Interview: Gutter Twins (the Extended Yin/Yang Remix)
A few minutes before heading to this interview, I was told by a colleague that Mark Lanegan had once told him he was illiterate, and was learning to read on tour. Just to fuck with him. "So, good luck," were his final parting words.
We did the interview at the Bowery Ballroom for the print version of this fine here publication, as they were prepping what would be their first proper gig under the Gutter Twins with a full set of material. Greg Dulli offered me some chocolate. (It was Valentine's Day.) I declined. Mark seemed generally disinterested in my presence, or at least weary. We sat in the balcony, where they usually have curtains drawn to section off a little piece of the room for VIPs, bands, and such.
Honestly, I was a bit scared. Mark and all his tattoos were inches away from me, and Greg seemed like he could have been annoyed that I dissed his chocolate offerings. But I was probably being paranoid for nothing; about midway, I said something very self-deprecating that made Mark and Greg both laugh, a feat that made me secretly proud. From that point on, things rolled, and they were both very gracious. The only time Mark really looked me in the eye was when we were done; he shook my hand, thanking me for doing this. No problem, dude.
Tonight is your first proper show? I read that you did something in Italy at some point?
GD: We did that one just for the money.
When was the genesis of this project, when did you start hunkering down on this?
GD: December 2003 was the first time. We had talked about it for years.
[Lanegan's phone goes off]
GD: One second.
ML: It's fucked up. The number only comes up right before it shuts off.
GD: Why don't you take it in?
ML: It just started yesterday.
GD: So he had sung on a Twilight record; we actually were going to do the record, but he got asked to join Queens of the Stone Age. Queens were playing a show in L.A., and he came over before soundcheck and sung this song called "Number 9." Later that night I went to the Queens show later that night, blah blah blah. He put out an EP called "Here Comes That Weird Chill" and I joined his touring band for that run. At the end of that run, we went into the studio and recorded "Misery" and that was Christmas day 2003.
So it wasn't that long ago...so in between everything that you were doing, you just kinda worked on this?
GD: Mostly Christmas's. We did the next song in January 2004, the next song Christmas 2004. Then a song, I think, in 2005. Nothing in 2006, and we did the rest of the songs between February and September of 2007.
So the bulk of the record was doing in 2007.