When “Breaking Bad” actor Bob Odenkirk broke the news on Twitter that alt-rock band The Afghan Whigs would be releasing its first new album in 16 years, a lot of people thought “how did that happen?” – both about Odenkirk and the forthcoming “Do to the Beast” (out April 15). Frontman Greg Dulli has revealed more details in two new interviews. Check out the new video for album”s first single, “Algiers,” below.
“Do to the Beast” was unexpectedly inspired by a 2013 South by Southwest joint show with R&B star Usher, the band told Rolling Stone. “Doing that Usher show was like starting a band for the first time – just inviting someone over and working on songs,” Dulli said. Afterward, the guys hit the studio without original lead guitarist Rick McCollum who bowed out due to “personal problems.”
“Once we decided to do this album without Rick, I felt set free to do whatever I wanted – revisit sounds I used to like and mix them with sounds I’m exploring now,” Dulli said. “Whether or not someone agrees with my methodology – well, there are no rules in rock & roll.”
The new album will feature members of Chavez, the Raconteurs, Squirrel Bait and Queens of the Stone Age. The majority of “Do to the Beast” was recorded at Josh Homme’s Pink Duck studio.
In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, Dulli explained that “Algiers” was written during Mardi Gras last year and its title comes from a New Orleans neighborhood. Dulli said he worked on his “croon” for the acoustic folk ballad, inspired by Roy Orbison, Elvis Presley and Eric Carmen.
“This song kind of sounds like a spaghetti western,” Dulli said, adding that the new video is an homage to the 1973 Clint Eastwood film “High Plains Drifter.”
And just how did Odenkirk get the scoop on the band reforming? Dulli said they met through mutual friend and DJ Mike Brillstein when they were having lunch before a golf game, at which time Odenkirk started asking whether there was a new Afghan Whigs record in the works. Dulli said yes, Odenkirk snapped a photo and the rest is history. “That”s the chaos theory,” Dulli told EW. “As much as you try to control things, life does what it wants.”