jam. I think somebody put on scary makeup and started scaring kids away from trick-or-treating or something. It got funny.

Singing As John Lennon For The Beatles Movie Backbeat (1994)

For this movie about the Beatles’ early years in Germany, you were part of an alt-rock all-star band including Soul Asylum’s Dave Pirner (as the voice of Paul McCartney), Black Flag’s Henry Rollins (as the voice of Stuart Sutcliffe), Sonic Youth’s Thurston Moore, Nirvana’s Dave Grohl, R.E.M.’s Mike Mills, and Gumball’s Don Fleming. Did you have anything to do with assembling the band? How did it come together?

DULLI: I got called by Don Was. I was in New York in a hotel room, and I was hung over. And the call came through, and the guy said, “I’m Don Was, and I’m doing the music for a movie about the Beatles, and we want you to be the voice of John Lennon.” And I’m pretty sure I literally said, “Fuck off!” and hung up. I thought somebody was pranking me. I definitely hung up on him. And then he called back later and I talked to him. I don’t know if he put the band together or somebody at Virgin — that’s who put the record out. But when they told me, I said, “That sounds fun. I’m in.”

What was it like trying to sing like Lennon? Was that something you already had some practice with? Did Don tell you why he chose you?

DULLI: First of all, I wasn’t doing Beatles songs. If you know about the Beatles’ German period, they were on stage almost 12 hours a day doing shows all day long on the Reeperbahn. Young or not, they were crankin’ on speed to get through those things, so a lot of those songs are pretty fast and muscular. They’re doing, like, Motown songs, Little Richard songs — they’re doing, like, original wave of rock ‘n’ roll songs. We were just doing covers of the Beatles doing covers. If we were doing Revolver or Rubber Soul or something like that, that’s a different story. So I didn’t feel like I had to — I was aware of John Lennon’s nasal register, but I just kind of jumped in and sang the song like I would sing it. I thought it came out cool. It was fun. It was a super-hot band. If Pete Best was as good a drummer as Grohl was, there probably would be no Ringo. So there you go.

Did you guys track that stuff together?

DULLI: It was all tracked live. We did the entire record in two days. Pirner was doing a movie with Winona Rider — Reality Bites, I think — so he wasn’t there, so I tracked the McCartney vocals too and then he came in and sang them later to tape. But I sang all of the songs with the band. I was the singer for the recordings.

Did you coordinate at all with Ian Hart, the actor who played Lennon? Or was it just a matter of him lip-syncing to your takes?

DULLI: He had to lip-sync. But here’s a funny story about Ian Hart. That was [recorded in] ’93. In 1997, my friend Ted Demme was doing a movie called Monument Ave. with Denis Leary, Martin Sheen, John Diehl, Noah Emmerich… and Ian Hart. And so I ended up spending a month with Ian Hart four years later, and he’s just a lovely guy. A great actor and a really sweet human being too.

Playing The Only Part Not By Dave Grohl On Foo Fighters’ Debut Album (1995)

Did recording with Grohl for Backbeat lead to you playing on the first Foo Fighters album?

DULLI: It was probably based on that. I first met Dave backstage at the Palace [in Los Angeles] when Nirvana played on the Nevermind tour — like the early part before they were knocking Michael Jackson out of the top spot on Billboard. I met him in a passing way. When we hung out for those three odd days to make Backbeat, I made friendships with all of those guys, notably Thurston and Dave. I moved to Seattle in 1994 and Dave was living there too, and we started hanging out. I went to visit him at his house, and he played me some stuff. And then I think we recorded my part at Bob Lang, where he did the first record, a studio outside of Seattle. I just stopped by to say hi and he’s like, “Hey do you want to play a guitar?” and it’s like, “OK.” I can’t even remember what that was like. I’m just told about it all the time. Like, “Hey, you played on that record!” I’m like, “Probably.” I mean, he played everything on it. Whatever I did, it wasn’t like Eric Clapton on “My Guitar Gently Weeps” or anything like that. I’m not a lead guitar player, but I was happy to help. I had no idea that I was the only other guy. There was none of that. It was just something that happened in an afternoon.

Beautiful Girls Soundtrack (1996)

You mentioned your friendship with Ted Demme. Were you already friendly with him before this project came around?

DULLI: Ted went to high school with my girlfriend at the time, and the three of us went out to eat at an Indian restaurant in New York. They both went to high school on Long Island. The first time I met Ted Demme, we were best friends in like 15 minutes. We had so much in common. We had the same sense of humor. He was just absolutely one of the coolest people I have ever known. Just an incredible, original — the thing about Ted was, he made you feel like the most important person in the room. I remember going on his movie sets and he knew everybody’s name. He knew all the craft services people. He would ask them about their kids. He would know their kids’ names. When Ted stepped on a film set, everybody loved him. Everybody had his back. I was very, very conscious of the power that guy had just by being a good dude. Just by listening, caring, remembering, seeing, including. Everybody loved him. He was very, very easy to love.

When we started hanging out, I was living in New York at the time. We hung out a lot. We’d go to Yankee games. We’d go to Knicks games. We’d go to hip-hop shows. Yo! MTV Raps, he started that, so he was all over the hip-hop scene. When he came up with the Beautiful Girls thing, he was like, “Hey, I want your band to be the bar band.” And I was like, “Alright.” And he was like, “I want you to do a Barry White song.” And I’m like, “Which one?” And he’s like, “Can’t Get Enough Of Your Love.” And I’m like, “Wow, OK.” And I gotta tell you, man, when we first started playing it, it sounded like the Love Boat theme. And I was like, “Man, I can’t do this like that.” So I switched it to a minor key and made it a little more evil, and he loved it. So it was great.

