(This is part two of an interview with Twilight Singers front man Greg Dulli about movies, music and “Dynamite Steps.” If you missed it, here’s part one.)
RM: Is there a song or album of yours that you feel is molded in that [cinematic] way?
Greg Dulli: Yeah, I think there’s—on a lot of my records when I get the bookends, when I get the first song and the last song and I know that they’re gonna be the first song and the last song, to me when I go back and look at them, the first songs and the last songs, it’s the opening scene and the closing scene of the movie. As complex as you want the opening scene to be, you build it that way. An album like Powder Burns, where “I’m Ready” was the first song, it’s a very violent beginning. On Dynamite Steps (“Last Night in Town”), it eases in and then it begins to turn the crank.
“Last Night in Town” for me was very visual, and we’ve opened almost every show with that song. To me it kind of sets the mood of the show. There’s a very abstract narrative running through it. What it means to me, that’s mine; what it means to you, that’s yours. That’s what I’ve always loved about it—the collision between audio and visual.
RM: To your point, in terms of bookends “Dynamite Steps” is an epic closer that builds slowly, pulls back and then builds again to this big climactic ending.
Greg Dulli: We haven’t played that one live yet. The last two records that we’ve done, the last song—on Powder Burns it was “I Wish I Was”—they’re very produced. It took a week to mix the song “Dynamite Steps.” We would do it in sections.
A lot of people keep asking me about it, when we’re going to play it live, and I think it can be played live, but I just don’t know how to do it yet (laughs). “I Wish I Was,” the last song on Powder Burns, we tried to do it once and—I employed that 10cc “I’m Not in Love” vocal technique on it, and there was no way to reproduce that live, it was like you were climbing straight up a hill with no shoes on, and it wasn’t going to work.
For me, writing a set list is not unlike sequencing a record, because you’re trying to give yourself a ride, and then give the audience a ride through you. I look at the set list in the same way as I look at sequencing a record. I want to create an experience for the audience and for myself and for the rest of the band.
RM: With all the different movies and TV shows that your music has been featured in, what is your favorite use of one of your songs in either a movie or a TV show?
Greg Dulli: I would say, right off the top of my head, the use of “The Lure Would Prove Too Much” in Season 4 of Rescue Me. It’s the opening scene, it’s a big fire, and they used almost the whole song, and that is a long song. I was incredibly moved by that and actually maybe even temporarily forgot that I had anything to do with it.
I was just in awe of what it looked like and what it sounded like and how they just kind of let the song play and there was really no dialogue, it just kind of happened. Rare is the person who gets a chance to do that, and I’ll give it up to Denis [Leary] and Peter [Tolan] for doing that. It was pretty ballsy.
The Twilight Singers are performing at the Masquerade in Atlanta on May 5. Their new album is “Dynamite Steps.”
Follow Ryan at http://twitter.com/ATLFilmExaminer.