Gut re­ac­tions

No-non­sense rock jour­ney­man Mark Lane­gan is once again col­lab­o­rat­ing – this time with for­mer Afghan Whig Greg Dulli. He tells Tony Clay­ton-Lea how The Gut­ter Twins came into be­ing

The Irish Times - Friday - The Ticket - - Music -

ONCE de­scribed as the Leonard Co­hen of grunge, Mark Lane­gan is one of rock mu­sic’s boho mav­er­icks, a man equally at ease with punk – “When I heard An­ar­chy in the UK,” he once said, “it sud­denly all made sense. I knew who I was” – its off­shoot legacy (Scream­ing Trees, Queens of the Stone Age) and its tan­gents. Not in the mood to shoot the breeze, Lane­gan keeps his com­ments strictly on point. If he’s en­joy­ing him­self, he cer­tainly isn’t let­ting on . . . Why did you and Greg band to­gether as The Gut­ter Twins? “Greg and I are friends, we en­joy play­ing mu­sic to­gether; we played on each other’s records be­fore, and we just wanted to make a record to­tally with each other. Sim­ple as that.” Did you have any pre­con­ceived no­tions as to what the mu­sic was go­ing to be like? “When we went into the stu­dio first, we had no songs, but we came out with a cou­ple. There was no in­formed de­ci­sion as to what the next step af­ter that would be. We never re­ally talked about the di­rec­tion, we just let it or­gan­i­cally take shape.” Did the mu­sic de­velop nat­u­rally with­out any fore­thought? “Ab­so­lutely cor­rect. We wrote about half the record to­tally to­gether, and the other half we sep­a­rately brought in songs, but al­ways with the other guy in mind. When we were writ­ing, we thought it best not to bring along any songs we had been pre­vi­ously work­ing on – all the songs are writ­ten specif­i­cally for the record. We set aside time just to write them be­fore they were recorded.” Who is the au­di­ence for the album – a cross-sec­tion of yours and Greg’s? “We never re­ally dis­cussed that. Or thought about it, in fact. It was ba­si­cally writ­ing and record­ing mu­sic to please our­selves. Once that was done, that’s all we wanted. Of course, it’s al­ways a bonus if any­one else likes it.” What is the work ethic like be­tween you? “We work fast and eco­nom­i­cally. And we’d know each other well enough for there to be a small amount of mu­tual cri­tiquing, but that’s what you want in a col­lab­o­ra­tor. Be­ing good friends, there is a great amount of trust, so there was no prob­lem in throw­ing any­thing out for con­sid­er­a­tion. I mean, what you want is for the other guy to tell you if it’s good or bad.” The band name – a pun on Mick’n’Keef’s Glim­mer Twins? “You know what, it was just a re­sponse to some­thing that was asked me by an Ital­ian jour­nal­ist, and I was just kid­ding around with my an­swer. I’m sure the Stones thing is where it came from, but I can’t say I con­sciously ripped it from them.” What do you each bring to The Gut­ter Twins? “Greg and I bring our sep­a­rate unique ex­pe­ri­ences to it. They dove­tail in the mu­sic and songs. I’ve been blessed in the area of col­lab­o­ra­tion, I guess – my new album with Is­abel Camp­bell (Sun­day at Devil Dirt) is out in a few months and then we’ll tour that – and I en­joy all of them.”

The Gut­ter Twins: Mark Lane­gan and Greg Dulli

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