And then I had already been working on this Frederick Knight cover called “Be For Real,” which is I think the slow-dance scene in the movie, and he loved that one too. Originally we were in it a lot, and Harvey Weinstein of all people asked Ted, “Hey, does this guy got pictures of you or somethin’? What the fuck is up with this band?” And he’s like, “Oh, sorry!” He was giving us like the whole fucking song in the movie. Like, dude, I love you too, but don’t do that on my behalf. So we did that, and then did Monument Ave., and then I can’t remember what he did. I guess it was either Life or Blow was next, and then he was gone.

It really sounds like you guys had a special friendship.

DULLI: I mean, all of these guys that aren’t here anymore were like larger-than-life personalities, like life-changing friendships. You can look back and you can mourn, or you can be fucking psyched that the universe put them in your path. You know what I mean? And that’s the way I kind of like to roll.

Performing With Usher At SXSW (2013)

One time at SXSW I saw you perform with Usher. How did that come about?

DULLI: I know that Andy at Fader, they did Fader Fort, and they would always have weird mashups and stuff. I was actually in Australia recording with Steve Kilbey from the Church, and my manager called me, and he was like, “Hey, do you want to play SXSW?” And I was like, “Absolutely not.” And he was like, “Do you want to play with Usher?” And I was like, “Tell me more.” I guess Andy played Usher our Frank Ocean “Lovecrimes” cover, and Usher really liked it and said, “I want that to be my band at Fader Fort.” So Keith asked me, “How do you want to play this?” and I told him, “There’s only one way to play it. Tell Usher to call me.” And 10 minutes later Usher called me, and we talked about what we could do. I flew back from Australia. It all happened really fast. I walked into the rehearsal room. Usher was there before all of us. Just a really humble, super-cool guy. Hard-working guy. We figured out what we were gonna do, and we did it.

And not only that! The Afghan Whigs reunion was over, and we were done. I was going back to Twilight Singers. And after we did the Usher thing, John Curley and I had dinner, and we were like, “Hey, let’s do this. We’re gonna revamp the band. Here’s who the band will be.” And then we made Do To The Beast, and we were playing in Brooklyn. And again my manager called, and he’s like, “Hey, Usher’s in town. Can he call you?” And I’m like, “Of course!” So he calls me and he’s like, “Hey, I wanna bring my friends to your show in Brooklyn.” And he goes, “Do you wanna do it again?” And I’m like, “Sing together again?” And I’m like, “Yeah!” And we did it again. We did “Climax.” And I had to prompt him on his own song a couple times, cause I was like, “Dude, you’re singing the wrong words. I better help you here.” But just a really excellent guy. Nothing but great things to say about him. Just a really open-hearted, sweet, intelligent, incredibly talented guy.

And by the way, when we played Fader Fort, I had never heard chicks screaming like that in all my life. It hurt my fucking ears, man. It was like Beatlemania. You know what I mean? That high-pitched screaming. It was wild. But Usher? Coolest dude you could meet.

Becoming The Second Band From Outside The Pacific Northwest To Sign To Sub Pop (1989)

You signed to Sub Pop just as it was picking up a lot of heat. When did you become aware of the label?

DULLI: I was aware of Sub Pop because I think I heard a Soundgarden song. But “Touch Me I’m Sick,” that was when I was like, “Oh, what’s going on here?” And then subsequently heard Bleach. And no lie, I was like, “There’s the band right there.” You know what I mean? Like, this dude’s got the thing. That song “About A Girl,” I was like — man, that was a fucking great song.

It changed my life, obviously, signing to that label. But really having a front-row seat to that moment in the culture was — I saw some of the greatest shows I ever saw. The band who helped us get on Sub Pop was this band from Denver called the Fluid. They heard our demo tape at a show when they were soundchecking. They were setting up to play a show in Louisville, Kentucky, and our friend Scotty ran the club on Bardstown Road called Tewligans. And John Robinson, the singer, and Garrett Shavlik, the drummer, were like, “Hey, you should give us a copy of this tape.” And they gave it to Jonathan at Sub Pop, who heard it. Called us, we came out and played a show. We did a single, played a show at this place called Squid Row, and we left. They asked us if we wanted to do an album. We came back out. We played a show with the Fluid.

The reason why I bring this back up again is, like, when we played with the Fluid in 1989, we opened for them, and we played a great fucking set, and I remember thinking, “Follow that, Fluid.” And then they were like, fucking, “No problem bitch,” and destroyed, man. One of the greatest shows I’ve ever seen in my life was the show that they played right after we played. It was like the Stooges. Like Raw Power Stooges. And John Robinson was just such an electric frontman. Incredible. Very underrated band. But yeah, I saw all of the bands. Became good friends with Tad Doyle from TAD. Mudhoney, incredible live band. Soundgarden, incredible live band. Nirvana, I mean, what else can you say? They had the magic. And don’t forget, the first Mark Lanegan solo records. Which, honestly, for me, is what got my attention. I liked Screaming Trees, but I really loved Mark’s solo stuff. So they were putting out super cool music. L7. They had their finger on the pulse, and it was an absolute thrill to be there at that moment in the culture.

I was going to bring up the Fluid because I thought they were the only band from outside the Pacific Northwest to sign there before you guys did, but I didn’t realize they were directly connected to you guys getting signed there.

DULLI: We don’t get signed without them. They were the link. They made it happen. The Fluid unleashed the Afghan Whigs. And they did it in more ways than one. They did it by just digging our music and passing it on. And then they did it by showing me how to do it after I thought I knew already. Just one of the great live bands of all time. Anybody who saw them would say the same fucking thing. An incredible band.

How Do You Burn? is out 9/9 on Royal Cream/BMG.

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