The recent reformation of THE AFGHAN WHIGS proves a simple story, really. It was not precipitated by financial urgency, a need to cash in on some recent cover smash, or a made-for-TV movie deal; instead, it's all about three musicians who want to hit the stage together again. While every band... [read more]
The recent reformation of THE AFGHAN WHIGS proves a simple story, really. It was not precipitated by financial urgency, a need to cash in on some recent cover smash, or a made-for-TV movie deal; instead, it's all about three musicians who want to hit the stage together again. While every band reunion carries its share of nostalgic currency, an Afghan Whigs concert tour in 2012 - neatly timed to hit 25 years after their first live show in 1987 - promises to be a most unpredictable and contemporary experience. Then again, those were always the Whigs' defining qualities, along with a reputation as one of rock's most cathartic, powerful concert outfits. "I'd been asked about a reunion so many times over the years, and I kept saying no," says GREG DULLI, Afghan Whigs' frontman and chief songwriter. "I finally had to ask myself, 'Well, why not?'" The actual impetus to regroup occurred in 2010 during Dulli's first-ever solo tour - a rare hiatus from his ongoing gig as leader of his acclaimed post-Whigs outfit, THE TWILIGHT SINGERS. He had asked Whigs bassist JOHN CURLEY to join him on stage at a couple shows, and then Curley stayed on for a few more; soon after, audiences found themselves treated to performances of beloved Whigs' classics like "Step Into The Light" (off the band's 1996 noir masterpiece Black Love) for the first time in well over a decade. "I had a great time playing with John, and just hanging out," says Dulli. "More and more Whigs songs were finding their way into the set list. I hadn't sang those songs for years, but they felt fresh and alive in ways I couldn't have predicted." Following a similar bonding experience with Whigs' guitarist RICK MCCOLLUM during a day off of the Twilight Singers' 2011 spring tour, the desire to bring the original trio back to the stage was now sown in Dulli's mind - and, simultaneously, with the other two primary members. "Greg's enthusiasm definitely rubbed off," says Curley, who currently owns and operates Ultrasuede Studio in the Whigs' hometown ofCincinnati,Ohio. "I didn't need a whole lot of convincing, though, after the recent shows we'd played together. We all came to the conclusion that getting the Whigs back together would be a lot of fun, for no other reason than because we wanted to." In November 2011, the three convened for several days inNew Orleans; after the first night of rehearsal, however, it was clear that old black magic remained strong as ever. "We could've played a show that night," Dulli notes.