The Gutter Twins

Mark Lanegan, Vocals
Greg Dulli, Vocals/Drums/Piano/Organ
Troy Van Leeuwen, Guitar
Mathias Schneeberger, Guitar/Bass

Formed in 2005

Faded Flannel Feature Column 
by Rick Lambert

  Mark Lanegan has long been a personal favorite of mine.  His vocal style has few peers, at least in this era.  His music soul exudes an incredible passion as well as some deep pain.  The depth of his range can move you into whatever direction he wishes to take you.

  It's a haunting, sometimes chilling feeling I get when I hear Lanegan's voice.  His duet with Layne Staley on "Long Gone Day" can still give me goose bumps.  Lanegan could use his voice to sing a child to sleep with a lullaby, just as easily as he uses it to bring a grown man to crowd surf. 

Mark Lanegan    Mark Lanegan has released a half-dozen solo albums and even more with The Screaming Trees.  He's lent his deep, moving voice to such projects as Mad Season, Queens of the Stone Age, The Twilight Singers, The Soulsavers, Isobel Campbell and now his latest collaboration with Greg Dulli as The Gutter Twins.  The new CD, "Saturnalia", is their first full-length album together and offers up the best of Lanegan and the best of Greg Dulli. They're currently on tour to support the project.

    Mark Lanegan and Greg Dulli first met at a party in 1989, just as Dulli's band, The Afghan Whigs, was becoming the first non-Seattle band to sign with Sub Pop.  Although at that time, their meeting was little more than a handshake greeting and they didn't become close friends until quite a few years later.
   By around 2000, for over a year, Mark Lanegan and Greg Dulli actually shared a house in the Los Angeles area of Silverlake, although they admit they didn't see much of each other during that time.  Dulli was putting his efforts into The Twilight Singers and Lanegan was freelancing with Queens of the Stone Age and by 2002 was pretty much a full-time member.

Greg Dulli and Mark Lanegan - The Gutter Twins   In 2003, the two began a series of collaborations.  Lanegan's vocals graced a few tracks on The Twilight Singers "Blackberry Belle" album with Dulli.  The following year, Dulli appeared on Lanegan's solo project called "Bubblegum" and actually toured with Mark and his band, playing piano.  It was during this time that The Gutter Twins began to take shape.  By September 2005, Mark and Greg made their first appearance together as The Gutter Twins in Rome, Italy.

    In 2006, Lanegan toured with Dulli and The Twilight Singers in the U.K. and the U.S.  While in the U.K. they sat down with Paul Lester of The Guardian and spoke about their collaboration.  Although both Mark and Greg have long battled with drug addictions, they noted that even while living together, they had never done drugs together.  Dulli responded "How could we?  We were like fire and ice -
we were complete opposites".  Lanegan's drug of choice was heroin, while Dulli's habit was cocaine.

   They both suffered with their addictions and at different periods in time, have helped each other through them.  In The Guardian's interview, Dulli admitted Lanegan had helped him out when he hit bottom in 2003.  Mark was the first person Greg called for help.  Lanegan calls Dulli his best friend. With similar, yet contrasting paths, this could be the start of something very noteworthy.

Saturnalia - The Gutter Twins  
Saturnalia - The Gutter Twins

   Last year, Mark Lanegan and Greg Dulli finally put their other projects behind them, at least for the time being, and booked their own studio time, recording their first album together as "The Gutter Twins", Saturnalia.  This project clearly showcases the strengths of each artist individually and collectively multiplies it with this collaboration.  Saturnalia exhibits how music can also be an artform.

The album starts out with "The Station", a melodic and haunting track both lyrically and instrumentally.  Lanegan's voice harmonizing with Dulli's is just the sign of things to come throughout the rest of this album.  Blending like a night-time dj's segueway beautifully into "God's Children", Dulli brings a touch of his Afghan Whigs style, all the while complimenting Lanegan's vocal range.

"All Misery/Flowers", the third track, begins with Lanegan's trademark crooning that makes you feel the misery that the lyrics spell out.  Can anyone better than Lanegan express such pain with song?  Again, he has few peers in that area.  "The Body" follows and lays out how well these two were meant to sing together.  The song is one constant harmonic conversion. 

Track five is the first one we were given a few weeks back and the most rocking on the album.  "Idle Hands" is a perfect mix of Lanegan's Screaming Trees' sound and Dulli's old Afghan Whigs sound.  Greg begins the vocal lead on the following cut, "Circle The Fringes", which eventually morphs into the deep, mischievous sound of Lanegan joining in.

Seven and eight tracks in, we get a soulful rendition of "Who Will Lead Us Now" and the heavy-hearted "Seven Stories Underground".  I closed my eyes during these songs and let them engulf me as if I were personally being serenaded in a church of my own mind. 

While the song "I Was In Love With You" sounds like it could be on Abbey Road, "Bete Noire" contrasts it with something strangely mesmerizing as it mixes into "Each To Each", a song recorded in Arcadia in July 2007.  The album wraps up with an almost adult lullaby "Front Street", ending the album as hauntingly as it began.  It was well worth the wait.

-Rick Lambert

CLICK HERE To View MARK LANEGAN's Bio/Timeline and Discography


    • Released in 2008

      The on-going collaborations of Mark Lanegan and Greg Dulli finally result in a project of their own.  Buy the CD
    • The Stations
    • God's Children
    • All Misery/Flowers
    • The Body
    • Idle Hands
    • Circle The Fringes
    • Who WIll Lead Us?
    • Seven Stories Underground
    • I Was In Love With You
    • Bete Noire
    • Each To Each
    • Front Street

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