The Gutter Twins
- Doug Johnstone
- 27 March 2008
Oran Mor, Glasgow, Mon 7 Apr
For a legendary hellraiser, Mark Lanegan is surprisingly perky considering it’s early morning after a show in Amsterdam. I say ‘perky’, it’s all relative, he’s still monosyllabic, menacing, moody and terse. So how was last night’s gig, Mark?
‘Yeah.’ Huge pause. ‘Good.’
The show in question was by The Gutter Twins, an erstwhile post-grunge supergroup, no less, featuring Lanegan and fellow veteran of the scene Greg Dulli, formerly of The Afghan Whigs.
Although Lanegan and Dulli have been friends for many years, The Gutter Twins is their first proper collaboration, and has produced a fantastic album, Saturnalia, which blends Lanegan’s bluesy, gravely musings with Dulli’s more expansive soul-flecked rock, the pair sharing songwriting and singing duties. Considering both artists’ long history in the business, it’s a surprisingly forward-looking record, but that was apparently the point.
‘I’ve always tried to make timeless records outside of whatever was the current trend, and Greg’s done the same,’ Lanegan growls. ‘That’s part of what attracted me to working with him, that we’re not stuck in the past.’
Lanegan claims that working with such a close friend made both of them raise their games in the studio. So did either of them veto something the other one brought in?
‘That happened,’ Lanegan cackles, ‘but it was really rare, because we were both conscious of wanting to make a good record. We also wanted it to be its own thing, and I think we achieved that.’
Lanegan and Dulli have both seen plenty of the darker side of the rock star dream, drug addiction, violence and controversy courting their colourful careers. Lanegan remains tight-lipped on the details, but says he’s happy just to be here still making music.
‘If you’d told me at 20 that I’d still be around today, that would’ve seemed like an impossibility, same goes for Greg,’ he says. ‘But somehow we’ve got here.’