The Afghan Whigs
Origin: Cincinnati, Ohio
Share This Artist
The Afghan Whigs were originally active from 1986 to 2001, and have since reformed. The group’s core members are Greg Dulli (vocals, rhythm guitar), Rick McCollum (lead guitar), and John Curley (bass). The band rose up around the grunge movement, Cincinnati, Ohio, evolving from a garage band in the vein of the Replacements to incorporate more R&B and soul influences into their sound and image.
After their first album was issued independently in 1988, the band signed to the Seattle-based label Sub Pop. They released their major-label debut on Elektra Records and fourth album, Gentlemen, in 1993, becoming The Afghan Whigs’ most commercially successful release.
The singles, “Debonair” (a Modern Rock Top 20 hit) and “Gentlemen,” received regular airplay on MTV and college radio; another album track, “Fountain and Fairfax,” also appeared on the television series My So-Called Life in 1994.
In total, the band had released six albums by 2001, and due to a variety of circumstances, decided to become inactive and leader, Greg Dulli, clarified that theirs was an amicable split, and didn’t necessarily represent an “official breakup.”
After recording a couple of songs for a best-of compilation in 2006, the Afghan Whigs finally got back together in 2012, (minus drummer Steve Earle) and made their debut performance first on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon, playing one new song, the soul cover “See and Don’t See,” and old favorite “I’m Her Slave” from Congregation.
In 2014, the band’s official mailing list announced an April release date for the first album of new Afghan Whigs material in 16 years and the band’s return to the Sub Pop roster, titled Do to the Beast.
Dulli’s songs with Afghan Whigs span a wide range of topics and also betray a fascination with and sympathy for the anti-hero, which he attributed to an influential conversation with his grandfather during childhood: “I remember as a kid watching a cowboys-and-Indians movie and I was rooting for the cowboys. My grandfather asked me why, and I said, `Because they’re the good guys.’ And my grandfather explained to me that the Indians were fighting for their land and that the cowboys were trying to steal it from them. Then he said something to me that I never forgot, which was, `Good people aren’t good all the time and bad people aren’t bad all the time.’ I’ve been exploring that gray area ever since, the idea that saints can fall and sinners can transcend.”
In Spades is the group’s spellbinding new album, and will be available on CD, 180 gram-LP, CS, and DL worldwide on May 5th from Sub Pop. The album, led by the single “Demon In Profile,” is the follow-up to the band’s internationally acclaimed Do to the Beast.
The album, written and produced by Greg Dulli, was recorded in New Orleans, Los Angeles, Memphis and Joshua Tree. The video for their song “Demon In Profile” now spinning on K-ZAP, is below.
Big Top Halloween (1988)
Up in It (1990)
Black Love (1996)
Do to the Beast (2014)
In Spades (2017)